Author Topic: Answer to Why We Reenact Historic Eras?  (Read 310 times)

Offline Tsalagidave

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Answer to Why We Reenact Historic Eras?
« on: September 16, 2020, 07:51:09 PM »
I recently encountered the age-old question of why this hobby appeals so much followed by the statement "You were born in the wrong century". The question is of genuine interest. Why would someone dress up like someone long gone to the sands of time? The second statement really is meant as a compliment that acknowledges an obvious idiosyncrasy in our personalities that take us far off the beaten path. 

I've given a number of answers over the years. They are sometimes comical. Q. "Why do you wear buckskin?" A. "Because blood looks more natural on it than it does on my clown suit."

Sometimes, I gave what I thought was an erudite answer but their sleepy eyes indicated I had failed in my message by giving a history lesson. I also don't believe I was born in the wrong time. My Creator put me exactly where and when I needed to be. With all its problems and coming challenges, I enjoy life in this century and looking back to the past merely enriches the experience of who I am. After careful consideration, I came up with this.

Why We Love Old West Living History

It's because of a love for the culture and legacy from which I came. The American West represents a time and place where people from around the world came and built a new nation not from the "by-your-leave" of some landlord but with their own hands, wits, and inner strength. In the course of building this nation, the period of the American West represents a collision of cultures that accompanied sometimes good and sometimes disastrous results. Our ancestors learned from this. We continue to learn from it. The American West is where old prejudices of wealth, class, and ethnicity started to give way to an individual's worth based on the individual's action and merit. In all its greatness and imperfection, this era is a part of us and we are the fruits of that era. This is why our frontier spirit should be remembered and this is also why I do what I do. As I reach through the veil of time to touch the face of my ancestors, I realize that the face I’m touching is my own.

We are a group of like-minded friends who travel the forests, mountains, deserts and plains learning and growing together in a microcosm of life. We ford rivers, brave storms, and fix the accidents as they occur, while savoring the smell of cooked game, coffee, and rifle smoke. At the end of the day, we gather round the fire to reflect on the tasks we accomplished together; share jokes; and prepare our kits for the following day. We have a tribe.

I want to thank those of a kindred spirit for being a part of this experience and I wish for many more years of it. Until then, keep your buckskin oiled, powder dry, and larders full.

You're all in my thoughts.

-Dave


Guns don't kill people; fathers with pretty daughters do.

Offline Niederlander

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Re: Answer to Why We Reenact Historic Eras?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2020, 08:18:55 PM »
I like that answer, Dave!  I've tried to explain to people multiple times myself, but never as eloquently as you just did.
"There go those Nebraskans, and all hell couldn't stop them!"

Offline santee

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Re: Answer to Why We Reenact Historic Eras?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2020, 09:48:01 PM »
Yeah, spot on, Dave. But...I'm gonna use that clown suit one.
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Offline Dave T

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Re: Answer to Why We Reenact Historic Eras?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2020, 11:45:48 PM »
Well said my friend, well said.

Dave

Offline Tsalagidave

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Re: Answer to Why We Reenact Historic Eras?
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2020, 12:56:06 AM »
Dale, John, Dave, thank you for the kind words. I really enjoy your camaraderie and the moments shared. As much as I love to gab on about things, I can cite each one of you as a source whose knowledge I have benefited greatly from when I just shaddap and listen.  My life is a better place with friends like you in it.

-Dave
Guns don't kill people; fathers with pretty daughters do.

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Re: Answer to Why We Reenact Historic Eras?
« Reply #5 on: Today at 08:25:57 AM »

Offline Mogorilla

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Re: Answer to Why We Reenact Historic Eras?
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2020, 07:10:41 AM »
When I bought my canvas tent and this year started camping at shooting events, I strive to do it as much in the 19th century as I can.   When asked why I sleep on the ground and only shoot/own 19th century designed firearms, I put it this way.  I love history and when I wake up in that tent, I want to honestly question what year it is.   

I know (from the internet) guys who reenact the bronze age all the way to world wars of the 20th century and almost every time period in between.   All have a love of history. 
I have a huge love of the King Arthur mythos, both the historical aspect and the L'Morte d'Arthur type stories.  When you are in England, I believe as used as a place name, Arthur is 2nd only to the devil in the # of uses.   That is the tie that binds the British culture.  They still regularly make movies (for the most part crap, Excalibur was the last of the good ones to me). 
For the US, we are a much younger culture and are a hodge podge of world cultures thrown into the pot.   The old west is our mythos, probably mostly because of movies, but that is the modern version of a Bard in your hall.    Like Arthur in Britain, we continually reinvent and expand that mythos.  Our part keeps the stories going and the knowledge of how rough survival was.   
I spent last weekend at a NCOWs shoot that had ~40+ shooters.   We had smokeless and blackpowder, original guns and new replicas, clothing that was accurate and newer shooters who were getting there.  It was a great time, good people and much needed departure from the modern world.   That is why I do it.

Offline 1961MJS

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Re: Answer to Why We Reenact Historic Eras?
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2020, 09:31:49 AM »
...
I've given a number of answers over the years. They are sometimes comical. Q. "Why do you wear buckskin?" A. "Because blood looks more natural on it than it does on my clown suit."
...
You're all in my thoughts.

-Dave
Hi

That's a fine answer as long as you're not John Wayne Gacy.  He was a popular news item when I was in college.  Chicago radio station did a song to the tune of Pink Floyd's "Just another Brick in the Wall" called "Just another Kid in the Crawl".

PERSONALLY I love history, except that political history generally just makes me mad.  Re-enacting allows me to study and portray history.  One primary reason that we're getting few recruits is the expense.  Whole outfit, shoes, outerwear, hat (which no one wears anymore), then weapons etc.  And all these kids have $200,000 in student loans for their BS in Underwater Basket-weaving to pay off stocking at Costco.

Later
Mike
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Brevet Lieutenant Colonel
Division of Oklahoma

Offline Tsalagidave

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Re: Answer to Why We Reenact Historic Eras?
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2020, 01:57:46 AM »
As a marketing manager by trade, my job is to find demographics and anticipate their behavior toward a certain brand. There actually was a survey conducted about 5 years ago and cost was the leading factor but all hobbies come at a significant cost. The WW2 hobby is trending high with millennials and zoomers despite the thousands of dollars required to put together an impression. The main reason why we don't see that many new people coming into the hobby is that little is done to make the hobby relevant to them.

One of the few people in this hobby who gets it about outreach is Santee of the Arizona Ghost Riders. A huge swath of his readership are gamers who play Red Dead Redemption. Modern references such as games and movies build interest, initially. But just dressing up and shooting 6-guns isn't going to be enough. We need to reach out to the younger generations and offer them camaraderie and the opportunity to learn new skills. At 18 I had better things to do but got drawn into this hobby to learn self reliance in the great outdoors. Knock the dust off your loaner gear and get people out camping and shooting the old timey stuff in their regular outdoor clothing first. Talk about your hobby. Some will say the dress up part is silly but there is always a statistical element that will share the interest. The next generations are not the enemies of our hobby; they are the heirs to it.

I did not really get it before but people like Santee have given me a lot to chew on. I am one of the strict authenticity guys but it is more for my own personal challenge. It's been a while since I've seen a hobby such as ours attempt to coordinate with other groups to find like-minded individuals and show them how much taking up the mantle of this great tradition actually is.

-Dave
Guns don't kill people; fathers with pretty daughters do.

 

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