Skragnon's Blog

Reenactment Proposal letter | August 24, 2013


In my years as a reenactor I have struggled off and on with many things, but the one item that has always been the most significant has been the ability to put together a quality, period correct kit.  We all desire to provide as historically accurate portrayal as possible, but are often daunted by the vast amount of knowledge that we lack about how our ancestors lived in those past days.

We need shirts, pants, shifts, gowns, utensils, plates, lanterns, tentage, shoes, moccasins, hats, bonnets and numerous other items.  Often we rely on the research of others for the sundry of items that make up our impressions.  After several years in the hobby (or should I say lifestyle) many of us when we go shopping can tell a quality made product from ten or even fifteen feet away.  However, is it the correct product in order to be true to the portrayal we have chosen?  Have you ever been moving down traders’ row and looked at something as simple as a lantern, and asked yourself “Is it correct for my period?”  Have you relied upon the fact that the lantern was at the event as evidence of it being correct?

Obviously, I am not perfect.  My portrayal is currently all over the place with this item or that item that is likely incorrect for my chosen period.  I want to improve my impression, but unfortunately I don’t know where to start looking.  I’ve been reenacting  for several decades and still struggle with accuracy.  Thus I looked around to see if there was an organization that I could tap into for lectures and workshops.  I stumbled upon a wonderful organization called The Hive, yet they are located on the east coast.  As I am located in the Upper Midwest so I kept looking.  Unfortunately, I haven’t found a similar organization in the region.  Why should that stop me?  It shouldn’t, and I’ve decided that it won’t.

Why should the east coasters have all the fun?  Therefore it is my intention to put together an organization similar to The Hive here in this region.  Many questions arise that I can’t answer because I don’t know who this will be shaped.  What I do know is that I can’t do this on my own.

First, I want to start a discussion.  Who has contacts with historical experts?  What kind of a library should be put together?  Do groups/units have a recommend reading list for their members?  Is anyone capable of doing a lecture or workshop?

Second, I want to encourage existing organizations to get involved.  This is our community and if we see something at issue, we should be looking for ways for our members to improve themselves.  By tying our members into a lecture/workshop organization we can not only encourage people to improve, but provide them the tools they need.

Our first formal organizational meeting will be at the Trail of History event located at Glacial Park 6316 Harts Rd., Ringwood, IL on October 18th, 19th, & 20th.  We will be meeting at the Ordinary by the name of The Black Horse with the consent and participation of the proprietress Christina Johnson.

Will you join us?

Your humble servant,

Jay Oestreich



Posted in Reenacting

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    The profundity continues …

    August 2013
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