Sunday, August 21, 2011

Last Days of Summer

Photo by K. Iuppa

Looking at the calendar this morning. One more week of summer. So much needs to be done.
But that chair looks so inviting. . .

This weekend we went to see the Red Wings! Finally made it to the ballpark without getting doused in rain. It was an exciting game. Wings won 8-5 against Lehigh Valley.
Brian Dinkelman's batting stance reminds me of my son George's stance up to bat. Funny too, George agreed with me; he saw himself while watching Dinkelman. He and his family were at the same game, but we didn't see them. This proves you can get lost in a crowd.

This weekend marks the Civil War Re-enactments at Hamlin State Park. On Friday, before going to the game, I took a long bike ride in the park.

This year, the people set up their camps close together. So many canvas tents, with cots and all the furnishings circa 1860. All the people were dressed in the clothing of the period (woolen underwear, too--even in this heat!). True to the actual war, there were women who followed the troops. Some were wives; some prostitutes (Although, I don't think the prostitutes' roles were part of the re-enactment), but women were along making meals, washing, sewing-- all the maintenance work. In my weaving through the camp, I overheard this conversation:

Scene: In camp, raising of tents, unpacking, settling in.

Man: I'm so sorry (voice bellowing, plaintive)

Woman ( loud and assertive): This is why Mary and I are in charge of settling this up.

This made me chuckle. I wondered if it was a conversation that could have been said in 1860?

My guess is absolutely.

Yesterday, I could hear the cannon fire. The war itself was so brutal (as every war is). They packed everything into those cannons(chains, ammunition, and so on). So when they fired, everything sprayed out at an enormous force and could cut a marching line of men in half. Equally, amazing, the men followed the orders to march toward the line of cannons, which is a guaranteed death sentence. This is probably why Gettysburg had such a high count.

The people who come to these re-enactments have a grim seriousness of purpose. Their facial expressions are all about war, getting the history exactly right; nothing deters them, not even rain. It rained last night into the early morning. Should clear in a few hours. But I wondered what it was like waking this morning to smoldering fires and rain dripping off tree branches.

I may go over there today to watch . . .

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