Tracy and others,
Unlike Terry, I am one of those re-enactors who re-enact for the
public. Terry and I have known each other for many years and have
agreed to disagree on this point.
The constitution of our re-enactment society (MRSC) states that one
of our aims is the education of the public about the War 0f 1812
specifically and the time period in general. We strive to keep our
uniforms, drill, camp, etc. as close to accurate as
possible. We never turn the public away from our camp and our
members spend hours talking to the public.
That being said, I don't want to live in 1812. If this were
1812, I would have died in 1770 from appendicitis. We encourage our
members to not use or to hide non-period items. BUT our members are
volunteers who do this for fun and at some expense to themselves,
and I am not willing to demand that a member spend money
for an 1812 stroller after they have spent several thousand on a
musket, uniform, period tent, etc.
One gradually gets better and better at the impression but it takes
time. Personally, I prefer our camp coffee to Tim's, but if
someone makes a morning coffee run, I drink Tim's and dispose of
the cup before the camp is open to the public. Once the camp is
closed to the public, I make myself as comfortable as possible.