Thursday, December 27, 2007

Mama, take these guns from me..........

A friend of mine sent me this, I thought I would share it with my brothers and sisters who carried a badge in the past and to those who still do, in hopes that they too will see the day that they can "hang up their badge and guns".

When Cops Retire

When a good man leaves the job and retires to a "better life," many are jealous, some are pleased and yet others, who may have already retired, actually wonder........

.....wonder whether he/she really knows what they are doing and are leaving behind....... because we already know.

We know for example, that after a lifetime of camaraderie that few experience, such will always remain as a longing for those past times.

We know in the law enforcement life there is a fellowship which lasts long after the badge, cuffs and weapons are turned in and the uniforms are hung up back in the closet.

We know that if he actually might even think of eventually throwing his old uniforms away, they will be always on him with every step and breath that remains.

We also know just how the very bearing of the man speaks of what he was and in his heart, still is and always will be.

These are the burdens of the job.

You will still look at people suspiciously...

Still see what others do not see, or choose to ignore...

You will always look at the rest of the law enforcement world with a deep respect for what they bravely and unselfishly do.

This remains from a lifetime of knowing it, doing it, and living it.

Never think for one moment that you are escaping from "the life."

You are only escaping "the job and we are merely finally allowing you to leave an active duty."

So what I wish for you now is that whenever you eventually and finally ease into your well-deserved retirement, that in your heart you never forget for one moment....

Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called Children of God....

and never, ever forget that as a law enforcement-retiree, you always are part of one the greatest fraternities that the world has known.

Be Well! Be Safe! Be Fair! Be Strong! Be Proud!

The Traveling Medicine Show

Still with me? Damn, you must not have much to do. So where was I? Oh yeah, "This thing of ours"

As I said, I started out in 1982/83 doing a militiaman impression, carrying a musket and doing the marchy, marchy/bangy,bangy thing. I also slowly started out doing a doctor of the period, collecting reproduction tools and medicines. The Doctor impression won out because of it's popularity with the public and the plain hard work that it took to do it right. (You can say many things about me, but no one can say that I don't do my level best to do my interpretation to the very best of my ability) The medical impression kept it's popularity over the years and the impression grew to the point that with the help of some good friends I organized a medical unit called the Detached Hospital (based on a real British military unit from 1775) I did this because I was working myself to death at large events, and I wanted to show ALL the facets of medical practice of that time period. This is not only medicine and surgery which most people expect, but also dentistry, midwifery, logistics, transportation issues as well as folk medicine and it's impact on medical care. To show how popular the hospital impression is, I am known in the hobby as Dr. Mike.

The members of the Detached Hospital are the finest bunch of folks around. I could not ask for better co-workers or friends and they have made the hospital the success that it is. You will see their individual names mentioned many times in the future, because they are that important to me. They are the people that keep me focused at events and help keep the train on the tracks so to speak. I could not run the hospital without them. If you want to see what we are all about here is the hospital website:

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Hobby (or this thing of ours)

I thought I would take a few moments to talk about the hobby of living history/reenacting for folks that don't do it. To be honest with you it is hard to explain what it is all about to people who are not involved. I guess the first thing people want to know is "Why we do it?" There are as many reasons as there are people doing it. I can tell you the many reasons I do it, in a descending scale. I guess the first reason is to help me understand just a bit better what it was like. There is no way that I can experience life in the 18th century, but by wearing the clothing, eating the food, and reproducing the daily activities I can come closer to understanding what our forefathers went through. Notice I said come closer. Again, there is no way to totally recreate those long ago times. (nor would I want to, on many levels) But there is that moment when you are on the field or at a historic site that happens once in a great while, when you have that feeling, where time stops and in the back of your mind, you say, so THAT'S what it was like. That my friends, is a rush and a half.

Another reason for doing this is that I always wanted to teach, and this is a way that I can share what knowledge I have with members of the public. I enjoy talking to the public and interacting with people, this gives me the chance to do this.

Last of all, I consider reenactors all extended members of my family. As a matter of fact, I am closer to my fellow reenactors than I am to some of my blood kinfolk (but if you knew some of my relatives, well, that statement wouldn't sound QUITE so strong) Most reenactors would literally give you the shirt off their back if you needed it. The majority are helpful, friendly, and open with their advice and assistance. Case in point, I remember a family who lost everything in a tent fire at a event a good while back. Thank goodness no one was injured, but they lost all their kit. Within one day, through loans or gifts, all their gear was replaced, they were fed for the weekend and even given gas money to get home on. And no one thought it was in anyway out of the ordinary. As one of the fellows who was gathering goods together to donate told me, "We take care of our own"

I remember once being lectured by a fellow when I called what I did a hobby. He told me that it involved a heck of a lot more than a hobby, it was more like a life style or way of living. At that point, I had to agree with him, so I started calling it with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek,"This thing of ours" Well, some of you might know that is the English translation of the term, La Cosa Nostra. Once in, never out.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Stranger in a strange land.......

Greetings all,

My name is Mike Williams, and having recently retired after 30 years service as a police officer here in North Carolina am exploring the new world of not having to work for a living. It has been a strange and interesting transition. When something that has been a major part of your life suddenly isn't there there is a great big empty place that you aren't really sure what to do with. I can't say it was a BAD thing, but it did impact on my comfort level. I am one of those folks that doesn't do change real well, so for a while it was uncomfortable. I think that I have worked that part out but still am feeling my way around just a wee bit. That is part of the reason for the title of this post.

The other reason is this is my first attempt at blogging. A few of my friends suggested that I try this and see if it was something that I might be good at. I don't know that it will be of interest to anyone, and I hope that it doesn't sound (or read) like my life is so important that it has to be shared with the whole world. I do like to write, and have been accused of being in the old tradition a story teller. (Give me rum and a campfire, and you can not stop my mouth from running) So with the kind assistance of anyone who runs across these words, we will see where this leads.

Much as I hate it, I guess I should tell you a bit about myself. I am almost 50, and married to my good wife Beverly for the past 25 years. Doing what I did for so long, I have very strong opinions on topics, but am willing to listen to arguments against my point of view. I also have what has been called a "sick" sense of humor. That is something that I have in common with anyone who does a rough type of job, Police, firefighters, EMTs, ED staff, military, anyone who sees a lot of trauma or people at their worst. Sometimes, that warped sense of humor is about the only defence that those kind of people have to keep themselves from burning out. So be warned............

While I have a roll going, I guess I should explain the name of my blog. First of all, this is NOT a Rocky Horror Picture Show fan site, (but I did enjoy the movie) One of the things that I do, is reenacting/living history. You know, the folks that dress up in funny clothing and hang around at historic sites talking to the public and fight "sham" battles. Most people don't know that there are people who do this kind of thing for every time period known, from the Stone age right through the Vietnam war. I have a love of history and fell into "the hobby" as we call it back in 1982 and never looked back. I always stayed in the colonial period from 1700 to 1800s and focused on a medical portrayal. As a matter of fact, with the help of others, I started the Detached Hospital a recreated medical unit from the revolutionary war. But recently have ventured into the 1812 war as well as dipping my toes into the period of the American Civil War. I refer to kitting out in the period costume, (you guessed it) Doin' the time warp. Thus the name.

Well, I guess that should be enough to start out with. Let's see what develops from here.