Once again, Dear Reader(s), here’s a collection of links that you might find of interest. I covered more ground this summer on the internet than in person so there are many tabs to share.
The first three are In Memoriams that crossed my path after the passing of Senator McCain, may he rest in peace.
Corby Hall at Notre Dame – May it rest in pieces. – I understand the necessity of tearing it down and starting over, but the historical purist in me cringes.
My last shot of Corby Hall, taken right before demo begins
Inside Corby looked like a total liquidation sale
Civil War era Limb Pit discovered – kind of macabre, kind of cool, especially if you’re into forensics.
The Science of Saving the Declaration of Independence – Sadly, I don’t think it would hold up to National Treasure-esque shenanigans.
New Theory States that Men Nearly Caused Human Extinction – My current place of employ is currently 90% male. The findings of this article do not come as a surprise.
The Creative Mind of J.R.R. Tolkien – currently on view at the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, then coming to New York next year. I think I’m going to have to make a trip to New York to see this.
British View the War of 1812 Quite Differently than Americans – Again, I kind of feel like this is a no-brainer. It makes sense that Canadians and Native Americans also have their own take on this particular conflict.
Ask A Reenactor Playing The Bad Guys – Worth the read. The author makes a good point that the victors write history so the bad guys need humanizing. The author also points out that reenactors are pretty good at self-policing, and there’s an unspoken code about how to judge/evaluate other reenactors doing controversial impressions (ie, the SS).
Ask A Reenactor: Ethnicity Reenacting – Such a complicated topic. So relevant. Speaking of which, I’ve crossed paths with this guy many times and am certain I asked him a lot of inappropriate questions about ethnicity and reenacting the first time I met him. And by that, I think I downright accosted him. Unrelated, I want to know how big his closet is for all of his gear.
And lastly …
Well this seems like an interesting fusion of a lot of things:
Well this is exciting (in a very niche market……).
To conclude this birthday extravaganza:
SO MUCH INFORMATION
On the fourth and final day of our historical vacation, Mel and I packed the car, took leave of our host, and drove back to the Industrial Park in time for the big surrender ceremony. As an added bonus, we were early enough we actually got parking on site.
It was only about 10 am but the camp was already a movin’ and shakin’. Half of the sutlers had already packed up and left. Many of the reenactors were also packing up. There were a lot of trucks driving around the camp like modern day horses, with trailers and canon of various sizes in tow.
Al Stone’s final appearance as Lee
Again upon recommendation from our host, we got breakfast at this local indoor marketplace that’s only open on Saturdays. The crepes were a little bit of a wait but totally worth it, and we got to browse the variety of hand-made items for sale.
This day, Mel and I decided to to go to the industrial site, the one with loads more reenactors and sutlers that looks like an historical themed county fair. We couldn’t figure out how to sneak in (we tried), but we did get the schedule booklet and canvas bag (emblazoned with “Appomattox 150th” and credits) for free. I’m not sure if they realized I didn’t pay for it, or if they were being nice because I told them it was my birthday. I threatened to show my ID – a Virginia license, April 9 birthday, at the 150th Appomattox? It’s like I’m a nerd or something.
Day 2 began with a leisurely morning, breakfast on the go, and a return to the Court House site. This day was filled mostly with pictures and wandering around the town. Fortunately there were many interpretive signs scattered through the town to read and many people to watch/overhear/interrogate. In the back of the town was a sign that said “Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Site” with an arrow, so naturally Mel and I had to go check it out, as our mutual affection and appreciation for Chamberlain brought us together in the first place. (It was a path that eventually led to the highway so it wasn’t very exciting.)
History friend Mel and I found a place to stay on Airbnb in nearby Lynchburg, VA. Lynchburg is a really cute city and the loft we stayed in was a refurbished shoe factory. It looked old and historic on the outside and was right on the James River. Actually, it was a fantastic location and we enjoyed the few places in town we visited. I would consider living in Lynchburg. [ Please note, it was named after John Lynch in 1757, and *not* because people got lynched there…just clarifying because I had this conversation with someone.]
We arrived at the Court House on the 9th of April just after a reenactment of Lee’s surrender to Grant. (I noted with some sadness it was not Al Stone of Lee’s Lieutenants.) We spent the rest of the day weaving in and out of clusters of people while looking through the buildings. There was a lot of history to absorb while avoiding people and horse droppings. The National Park Service was the designated authority on this site, and between herding people and answering questions, they too were discussing the historical events and aftermath surrounding Appomattox. Park Rangers make me so happy.
They were discussing what sort of superpowers the Union would need. This conversation also included the words “spidey senses” and “jazz hands.” I love park rangers.