And going and going!! Yeah, I realized this truth a couple years ago. I actually used to live in California, and have a fairly good grasp of its history, (and really did pan for gold a couple times) so I grafted that experience into my backstory. It became more personally meaningful to me when I was actually old enough to have done those things and still be in the Civil War. The greatest problem with backstories is: what do you bring with you to the present? The Mexican War was 20 years in the past. There's very little chance that clothing you had would have survived and still be useful, beyond a few months in the field anyway. Personal items would have been used up. Heck, I went to Guatemala 8 years ago and all my souveniers are gone (Except our Guatemalteca. He keeps getting bigger. ) Ways of doing things you saw in Mexico? Songs you learned or perhaps a little language? (Like when old Viet Nam era troops I knew still said "Sir, we need to didi right now. ?") I've been known to end a sentence with "Verdad?" every now and then. Would I still have been doing that 20 years after Mexico or California? Quien sabe?
Originally Posted by PvtHooper
Reenacting is visual. Unless you can think of some way that a backstory contributes to your physical appearance, or activity at an actual reenactment, it's not too useful. On the other hand, standing in line at 150th Manassas, a buddy of mine and I passed a short conversation between us in Spanish. ("It's hot here. "Reminds me of Mexico." "Truly, a lot like Mexico.") I don't know if it was cool to anybody else, but it was fun for us.
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