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Thread: Maybe This is the Uptick?

  1. #61

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    I wasn't trying to say those things don't exist - those are things I personally enjoy in the hobby now. I just think the future is should be pointed more toward them as a positive and healthy direction. As Hank said, it is very hard to do in very small numbers. A pard and I have done 18th century treks in small numbers and the experience was amazing. (I hate that word - my kids say it). However, the vast tracts of forest lend themselves to the 1700s better than the 1800s. The kind of 1sst person Hank does is difficult, and really might not the be cup of tea of all reenactors. As you pointed out, people want to socialize and catch up with people they haven't seen in a while. I think it's fair to set limits on when people should be exected to be "switched on." A time you go live and a time you stop. Civil War reenacting has never developed a cod for telling people you're trying not to break character, speaking "forsoothly," as it were. I remember a wonderful first person experience in which a friend and I were telling deer hunting stories. Each of us was retelling an actual occurance, but with language that didn't break character. Hank's last post gave at least 4 or 5 minable situations for scenarios. I might add, though, that this sort of thing is very hard for beginners. When I was a new reenactor, I knew my history, but not the culture of the history. I'm afraid I'd have spent a long time standing around like an ignorant peasant.
    Rob Weaver
    Pine River Boys, Co I, 7th Wisconsin
    "We're... Christians, what read the Bible and foller what it says about lovin' your enemies and carin' for them what despitefully use you -- that is, after you've downed 'em good and hard."
    -Si Klegg and His Pard Shorty

  2. #62
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Baltimore, MD
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    I am heartily sick and tired of the age factor being constantly raised: Perhaps it is time to write:

    "The Old Campaigner's Manifesto":

    I will not cash in my private's impression because I am getting too "old" and promote myself to Major General as an excuse to remain in the hobby. I will hate all officers, non-commissioned and otherwise.

    I will not switch to a civilian impression because I am getting too "old". If I already own a civilian impression it shall be only a sideline portrayal. I am still a soldier at heart.

    I will die my hair and beard and wash way the gray. I have the technology and chemicals to do so very easily.

    I will try to keep my expanding waistline from expanding too much further. Trying don't mean succeeding but at least it implies an effort is being made.

    If sleeping on the ground becomes too painful to my soldiers' rheumatism, I will forage for better accommodations such as a "dry barn" or a "warm inn". When leaving the camp come nightfall, I will only say to my comrades, "I think I saw a farm over yonder. Might go do a wee bit 'o' foragin'." In the morning when I return to camp I will regail my comrades with tales of the farmer's very friendly daughter... or his wife... or both!

    If drilling becomes too difficult, then I will become a shirker.

    If marching becomes too difficult, I will become a straggler and catch up to the column when it suits me, avoiding the provost at all costs.

    If battle becomes too difficult, I will become a Coffee Cooler and happily skulk in the rear where an artist named Forbes will make a sketch of me and my fellow Coffee Coolers.

    The above impressions are way too under-represented anyway. 'bout time somebody tackled them.

    I may choose to eventually portray a veteran of the G.A.R. or the U.C.V. but that is still a soldier impression.

    I will not retire from the hobby until I fall in the never-ending battle of life and go to join the "Old Boys" in Valhalla.

    Eat lead nay-sayers!

    Last edited by Shermans_Neckties; 09-13-2013 at 10:36 PM.
    Phil Lundie
    Purveyor of fine iron apparel for tree trunks.

    I shall move from Chattanooga when the Lieutenant-General orders me; ready or not ready. And if you don't have my army supplied, and keep it supplied, we'll eat your mules up, sir. General William Tecumseh Sherman to the Quartermaster in Nashville. 1864

  3. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Weaver View Post
    As you pointed out, people want to socialize and catch up with people they haven't seen in a while.
    It's ironic. When I drive hundreds of miles to meet people in the hobby that I haven't met for a while, what I want to do is spend event-time reenacting with them, not wasting the rare moments we have together in a period setting and period clothes doing what we could do by phone or email. But apparently I'm in the tiny minority. After 20 years, it still amazes me that most reenactors actually prefer not to reenact during events.

    I think it's fair to set limits on when people should be exected to be "switched on." A time you go live and a time you stop. Civil War reenacting has never developed a cod for telling people you're trying not to break character, speaking "forsoothly," as it were.
    It seems the rule of etiquette at mainstream events is that anytime anyone wants to talk about modern things, they're right and anyone else is wrong, and you're expected to break character and answer any modern questions they ask, or at the very least be quiet and listen to their modern talk.

    Under those circumstances, any sort of first person interaction really is almost impossible, except with the public. At least, at events with a set time to go live and a time to stop, the burden shifts the other way--though if almost no one abides by the rule and no one cares, an entire area can still turn modern, a fairly common occurrence at "immersion" events.

    But since the thread is about expanding the hobby, not making it more accurate, expansion requires putting on events that most reenactors want, so I don't think that's the way to go.

    Hank Trent
    hanktrent@gmail.com

  4. #64

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    @ Shermans_Neckties: Bravo!
    @ Hank: You're right. In fact, I don't think it's too hard to stay period in conversation, if not stay in character. Witness the deer hunting story above. If you're gonna do it, it needs to be a priority. I've never understood why people want to dress up in blue and gray uniforms and talk about panzers.
    Rob Weaver
    Pine River Boys, Co I, 7th Wisconsin
    "We're... Christians, what read the Bible and foller what it says about lovin' your enemies and carin' for them what despitefully use you -- that is, after you've downed 'em good and hard."
    -Si Klegg and His Pard Shorty

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    2,413

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shermans_Neckties View Post
    I am heartily sick and tired of the age factor being constantly raised: Perhaps it is time to write:

    "The Old Campaigner's Manifesto":

    I will not cash in my private's impression because I am getting too "old" and promote myself to Major General as an excuse to remain in the hobby. I will hate all officers, non-commissioned and otherwise.

    I will not switch to a civilian impression because I am getting too "old". If I already own a civilian impression it shall be only a sideline portrayal. I am still a soldier at heart.

    I will die my hair and beard and wash way the gray. I have the technology and chemicals to do so very easily.

    I will try to keep my expanding waistline from expanding too much further. Trying don't mean succeeding but at least it implies an effort is being made.

    If sleeping on the ground becomes too painful to my soldiers' rheumatism, I will forage for better accommodations such as a "dry barn" or a "warm inn". When leaving the camp come nightfall, I will only say to my comrades, "I think I saw a farm over yonder. Might go do a wee bit 'o' foragin'." In the morning when I return to camp I will regail my comrades with tales of the farmer's very friendly daughter... or his wife... or both!

    If drilling becomes too difficult, then I will become a shirker.

    If marching becomes too difficult, I will become a straggler and catch up to the column when it suits me, avoiding the provost at all costs.

    If battle becomes too difficult, I will become a Coffee Cooler and happily skulk in the rear where an artist named Forbes will make a sketch of me and my fellow Coffee Coolers.

    The above impressions are way too under-represented anyway. 'bout time somebody tackled them.

    I may choose to eventually portray a veteran of the G.A.R. or the U.C.V. but that is still a soldier impression.

    I will not retire from the hobby until I fall in the never-ending battle of life and go to join the "Old Boys" in Valhalla.

    Eat lead nay-sayers!

    I hate to be the one to break it to you, but overweight old guys with dyed hair who can't drill, march, sleep on the ground, or cheerfully follow the orders of their superior officers are, in fact, way over-represented in the hobby. Not at the "right" events, as some will hasten to point out, but certainly at the larger ones, which is another reason not to lament the end of the megas.
    M. A. Schaffner
    Midstream Regressive Complainer

  6. #66
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    Apr 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pvt Schnapps View Post
    I hate to be the one to break it to you, but overweight old guys with dyed hair who can't drill, march, sleep on the ground, or cheerfully follow the orders of their superior officers are, in fact, way over-represented in the hobby. Not at the "right" events, as some will hasten to point out, but certainly at the larger ones, which is another reason not to lament the end of the megas.
    hobby

    noun

    1. an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure.
    synonyms: pastime, leisure activity, leisure pursuit;
    sideline, side interest, diversion, avocation;
    recreation, entertainment, amusement

    - Ernesto Serna

    "...I'm struck by the contradiction at the core of Civil War reenacting. On the surface it's a hyper-macho hobby, focused on guns and battle. But the longer I hang out with hardcores ... the more they remind me of supermodels, chatting endlessly about their jackets and shoes and hair and how many pounds they've lost since the last event." - Tony Horwitz

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    2,413

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    Quote Originally Posted by Che View Post
    hobby

    noun

    1. an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure.
    synonyms: pastime, leisure activity, leisure pursuit;
    sideline, side interest, diversion, avocation;
    recreation, entertainment, amusement

    Even bird watchers have some standards, and bowlers certainly know how to keep score.
    M. A. Schaffner
    Midstream Regressive Complainer

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Portland, TN
    Posts
    98

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    My unit has lost, apparently permanently a few vets of the current wars. One came back briefly, literally 36-48 hrs after leaving Fallujah in time for the 145th Mill Springs. He set up very late, had some self-agrandized nazi come by and tell him he was not allowed to "campaign" by sleeping by the fire because at Mill Springs originally 100% of the men used tents. A brief "discussion" apparently ensued and our vet packed up and left meeting his dad on his way down from parking it happened so fast. He said "Dad, I need to go, now." Dad started to question but saw a look in his son's eyes and decided to depart. We won't see him back, his dad saying it because his son literally saw himself violently killing the jerk and managed to recognize the PTSD boiling up in time to save the guy's life to harrass the rest of us. His brother also has been over there on multiple tours and told me a few months ago he is afraid to come back because of PTSD. Another went Navy and has been over seas but saw no action - but is now engaged in more important things than re-enacting it seems.

    I have wondered if anyone has any ideas about how re-enactors perform in active duty after being a re-enactor? I wonder if they have more of the fatalistic view of life and combat that the CW soldiers seem to have had as compared to the non Re-enactors? Any thoughts or observations?

  9. #69

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    Hallo!

    An interesting question.

    IMHO, "war" changes people, and scars them. Some deal with the wounds and physical and mental scars better or worse than others. And such things as "survivor's guilt." Or flinching at the sound of too loud machine gun or artillery fire in movies, or a jack hammer or engine backfire on the street. Or looking at such things as "The Wall' and rather than celebrating the names one kept off of there, lamenting the ones put there.

    It is a false belief that "Time heals all wounds." But, some times it helps. Among Civil War soldiers, it appears, to borrow from Eric Bogle... "the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame, the killing, the dying," mutates from the constant pain and morphs after 20, 30, 40 plus years to get pushed behind the 'warm and fuzzies' of duty, honor, sacrifice, and most largely the bonds and camaraderie. If only on the outside.

    The other side of the same coin is, that with all of the martial and lethal training, skill sets, and many times combat experience... it can be difficult and hard to suffer the flea and gnat bites from clueless civilians who believe Reenacting has given them awesome and disproportionate godlike power through the mock pretend bars on their shoulder or chevrons on their sleeves.

    While the Law, superior breeding and bearing, manners, and better judgment frowns upon it, and at times as appealing as it may seem in the moment... sometimes it does seem that some people just need, and deserve a.... whack.

    While I know, and am friends with a fair number of vets and combat vets who later became reenactors, I only know a handful that were reenactors first. Nothing different I could relate or share. Other than one who, in reference to louts, idiots, knaves, cretins, and varlets... said "So many heads, so few tomahawks."

    Curt
    Flincher Mess
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    Not a real Civil War reenactor, I only portray one on boards and fora.
    I do not portray a Civil War soldier, I merely interpret one.

  10. #70
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pvt Schnapps View Post
    Even bird watchers have some standards, and bowlers certainly know how to keep score.
    Gee, that's funny. I've been bird-watching and never knew there was a rule book with standards that I had to follow. Seemed to me, I was free to bird watch any way I wanted to.

    I've also bowled on occasion just for fun without keeping score. I've also golfed without keeping score a time or two. I've also played catch with my son, and guess what? We enjoyed it and did so without any standards being imposed. We did it our way without a "playing catch Nazi" telling us how to do it. I've also got a model railroad in my basement. And I built it as I pleased without consulting the model railroad Gestapo first.

    Now, if there is an event out there that that has certain standards that I want to attend, I will follow them. But those are getting less and less because I'm getting tired of suffering fools. I'm tired of people telling me how I should or should not do what I've been doing for years already. What I don't get is why some people still think there is only one hobby or there even should be. There are many branches leading from the main reenacting tree. I suggest you sit on your branch and I'll sit on mine. I won't bother you as you sit on your branch and try and control everyone else who wants to sit on it, but if you ever have the temerity to tell me I'm sitting on my branch incorrectly or insult me because you think I'm too old or don't have the correct BMI to sit as I please, then you will walk away from our conversation with a few regrets in you heart.

    I am veteran of the real military, I am a tax-payer, I am a law abiding citizen, and I have the right to make what I want out of this hobby because I paid to play with my own hard-earned money. I will practice this hobby as I please and thank no man for the right.
    Last edited by Che; 09-21-2013 at 07:40 AM.
    - Ernesto Serna

    "...I'm struck by the contradiction at the core of Civil War reenacting. On the surface it's a hyper-macho hobby, focused on guns and battle. But the longer I hang out with hardcores ... the more they remind me of supermodels, chatting endlessly about their jackets and shoes and hair and how many pounds they've lost since the last event." - Tony Horwitz

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