Re: Another question- In my mind I really am 4
>From: Betsy Bashore <bjb_remote@...>(snip)
>Second-- that story of "being there". Mine was far too creepy for myAlthough it does indeed sound creepy, you've experienced something that
>taste- (snip balance of story)
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 toI don't feel that at a *public* event we can be 100% authentic. Not just
>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.....:):)
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
Thanks for asking, looking for a tree for cover.
Michael Mathews -- Winona State University
Voice: (507) 285-7585 Fax: (507) 280-5568
"Wit is educated insolence." -- Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
- In a message dated 03/8/1999 9:35:39 AM, mmathews@... writes:
>Ever had the conversation; "May I take your picture? MyI have also answered with, "Sorry, I don't have one with me, and where would
>picture, you mean you want my portrait? Why, uh, yes. Sorry, I don't
>time to sit for a painting." I have, and it's just one example of how
>intrude into the illusion.
you be taking it to anyway?" Talk about blank looks....
THE Thin Red Line
- 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. :)
> IsFor us, no. It's the best we can accomplish 100% of the time. And
>there a difference between the authenticity we show to the public and the
>authenticity we share amongst ourselves?
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 beingYes, there's a difference. I think being accessible to the public
>accessable to the public and acccessible (and joinable) as a hobby?
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'.
>course, why.... and how do these two factors impact one another?Don't see how they do impact. Course, maybe that's Lorina being
Loved your 'being there' story, BTW, Betsy. Fascinating.
who has very big clay feet
Five Rivers Chapmanry ~ purveyors of quality hand-crafted cooperage,
period furniture & fine hand-sewn garments ~ e-mail: lgsteph@... ~