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Re: Another question- In my mind I really am 4

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  • 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 1 of 5 , Aug 4, 1999
      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.

      who has very big clay feet

      Five Rivers Chapmanry ~ purveyors of quality hand-crafted cooperage,
      period furniture & fine hand-sewn garments ~ e-mail: lgsteph@... ~
      website: http://www.historicmerchants.com/fiverivers
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