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RE: "reenactors."

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  • Bateman, Andrew
    Benton Jennings wrote: Was that a Freudian slip there Larry? *O*-ppression.....? ;-) B Andrew writes: Is there an echo in this room?
    Message 1 of 22 , Dec 3, 1999
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      Benton Jennings wrote:

      Was that a Freudian slip there Larry?
      *O*-ppression.....?

      ;-)

      B

      Andrew writes:

      Is there an echo in this room?
    • NINETY3RD@xxx.xxx
      ... Echo? What Echo? Echo? What Echo? B
      Message 2 of 22 , Dec 3, 1999
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        In a message dated 03/12/1999 8:23:32 AM, abateman@... writes:

        >From: "Bateman, Andrew" <abateman@...>
        >
        >
        >
        >Benton Jennings wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        >Was that a Freudian slip there Larry?
        >
        >*O*-ppression.....?
        >
        >
        >
        >;-)
        >
        >
        >
        >B
        >
        >
        >
        >Andrew writes:
        >
        >
        >
        >Is there an echo in this room?

        Echo?

        What Echo?

        Echo?

        What Echo?

        B
      • Craig Williams
        -- ... Two. Me and one to hold my penis..MY MOTHER!...MY LADDER!!!
        Message 3 of 22 , Dec 3, 1999
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          --
          >>
          >>
          >>Was that a Freudian slip there Larry?
          >>
          >>*O*-ppression.....?
          >>
          >>How many Freudian phyciatrists does it take to change a lightbulb.........





          Two.



          Me and one to hold my penis..MY MOTHER!...MY LADDER!!!
          >>
          >>Oh grin..Craig
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >>
        • Craig Williams
          Tim, some thoughts on your last missive; for this reason the rules should be spelled out clearly to all who have command positions. You mean sorta like a12
          Message 4 of 22 , Dec 3, 1999
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            Tim, some thoughts on your last missive;

            "for this reason the rules should be spelled out clearly to all who have
            command positions. "

            You mean sorta like a12 page safety guide that includes a schedule that is
            distributed to all participants if not by mail before hand, then during
            registration the night before an event?

            "it is a good idea to have the controlling site person in modern clothes so
            that they can interact without looking anachronistic."

            I'm sorry,aren't modern clothes anacronistic?Kidding aside, a site
            representative should be able to be seen in and around the re-enactors and
            not be obvious. This way visitors photos are not ruined, and the ambiance
            can be maintained as much as possible. If it becomes neccessary for a site
            supervisor to step out of character to address a problem, then it is
            incumbent on the re-enactors to assist the site rep in rectifying any
            difficulties. Once the problem has been dealt with then everyone can go
            back
            into character. When I was the safety co-ordinator of the Battle of
            Ridgeway
            the battle designer and myself were able to drift between both sides
            unobtrusively because we dressed as period undertakers. I firmly believe
            that it is up to the discretion of the event co-ordinator what he/she wears
            to their own party (within historical context), without having to bend over
            backwards to accomodate the re-enactors.

            "They could also use the correct uniform and take command",
            If they know how. There is nothing more dangerous than someone who figures
            they can command because they've read A book and spent a little or even a
            lot of money on a swishy bit of schmatta from Whitehall. You know the type.

            "if command is delegated it should only be delegated to a person
            trusted by the site, and that person must be fully briefed."

            Agreed, like at a scheduled meeting prior to the safety meeting which of
            course would be outlined in the safety/schedule handed out before the event.

            "The person appointed to command is (or should be made aware of) who is in
            charge" That would be at the briefing.

            " and that person should have the trust to be able to communicate in a
            period way. In the example you give above the female in charge could drop a
            curtsy, say "If you will pardon me sir, it is of great importance that I
            speak to you in private."
            I certainly hope that her next sentence once cloistered behind closed doors
            is not ,"Your hat is on fire ". This doesn't work in an emergency, Tim.


            "female stalks across the paradeground screaming at the top of her voice at
            the supposed commander of the fort "WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE
            DOING?!!"

            Depending on what she was yelling about, she may be justified . If the
            re-enactor commander has been supplied with the said documents mentioned
            before, this problem isn't likely to arise,so I thinks it's moot.

            I am in total agreement with you when you say that ,"this is a problem
            that should never happen ", and barring an international conference of
            historical site supervisors holding a summit on "how to be of complete
            service to a re-enactor", I think using a little common (sorry I used the
            "C" word) sense is in order.



            Just a few thoughts...
            Craig

            "God is on the side of the big battalions",Voltaire
            "No foolin'." Craig Williams
          • BritcomHMP@xxx.xxx
            Dear Craig, Obviously we are on the same page. A few other thoughts on your post though.
            Message 5 of 22 , Dec 4, 1999
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              Dear Craig,

              Obviously we are on the same page. A few other thoughts on your post though.

              <<"for this reason the rules should be spelled out clearly to all who have
              command positions. "

              You mean sorta like a12 page safety guide that includes a schedule that is
              distributed to all participants if not by mail before hand, then during
              registration the night before an event?>>

              No, I mean that if a specific activity is not allowed at a particular time
              while being allowed at others this should be spelled out at the pre event
              meeting, not assumed that the non park person in charge happens to be fully
              conversant with the variations in the rules.

              <<"it is a good idea to have the controlling site person in modern clothes so
              that they can interact without looking anachronistic."

              I'm sorry,aren't modern clothes anacronistic?Kidding aside, a site
              representative should be able to be seen in and around the re-enactors and
              not be obvious. This way visitors photos are not ruined, and the ambiance
              can be maintained as much as possible. If it becomes neccessary for a site
              supervisor to step out of character to address a problem, then it is
              incumbent on the re-enactors to assist the site rep in rectifying any
              difficulties.>>

              No, I mean that in an emergency someone in modern dress can jump in and do
              what they like without affecting the first person interactions. For any
              member of the public who sees someone other than supposed commander (private,
              washerwoman etc.) obviously exercising command at a crucial time the
              'theatrical' illusion is gone fore the weekend. As members of the public know
              in which age they live a 'modern' person would not have this effect.
              It is like having a problem at the theater, Its one thing to have the manager
              walk on stage and correct a problem after which the action of the play can go
              on. It would somewhat spoil the effect to have a member of the cast do it.
              Its the difference between being performer or 'front of house'.

              I think in this same context if park people choose to dress up the 'how' they
              go in and out of character is very important. Their attitude in this will
              very much determine the amount of co-operation they get. You catch more fly's
              with honey than vinegar.

              <>

              Quite, the problem is usually not what anyone wears but how they behave while
              wearing it.

              <<the female in charge could drop a
              curtsy, say "If you will pardon me sir, it is of great importance that I
              speak to you in private."
              I certainly hope that her next sentence once cloistered behind closed doors
              is not ,"Your hat is on fire ". This doesn't work in an emergency, Tim.>>

              That depends on the emergency, There are many period ways of getting
              someone's attention but if of course we are speaking of a risk to life and
              limb then all bets are off. If on the other hand it is a breech of park rule
              that someone was not informed of I think the belligerent attitude it
              inexcusable. (A particular incident at Chalmette comes to mind).

              I think part of the large problem here, particularly for battles, comes from
              sites where individuals do not (and do not have the skill to) command on the
              field but want to dictate how the minutia if the battle should go. I have
              always though that we who are in 'harms way' should control the action
              because it is literally our backsides that are out there. The few bad
              incident arise when (as the Chalmette incident of many years ago) someone
              takes the attitude that 'this is MY site and you will do what I say whenever
              I say it and if you break a rule, even if I haven't bothered to tell you
              about it, I am hauling you on the carpet in front of everybody'.

              PS That particular 'lady' is no longer at Chalmette.

              Cheers

              Tim
            • BritcomHMP@xxx.xxx
              As it got sniped in my original reply somehow Craig wrote:- I firmly believe that it is up to the discretion of the event co-ordinator what he/she wears to
              Message 6 of 22 , Dec 4, 1999
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                As it got sniped in my original reply somehow

                Craig wrote:-

                I firmly believe
                that it is up to the discretion of the event co-ordinator what he/she wears
                to their own party (within historical context), without having to bend over
                backwards to accomodate the re-enactors.

                I replied:-

                Quite, the problem is usually not what anyone wears but how they behave while
                wearing it.

                Cheers

                Tim
              • Craig Williams
                Tim, in response Obviously we are on the same page. Nope. if a specific activity is not allowed at a particular time while being allowed at others this
                Message 7 of 22 , Dec 8, 1999
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                  Tim, in response

                  "Obviously we are on the same page. "

                  Nope.

                  "if a specific activity is not allowed at a particular time while being
                  allowed at others this should be spelled out at the pre event meeting, not
                  assumed that the non park person in charge happens to be fully conversant
                  with the variations in the rules."
                  Tim this is what a schedule is for, any major deviation should be cleared,
                  no exceptions.
                  >
                  ><<"it is a good idea to have the controlling site person in modern clothes
                  so
                  >that they can interact without looking anachronistic."
                  >
                  >I'm sorry,aren't modern clothes anacronistic?Kidding aside, a site
                  >representative should be able to be seen in and around the re-enactors and
                  >not be obvious. This way visitors photos are not ruined, and the ambiance
                  >can be maintained as much as possible. If it becomes neccessary for a site
                  >supervisor to step out of character to address a problem, then it is
                  >incumbent on the re-enactors to assist the site rep in rectifying any
                  >difficulties.>>
                  >
                  >No, I mean that in an emergency someone in modern dress can jump in and do
                  >what they like without affecting the first person interactions. For any
                  >member of the public who sees someone other than supposed commander
                  (private,
                  >washerwoman etc.) obviously exercising command at a crucial time the
                  >'theatrical' illusion is gone fore the weekend. As members of the public
                  know
                  >in which age they live a 'modern' person would not have this effect.
                  >It is like having a problem at the theater, Its one thing to have the
                  manager
                  >walk on stage and correct a problem after which the action of the play can
                  go
                  >on. It would somewhat spoil the effect to have a member of the cast do it.
                  >Its the difference between being performer or 'front of house'.
                  >
                  >I think in this same context if park people choose to dress up the 'how'
                  they
                  >go in and out of character is very important. Their attitude in this will
                  >very much determine the amount of co-operation they get. You catch more
                  fly's
                  >with honey than vinegar.
                  >
                  ><>
                  >
                  >Quite, the problem is usually not what anyone wears but how they behave
                  while
                  >wearing it.
                  >
                  ><<the female in charge could drop a
                  >curtsy, say "If you will pardon me sir, it is of great importance that I
                  >speak to you in private."
                  >I certainly hope that her next sentence once cloistered behind closed doors
                  >is not ,"Your hat is on fire ". This doesn't work in an emergency, Tim.>>
                  >
                  >That depends on the emergency, There are many period ways of getting
                  >someone's attention but if of course we are speaking of a risk to life and
                  >limb then all bets are off. If on the other hand it is a breech of park
                  rule
                  >that someone was not informed of I think the belligerent attitude it
                  >inexcusable. (A particular incident at Chalmette comes to mind).
                  >
                  >I think part of the large problem here, particularly for battles, comes
                  from
                  >sites where individuals do not (and do not have the skill to) command on
                  the
                  >field but want to dictate how the minutia if the battle should go. I have
                  >always though that we who are in 'harms way' should control the action
                  >because it is literally our backsides that are out there. The few bad
                  >incident arise when (as the Chalmette incident of many years ago) someone
                  >takes the attitude that 'this is MY site and you will do what I say
                  whenever
                  >I say it and if you break a rule, even if I haven't bothered to tell you
                  >about it, I am hauling you on the carpet in front of everybody'.
                  >
                  >PS That particular 'lady' is no longer at Chalmette.
                  >
                  >Cheers
                  >
                  >Tim
                  >
                  >>The War of 1812: In Europe, thousands fought over the fate of hundreds of
                  square miles: in North America, hundreds determined the fate of THOUSANDS of
                  square miles...
                • BritcomHMP@aol.com
                  In a message dated 12/8/1999 9:53:37 PM Central Standard Time, sgtwarnr@idirect.ca writes:
                  Message 8 of 22 , Dec 9, 1999
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                    In a message dated 12/8/1999 9:53:37 PM Central Standard Time,
                    sgtwarnr@... writes:

                    << Tim, in response

                    "Obviously we are on the same page. "

                    Nope.

                    "if a specific activity is not allowed at a particular time while being
                    allowed at others this should be spelled out at the pre event meeting, not
                    assumed that the non park person in charge happens to be fully conversant
                    with the variations in the rules."
                    Tim this is what a schedule is for, any major deviation should be cleared,
                    no exceptions. >>

                    Er. Craig?
                    First you say 'Nope' meaning I assume we are NOT on the same page and then
                    make the statement above which seemingly agrees with what I have said.

                    I can see one potentially large difference in interpretation here in that one
                    could take your statement to read that any and all actions anticipated must
                    be cleared at a pre-event meeting. However you implication is that the entire
                    responsibility is on the re-enactment commander. If he is not aware of the
                    site rules, and the site neglects to inform him off the rules, it is still
                    his fault if he breaks them because it "should be cleared".


                    Leaving aside that I have NEVER attended a meeting where any site has gone
                    into anything like that detail I would say that there are two problems here.

                    1, It is impossible to think of all the eventualities that can happen in a
                    re-enactment or 1st person scenario in front of the public so there must be
                    some flexibility. Your statement about 'checking deviations' beforehand
                    assumes that an unplanned action is known to be a deviation from the rules
                    and can be anticipated. If it could be anticipated it would not be unplanned
                    (catch 22).

                    2, It is the SITES responsibility to state very clearly and unequivocally
                    what the no-no's are before the event. If the person is not given the
                    information he can hardly be expected to abide by the rules.

                    It is foolish for the site to make assumptions about what someone who does
                    not work there may or may not know about the rules. If the site were to
                    follow up their non decimation of such information by publicly chastising an
                    individual problems will ensue. Particularly if no danger is inherent in the
                    action.

                    I am glad that we are on the same page with the rest of (and indeed the bulk
                    of) my post.

                    Cheers

                    Tim
                  • David_Webb@xxx.xx.xx
                    This is a very interesting discussion, and while a conference is not needed, it might be useful for reenactors and site managers to get together to exchange
                    Message 9 of 22 , Dec 9, 1999
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                      This is a very interesting discussion, and while a conference is not needed, it
                      might be useful for reenactors and site managers to get together to exchange
                      views on safety, direction and communication at events.
                      I think that for big events, one should try to have emergency staff in modern
                      clothing, identified. We hire, for a ridiculously tiny honorarium, St John's
                      ambulance. We also have crowd control staff in modern dress, on the lines, and
                      an emergency plan. Our key first aider has a walkie-talky so that they know
                      what is going on in the battle, and a cell phone so they can call 911 if an
                      emergency is requiered.
                      Site staff in period costume are on the field also, and they are there to
                      ensure safety, but also to help unit commanders with communications, etc. If
                      the site does not have a person or people on the field for a demonstration, then
                      things can go wrong, and even get dangerous, and usually the site person then
                      has the option of going out in modern dress to shut things down, or have some
                      sort of tissy fit in public, or just ignore dangerous stuff.
                      I was a safety officer at a 7 Years War Event at Louisbourg this year. The
                      safety officers wore armbands, attended meetings, and were on the field with the
                      staff during the battles. This worked out very well, since we could discuss
                      things before they went wrong. For example, the Brit commander and I together
                      decided how close we could safely move troops on a flank nearest the crowd. The
                      site ropelines were no longer relevant because of a strong wind blowing from us
                      onto the crowd, and we had to respond to this wind change to avoid flashing or
                      smoking out the audience. With an unobtrusive walkie talky, the opposing
                      commanders could cue phases of the planned scenerio, and even communicate if
                      they chose.
                      We had one safety problem. A planned failed assault went wrong when one
                      participant did not die, but chose to attack the Fortress of Louisbourg and its
                      French defenders single handed. I guess the bushido code lives on in New
                      England. The difficulty was compounded when two Frenchmen obligingly shot him
                      at point blank range. A safety officer was there and tried to stop this silly
                      and dangerous charge, and also to deal with the two idjits who really made
                      things worse by firing at this guy. Since he was on the field in kit, this
                      problem was dealt with, and the battle was not interupted. With no one on the
                      field, a site person might have gone out in modern clothes to shut things down.
                      What was good about this episode was that the 3 stooges were identified, and the
                      site worked with the event and unit commanders to deal with the problem, and the
                      unit commanders took appropriate disciplinary action. With no costumed staff
                      on the field, a battle between the site and the unit or field commanders would
                      very possibly resulted.
                      At the same event, there were some site guard units who really were not very
                      experienced in tactical demos. They actually frightened some of the reenactors,
                      and instead of banning the guard units, or having participants walk from the
                      event, safety officers were placed to monitor and advise the guard units as
                      their sole responsibility. This was done tactfully, and everyone was happy and
                      got to participate.
                      Finally, we had an unfortunate artillery commander who had his foot run over
                      by one of his 6 pounder guns. His group, and all the participants left the
                      field, and no one noticed his problem. I was on site as a safety person, and
                      because I was in kit, I was near enough to see that he was in distress. I was
                      able to get help, and save his nice officers boot by getting it off before his
                      foot became too swollen. With no one on the field in kit, it might have been
                      some time before he was noticed. I really do think it is useful to have staff
                      in period costume on the field, especially in big battles.
                      While reenactors and site managers all share responsibility and liability at
                      events, the host organization as property owner usually gets sued as the
                      primary target. As an employee or agent for Parks Canada, I am aware that the
                      deep pockets of my employer are on the line. So are the historic programmes at
                      Parks and Sites across Canada, and many could close down or be suspended if we
                      have a bad accident that frightens senior administrators and politicians. This
                      would also lead to stricter rules ( such as no opposed sides tacticals) and some
                      other organisations might follow our lead. Finally, in event of a bad
                      accident, especially involving negligence, it is only the site staff and
                      managers that will lose their jobs and blight their careers. Federal, State, or
                      Provincial labour laws usually apply, and criminal charges can result for
                      participants and hosts alike.
                      A number of reenactors ( or living historians, as opposed to dead ones) have
                      jobs in film, or as exotic dancers, or whatever, and could also be in a
                      difficult employment situation if they were directly involved in an event
                      accident. But it is the event safety officer at most historic sites, and the
                      site manager, whose jobs are really on the line. If my paycheck is on the line,
                      I get to call the shots at my site, and this includes deciding on hosting an
                      event or not. I do have a veto. I really must communicate with, work with, and
                      listen to the event participants, and especially the commanders, and treat them
                      with respect, and hope that my trust in them will be justified. If there is an
                      accident, all parties loose , all of us have liabilities and responsibilites,
                      and so all of us have the authority to act to stop dangerous activity.
                    • Craig Williams
                      David,. Bravo and well said! Craig
                      Message 10 of 22 , Dec 9, 1999
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                        David,.
                        Bravo and well said!
                        Craig
                      • BritcomHMP@xxx.xxx
                        Good points all Dave, I suppose we can expect the odd loon in the ranks and certainly it behooves all officers and NOC s to watch out for these individuals and
                        Message 11 of 22 , Dec 9, 1999
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                          Good points all Dave, I suppose we can expect the odd loon in the ranks and
                          certainly it behooves all officers and NOC's to watch out for these
                          individuals and quell the spirit of 'bushido' or anything else contrary to
                          regulations and safety.
                          At Mississenewa this year I ordered all muskets checked for their half cock
                          with the rule that no muskets which did not have a working half cock were to
                          be allowed on the field whether or not they have a hammerstall attached
                          (everyone I am sure knows my opinion of THAT bit of frippery). No less than 3
                          muskets failed the test!

                          This is something I shall continue to enforce I can assure you.

                          Cheers

                          Tim
                        • Kevin Windsor
                          Dave. I have to wholeheartedly agree with what you said! I was at Louisbourg and I had an interesting position. I was doing a postgrad in Heritage
                          Message 12 of 22 , Dec 11, 1999
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                            Dave. I have to wholeheartedly agree with what you said! I was at
                            Louisbourg and I had an interesting position. I was doing a postgrad in
                            Heritage Preservation and part of my job that weekend was to evaluate you!
                            (not you specifically but the safety officers and other staff) I felt that
                            all of the staff did an outstanding job!! I witnessed the single man
                            storming the fort and the only reaction I got from the crowd was "hey look
                            at that stupid guy!" I feel that if you were wearing modern clothes and
                            ran out on to the field and chewed him out then the whole battle would have
                            been ruined. The walkie talkies were also not very noticable except for
                            one man and when a visitor questioned me about it I informed her that he
                            was probably a safety officer making sure no one did anything stupid. This
                            seemed very reasonable for her. I also had a chance to speak with some of
                            the re-enactors that were there and they were glad that the young pretty
                            boys had some extra people watching them. That made them feel safer! I
                            must admit that I have not been following this a closely as I should but as
                            a person who helps put on events I know it is my job on the line and since
                            I get paid for doing something I love I don't want to loose that so you are
                            right! Anything that will keep it safe and make sure I or my site doesn't
                            get sued I will do. Be that having uniformed safety officers or
                            plainclothes or modern dressed people or as at Louisbourg both doing
                            different things. With uniformed on the field and modern off with the
                            public (although when the public started buying and wearing those t-shirts
                            it got hard to tell the difference) If the public sees someone who looks
                            like they know what they are doing then they will go and see them. If they
                            loose a child or something like that then they don't want to spend hours
                            looking for an officer because all they see are people in red coats because
                            they are panicking. I feel that both are really needed! Some for public
                            and some for re-enactors each working together.

                            These are only my two coins thrown in the fountain though!
                            Kevin
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