Saturday, July 23, 2011

Baby, It's Hot Out There..........;

While I have the privilege of sitting in air conditioned comfort, a bunch of my friends and fellow reenactors are up at Manassas VA. commemorating the 150th of the battle of First Bull Run. My sources tell me that the heat is wearing on people up there, but the event continues. There have been several heat casualties but hopefully that will be the limit of the trouble.

All my thoughts, good wishes, and even prayers go to my brothers and sister who wear both the blue and grey to commemorate our forefathers.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


According to my best buddy, Nancy R. a statement I made should be the quote of the day. I will leave it up to you guys:

After watching the bandage being changed on my knee yesterday, the only thing I could think of was "Damn, it looks like my knee got caught in a knife fight with a midget."

Or more properly, would it be a "Height Challenged American"?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ben-Hur Meets A.R.M.C.

Here we are, 4 days after my total knee replacement and I getting ready to head back to the Casa W. It's been a interesting experience and one that I might have to do again for my left knee, but to be frank, I don't want to think about it until I absolutely have to. It AIN'T the most fun I have ever had with my clothing on. (or off come to think of it) The surgery went well and I have a bright, shiny new titanium knee. The Doc told me that when he went in, he found a "mess" but he thought that everything would be O.K. once it healed up.

I started physical therapy the day after surgery and it sure does focus one's attention. I have had some of the most intensive pain I have ever had in my entire life in just the past few days. Unfortunately, pain is going to be a part of the healing process, so I have figured that I will need to suck it up and keep on keeping on.

My P.T. folks have been good to work with, but the strangest thing happened this morning. At O'Dark thirty when my guy showed up, He morphed into Jack Hawkins from the movie Ben-Hur.

"Your eyes are full of hate, forty-one. That's good. Hate keeps a man alive. It gives him strength. Now listen to me, all of you. You are all condemned men. We keep you alive to serve this ship. So row well, and live."

At least that's what I THOUGHT I heard him say............

Well back to the oars, I mean machines.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Heading North By Nor' East................

I just got back from spending the holiday weekend with good friends Nancy R., Shorter Half and Sweet Daughter. As you can well guess, the 4th of July is a BIG holiday for those of us who reenact the Revolutionary War so we went to a historic site and did a day of interpretation for the public.

Since my vehicle (a extended cab Dodge Ram truck with crew cab) was already packed, we took it to travel in. Nance and Sweet Daughter in the back seat, Shorter Half and myself in the front.

During the trip, Sweet Daughter started calling out the direction that the truck was traveling since I have a on-board compass that she could see from her seat. Shorter Half (with understandable pride) was bragging about how smart his daughter was to be able to figure out the direction we were heading in. He went on talking about how he had talked with her about how looking at shadows, the sun, bark on trees and such had helped her to figure out direction and true north.

I listened for a wee bit, then told Shorter Half that he no doubt had been helpful with his advice but that Sweet Daughter most likely found it much MUCH easier to look at the compass. There was silence in the cab for a few moments, then S.H. cursed me under his breath and made various obscene gestures in my direction.

For the rest of the trip, I helped S.H. figure out which way we were heading by asking him about the shadows, sun location and other woodsy stuff. I don't know that S.H. had a good trip after that, but I had a GREAT time..............(grin)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Birthday America And A Story.........

Happy Birthday to the greatest country in the world, the good old U.S. of A.

By special request here's a story that might amuse you on this Independence day.

As you know, I am a reenactor and living historian and focus on the American colonial time period. My normal portrayal is that of a Physician with the British Army.

A few years ago, I was asked to help with a reenactment of a King's Birthday celebration at Ninety-Six National Historic Site in South Carolina. For those that don't know much about Ninety-Six, it is located in the north-west corner South Carolina, what was called the back country in the colonial period. The land in the area hasn't changed much in over 240 years,and part of the charm is that the site IS so far off the beaten path that you have to really want to go there. it isn't like some other places that are convenient to stop at because they are on the way to someplace else or it has clean restrooms. Ninety-Six is special also because it was the location of the longest siege that took place in the American Revolution. Ninety-Six was the primary British military base in the back country and held a vary large garrison of troops. The American rebels attacked the town and were held off by the British and loyalist troop for 28 days.

Because of this history, it was thought that this would be a perfect place to have a King's birthday celebration. In the colonial period, the King's Birthday was one of the biggest holidays that was celebrated. There were dances, parties, military demonstrations,bell ringing, shooting off guns,and all sorts of festivities and merriment. This holiday fell on June 4th, so we picked the weekend closest to that date and planed the event. The time came and we had the event and every thing went swimmingly. We had close to 50 red coat wearing reenactors who did musket demonstrations, gave various talks, demonstrated camp life and interacted with the public. We also had a period dance and dinner party.

As I said, everything went swimmingly, but as normal when I am involved, a dark cloud did appear in the sky in the middle of the event. I was approached by a slightly over middle-aged lady who had just a bit of fire in her eye. She button-holed me and and asked me if I was in charge. I told her that I was coordinating the event, and asked if I could be of service to her. She told me that she had a serious complaint to make about the event. When I asked her what the problem was, she told me that she had been all over the park and hadn't seen one thing about Elvis. I was so shocked, that I didn't know what to say to her. She continued on about false advertising and wanted to know who was in charge. At that time I noticed my good friend, the chief Ranger of the site was walking through the encampment so I pointed him out to the lady and took my leave of her. When I next saw her, she had my friend trapped in a corner and was lecturing him on Elvis, false advertising and talking to her congress critter. I must admit that it was a bit of a dirty trick to get him involved. But I just couldn't deal with that lady with anything close to a straight face.

Ah, the joys of dealing with a educated public................[grin]