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Another question- In my mind I really am 4

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  • Betsy Bashore
    As I never know when I ll get back to the list, I ve a bit to say all at once.... First and foremost- thank you to all who wrote in and expanded our circle of
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 3 6:24 AM
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      As I never know when I'll get back to the list, I've a bit to say all at
      once....
      First and foremost- thank you to all who wrote in and expanded our circle of
      communication-- it was great to hear form some new voices.

      Second-- that story of "being there". Mine was far too creepy for my taste- I
      was at St. Clair's defeat bincentennial reenactment several years ago and the
      organizers had arranged that a percentage of participants would "die" and a
      very small percentage would escape t reflect the breakdown of casualties and
      survivers. Natives were attacking from the woods and when the musket fire
      started, three woemn were supposed to flee to safety. Being an interloper in
      the circle of women at the group, I decided I'd die with the masses, but when
      no one turned to "flee" I took for the woods- of course at that moment, three
      of the main group decided it was their duty to run away and so, frustrated, I
      waited on the path for an opportune time to flop on the freezing ground
      (November 30' outside). A volley of native fire and -platttpf- onto the
      ground I went.

      Then it became markedly more silent. The remaining musketment rushed past,
      bent on escape. The firing in the woods ceased and, on the thin cold air, the
      sound of native war whoops carried. Silence again-- and then I heard the sound
      of feet- hundreds of feet- running.... There is something rather unearlthy
      about hearing the pounding of moccasin feet growing louder and trveling in
      your direction-- knowing that they carreid a party of warriors ever closer
      into the camps. It was all too easy to imagine the thoughts of the wounded
      from St. Clair's party- all too frightening-- knowing that, (in 1791-2) the
      feet carried death and mayhem. Of course the natives were very polite and
      stopped to ask me if I was OK instead of bashing in my skull with a war club
      and throwing babies into the fire- but, for a moment, it was very scary.

      As for the national parks people, those who have had a bad experience with NPS
      employees, meet some that aren't from the East coast. I only had a bad
      experience once at a NPS park and it was at one in the middle Atlantic states-
      and stemmed from arrogance more than anything else. On the whole I've been
      treated exceptionally well.




      Lastly, my original quesiton had some component parts that I would like to
      address to the list again. The first of which is as follows- some of the
      quesiton we've answered already.

      ???? Which is more important in our hobby-- authenticity or accessibility? Is
      there a difference between the authenticity we show to the public and the
      authenticity we share amongst ourselves? Is there a difference between being
      accessable to the public and acccessible (and joinable) as a hobby? And of
      course, why.... and how do these two factors impact one another?

      Pencils ready? Don't chicken out now.....:):)

      Betsy
    • Scott Jeznach
      An interesting set of questions, Betsy. My personal philosophy for authenticity is: go 100% during the day for the public and for my fellow reenactors. After
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 3 7:01 AM
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        An interesting set of questions, Betsy.

        My personal philosophy for authenticity is: go 100% during the day for the
        public and for my fellow reenactors. After hours, lower the bar of
        authenticity to about 80 %.

        This is not bragging, but I have trouble maintaining the authenticity
        mind-set continuously because of my years in the real military. I can't
        separate the reality from the fantasy enough to stay in the 100%
        authenticity zone for days at a time. That's why I portray a medic in the
        more modern time period reenactments. I provide a service to my fellow
        reenactors without trying to pretend there are real bullets flying around.
        I maintain an authentic uniform and play-act the rest so as not to ruin the
        karma for my fellow reenactors.

        As for accessibility as a hobby, my personal philosophy is not to lower the
        bar to allow anyone into my unit, but to raise it so only quality people who
        want to strive for excellence will consider joining a unit I belong to.

        I hope this doesn't come across as hypocritical and I hope this answers the
        questions as I understand them.

        Scott J.
        Royal Marines
        -----Original Message-----
        From: Betsy Bashore <bjb_remote@...>
        To: WarOf1812@onelist.com <WarOf1812@onelist.com>
        Date: Tuesday, August 03, 1999 9:24 AM
        Subject: [WarOf1812] Another question- In my mind I really am 4


        >From: Betsy Bashore <bjb_remote@...>
        >
        >As I never know when I'll get back to the list, I've a bit to say all at
        >once....
        >First and foremost- thank you to all who wrote in and expanded our circle
        of
        >communication-- it was great to hear form some new voices.
        >
        >Second-- that story of "being there". Mine was far too creepy for my taste-
        I
        >was at St. Clair's defeat bincentennial reenactment several years ago and
        the
        >organizers had arranged that a percentage of participants would "die" and a
        >very small percentage would escape t reflect the breakdown of casualties
        and
        >survivers. Natives were attacking from the woods and when the musket fire
        >started, three woemn were supposed to flee to safety. Being an interloper
        in
        >the circle of women at the group, I decided I'd die with the masses, but
        when
        >no one turned to "flee" I took for the woods- of course at that moment,
        three
        >of the main group decided it was their duty to run away and so, frustrated,
        I
        >waited on the path for an opportune time to flop on the freezing ground
        >(November 30' outside). A volley of native fire and -platttpf- onto the
        >ground I went.
        >
        >Then it became markedly more silent. The remaining musketment rushed past,
        >bent on escape. The firing in the woods ceased and, on the thin cold air,
        the
        >sound of native war whoops carried. Silence again-- and then I heard the
        sound
        >of feet- hundreds of feet- running.... There is something rather unearlthy
        >about hearing the pounding of moccasin feet growing louder and trveling in
        >your direction-- knowing that they carreid a party of warriors ever closer
        >into the camps. It was all too easy to imagine the thoughts of the wounded
        >from St. Clair's party- all too frightening-- knowing that, (in 1791-2) the
        >feet carried death and mayhem. Of course the natives were very polite and
        >stopped to ask me if I was OK instead of bashing in my skull with a war
        club
        >and throwing babies into the fire- but, for a moment, it was very scary.
        >
        >As for the national parks people, those who have had a bad experience with
        NPS
        >employees, meet some that aren't from the East coast. I only had a bad
        >experience once at a NPS park and it was at one in the middle Atlantic
        states-
        >and stemmed from arrogance more than anything else. On the whole I've been
        >treated exceptionally well.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >Lastly, my original quesiton had some component parts that I would like to
        >address to the list again. The first of which is as follows- some of the
        >quesiton we've answered already.
        >
        >???? Which is more important in our hobby-- authenticity or accessibility?
        Is
        >there a difference between the authenticity we show to the public and the
        >authenticity we share amongst ourselves? Is there a difference between
        being
        >accessable to the public and acccessible (and joinable) as a hobby? And of
        >course, why.... and how do these two factors impact one another?
        >
        >Pencils ready? Don't chicken out now.....:):)
        >
        >Betsy
        >
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      • mmathews@xxxx.xxxxxx.xxxx.xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
        ... (snip) ... Although it does indeed sound creepy, you ve experienced something that can t be conveyed through a slide show or movie theatre, nor just by the
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 3 9:39 AM
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          >From: Betsy Bashore <bjb_remote@...>
          >
          (snip)
          >Second-- that story of "being there". Mine was far too creepy for my
          >taste- (snip balance of story)

          Although it does indeed sound creepy, you've experienced something that
          can't be conveyed through a slide show or movie theatre, nor just by the
          retelling. After a fashion you've been very lucky IMHO.

          >Lastly, my original quesiton had some component parts that I would like to
          >address to the list again. The first of which is as follows- some of the
          >quesiton we've answered already.
          >
          >???? Which is more important in our hobby-- authenticity or accessibility? Is
          >there a difference between the authenticity we show to the public and the
          >authenticity we share amongst ourselves? Is there a difference between being
          >accessable to the public and acccessible (and joinable) as a hobby? And of
          >course, why.... and how do these two factors impact one another?
          >
          >Pencils ready? Don't chicken out now.....:):)

          I don't feel that at a *public* event we can be 100% authentic. Not just
          the porta-johns issue, but all the other visual pollution that accompanies
          the public. Ever had the conversation; "May I take your picture? My
          picture, you mean you want my portrait? Why, uh, yes. Sorry, I don't have
          time to sit for a painting." I have, and it's just one example of how they
          intrude into the illusion.

          Anyway, I strive to be 90% accurate in my daytime portrayal, with the other
          10% lost to the above. At night, or when the public is gone I'll drop it a
          bit, but personally not much. As has been said, the public in general
          doesn't give a fig whether our uniforms are hand sewn or not, heck they are
          likely confused by the difference in appearance of officers vs. rankers
          cloth. Who it does matter to is the wearer, or the unit if they have set
          the standard. If everything is up front for the potential recruit, you can
          set the standards as high as you like and I sincerely wish them well. We
          need prime examples of the highest possible standards. It hopefully
          inspires us to reach them. With luck there are enough units available that
          if you don't feel you can measure up to a specific one's standards you
          still have options. Now at non-public events, or in my case treks, if you
          want to establish that it is absolutely hard-core then that's fine too.
          You know what you're getting into, and if you encounter flat-landers on the
          trail you can duck off and hide (since you should hear and see them coming
          first). Thereby avoiding some of the event pollution.

          My wife supports my hobby, and wants to be involved. As a result we drag
          far more gear to an event than would be taken on the trail (some of it for
          medical or health reasons). I would not *choose* to regularly partake in
          events without her, so that will always be a reality for us. An occasional
          "boys weekend out" is acceptable, but not my goal. We do manage to keep
          the modern items carefully hidden during the day, and strive to do so as
          much as practical during the evening too.

          Our Napoleonic unit has taken the "campaign dress first" approach for total
          recruits. So far it hasn't been a problem as people are so anxious to put
          on l'Empereur's habit that they usually go straight there. Perhaps in time
          that will change, we'll see.

          So you ask, "which is more important, authenticity or accessibility?" If I
          *have* to pick one I'll be the heretic and say accessibility. I want
          people to be able to join the hobby. I'll work on them after they are in
          to take pride in what they are doing and to improve themselves. I'll try
          to set an example that they will want to emulate (since I always get stuck
          in that position), and I'll be available to help them along. I want the
          public to be able to get in and talk to us, and hate to see rope fences.
          There are better ways to keep snooping and rude people at bay IMO. This is
          not to say cardboard cut-out shakos and percussion rifles are okay, it's
          just to say I value participation first over having 6.25 stitches per inch.
          (And I'm really not hung up on the sewing issue, it's just a familiar and
          easy example.)

          Thanks for asking, looking for a tree for cover.

          Michael

          Michael Mathews -- Winona State University
          Voice: (507) 285-7585 Fax: (507) 280-5568
          ------------------------------
          "Wit is educated insolence." -- Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
        • NINETY3RD@xxx.xxx
          ... I have also answered with, Sorry, I don t have one with me, and where would you be taking it to anyway? Talk about blank looks.... B
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 3 10:51 AM
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            In a message dated 03/8/1999 9:35:39 AM, mmathews@... writes:

            >Ever had the conversation; "May I take your picture? My
            >picture, you mean you want my portrait? Why, uh, yes. Sorry, I don't
            >have
            >time to sit for a painting." I have, and it's just one example of how
            >they
            >intrude into the illusion.

            I have also answered with, "Sorry, I don't have one with me, and where would
            you be taking it to anyway?" Talk about blank looks....

            B
            http://hometown.aol.com/ninety3rd
            THE Thin Red Line
          • Gary Stephens
            Betsy et al, ... Authencity for Gary and me. We ve been down the slippery path of accessibility in other re-enactment groups. By the time you ve slid down it
            Message 5 of 5 , Aug 4 6:56 PM
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              Betsy et al,

              >???? Which is more important in our hobby-- authenticity or accessibility?

              Authencity for Gary and me. We've been down the slippery path of
              accessibility in other re-enactment groups. By the time you've slid down it
              there isn't much left of authenticity because we're all trying not to
              offend anyone new who wants to play. Not that I'm trying to be a facist, or
              anything. But rules are rules. I'm afraid getting over 40 and grey hairs
              tend to make one a bit crusty.

              I get really disgruntled when I see a coke can in the hands of a
              re-enactor, be it during or after public hours. I start to grumble loudly
              when I see a re-enactor in civilian clohes before and after public hours. I
              really get down right POed when I have to face someone's vehicle on site
              before and after public hours. And if I have to listen to some sort of rap
              boogey from my neighbour's tent before or after public hours, you may have
              to face a truly righteously angry Lorina. I'm not an old mom for nothing,
              you know. :)

              > Is
              >there a difference between the authenticity we show to the public and the
              >authenticity we share amongst ourselves?

              For us, no. It's the best we can accomplish 100% of the time. And
              it's fun. Every year we make a new list and 'hit' things we think we could
              improve upon for the upcoming season. A chair. Reconstructing a bench
              because it has modern carriage bolts. All kinds of stuff. Besides, if we
              didn't do that we'd have time on our hands, and then the neighbours really
              would not be safe.

              >Is there a difference between being
              >accessable to the public and acccessible (and joinable) as a hobby?

              Yes, there's a difference. I think being accessible to the public
              requires a certain amount of not only interpretive skill, but social skill,
              and patience. I often hear the scorn in people's tones when they speak of
              'stupid' questions the public asks. Frankly, Gary and I don't run into
              stupid questions. Now, I don't know if that's because we're: a/stupid
              ourselves; b/draw a different set of hangers-on; c/are too enthusiastic.
              Who cares the reason? We take the attitude there is no such thing as a
              stupid question. Rather, questions are a demonstration of true interest,
              and to some extent, courage, because one always runs the risk of making
              oneself look a fool for asking a rather elementary question. What to us may
              seem patently clear, to the general public may not. To be truthful, Gary
              and I have met some of the most fascinating people through the cooperage
              and embroidery shop, people with fascinating histories and fascinating
              stories to tell.

              Accessability to other potential re-enactors is different in that,
              to my way of thinking, all we do is answer questions about how to get
              started. And no, we don't cut any slack when it comes to the monetary
              commitment required to pursue this sort of hobby. For us, there's no such
              thing as 'good enough', because good enough isn't. Sure we may discuss an
              acceptable compromise as an entry level, but that compromise is so far
              beyond what some re-enactment groups would consider acceptable. Do it as
              right as possible and in the long term a person will save money, because
              you won't have to go out and acquire endless upgrades. Besides, it's a
              matter of personal pride, of workmanship, and that's what we attempt to
              convey to novice re-enactors. And we quite candidly point out what in our
              own kit isn't right or shouldn't be around, in our opinion, and express
              that our view is only one view and not necessarily 'correct'.

              And of
              >course, why.... and how do these two factors impact one another?

              Don't see how they do impact. Course, maybe that's Lorina being
              obtuse again.

              Loved your 'being there' story, BTW, Betsy. Fascinating.

              Lorina
              who has very big clay feet

              --------------------------------------
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