Historic Re-enacting is the process of putting yourself as much as possible into a different period of time and recreating the past. This is a widespread hobby, although it’s a bit on the wane as many history related things are right now. It’s also a diverse hobby and ranges from soldiers from French-Indian War to World War II to famous people to farm families to the newest trend 1930s sites. Every once in awhile a story about it will make the mainstream and I want to share one of those examples, find Being George a documentary film (about 37 minutes) at the website below.
Although I wasn’t aware of the political fuss around this particular contest, in fact contests to who gets to be somebody aren’t something I’ve heard of before in re-enacting, I liked several points about it.
1. These are clearly sane people with an interest. You may or may not like each of the four individuals focused on, but they are all clearly sane. A lot of times the reporters in these kind of stories look for same kind of people they like to describe how the tornado sounded (see a very funny riff on a Jeff Foxworthy CD).
2. They cover the different ways people get into re-enacting.
3. They talk about the difficulty and the costs involved in getting accurate clothes and equipment.
4. Although there usually aren’t contests like this, having multiple people wanting to be the “Important” person (for example, Lee or Grant) can be an issue.
5. It shows growing pains of an organization and the importance of setting things up right.
Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+,LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.