Saturday, August 1, 2015

Things I Like About Being A Reenactor

1. I can still "play army" with my friends on weekends.

2. The chance to be around young ladies who aren't badly dressed and can carry out an intelligent conversation without rudely texting somebody else on their cell phones.

3. Wearing clothes 150 years out of style and nobody looks at me funny.

4.  That exotic fragrance of gunpowder residue, campfire smoke and cigars that never completely washes out of our clothing.

5. We don't have to do anything or be anywhere unless ordered to. Nobody needs a schedule or a watch.

6. An excuse to walk around sweaty and dirty for three days because everyone else is sweaty and dirty. (It's a man thing)

7. Gunpowder explosions in a controlled environment.

8. The pride of wearing the same uniform as your ancestors.

9. If you drop your tin cup in the grass, the 5 second rule is more of a guideline.

10. What happens in camp after dark stays in camp.

11. The ability to pick up a conversation where it left off a year ago.

12. There is no need for an alarm clock (birds, roosters, horses, bugles and the sun work just fine)

13. Nobody cares what time it is, only how long until the next battle.

14. Permission to camp, make fires, dig trenches, build fortifications, carry firearms and do other things no one else is ever allowed to do in public, on private land and on a few historic battlefields.

15. Over 10,000 people gathered in the same place who all have something in common. No matter who you talk to, everyone you meet has the same passion. In our case, they love watching history come alive. A live concert is the only other place on Earth where this can happen.

16. Cool stories to tell at family reunions.

17. Being someone else for a few days; escaping from life in general.

18. Marching into the fight and knowing I'm surrounded by trained emergency personnel. Firemen, paramedics, police and real military veterans, all people you know you can trust with your life. The safest place to be is on the battlefield.

19. Being so immersed in another century that going home gives me culture shock.

20.  To look at old pictures in a book and share an organic connection to the long-deceased people in those photographs, in a way that others will never understand unless they have a similar experience.  To know what that rough wool uniform feels like in the summer heat, how heavy that musket is, how hard those shoes are and what those cannons sound like.

And don't forget the little things only we get to witness that help make it an unforgettable experience:

1. That warm, flickery glow of the campfire through the fabric of my tent.

2. Fog in the morning. Muffled drumbeats. Unseen bugles echo in the forest.

3. Watching a summer thunderstorm coming from miles away. How it sounds in my mind like a distant battle.

4. A heightened awareness of everything around me. Morning dew on the grass, flags rippling and snapping in the wind. Metal gleaming in the sun. Steam from the horses' breath in the cold morning air.

5. An escape from reality, our jobs and all the insanity of modern life.

6. Feeling a deep connection to the earth that our world of chain link fences, concrete and steel has hidden from us. Nothing but green grass beneath my feet, blue sky and wide open land to gaze upon for three glorious days.


  1. Men who are polite and courteous.
    Not being referred to as "you guys" when you are in a group of women.
    No cell phones, no TV, no blatant advertising.
    The smell of wood smoke. :)


    1. Wood smoke. :) I refuse to wash my coat and hat because they smell like the last campfire I sat in front of.