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Thread: Maybe This is the Uptick?

  1. #111
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    In regard to the painting. Move that farmhouse to the forefront, rather then the background and you'd pretty much have the Colonial Plantation site!

    Given the available ground, the event would max out at about 100 people per side. It works with 40-60 per side.
    Last edited by TheQM; 09-29-2013 at 06:54 PM. Reason: Added information
    Bill Rodman, If you need a really bad example.
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    wrodman1@aol.com

  2. #112
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    Maybe this article from Salon back in August has come up before, but its worth a look at again, especially these key paragraphs:

    Civil War reenactors approach their hobby with the zeal of a prophet and the curiosity of an academic. On the battlefield they live to “see the elephant,” a nineteenth-century phrase describing the rush that only certain daring pursuits—exploration, hunting or war—can provide. Those moments, however, are becoming fewer and far between. The old guys are getting out of the game and, although it’s a young man’s hobby, the kids aren’t necessarily rushing to take their place. What was considered hardcore only a couple decades ago is now looked down upon. Meanwhile, the Great Recession has taken its toll on what was already an expensive endeavor. Time, in this case, may not be on their side. Their numbers have dropped significantly in the last 15 years and may never return.

    They see themselves not as the gun nuts and losers that popular culture would have you believe, but as teachers, the self-anointed and self-effacing stewards of our nation’s past. And to save that past—or rather, future—the 14th Brooklyn and their allies are leading the charge to do two seemingly irreconcilable things: make the hobby more appealing and yet more absolute.

    And yet there may be a silver lining in the hobby’s decline. Those members of a group or a movement who stick through it in good times and in bad are often the most devout.


    *snip*--------------------------------------

    Yes, reenactments provide the opportunity to get out of the city and pretend to be someone else for a few days. But rather than retreating into fantasy or isolation, reenactors are running toward a more human, primal and communal existence.

    *snip*--------------------------------------

    “It’s only dead if we want it to be,” said Ruiz’s father and the company captain, also named Frank.

    Evidently their work is paying off. The 14th Brooklyn is nearly twice as large as it was in 1996, when it was founded. Today it has 44 members on paper, about half of whom showed up to Neshaminy.

    *snip*--------------------------------------

    The 14th Brooklyn’s founders were in their 40s. Now they enlist teens.

    *snip*--------------------------------------

    There are also cultural considerations to keep in mind that may make it harder than just finding people who have the stamina to march in the sun all day. Robert Lee Hadden, the reenactor and author, says young men are drawn more towards WWI and WWII because—at least in the first case—of the impending centennial anniversary. (One member of the 14th Brooklyn, a recent high school grad, also belongs to a group of bombers.) The big question at the moment is whether the Civil War will lose its appeal once the 150th anniversary has come and gone in 2015.


    *snip*--------------------------------------

    Link to article
    Henry Loomis

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  3. #113
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    Post A New Kid's Intake

    I'm in my early teens and I joined the hobby late this summer. I, for one, always thought that reenacting was something you did as an adult or history professor. My dad had to actually ask for me at an event how people did this sort of stuff. They took me in, got me in some clothes that more or less fit, and I took part in a little skirmish. Now I'm researching what uniform to buy where.

  4. #114
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    That's usually how it starts...I took my son to see a reenactment in Virginia after we returned from a school field trip to Gettsyburg in May. We talked to some of the guys who were quite welcoming. By October we are in the field with our new friends at Cedar Creek.
    Craig L Barry

    Author: The Civil War Musket: A Handbook for Historical Accuracy

  5. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig L Barry View Post
    That's usually how it starts...I took my son to see a reenactment in Virginia after we returned from a school field trip to Gettsyburg in May. We talked to some of the guys who were quite welcoming. By October we are in the field with our new friends at Cedar Creek.


    Craig

    Same for me----One year I went to Perryville, as I had for years going all the way back to Boy Scout marches. That year (90 something) I told a friend of mine next year we are going to be on the other side of this yellow tape. Next year Perryville I was on the gun line shooting Artillery. Twenty years later I'm writing about my start. The Hobby will sell itself, for those like us that have the interest.

    Always

    Doug Thomas
    Lyons Battery CS
    Kentucky
    Holding on the High ground

  6. #116
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    First off ... I love the painting above. Can someone tell me more about it, I've not seen it before.

    I don't know anything about an "up-tick" but I can share my own experience. I starting CW reenacting back in the late 80's -infantry- and found it to be just as described above. I did suffer burnout in the early 00's ... I got tired of the samo-samo as was said. My last event was Perryville in '05 ... I saw the rise of the "progressives" and didn't really like their direction ... I was big-time tired of the infantry and the officers/NCO's that really didn't know what they should and were actually kinda bad at it ... so I left.

    However, I have been drawn back in ... can't help it. I love the history too much. About 3 years ago I reached out to an Artillery unit and now consider myself "retired to the artillery" ... we still have an infantry impression we do when needed ... but mostly we are sound effects for the public battles. I don't mind.

    But the other thing that grabbed my attention during my few years off was the N-SSA and their take on Civil War History. Rather than taking the route to being progressive ... I find that live firing civil war weapons in a "battle line" with yelling and screaming going on in timed competitive shooting is an aspect of civil war living history that I couldn't get anywhere else. The sound of actual mine balls thru the air is pretty awesome. So its hitting the target ... a rare occurrence for me right now

    So, my soul has been refreshed and I hope to not make the mistake of ever leaving it again but learn how to channel my interests and to keep those "magic moments" alive.
    142nd PVI - Dull, Samuel Sgt Maj, Daniel 1st Lt, Romanus Sgt, Walter Pvt, George Pvt
    6th PA Heavy Artillery, Dull, Uriah Pvt, Jacob Pvt, William Pvt

  7. #117
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    I should have started in HS but the 1 guy I knew back then in the '80s that was doing it was a real jerk at the time I thought and so I shied away from the hobby. I joined a CS unit soon after getting married right after G'burg came out like a lot of folks did and got some of their letters but then the contact stopped. I could not re-locate them for a while and have since learned that unit imploed about then which explained that. I go into it finally after coming back from gunsmithing school and deciding I was ready to shake up my life-hobbies some and wen tto volunteer at Stones River. I talked to the local sutlers I'd shopped at off an on for years and they put me in touch with a local CS artillery FARB unit that eve I as a brand new recruit recognized were YAHOOOOOS! I'd have quit right then had I not soon after started doing stuff the right way at the NPS and then started hanging out and joining the 9th KY that sort of based itself there at Stones River.

    Interestingly, the accidental visitation does often bring in great recruits. June 2013 my unit was doing a little LH camp in some back-water southern KY State Park that may maybe sees 20 visitors on a normal weekend. That same day a lady in the Louisville area was desperate to get out of the house with her kids to do something and took off with no place to go. They ended up at the same place as us. Her 9 year old boy became excited about reenacting and after a few weeks the lady e-mailed me through our website asking lots of good questions on behalf of the son. We ended up taking him and sort of the family in and well - as Craig can tell you it has been one heck of a year and now I am engaged to the lovely lady and her 2 kids and my 2 kids are totally excited to act like step-siblings... This is indeed a unique hobby/lifestyle!

  8. #118
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    None of us can understand it either. Todd has some kind of black magic-mojo thing going on.
    Craig L Barry

    Author: The Civil War Musket: A Handbook for Historical Accuracy

  9. #119
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    Mo-Jo it is. Just dang lucky!

    Harry Dolph, our crusty old 1st Sgt that many in the hobby know is fond of saying something like "The battle brings you to the first event, then learning brings you to the next few but what brings you back years after is the campfire." The saying is different each time but the same general jist. It does make sense. "Next year we are going to be on the other side of this tape..." gets us in. Seeking the knowledge and finding out new stuff event to event brings us back over and over. But when we are older, seen it all, can't sleep on the ground, have outside commitments that ought to take us home, already know a lot more than any college history professor on the subject, etc., what brings us back over and over is the friends at camp. When you hit the point when you can choose to hang around camp smoking a pipe and talking to old pards instead of taking part in the battle you can clearly hear across the field you are there.

  10. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Watts View Post
    Mo-Jo it is. Just dang lucky!

    Harry Dolph, our crusty old 1st Sgt that many in the hobby know is fond of saying something like "The battle brings you to the first event, then learning brings you to the next few but what brings you back years after is the campfire." The saying is different each time but the same general jist. It does make sense. "Next year we are going to be on the other side of this tape..." gets us in. Seeking the knowledge and finding out new stuff event to event brings us back over and over. But when we are older, seen it all, can't sleep on the ground, have outside commitments that ought to take us home, already know a lot more than any college history professor on the subject, etc., what brings us back over and over is the friends at camp. When you hit the point when you can choose to hang around camp smoking a pipe and talking to old pards instead of taking part in the battle you can clearly hear across the field you are there.
    I think that is what I did in camp this past Saturday, besides making lunch while you ninnies were wearing your white gloves and firing volleys in salute to a battle that never happened. I mean, if I recall correctly. Then the storm came up...
    Craig L Barry

    Author: The Civil War Musket: A Handbook for Historical Accuracy

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