My boyfriend and I are both reenactors, I'm going on 15 years, he's going on 3, we actually have yet to do an event in the same camp as I do a lower class working civilian impression and he is in a Confederate infantry unit. It can be quite the new world to get into as long as you have the right attitude! It definitely makes history more interesting. Even if you're not into the big skirts and bonnets there are nearly endless options (sometimes I'm a laundress or seamstress, sometimes a Postmaster- yes, women could be appointed to that position- sometimes I'm in a plain working outfit, others in a more middle class basic ensemble... and I make my own stuff, you find something from the era that you are good at or interested in, do your homework, and run with it)
Often we have stories to share and laugh about and that's really the best part. The memories and fun times, as well as the learning from each other, as he's more in the military side of things (even though I portrayed a female soldier for 8 years, disguised as a guy, since women weren't allowed to openly enlist yet) And I'm the one with the sewing expertise he needs to learn for his own stuff.
Best of luck to you, and hope you guys have as much fun with it as we do :)
Good article. Extremely well written (love good prose) Growing up in the NW, which is a "kid" historically compared to the South (Chas. had opera when there were but tumbleweeds in present-day Albuquerque), you cant possibly understand our passion for history and our ancestors. Well, maybe you do now understand a little.
Me, Ive been a member of both the DAR and United Daugthers of the Confederacy a while now, but have only been to one re-enactment near Hampton! Need to go to more to get a sense of what my six CW ancestors went thru. I recommend touring Petersburg, Va where one ancestor fought. I defy you to listen to the free tourguide and not cry as he/she gives details of the Battle of the Crater.
I too married a reinactor 9 years ago. Unlike my family of which every single branch fought for the South in the Civil War, my husband's mother was from Switzerland and his Italian dad was the first to be born in the U.S. in his family. He is friends with your husband and he too is a hard core. I must confess, even growing up in the deep South near Andersonville, Ga, I didn't "get" reinactors but have come to appreciate the love of history they the hard cores have!
LOVE this article! I need to find a man like this. I broke off a 2 year engagement because he started to mock this hobby I love with all my life. I just wanted him to share it with me, but his response was always "Its not my history, why should I?". Needless to say, we had other issues. However Ive been single for a few years since because Im waiting for Mr. Right and his musket to come along and sweep me off my feet.
I belong to an English C17th re-enactment group with my husband and all my 3 daughters grew up in it. Over the years we have met some amazing people who have become very close friends to us. All our girls have benefitted from this hobby and only the oldest one is no longer taking part. I would encourage anyone to give it a go
I have to admit I did not have time to read the entire article, have saved the link. Being a reenactor/living historian in California, I giggled that it's a secret. I didn't know it was a secret. I tell everyone I'm a reenactor/living historian. I recreate 1550 Elizabethan, the 2nd half on the 1800's into 1910. You will have the most wonderful adventures being married to a reenactor/living historian. Please do get involved, my other half and my daughter are also reenactors/living historian's. I love when kids come from schools with a list of questions to have answered. I've gone to classes in 1st person to help the children understand the reality of history. One of the teachers had the class answer a quick essay question about how they felt about my visit and did they like that type of learning. She later told me the kids LOVED having someone to talk to and see history.
Hey! Nice picture of Taylor Shelby (my girlfriend.) Keagle has more old timey clothes than me (but not by much.) Small world. Say hi to Dan.
I have been with my boyfriend for two years and he is a reenactor also. I am slowly getting into it myself. He does WWII, Roman and Medivieal. I couldn't ask for a better man. Congrats on your upcoming wedding your life will be full of adventure, and great people.
Wow I loved this article when I met my current partner he confessed his rather strange hobby, now ten years later I am more into it than him, the sewing machine never stops. I love creating the clothese of various periods for my tribe, I have a social life and there is always something to do be it Medieval Napoleonic or American Mountain Men.
Why be ashamed of being a reenactor? I'm completely open about my "weekend life", as I call it, and am delighted to answer questions from family, friends, and random acquaintances. In fact, that's how many of my friends became reenactors. :-)
Let's be truthful for a second, shall we? I've been in the hobby for over 30 years now, all union, all the time. The "hardcores" are usually the ones who bug out first in bad weather, and they're usually the object of ridicule to those of us who are mainstream-Progressive (not completely nuts with an eye on better authenticity within reason). Elias Howe patented the sewing machine that we use in 1845. The War Department had contracts with MANY textile houses during the war to mass produce the uniforms (shirt, socks, shoes, coat, pants, suspenders hat, frock [the pre-1862 fatigue coat relegated to dress purposes after McClellan's reorganization] and great coat for the winter which were ISSUED to men. These items weren't made at home and shipped to guys in the field. There are quartermaster reports which show this. The State of North Carolina had so many uniforms in storage that they were putting them on German POW's in the 1940's. This is a truth the Hard Core kids seem to want to ignore in their quest for "authenticity."
Contrary to what PVT Granola says, hard core is what you do when you don't have any interest in portraying actual history but want to play bang bang. We've seen your types: lousy drill, lousy uniforms and lousy attitudes towards the rest of us with an unjustified sense of self worth in the hobby.
I married a reenactor (Herb), and our vacations and trips usually involve a fort of some kind. I tried getting into the hobby, but it just wasn't for me. That being said, I've met some of the best people through that hobby, and they are wonderful people to know even if you don't reenact with them. I enjoyed your article, and it's pretty spot on. Thanks for putting it in to words.
Welcome to the club Sweetie
Started in 1975, Married a reenactor, raised three kids in the hobby, on or whom is still reenacting with his wife and son, in the same unit I helped found. got out after 35 years, but I would do it all again. During the 35 years my wife and I wqent from the type two type to the type three type, and everywhere in between, Got married in an 18th Century Wedding 32 years ago, Lived the life and hav had a great Marriage. Best of Luck to you.
I'm marrying a reenactor this year too. And he got me into it. Congrats!
BTW, I don't think I know any of the folks in the pics. But I recognize that trench the young man is digging in. Anyone else?
Hardcore is what you become after your wife makes you bring a trailer full of stuff that takes 3 hours to set up and break down. If I can't tote it from the truck in one trip, I'm inclined not to bring it at all. A cooler for beer is not necessary at cold events, but a must if it's hot. ;-)
Pvt. Granola Of The Pimento Battalion
Fantastic read! Would love to write one from the reenactor's point of view trying to tell his date what he loves most in this world. By the way, My wife Marianne is the one who posted above. 10 yrs going strong and she has some great stories she could tell about her hubby and this hobby! Congrats and good luck!
Best of luck to you.
- Wife of Reenactor 10 years married. :)
Give it up, Tammy, you've lost...28-27.
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