My sisters and I just got back yesterday from a World War II reenactment. It was a lot of fun to attend. We went mainly as vendors, though we initially signed up as home front reenactors, and did go in period dress. We didn't sell as much as we had hoped too (1 apron (out of 50), 8 doll dresses (out of 71), 1 hair bow (out of 60), 2 jars of plantain salve, and two bars of shampoo soap), but that was better than selling nothing at all, and being regular summer market vendors, we have learned not to be too disappointed when we don't sell a whole lot...Anyway, I am getting ahead of myself...we started the trip by leaving our Current Residence on Thursday last, and heading to Illinois (which I have heard is supposed to be pronounced without the "s"...) to pick up some friends who we would be taking with us.
We spent Thursday night at their house after a tasty supper prepared by Mrs. H. At dinner we were entertained by jokes, several of which were original and spontaneous; we learned the easy way to use twist ties (though I still think that I prefer clothes pins ;] ); and we were blessed with much laughter...until our faces--literally--hurt. But as it was late (and we were an hour later than our hosts, having crossed a time line), we necessarily put an end to the festivities by going to bed. The next morning we added a bit more luggage, two more people, and then headed down to Linden Tennessee. After checking into our hotel rooms, we proceeded into town to sign in for the event that would be the following day. After walking around a bit, listening to some music prep for the next day, and watching the sunset, we returned to the hotel to eat dinner of the food we had brought along. I painted Racheal's fingernails the red which is classic of the 1940's, not having gotten it done before leaving home, and then painted our friend R.'s with a "French manicure"...which was a first, but it looked passable. She in turn painted mine with the red...it was rather funny, we were doing a stereotypical "girl friend" thing, which was a first for me! Anyhow, I know y'all really could care less about all that! Sooo, that was Friday.
Saturday morning we rose "early" and headed over to where we were to set up as vendors. Throughout the afternoon we took shifts staying at the table while the others walked around. A. was shooting footage, and Racheal audio. Savannah bought two black velvet hats at $15 a piece (an outstanding price!), Racheal got to fondle the guns our next door vendor was displaying/selling (though nobody bought one...he was a very nice man by the way), and we all got some jolly sunburn! I was able to listen to one of the veteran's who was speaking's story, he was a survivor from the U.S.S. Indianapolis. It was truly fascinating to hear his story! I will not try to recount it, as I would not do it justice, but it is amazing to see how God uses His children, and sometimes preserves them through event after event that seem impossible to survive...and to hear these men praising God for their life which they have today, is truly an amazing witness and encouragement. The Greatest Generation was the generation of "Luck", but I am glad to know that many of them also know the truth, and still live for it, not all were oblivious too and rebellious against Providence. I also caught the tail end of another of the veteran's speeches. I look forward to listening/seeing the recordings of the ones I missed.
There were two battle reenactments, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. R. and I watched the first one from the "spectator area", which was behind the German lines. I really didn't feel comfortable back there with the Nazi's...I felt quite out of place! But it was a thrill to watch the huge Nazi flag fall from the courthouse and be replaced with the American flag when the Allies won! During the second battle, R. and I stayed at the table, and thus got to see the battle from the other side. The American and British paratroopers (all of the Americans I saw were 101st and 82nd, I do not know the specifics of the British unit) came down the street, and when they were within range, the firefight began, they passed us, and proceeded on out of our line of sight to take the courthouse, the taking of which we had witnessed earlier during the morning's reenactment, and thus we knew what was occurring even after they passed out of our view. I was really grateful that I got to see the battle from both sides, those who only saw it from one really missed out! That I think was my favorite part of the day, the battles. Being there, in the streets, in the middle of a firefight made it all so much more tangible...It was a neat experience, fascinating and sobering...it was living history, and I was there living it too.
Saturday night was a dinner at the house of the hosts of the event. We sat across the table from a woman and her son who had come up from Florida for the event. The meal was mostly followed by the music of the Boyer Family Singers, which was proceeded by the dramatic recitation of a Winston Churchill speech. The man who did it, did an outstanding job! Having in the past done a few dramatic interpretations, I can appreciate the amount of effort and time he put into memorizing and polishing the presentation. Not just memorizing the contents, but also where to place the inflections, and where to slur the words in just the right fashion...The only thing he couldn't quite master was the grovel of voice that was peculiar to Churchill, but the rest of the accent was very good! I was quite impressed. After the "entertainment" of the evening, we didn't stick around too long, as some of our party were quickly waneing, and in need of sleep sooner than later.
The next morning we rose probably a bit earlier than necessary, but we were awake, so what can I say? After having breakfast and packing all of our things in the truck we still had time to waste before the 11:00 A.M. worship service which was being held, again, on the property of the the event hosts. Savannah read us the RZIM newsletter, after which it was late enough that we could begin to meander that way. We chatted with a few acquaintances before the service, the sermon of which was preached by Geoff Botkin from Psalm 91. After the service was a fellowship lunch during and after which various members of our party spoke with various people. I really only spoke to two people, one lady who I thought very kind, and who I was glad to meet, she was a blessing to speak with, and upon her coming up to where Mrs. N. and myself were standing I also spoke briefly with Mrs. Courter, (the family who put together the whole event). They both patiently put up with my somewhat lacking conversational skills (at least they can be at times), my brain glitches, word block, and so forth!! (For which I thank them!)
Eventually, we really did need to hit the road so that we could arrive back at the H.'s house before it grew too late...but we had the problem of not being able to find A.! "He's in a blue shirt..." Well, yes he was, but blue must have been the color that day, because so were about half of the men! The problem was resolved by his sister calling him, so we found him. So, four of us were there, but Savannah had stopped to talk for a few more minutes, and when she arrived, A. had been drawn into a conversation...but finally all five of us headed for the truck and loaded up.
Away we went, while enjoying good conversation, and recounts of various events of the past few days. We arrived at the H.'s in time to eat dinner (I'm partial to fried potatoes, aren't you?). Once again, we were kept constantly in stitches...are y'all really like that all of the time? But again, need for sleep broke up the party. The next morning after breakfast there were sword fights, and frisbee--yes, who cares that our ages range from the oldest being 26 and the youngest 15? On Saturday I saw one of the veterans who was at least in his 80's dancing along in step with the Big Band music as it played...so I think it is alright to stay young all your life... We had more conversation, oh, and we mustn't forget the mosquito bites!, and more pictures taken before us three sisters finally skeedaddled.
We arrived safely home yesterday late afternoon, and have all been rather tired today! :D And here, I suppose that I shall end my saga. BUT, I shall cap it all off with a few pictures!