Greetings, dear readers!
I'm rather tired this morning due to the past weekend, but that does not dull my enthusiasm nor my story-telling capabilities (at least at the moment). I'll begin on Friday.
Friday morning, I packed the Cadillac. By the time I was done, the right side of the rear window was completely blocked. Poor Katherine had to be rather squished into the back seat with Savannah's ball dress dangling into her lap and some food stuffs under her feet. (Of course, she wasn't the only one with stuff under her feet. I had the pressure cooker [for heating up the chili] under my feet--both to and from the event.) We left after lunch and it took us longer to get there than we expected; partially because we got behind three separate slow-moving vehicles in places that we couldn't go around them.
We arrived at the event and registered. I was so excited and besides that a chilly wind was blowing, that I was shaking so bad that I was having difficulty writing. I was shivering...but it really wasn't that cold. I shelled out the $5 per person 'donation'. It's kind of my job to pay....
We found that the map they gave us was backwards, but found our people without too much trouble anyway. Savannah was driving (of course) and I was keeping my eyes peeled for the familiar trailers and trucks--and that green GMC camper of the L's. I really like the color of that thing.
We pulled in, said "Hello" to a few folks, introduced Katherine, and started putting the tents up. Elden came and helped us get them up (thank-you!). It was one of those times for me to remember to let the boys be gentlemen--I'm so used to doing things myself. (Which reminds me, I told someone, I forget who, that I was a "stand-in for a ranch hand" and they were very surprised. It amused me. *grins*)
We met Erica's Great Dane, Blue. I like that dog--he's nice. At one point, I guess it was yesterday morning, I was sitting next to Erica and Blue put his head in my lap. Then I said something backwards and set myself to laughing...I was talking to the dog and said, "Yeah, my head's big enough for your lap." What I meant to say was, "My lap is big enough for your head"!
Friday night, I was freezing...on top of that, I could only lay on either my back or right side, because when I attempted the left side, my back started bothering me. Still, I slept alright (it has actually surprised me how well I sleep on the ground.) Saturday morning, before we got up, I was talking to Savannah (about what I can't recall), and I kind of rolled over and peered at Katherine..."I think Katie is still asleep." Out of the depths of her sleeping bag came this: "Not for long if you keep talking." It made me laugh.
Anyhow, Saturday morning went something like this...after breakfast, we strolled down and watched colors. Colors is when the two opposing armies gather in the morning for the raising of the flags. (The Federal flag was about twice the size of the Confederate Stars and Bars and higher.) It appears that there was some talk betwixt the officers from both sides; almost as if the Yankee officers were reviewing the Confederate soldiers and vice versa.
After colors, we dropped by Mrs. Joanna's sutlery where Katherine found herself a nice hat--I didn't have enough cash on hand to pay for it, so Katherine went off to get hers...Savannah had gone off someplace to talk to someone else. I hung around the sutlery and talked to Mrs. Joanna for a while--about half of that being about my socks. She is quite willing to put them out...she later had Walter C look them over and said he was impressed with them...(Walter--who still owes me a dance from Ocklawaha, by the way--is "Mr. Authenticity". ;D) I saw Walter a couple times Sunday, but if he saw me he didn't let on...like his brother Tom, he has great hat and wears it at a studied angle. However, unlike Tom, he's quite talkative.
Anyway, while Katherine was gone and after it got settled that Mrs. K would try to sell my socks, I strolled out and found myself a big 'CSA' button for my secession cockade. Shortly after that, Dana L and Amanda C caught me and we went to the ladies tea. I called Savannah at some point before it was really going to let her know where I was and that Katherine might be wandering around--however, Savannah had Katherine and had bought her the hat! Katherine soon joined us at the ladies tea. The subject was children's clothing and games and they had a mini-fashion show. Towards the end, during the raffle (during which I won a hat form made out of buckram), I heard my cell-phone ringing in my purse (period draw-string thing), I hopped up and slipped out. I somehow managed to dump the entire contents of my bag out onto the ground when I got my phone out. I answered it and on the other end was 'brother' Matt. He and Leah had come out! I was so glad. We met out in front of 'Pipers Pub' (root beer stand). Katherine showed up someplace in here and then we went for a quick stroll through the camps.
Now, I will tell you, walking through the Yankee camp was rather...interesting. Particularly when we got to where the "Maine" boys were set up and I made eye contact with Captain S. I'm pretty sure he knows I'm Confederate...anyway, the look I got was almost quizzical. I think I smiled kind of like I was embarrassed (I was a little!) and looked down real quick.
In the Confederate camp, I told Leah mainly (Matt was hungry and so wasn't paying way too much attention :D) about the three Confederate national flags...and other flags--such as the 2nd Florida's regimental flag and how the place names on it (like Chancellorsville) were battles they had fought in.
I then hauled them back and introduced them to Mr. Joe and the rest before they headed off for lunch. We ourselves ate shortly after that and then readied to go watch/film the battle.
There was a crush of people. I first set up in the VIP 'box' (after I got permission to), then Katherine came down to get me--she and Savannah (I couldn't see them!) had a spot saved for me up the hill. Well, I went up there, but I was soon back in the VIP box because I was in the way. I wasn't even asked to move politely either. I was treated with something like disrespect by a couple of baby boomers. It hurt and left me in something of a bad mood. I was trying not to cry by the time I was back in the VIP box. Once there I soon began feeling better after talking to a Boy Scout leader who was there with his son and three daughters.
I got some footage, but I didn't go overboard with it. I did take a couple of still pictures of the Confederate cannon WAY across the field with the battle flag waving. That was pretty cool.
I was stationed directly behind the Federal artillery (again! I love the cannon), so I got engulfed in sulfur smoke time and time again. I got it in my eyes, in my ears, in my mouth, and up my nose. I think my blouse also took on a gray tinge. I had forgotten my ear-plugs, but I didn't have too much trouble with the noise this time.
After the battle, Katherine and I stayed around long enough to watch them launch 6 anvils, all at the same time, into the air. That was louder than anything else. Now, if you've never seen a blacksmith's anvil hurtling straight up into the air by a 1+ pound powder charge, you've missed an interesting sight. However, it won't kill you if you never see it. The "Anvil Shoot" was apparently something folks used to do around the 4th of July and such like (according to the MC). You know what I think? American's like to make loud noises with black powder. :D
The battle was almost two hours long...of our people, only Mr. Doug, Mr. L, and Mr. B were on the field. I think I heard that Elden didn't have his rifle, so he didn't participate. Later, I heard Mr. L talking and he said he 'died' twice--on the berms--so he got filled full of goat-heads. (Only, I think he called them something else...)
By the time the battle was over, it was about time to start thinking about supper. I ate more food then my corset comfortably allows, but in the long run, I'm glad I did. About 7 we started getting ready for the dance. Amanda came out dressed in a pretty red gown that was her mothers...Dana in her gold gown. Me...well, I showed up in a full hoop with a bright red secession cockade on the waist of my blue dress. :) Savannah's lovely silk gown was admired again. Then we were off. On the way, Savannah had to have her skirt adjusted. Amanda's hoop (her mother's) was sliding down and sticking out from under her dress. When we (somehow Miss 'Manda and I reached the big tent before Savannah and Katherine) got there, I crowded the both of us into one of those large handicap accessible porta-johns (the door wouldn't close...and I'm so glad they had just cleaned them out!) and tried to fix her up. No go...it didn't work. (Now, if I'd a just had a safety-pin....)
The ball was well, exactly that...a ball! (Sorry, no pictures of that!) Savannah danced quite a bit with Timothy, the Union artillery Corporal she danced with at Suwanee. Who else she danced with I didn't notice. Katherine primarily danced with an older Confederate gentleman, Mr. Richard...he danced with me a few times too, but I'll get to that. Katie was up against the wall of the tent early on (she and Savannah were on the opposite side as Amanda and I), so I sent Amanda across (I would have been bumping too many people with my hoops) to tell her to 'get off the wall'. Amanda, being Amanda, charged off happily to do as I asked.
As usual we started with the Grand March. I did that with Ethan, a youngster in company with the B family. I think he's about 10. I'm not too sure he enjoyed the Grand March--he thought it was complicated! (It's not...at least I don't think so!) The next thing was a Virginia Reel (I think--the order of these things can get mixed up in my memories). I did that with a chubby Union boy in a Glengerry cap. He doffed his cap to honor his partner (I liked that!) and when the head couple sashayed the set. In his round face, he had a pair of blue eyes...he didn't smile, but I do think he was enjoying himself.
I believe it was directly after this dance that I sat two out...a waltz was next when Zack, one of the "Maine" boys (and now it is suspected that he is Capt. S's son--Savannah heard him call him 'Dad'), came over and asked me to dance. Well, Yankee or no Yankee, I said yes; especially after he said, "I saw that you sat two dances out..." (Capt. S is good for those boys--all his soldiers [at least the ones' I've had contact with] are fairly gentlemanly.) I told Zack that I don't waltz very well, but we got along alright. I had a pretty good conversation with him...I asked him what rank he was (I was attempting first person impersonation somewhat) and he said he was a Pvt., but he was working on going up the ranks to make captain (this too was somewhat first person impersonation). The next thing that fell out of my mouth was, "My daddy's a Sgt." (Hopefully, it didn't come across coquettish...I am pretty proud of my daddy.) Naturally, his next question was, "What regiment?" Here I had to laugh--I'm constantly backing myself into corners like this--there went all the first person impression stuff! I explained that Daddy really is a soldier (retired), but this whole thing loosened both of our tongues and we kept talking on and off. I found out that he's 18 (after he asked me what grade I was in and I told him I'm graduated from high school and I'm 21--to which he said, "There's not much difference there [age wise]") and that he is going into the Marines pretty soon. He said something about having to convince his mom that it's not a foregone conclusion that he's going to get killed--though it's a risk that 'we' (he already speaks of himself as a Marine) have to accept.
During this time, he would ask occasionally, "You want to try a spin?" Of course I did! So, he would spin me--that's fun, particularly in a hoop; it feels very graceful so long as you aren't squished between two other hoops in the Patty Cake Polka (but that'll come...) Capt. S was waltzing by with Mary (a lady I've seen at all the events) about the time Zack spun me once...and he was like, "we can do that" and then he spun Mary. Zack laughed at him saying, "Not bad, but we do better!" (Essentially.) I laughed then and said, "I'm not sure about that!" At the end of the dance, we bowed and curtsied respectively, and Zack said he would be back for another dance, "If I'm lucky enough..." Flattery! Anyway, it worked and I told him I'd be pleased (more or less).
*insert Racheal laughing at herself and the Highlander Private...*
Over the course of the evening, I danced with Mr. Joe K's nephew Joe at least twice--I'm positive that young man is named after his uncle. If he wasn't, he should have been...he looks just like him, talks like him, and even has the same dimples peeking out of his beard! Joe is 28 and he was having a hoot teasing Amanda--whom he's known since she was an itty-bitty girl. After the 'Man-dance', he came back over to where Amanda and I were, standing complaining that some rascal (I don't remember the exact word he used; it's one I'm familiar with, but don't hear very often) had bent his hat out of shape. I kind of shrugged and said, "It can always be straightened out." He looked at me almost sternly, but laughingly and retorted, "Do you know how long it took me to get this blocked just right?" I dropped the subject since I couldn't come up with an answer for that.
Mr. L taught me how to polka! I had a ball dancing the polka and gamely stuck it out to the end though I was fixing to pass out by the time we were done. I got very overheated (not enough air-flow in that tent). I had already drank all the water I had brought with me and I didn't have any money, so I couldn't sneak out to the concession stand and get myself any. Regardless, I had a ton of fun panting my way through the polka. Savannah said I looked cute out there polkaing and that my skirt bounced just right. I guess I'll have to believe her because I couldn't see myself...and I was too busy grinning with a flushed red face to care how I looked.
The Patty Cake Polka is quite fun, but we could have stood to have the men at arms length distance from each other because of the ladies with hoops! I was between two other girls with hoops on and trying to get three sets of hoop skirts to twirl in the same space at the same time is rather interesting. I know at one point my skirt was caught on the lowest round so my hoop was showing! That was just about as embarrassing as my corset ties showing at the back of my dress where the bodice and skirt were refusing to stay attached to one another. (I kept having Amanda and Katherine 'fix me'.) It was during the Patty Cake Polka (which I started with Mr. Richard), that I ran across Zack again. He greeted me cheerfully and though we didn't really have any time to talk, there was a mutual understanding that he'd be back for that promised dance...there were a few other fellows in this dance that I recognized and was recognized by. I'm sure there were more around the circle, but we didn't make it halfway around before the music stopped. 7 lb.s of Bacon sped it up a little too early I think.
Anyway, after a waltz, Mr. Richard offered to buy me some water (I imagine I looked like I needed it!); but the concession was all out! They said they were working on it, so Mr. Richard basically said he'd be back to get me some after he danced with Katherine again. A dance later, Zack and a couple of his buddies were coming back from the concession area, both with two Styrofoam cups apiece. They set them down on a chair and he came over to me and asked if I were tired yet. "No, just in need of drink." He then told me that he would give me one of his cups of water, "It was just 50 cents...[so it's no big deal]." I thanked him, then we proceeded to enter the Broom Dance--another mixer. In this dance, I also danced with Timmy (the tall, broad, red-headed 15 year old you might remember from Ocklawaha), Capt. S, a Confederate kid (I also did a Virginia Reel with him), and a couple others that I can't recall. After the dance, as I left the floor, I saw Zack, holding both cups of water, standing to the side. I didn't immediately walk over toward him, since I wanted him to initiate (after all, it was his water!), but I did glance that way once, then twice--at which point he was looking at me. He held the water out and gestured with it in such a fashion as to say, "Come over here and get it!" I did so gratefully and made sure I thanked him for it. The "Maine" boys left not too much longer after that. If I would have had an opportunity on Sunday I would have thanked him again, because that water was SO good. I really, really needed it. (I didn't even mind the coffee flavor in it being a coffee drinker.)
As is usual, we closed the dance down. Joe walked the girls, all four of us, 'home'. Of course, he was camping in the same spot, so it wasn't out of his way. He might have walked us back anyway. I don't know...It was most assuredly after midnight by the time we got to bed.
Sunday morning, both Savannah and I were dehydrated and exhibiting our own symptoms. However, Savannah felt so bad that she left church (which was somewhat informal partly because Rev. D wasn't sure they were actually going to do it) and went and put on her 'civies' as she put it and laid down. We all tried to make sure we drank more that day. I'm still not quite fully re-hydrated.
We watched the battle that afternoon from the opposite end of the line...we were right there were the troops came in, so we got a little extra dirt in our faces. Around an hour before the battle started, we were already set up down there. I needed to run back to the tent for something (water most likely), and so Katherine asked me to bring her a seat when I came back. On the way back to camp, I got hung up as the Confederate troops formed up and people crowded around and took pictures. On the way back, I almost got hung up as the Union troops formed up!
Being Sunday, the Confederates won the battle. As soon as the battle was over, we headed off and started getting ready to leave. Elden and Thomas helped us take down our tents and pack stuff in the trunk. When we left, I walked around and hugged people. I didn't hug Thomas though...he was sitting there apparently trying to look small--I got quiet amusement from the laddie's head down 'you don't see me' position, so I just patted the top of his kepi. He looked up, grinned at me and gave me a two-fingered wave. That was good enough. I was mighty pleased that Micah gave me a hug--I was almost expecting to be rebuffed, but he gave me a good solid hug. I can't explain it, but I have a particular liking for that little stinker.
We got home safely--we accidently went a different way which turned out to be smoother, faster sailing. Plans are whirling for Mt. Dora...and authentic camping!! Mr. Joe's daughter found their tents and he is eager for us to use them. From now on out, we may be setting up in authentic civilian camp. Then Olustee...we have our story planned out for that one--but this here chile is going to have to learn to speak in a more period correct manner and see if she can hold the first person impression better than she did with Herr Zack at the dance!
I'll start at the beginning of the day (minus all the dishes and such like). I buried my nose in the computer screen this morning building AfterEffects compositions like a pro. (Heh!)
I had half a dozen done before lunch. More importantly, I learned how to use Photoshop a little better! I cropped two flags out of the pictures from Ocklawaha and shrunk them up and a made a lower third out of them. (If you don't know, a lower third is the title bar thingy you see in documentaries, for instance. You know, the bar that says "So-in-so, author of such-in-such". :D) I had to go back and add that into the compositions I had already made. I plowed through and I think I have all the ones I want. I figured out that I'm going to have to mess with the color of the text...but I'll take care of that tomorrow. I also have to do quite a bit of work with the audio. I have to raise the volume level on the main audio track--I'll have to go back into Soundbooth to do that. I'm going to see about removing some wind noise from another audio track (Commander G's speech) in Premiere Pro. One of my contacts on Google+ gave me some tips on how to do that...Google+ is kind of cool like that. Need help? Just post that you do and someone might just show up and help you! :)
At some point after lunch, while I was busy working on AE compositions with WCPE
playing in my ears, the two ladies from Granddaddy's church who stop by fairly regularly, dropped in. The one asked if we'd play a bit for them so Savannah played a couple things on the piano, I hauled out the cello, and then gave a piece on my guitar (one of my new favorites--Riding a Raid). That was all the more musical I was today. (Not counting the singing I did while doing dishes and riding Snip.)
Moving on, around 3:30ish, I went out to ride Snip. As usual, it took a few minutes to land the bit between Snip's roving lips and between his teeth. Once that was done, the rascal was calm as a cucumber. I brushed him and combed the mass of goat-heads and other stickery things out of his mane. While working on his forelock, he started nibbling on the front of my shirt. I think he was eating the goat-heads stuck on it, but all the same I shoved him off several times--I didn't really want to get nipped.
I saddled him up and hopped on. Then off we went! At a walk. ;) I did trot him and even slow loped him later on after we'd been going for a bit. I didn't get any hint of a buck out of him today, for which I was glad. He did get rather impatient to get moving while I sat on his back and peeled myself an orange I picked off one of the old trees in the pasture. It wasn't 100% 'ready' but it sure tasted good anyway! I ate it on the move. I was tired of having to get on to Snip about his pawing.
Other intersting things of the afternoon...he spooked a little bit as we sat next to the hanger. This very tall weed was rubbing against the hanger making noise and that startled him. I made him walk back that way a bit--training thing, you know. (The same reason I whirl
For some strange reason (providence), I decided to go up the trap to the pens. I am SO glad I did. There was a cow shut in there! How she got shut up I don't know. I had left that east gate open after working cows last time...with the chain hanging on the north fence (where it gets closed). Anyway, that gate was chained shut
. There is no possible way, even had the wind been honking, for that chain to wrap itself around the gate and hook itself. Someone had to have shut that cow in there. I know it wasn't me or Savannah, and it certainly wasn't Granddaddy! I dismounted from Snip, rather worried about this cow. She poked her nose out to me and I briefly scratched her nose. It was damp and she didn't seem to be in distress (fortunately). Her eyes were normal (this is one of the more docile/friendly of Granddaddy's herd) and the only thing I noticed negative about her was that she seemed rather sunken about the hips. (Could partially have been the angle she was standing at.) Anyway, I got the gate open and chained it that way. The cow went out and immediately started eating not to far away from Snip (who by the way I had tied to the fence--as soon as I started to turn away he went to start nibbling at the reins...stinker.) She stayed in the run until after we'd left then went to join her 'people' on the south side of the pasture. I don't know if she got anything to drink or not, but I do know that she hadn't had any water in the pens. So....if I find another cow closed into the pens, I'm going to be one furious girl. I was pretty irritated as it was--I wonder, was this some brat kid's idea of a practical joke? Just think, if I hadn't decided to go riding today and on a wild hair go all the way up the run to the pens, that poor cow might have died from thirst!
I finished my ride...nobody got hurt and Snip behaved himself like a gentleman almost the whole time. When we came in it was time for supper--for both of us. As I was coming in, I looked back and that crazy animal had his foot in the sink that serves as his feed bowl....
Minus the myserious cow episode, I had a really good, fairly productive day. How was yours?
After a very busy Thursday packing everything (and I still forgot the apron and Savannah the peanut butter), we pulled out around 9-something Friday morning, headed almost all the way up to the Florida/Georgia border. We got there mid-afternoon and after locating the K's and D's camping spot, we meandered on into the sutler area...only to find that they weren't there. About the time we got back to the camping area, they pulled in. The men had gone boating the day before in their period-ish looking boats and slept out on a little island in the extremely heavy cold dew. Mr. K therefore was something of a grouch for the entire weekend...not that I have ever been grouchy when tired! (That's a laugh...anyone who knows me knows that I tend to get growly and bitey :})
So, we set up our tent between the K's trailer and the Caddy--which was parked behind the D's camper. I'm very thankful that the D's loaned us a heater because even with the wool blankets we would have been very cold if we hadn't had the heater.
Saturday morning we spent goofing off with Amanda in the sutler area. I bought a hat, a Confederate 3rd National flag, a book on Gen. N.B. Forrest, and we also picked up John Bakeless' Spy's of the Confederacy. Savannah got a pattern book or two and we bought a 'Civil War' song book. On the way home yesterday I was attempting to sing some of them (and then I also talked on the phone quite a bit so I was really hoarse by the time we got home!)
We got ready to head to the "Ladies Tea" and went the wrong way first. Anyway, we finally arrived--fashionably late. :) The presentation was on period fabrics which I found quite interesting. I couldn't tell you much about it now, but I enjoyed it anyway. Savannah left sometime during the presentation (though probably it meant more to her than it did to me) because she wasn't feeling too well.
After the presentation they did their 'door-prize' raffle. My ticket won a certificate for a free fry-bread, but since I couldn't use it I gave it to Amanda--who turned around and won the second free fry-bread certificate! :D She and her mother used those for lunch Saturday and Sunday...free food...what's not to like?
Someplace between the tea and the battle at 2 pm, we had lunch. It seems like we were busy all the time even if we were just walking around doing nothing...
I didn't even attempt to film (even though I'm using DV I like the way 'film' sounds better than 'video' as a verb...) the battle on Saturday. I just wanted to watch. Besides, I thought it might make Sunday's filming easier (which as it turns out, didn't really because they set up different on Sunday!) I find the smoke-rings from the rifles and cannon quite neat. At one point when the Confederates fired a volley, the branches of one of the trees swayed from the forces of the power being expelled from the barrels. The Confederates 'dressed right' perpendicular to the spectator line so close that you could reach out and touch them several times. It was pretty loud. I wore my ear-plugs Sunday, despite Amanda's teasing about it. I want to be able to hear when I'm a little old (fat) lady...
After the battle, we went back to camp and we played some music with 7 lb's of Bacon. Mr. K handed his guitar to Aaron--Miss Dee's nephew--and walked off for a little bit. I made some comment about playing a certain song better on my classical and Aaron offered me Mr. K's (black nylon strings! So that's why I thought he had steel strings on it!). I let Aaron play mine while I played Mr. K's. First thing he started playing? Stairway to Heaven. Figures.
Then was supper. We sat around and talked some; then I drug Savannah off to get her changed into her ball dress. That was somewhat interesting in a dark tent. I'm glad I had that LED key-chain flashlight. I hung that up on a loop in the tent and it really helped. Then we showed her off...and it was then that Savannah discovered she had hoop problems. The skirt has too much fullness in the front so it pushed the front of the hoop down. We headed to the ball and got there early. (The band had said the dance started at 7--but the schedule said 8...so we, having actually heard the band, showed up at 7.) We took a few pictures and ended up with both Amanda and I laughing like crazy people. She was attempting to get me to play that stare down/keep a straight face game. I, of course, am an absolute flop at anything like that. We were cracking up simultaneously...which made it even funnier. :D
We did a grand total of four different types of dances: The Grand March, the Virginia Reel, the Waltz, and a Polka. The band was a brass band and while I think that 7 lb.s of Bacon are more fun these folks were good and I really liked the way they used the drum while transitioning between songs in a medley. Very marital...of such things I am a sucker for...
I did the Grand March with a tall, blue-eyed Confederate kid (probably about 17) with big dimples. I ended up scrunched between him and another gray jacket--I'm sure neither young fellow realized that the girl in the blue dress between them was as squished as she was. Both of them had longer legs than me too...which didn't help. :D It was fun even though I couldn't get myself out of that wedged position (I was literally half a step behind them because I couldn't get any farther forward thanks to their shoulders!)
The rest of the dancing I did, I did with a real soldier named Adrian. We talked about everything from dancing (a natural place to start), to the military (since I'm an Army brat and he's in the Army), to family history (he's half Mexican, half German/Irish--quite a mix), to my Cow Cavalry documentary, to reenacting. I was somewhat disappointed that nobody else asked me to dance, but I guess what can you expect when no one knows you and they all know each other.
The men were handed duck tape to stick on their heel-plates as they came through the door. It might have kept them from scratching the floor...but it didn't keep them from sliding around in their leather soled brogans. Of the we three girls from the 1st Fl Reserves, I'm the only one who had on rubber soles--and I'm the only one who didn't fall down. The floor was real slick and people did fall down. I think I actually kept Adrian from falling several times during the Virginia Reel(s) because I'd grab his hands tighter and pull the opposite direction when we sashayed. In other words, I acted as a counter balance. I really did think he was going down once, but he didn't. I'm glad because I might have tripped on him then!
Savannah danced with a fellow named Michael a couple of times. Michael (or, as Amanda would say, "the dude who took his boots off for that one dance"), was a friend of Adrian's and the last time Adrian tried to get him to dance with Savannah again, Michael made some comment of, "she's still rocking the cradle"....I don't know exactly what was meant by that, not sure I want to, but I almost gave said young man a bit of information on my sister (she's not a baby!) Savannah also danced with another young man named Timothy several times and got glared at for it. (The young woman doing the glaring was pretty but she was rather over exposed when it came to her chest--and rather surprisingly didn't get asked to dance very much.)
I have no idea who all Amanda danced with--but she talked about 'this dude' and 'that dude' on the way back to camp. It was kind of funny. :D She had a blast...I know she did...even though she groused about the music some.
Like at Ocklawaha, on Sunday morning, we set up in the middle of the suter area and played gospel music. This time we had more people stand around and sing than last time. We probably did that for an hour and half or two hours. Mr. K was still kind of grouchy...and I think he hurt Miss Dee's feelings about something.
Twice on Sunday, I went back to our camp looking for Savannah and both times she wasn't there--and then as I was fixing to head out again, here she'd come! It was rather amusing...
One of those times was lunch time.
I got some footage at Sunday's battle. I think it will be neat because I got the cavalry behind a screen of powder smoke. At least on my LCD screen they looked almost like shadows. I'm especially I wore my ear plugs because they put the Federal artillary right in front of the spectator line...it was a good battle though somehow I think in the real fighting that the cavalry would have been slightly more active.
We changed out of our period duds right after the battle (we already had everything packed) and said 'adios' to our friends and hit the road. We stopped at Bob Evan's for dinner and both had steak and eggs and coffee. We got fuel twice on the way home and arrived safely almost half way through 'Columbo'. Granddaddy had the garage light on for us and the door was unlocked (we wish he would leave it locked!) and he was fully awake.
Today I'm tired, but at least I got the car unpacked. I'll get the pictures up as soon as I can....
Friday morning I was busy running around packing the car so we could hit the road to head for Weirsdale. I started by putting stuff in the Saturn. I frowned and went, "Uh-uh. This ain't gonna work. No way we can get all this stuff in here!" So, I tramped into the house and basically told Savannah that we were going to take the Caddillac. (Which I DO NOT drive at all--it's painful for me because I have to scoot up so far to reach the pedals that my knee is jammed into the dash at an angle.)
Once I got the car packed and we ate lunch, we headed off. We arrived at the reenactment someplace around 4-ish (I think). Lt. Com. Keith K was working the registration desk and he told us where to go. I didn't talk to him about filming at that point. I did that the next afternoon. He's probably pretty nice once you get to know him, but I didn't get any warm fuzzies from the man. Even though we were camping modern we didn't stay in the modern camp (up by registration), but in the sutler parking area. I guess that was because we said we were with the 1st Florida Reserves (which is true). We were all lined up: the C's, the D's, the K's, us and then the W's. Savannah and I were the only one's tenting...except for Mr. Jack. He spent Saturday night in a single person tent. (I call them weiner tents...)
Other than us, the only 'young' people were Amanda C and her brothers Tom and Walter. Walter was only there Saturday (more on him later). I've taken quite a liking to Amanda. She's crazy in a different way than I am, but she keeps me in stitches. Underneath her goofy exterior, there is a pretty solid little girl, I think.
Friday night, Savannah and I pulled out our instruments and played for a little bit after Savannah recited "Paul Revere's Ride" and Amanda had read the Declaration of Independence from her school book. Don't ask how exactly that happened...
Anyway, Mr. Craig W pulled out his fiddle and Mr. Joe K his guitar and we all played together for a little out of Savannah's book. Once we got to Ash Grove, Mr. Craig asked us if we'd play it with him the next night at the dance/ball. We agreed. Savannah was actually the lead instrument, Mr. Craig played a harmony line, and at the dance, Mr. Jack and I played chords on the guitar, and Mr. D played his wooden box bass :D It sounded pretty good (even if I do say so myself). I only messed up once and Savannah says she messed up only once too! (I think I heard it when it happened, but she pulled it off so well it could have been intentional.) Savannah has remarked several times since that she was surprised that she got up in front of people and played from memory. I said it was because I had the music right there...I needed it for my chord markings!! So, because it was there, she didn't need it :D
Saturday morning, Savannah, Amanda and I wandered around a bit. I was going to talk to Mr. K then about filming, but he was being interviewed...so I waited until that afternoon. At 11:00 there was a ladies tea. Mrs. Anita L gave a nice presentation on black jewlery (a fashion statement of Queen Victoria's when Albert died) and had several of the ladies, Savannah included, walk around with the antique pieces she had for sale to show the rest of us. Also, she gave a little talk on authentic/age appropriate clothing. She pointed out one lady in her late 40's/early 50's as being very age appropriate and Savannah--particularly Savannah's bonnet. I thought that was pretty cool. :D The doorprizes were varied, from tea-cups to a parasol, to stocking to a brooch--which wonders of wonders, I won! I went to wear it Sunday, but it didn't quite hang right/look right on my dress so I went with my little siver bow with the heart locket that I wore last time.
Both Saturday and Sunday, the 7 lb.s of Bacon band played a 'concert' at 1:15 (or there abouts) and played until the start of the battle at 2:00. I didn't hear them as well Sunday because I moved to an entirely different local to shoot footage. I don't think anything I got is really much good. I mainly wanted cavalry footage and Saturday when I could have gotten some, there were light posts, cars, signs, and other stuff that messed up my shots. Sunday, I trooped out to the other side of the lake and set up where on Saturday the Confederate cavalry had galloped around. I still had to deal with light posts and a few other nuisences, but it was better--the little footage I did get. Even some of that I won't use because of the women...there were several women on the field...and I think most of them had on gray...Anyway, the number of women on the field actually rather disgusted me. Particularly the way they carried themselves off the field. I have a problem with women in the military anyway (main reason being it's not her role and secondly it weakens the military in a couple different ways). I was talking to Amanda about it and she also thought it was rather unrealistic--I know there were women who marched in both armies, but for starters, they would have been doing EVERYTHING to hide the fact that they were female...but, I'll get off this topic before I get myself buried any deeper... :)
I really can't tell you who won the battle on either day. I was so busy being glued to my LCD screen Saturday and frowning in concentration that I wasn't paying that much attention. Sunday, being across the lake, I couldn't see/hear well enough. It was kind of fun to look out there and go, "Hey, I know who that is! (Sorta...)" That was mostly the "Maine Boys" (I think that's what I heard them call themselves at the dance), who had been at Chipco. Yousef "dies" very well...he's quite an actor. (And he likes Savannah; I mentioned it to Amanda and she was like, "Oh, so you noticed it last week too?" :D )
On Saturday, while free handing with my camera behind the bandstand, a group of bluecoats marched in and one of the fella's on the end looked my way and gave me a friendly grin. Being myself, when someone (male or female) grins like that at me, I grinned right back, then returned my gaze to my LCD screen. I jumped several times when the cannon when off. I couldn't help but laugh somewhat when Yousef "died"--some Confederate officer stabbed him (once he was already down! I didn't think that was very nice...) I know it's not really funny, but he jerked so realistically and then rolled his head over and laid there with his mouth gaping. (Plus, I knew he was having fun.)
However, other than the dance, the most special thing that happened was Sunday afternoon. I was perched on the fence watching the battle across the lake (so, it was really more of a large pond). I had just moved closer to the fence, because I realized I was going to get in the line of fire. There was a group of Federal's behind me and a group of Confederate's in front of me. Anyway, the Confederate's started to fall back and the Federal's to chase them. I knew they were marching behind me, but was completely unprepared for what happened next. Out of the blue, I felt a gentle touch on my arm. I glanced down to see a bottle of water, then up at the man addressing me: "Ma'am. Compliments of General Brown." I managed a "thank-you" and then he moved on after his men. As I watched them march off and took the cap off the water bottle (I was thirsty and I just hadn't realized it), I teared up. If I could have crawled into a corner I would have had a good cry. As it was, I just fought the tears down. (Believe it or not, I'm fixing to cry again as I write this.) Just the simple gesture of the gift of his water bottle and the respect he addressed me with left me stunned. I am having difficulty describing the feeling that it gives me...it's gratitude, but also painful. I cannot think of any way to describe the event but special. It's also a good reminder that there were good men in blue during the War Between the States--they weren't all "Beast" Butler's, Sherman's, and Sheridan's.
Now, I'm going to talk about the most fun I had--the Dance!! I'm going to be calling certain people by their first names...I have no idea as to last names. Once I get the pictures up, I might point them out in the battle pictures...
It started with the Grand March. Last weekend I didn't get to do the Grand March, but this weekend, one of the "Maine Boys", Zach (age 16) asked me to do it with him. I'll go ahead and say I didn't turn anyone down... ;D That was fun even though it got kind of cramped--we were dancing outdoors and when those lines of people got about 16 long, we started feeling the squeeze of those trees...
I also danced the second dance (a Virginia Reel, I think) with Zach. Over the course of the evening, I would dance with another of the "Maine Boys", Brett (15) at least twice. He's just a tad shorter than me, but it's sure nice to dance with young men about the same size as yourself. :D I seemed to attract the 15-16 year olds...I wonder why... Amanda's brother Walter is the same age as I am and a pretty good waltz teacher. The first waltz I did with him. That came about in an...interesting fashion. He was taking Amanda's jacket to hang it on the bandstand, and as he walked by us (Savannah, Amanda, and I were standing together), he tossed something like this over his shoulder: "Which one of you ladies wants to dance with me?" I was surprised somewhat (afterall, this is the really 'authentic' fellow--I sat there that morning while he and Miss Dee [Mrs. W] had a discussion on "class" [i.e. social rank] over my head). But then again, I wasn't really surprised because that morning, while I was taking my first stab at poaching eggs in a skillet (an interesting procedure), the men (including Walter) were standing at the back of Mr. Joe's truck talking. Mr. Joe said something to me and I replied and then Walter said something (I can't remember for the life of me what this was all about) and then he winked at me!! I think I just grinned. I know once I turned back to my wet skillet (actually Mrs. K's skillet--we forgot ours and the butter--that's how come we were eating poached eggs...), I had myself a silent laugh. The whole thing reminded me of the scene in Anne of Green Gables when Anne sees Gilbert for the first time and he winks at her and then Anne turns and whispers to Diana, "I think your Gilbert is handsome, but he's also very bold! He winked at me!" All that to say that I wasn't really 100% surprised by Walter's round about way of asking to dance. I made some off the cuff remark to Amanda about him being rude (I was only half-joking) and then told her not to tell him I said that--so what does she do when he gets back? Tells him I called him rude! :D It didn't seem to phase him in the least...and I danced with him and even talked with him some. Like I said earlier, he's easy to waltz with because he leads. I'm not much of hand when it comes to waltzing (I could do the Virginia Reel in my sleep, but waltzing still takes concentration for me), so it's nice to waltz with someone who knows what he's doing. Last weekend I had that chance with Elden...this weekend with Walter. I waltzed later with a big ol' boy with legs twice as long as mine and feet to match who didn't really know what he was doing--but I still had fun. Timmy is another nice 15-year-old. He's in a Georgia unit (and LOOKS like he's from Georgia; though I don't think he's really from said state because he doesn't sound like a Georgian). I think I danced over half of the last half of the ball with him. I found out the next afternoon (in the sunlight) that he's also a red-head. :) Early on in the ball, we were doing the Virginia Reel and Capt. S (the "Yankee-in-the-plaid-pants" from last week :D), recognized me as Zack and I stripped the willow (or reeled the set, depending on whom you're talking to), and tossed out some comment about "I know this girl like to spin"--and then he proceeded to reel me around in a lively fashion. It was after this that I danced with Walter. As we finished the waltz, a lady came up with her husband cheerily calling, "What about my dance, Walter?" I think it was a polka (neither Savannah or I danced that one because we weren't asked and we sneaked off to get ready to play Ash Grove). This lady's husband (I believe he is the same man who gave me the water on Sunday) told Walter, "You may dance with my wife on one condition...that you dance with this young lady [me] again." Anyway, part way through the polka, I heard said lady call: "DAVID!" Walter had polka'd her right out of her skirt! Her skirt had literally come unhooked in the back and she had to hang on to it to keep it up (I don't think it would have come all the way off due to her hoop, but anyway, I'm sure it was really embarrassing--she took it with such grace). Maybe it's good thing I didn't get that second dance after all (he left while we were playing Ash Grove--he had to go to work next morning)...Later she apologized that he didn't stay and dance with me again...she also told me that while Walter may seem kind of...stuffy isn't the word she used, but it'd work...he's really alright. I think I believe her. I imagine that the C family can be downright hilarious when they're all together.
For the first couple of dances, Savannah danced with a kid named Bailey. (I'm guessing he was at most 16). He asked her for her telephone number!!! (She got out of that...) I had a good laugh later...afterall, he's just a baby. I think if it had been me, I'd of howled with laughter and asked, "Sonny, do you know how old I am?" See, it's a good thing none of the nice boys I danced with asked me for my telephone number--I'd have crushed their poor teenage feelers...then felt like giving them a motherly hug. :D After Savannah didn't give Bailey her number--he didn't come back again. And then, I think for most of the rest of the dances Yousef danced with her. Like I said, he likes her.
We both had an absolute blast at the dance and closed the ball out...by the time we ended, it was Savannah and I, Yousef, Timmy (he'd gone, but came back: "everyone was asleep at camp and it was kind of boring..." [personally, I was glad he came back because I wasn't getting asked to dance anymore; the girls were out-numbering the guys]), Amanda, Mr. Doug and I think that the pretty lady he was dancing with might be his wife, and another couple of people. The last dance was a waltz to "Dixie"...they start it out slow then speed it up. The second time through I started to sing and most everyone else picked up. I have a bit of a sore leg from waltzing with Timmy. I had to stretch a little farther with my steps because his legs are so long! :D
Sunday morning we didn't really have church (even though the schedule says that there was supposed to be church, as far as I know, nobody did it); so the 7 lb.s of Bacon, accompanied by Savannah and I set up in the middle of the sutler area and played and sang gospel songs for a while. The only person who joined in and stayed the whole time was Yousef. I heard him ask Rev. D the night before if/where church was going to be; so that's how he knew when and where to show up. :) There was one Federal who was there for a while and I don't think he got the point that this was kind of like a worship service thing until after he said something Miss Dee gently pointed out to him that "we're trying to praise the Lord". Then he apologized profusely and after another song or two moved on.
Savannah and I are thinking that we are hook, line, sinker, and instruments into this reenacting stuff...now all we have to do is figure out our historical personas...and make a few more things. We're already planning party dresses...or at least Savannah is. I'll get to that once I'm done here :D (And I get the dishes washed!!) We are also seriously thinking about going to the Suwannee reenactment in two weeks.
BUT with all that said I have a list of things I MUST get done: 1) SCV video; 2) spray pasture weeds; 3) work cows; and 4) any other random thing that pops up. I will go put together my slideshow and then get to work on the dishes...and finishing the laundry.
To sum up the weekend: I HAD A BLAST!!!
(If you didn't know...we went to the Skirmish at Chipco Crossing in period dress, staying with the 1st Florida Reserves and Civilians, in order for me to get reenactment footage for my Cow Cavalry documentary.)
We headed off to D. C. (not the District of Columbia, by the way), Friday morning. We had to stop three times and adjust the tarp over our load in the back of the pick-up truck...my knowledge of the horse-knot (aka the Bolin knot) came in handy. Around two hours later, we arrived at the museum where the reenactment was going to take place and set up camp--after we introduced ourselves to Mr. K (I like this man a lot). About the time we got finished, the L family showed up. One of their seven children had told me about the reenactment and invited us to come up...the L family: Mr. and Mrs., Samantha, Erica (the young lady above mentioned), Eldon (I think that's how he said it's spelled), Dana (a pretty girl), Thomas, Micah (a hoot!), and Philip. I had the strange feeling I'd seen this family someplace before. More people trickled in as the afternoon wore on...the S family: Mr. S, Rachel, Charley, Chris, and Katie. Even though we didn't talk much, I felt an immediate liking for "the other Rachel" and it seemed to be mutual. Whenever our eyes would meet we'd both smile--one of those 'clicks'. I also seemed to click with Charley and Katie pretty well. There was another family whom I can't remember their name, but they had four adorable kids and another one on the way: the kids were Mariah (the only girl), Noah (reminded me kind of another kid I knew 'way back when' :D), Josiah (buds with the younger L boys), and Gideon--he was cute as a button.
After the L's had been there a while (I gave them time to get mostly set up), I wandered over and, being myself, said something like, "I presume you're the L's?" Erica, being my contact (after a fashion), had to put up with me running my mouth at 90 miles an hour. That evening we played Rummicube (I'd never played it before). First it was just me and Erica, then Chris joined in...then Eldon, then Erica got out and Charley took her place, and then Chris quit and Rachel took his place. I was getting help from a girl named Amanda (reminded me quite a bit of one of my aunts) and later on from Eldon as the night got later and we were trying to wrap the game up. I forget who won.
We all headed for bed about 9-ish. It was already dark so no use staying up and getting eaten up anymore by misquitoes. (Next day, Mr. L noted that he'd accidently opened the flap of his and the younger boy's tent, instead of the 'curtain'...Micah commented about it this afternoon, too. They had skeeter's all night because of it.) I slept horrible Friday night (though I probably slept more than I thought I did), what with going to bed earlier than usual, the harder than usual sleeping quarters, and the TRAINS...they had to be going by about every 15 minutes! I'd be just about ready to drop off and here'd come another one!! (I can laugh about it now :}) There was one in particular that we were all talking about the next day. Eldon said he looked at the time when it went by--about 10:30. This particular train must have been traveling super fast because it shook the ground worse than the others did and was louder. I got a flight response to it--which is rather weird--but I was literally ready to jump up and get out of there! My common sense held me in place and I just laid there tense. It's rather awkward to get scared (I wasn't really scared--I mean not intellectually--but physically I was; if that makes any sense) by something that one knows cannot hurt them--however, apparently I wasn't the only one to get that feeling.
Saturday morning, after dressing and breakfast (I really didn't eat too much this weekend; I blamed it on the corset, but Savannah is probably right that I was just too excited to get hungry :D), I wandered around trying to determine if the schedule was correct in noting that 9:00 was going to be a presentation of the colors in both the Confederate and Federal camps. First I talked to Mr. K--no, his group (who we were with) weren't going to do it, so he sent me down to talk to "Mr. Scotty" in the Confederate camp. No, they weren't going to do it either. So, I headed to the Yankee camp. On the way, with Savannah, we bumped into whom I think was the 2nd in command down there and asked him. No, the Federals weren't going to do it either! Oh well....
I went back to the encampment (most, if not all of the 1st FL R&C's camp 'modern' in tents and trailers--at least at this event) and the boys were messing around with their rifles. I managed to get my hands on one...a reproduction Enfield (I forget the year--a 50-something probably). I shouldered it and of course it was too big for me (probably that's why it was Eldon's--being one of the biggest boy's; he's taller than I am and has big hands--and skinny. :D) Someplace along here it was discovered that the rifle Charley was supposed to use was fouled up pretty bad. They needed to clean it (obviously), but to do so they needed to boil some water. I offered the use of our propane stove; which offer was accepted. I sat on the tailgate of the pick-up holding a rifle while I watched Eldon clean the dirty gun. First he poured boiling water down the barrel. The water coming out the 'nipple' where the priming cap goes was gray. After it cleared up, he took a chunk of paper towl (admittedly cloth would have worked better) and put it through the end of the ram rod (like a modern cleaning rod it has a channel through it--something I didn't know). He swabbed the barrel several times with paper towel and poured some more water down it. Apparently, when the ram rod bounces just right, they know the weapon is clean. I found the whole process quite interesting. We all talked about something while the cleaning was going on, but I don't remember what it was.
At 10:30, a UDC group put on a fashion show...Miss Jeanie (I believe she and her husband are affliated with the 1st Florida Reserves and Civilians) was really the most period correct of the ladies. I was shocked at the lack of petticoats and corsets. The men were more amusing to watch than the ladies...there was the planter gentleman who twirled his cane the whole time and young Mr. Thomas C. in his Tennessee butternut uniform. He's got a fine, sharp black hat bespeckled with mud (most likely on purpose). He also has a clean black hat...but he only wore that to the dance. (Both hats worn at a cocky angle; Savannah's probably right that he's stood in front of the mirror to get it right :D )
At the close of the fashion show, two gents with their horses walked in. One was portraying a rider from Gen. Braxton Bragg (there was a slight jab taken at said general by said man--so slight that people less familiar with Bragg--and I don't claim to be an expert--might not have caught it). The other man called himself "Joe Cracker" and he explained the nature of a Florida Cracker's get up. He called western saddles "Hope" saddles. I'll leave it to your imagination to fill in the details. ;)
All along this time I was reading a paper that Mr. K had loaned me; he said I couldn't keep it because he hadn't been able to find the link again! :D I finished reading it while listening to him and Mr. 'Cracker' and a few other gents talk. Savannah and I talked to Mr. 'Cracker' some too. I also had several good--not necessarily on topic (aka Cow Cavalry)--conversations with Mr. K.
I didn't attend the noon officer's call (where they planned out the battle) either Saturday or Sunday (today), but I did talk to Mr. K about it. Saturday I filmmed from by the Federal camp, but today I filmmed from the top of the hill on the Confederate side. I got a great shot of the 1st Florida R&C's coming along by the moonshine still. If I had only been a spectator rather than filming, I think I would have been quite tempted to let out a 'go-get-em!' kind of yell. As is, I had to keep a lid on emotions and focus on framing. I look forward to looking at my footage, but I really need to finish editing the SCV Cross Dedication ceremony, so I may wait awhile. (Besides, I will have to make room on my hard-drive--again!) Among some others of what I think are going to be great shots, was the Confederate cannon (right down the bore!), Charley being dead (he's just a kid so it's particularly touching), Johnathan with his flintlock next to the old man with the flour sack hat, Mr. Doug limping away, Mr. L and Eldon running away (they came back)....I really think today's footage was better than yesterday's, but I like the fact that I got front and back footage of either side.
Saturday evening, before the pop luck supper this group does, I helped Mr. L, Thomas, and Erica roll cartridges. Technically, I suppose the cartridges were already rolled (I think Thomas said he and Eldon and rolled them), but Mr. L was measuring out the black powder while Thomas held the paper tubes (one end being securely twisted). Thomas then handed the tubes with powder in them to either his sister or I. I got the hang of it pretty quick and enjoyed folding and tucking the ends. Erica and I got confused a couple times over how many cartridges were in the plastic bag on her lap. I think we did 100...
7:30 Saturday night brought the highlight: the dance!! Mr. K had asked me to take some shots for him so he could make trailers out of them, so I sat out the Grand March and a waltz (or two) and a polka (or two). He is part of a band called "7 lb.s of Bacon Mess Band". They are great! :D
Away, the caller, the fathers, and the "Yankee in the highland pants" made sure that no girls had to dance with girls. I REALLY liked that. We did the Virginia Reel several times--once I danced it with Thomas L, another time with Eldon...There was the Snowball Reel (it starts like the Virginia Reel, then devolves into a continual 'strip the willow' until you get back to the top, then you break off into a polka); I danced that with the "Jimmy Palmer" look alike from the Federal camp. (If you don't know who Jimmy Palmer is, he's a character off NCIS...) Eldon attempted to teach both Savannah and I how to waltz. "It's always the outside foot..." Now, let's see if I can remember that... :D I danced a polka with one of the youngest Federal boys...he didn't know what he was doing anymore than I did--so we bounced around together bumping into other people and laughing the whole time. He asked me how long I'd been reenacting (um...never...this is my first time) and told me this was his fourth and "obviously, I haven't picked up on the dancing yet!" We did the Patty Cake Polka; I started that one with "Jimmy Palmer" (it's a mixer) and ended it with him. I really like they way they did that one--starting out slow and speeding it up til it got almost too fast! It was SO MUCH FUN!! I danced the Cumberland Reel with Micah L (10)--he'd gotten me figured out earlier in the day, so he (he calls himself the "clown of the family") just walked up to me with a stinkery grin on his face, left hand tucked behind his back, and just floped that right one out to me. He said nothing--didn't have to0. I laughed and took the proffered hand. At one point, Savannah and I were talking to Eldon, and he told us that if there was any particular dance we'd like to do, to talk to the band and the caller (Mr. Doug). The next break, I was standing over by my camera (getting a drink), and I saw Eldon heading for the bandstand. He looked at me and gave me a signal to "come over here". By the time I reached them, he was already talking to the band about the dance we girls had mentioned--the Gay Gordon. Mr. Doug wanted to know how it was done, so I 'borrowed' Eldon (I don't think he minded), and walked through it (teaching Eldon at the same time). Soon the whole room was walking through it, then the band started playing and it picked up some. Anyway, once we were done, I asked Eldon what he thought of it and he said he really liked it and it was a new favorite. I have to agree...the Gay Gordon and the Virginia Reel are my favorites! There was the Broom Dance--kind of like musical chairs with a broom--or in this case a mop with a face drawn on it (different from what my family knows as the Broom Dance). We also did the "Hat Dance"--more what we know as the Broom Dance. I'm sure there were other dances, but I can't remember them right now. I danced with "Yankee's" and Confederates, short and tall, thin and thick, and only once with Savannah (well twice, but we got broke up. :D ) The highlights of the dance for me were Micah's little hand flopping out there in front of me, dancing the Gay Gordon, and just laughing and dancing til my feet were worn out :D (Sounds like the whole thing, doesn't it?)
*Disclaimer: dances mentioned above were not necessarily danced in said order... :D
Saturday night I think everyone slept better. There weren't as many trains and we were all tired from the dancing. However, sometime around three in the morning the whole camp was waken by blaring hip-hop. It sounded like there was a car parked on the road right there...I wondered if it was a black person protesting the Confederates. When I mentioned it this morning to Mr. L, he said he had the same thought, though it didn't turn out that way at all. After awhile he called the police and two minutes later, Mr. S called the police (they compared phone records :D). Mr. D (who also preached this morning--exhorted might actually be a better term; but I'll get to that) walked down the hill to find out who was being so distruptive and found out that the people with that horrible racket were actually across the road, on the other side of the rail roal tracks! (Probably between 1/2 and 1 mile away.) Anyway, I think everyone went back to sleep and slept pretty well after the racket quit.
This morning at 10 we had church. We did some singing...thankfully, the lead singers were Mr. K and Mr. Craig (with their guitar and mandolin--respectively), so I didn't have to strain my voice. I think I ended up harmonizing. At one point, Erica (who was sitting next to me) made some mention about something "it's too high!" Which I can certainly understand; which is why I've figured out how to harmonize. Mr. D (excuse me, Rev D. ;] ), while certainly of a more Arminian stripe than ourselves, exhorted us to "get in alignment with God's Word". He used his own self as an example of how rebelling and not seeking God's glory (my words, not his) cause us great heartache. As Savannah said, "It was edifying..." It was, even though it wasn't what I am used to sermon-wise. We also took communion; Rev. D made mention that they (being his church I suppose) take it every week (like us!).
After church, Mr. Bret asked if we'd take his family's picture (the family with the four adorable kids mentioned earlier)--so Savannah did and then he took our picture for us. They are a really nice family. I danced with him a couple times last night. I'll say right here and now that the 1st Florida Reserves and Civilians is a great group of people...I look forward to seeing at least some of them again at Brooksville! (Mr. K told us to come stay with them, since they'll be there...) I asked Erica if they were going and she said she didn't know--"But I know which way I'll put my vote." (In favor.) Samantha agreed with her on that. :)
The battle took place at two and went off great. While on Saturday the Federals won, the Confederates took the field with glory today. Before they got started though, while I was still setting up, I got a surprise visit. I looked up to see Thomas C. coming up the hill. He reached the fence, put an elbow on it and started talking. I find him somewhat hard to understand because he talks fast, has a slight lisp, and his accent it a bit different than what I'm used to around here. Anyway, he wanted to tell me that he and one of his buddies have a group: the Liberty Guards Mess (I have to go to the website soon). Anyway, they do Cow Cavalry stuff. (As a side note, it's fasinating to watch that young fellow on the field--he carries himself like he knows what he's doing--very serious like.) He told me that he'd write the information down after the battle and give it to me. Well, he forgot. So, I put on my business woman hat (I had on my cowboy hat by now as the camps where closed and the public was gone :D), and chased him down. Not literally...he was helping take down a booth when I walked up with my pad of paper. I think he was slightly flustered because he had forgotten, but he wrote down his name and telephone number, then went off to talk to his mom about his brother's number (up until that point I didn't realize his mother was there--most of the time I saw him he was with Mr. K). When he came back, I got him to write down the name of his group. (Since I had really yet been unable to understand what he said!) I also gave him my last business card. Very polite young fellow...I'm not used to being addressed as ma'am--particularly by a fellow someplace within my age bracket. (I'd guess he's somewheres between 17 and early 20's...I'm a terrible one for guessing ages.)
We said good-bye to folks shortly after that and headed home. I gave girls hugs and shook boy's hands. Charley, Eldon, and Micah weren't too hesitant to shake hands, Thomas was, because his hand was dirty (they were cleaning guns), but I told him "don't worry about it". I also had to tell Johnathan not to bother about it, "I like gun oil!" I made sure to say good-bye to Mr. L (he was really nice and made sure we felt at home), Mr. Bret (because I liked him; he has a beautiful family), Mr. S, and Mr. Doug. Philip wouldn't shake my hand...I asked him if he were bashful, and he said "yes", but I didn't believe it. :D So I satisfied myself by messing with his kepi. It was great to see a bunch of little boys out there in minature Confederate uniforms....they were so handsome. :D
I had a thrilling, "Ye-haw" of a time :D Still, it was kind of nice to come home and actually take a shower...my head was really beginning to need it. I'm hooked....I want to keep attending reenactments--particularly with this group. Christian, primarily homeschooled...fun :)
I promise I will post some pictures soon--but it's too late tonight.
Savannah opened my door around 6:00 this morning ('tis a convient way of waking me--particularly when I'm only half asleep to begin with). Soon I crawled out of bed and started my morning routine. We started getting attired around 7:00; it takes a bit longer than normal when wearing 1860's clothing.
Since I had loaded most of my gear into the Caddillac last night, I only had to put my camera and Zoom out there...along with the cooler containing our lunch...my bonnet, my purse, and myself.
We arrived at the church and cemetery where the ceremony was being held right about 9:00. The A.'s were already there so we knew somebody :D The S.'s were there too...and after wandering around a bit and talking to the A.'s concerning the ceremony, Savannah, Mr. Bill, and I started setting up cameras in the various spots we wanted them. During this time, people of all sorts kept arriving...there were two cannon (and somehow it doesn't surprise me that Mr. Tom is artillery...); the color guard (one of them was rather strikingly good-looking--and I don't want to be teased over that anybody--the man was married and had a little girl--I just couldn't help noticing that he was handsome); the men of the two SCV camps that were putting it on; the SCV National Commander (he has a handshake like a vice; either Mr. Hill or Mr. A. introduced me to him--so much happened I forgot some of the details...); the Florida Division Commander (he had an awesome tie--it had our beloved Confederate generals on it!); and people who were just attending the event.
During the ceremony, those of us running the cameras couldn't hear very well (and I was the farthest off); the wind was blowing steady the whole time and the sound system wasn't working. I have no idea what any of the footage looks like yet...I haven't put it into Premiere Pro yet. I have to clear my hard-drive off a little more so I can get the footage from one of the cameras on the computer. (At present it is on an external drive.)
Anyway, I got a nice sunburn on my face because I was facing directly into the sun...which also means that I was having difficulty seeing the LCD screen on my camera. The way we had it planned was for me to do the static, establishing shots, Savannah to do the close-ups, and Mr. S to do the pan-shots (or following shots as we were calling them). I ended up doing some zooming and panning. I got plenty confused a couple times because of said problem of having the sun in my face, cutting down my visablity of the LCD screen. I found myself staring past the screen at the people in front of me, then back to the screen in an effort to determine exactly which light colored blob was which person.
The ceremony went something like this (mind you, I couldn't hear to great--but I happen to have a schedule ;D ): It opened with a prayer. The schedule says Mr. A was to pray, but I'm not sure he was the one who did...then there was the salute to the flag (I think I got off the last line, because that's when I realized they were saying it) and the Charge to the SCV. The singing of 'Dixie' then took place. The 'howdy and thank-you for coming' portion followed. Mr. P. (the MC basically) recognized the National Commander and the Florida Division Commander (the fact that the National Commander came was a big deal). Then he also mentioned all the groups of people who were participating.
Commander G. and Commander D. (the big-shot above mentioned) each gave a short speech proceeding the actual ceremony which goes something as follows. For each deceased soldier there was a "widow". Of the five I am aquainted with four of them. These "widows" were one by one escorted by a man in uniform (I'm aquainted with three of said gentlemen), to a seat by the headstone. After the lady was seated and the flowers she carried were placed, the man stepped back and saluted the grave. Mr. H. saluted very slowly and ceremoniously; it just fits his personality though. After all the "widows" were seated, the men escorted a little girl in a white dress (one for each soldier yet again--only I think they only had four) who removed the black cloth cover from the SCV cross by the stones. Once again, the man would salute the grave.
During this latter operation, the histories of the five men were read. In some cases, they were read by decendents of the Confederate soldiers. It is my opinion that Mr. A isn't the most comfortable with public speaking.
Once this part was done, two men sang the first and last verse of "How Firm a Foundation" (one of my favorites). We were reminded that it was one of General Robert Edward Lee's favorite hymns.
Then came an interesting part--the Color Guard's Last Drink ceremony. Said good-looking member of the Color Guard took a canteen and came round from one grave to the next, solemnly knelt down beside it and poured some water (I assume) onto the grave. If I remember rightly (I was attempting to get the man in my LCD screen!), he saluted--or maybe not.
Then "BOOM! BOOM!" The cannon went off!! I nearly jumped out of my skin the first time and I think I bumped the camera. I got mental goosebumps when I saw the smoke from the cannon floating through the flags...I don't have a picture of that...but below are the flags.
They fired two more volleys and more or less that was the close of the ceremony.
Before it started...I'm checking the camera...
That is the National Commander in the black jacket. Mr H. is on the other side of me in the kepi.
After the ceremony, we interviewed Mr. H. He had forgotten that he was supposed to be interviewed, but he pulled it off wonderfully! I know I have some usable material there--even though I forgot to change my camera setting back to what I've shot the rest of my Cow Cavalry interviews and b-roll in!! However, Savannah assures me that Premiere Pro will be able to convert it...
Then we came home, along with the S's and spent time downloading footage off the cameras. I spent about half that time moving stuff my from hard-drive to the external hard-drive. In order to get the rest of the footage on the computer (so I can work with it!) I will have to move some more stuff over onto the external drive. I sat and played the cello a bit too while waiting for stuff to download.
But anyway, I'm about ready to take my sunburned nose to bed...
It's been a while since ya'll have heard the sound of the Cow Cavalry's hooves druming faintly around here, hasn't it?
That's my fault. I rather fell off the bandwagon, but with new developments pending, I got a figurative kick in the seat of the pants. I have spent two days this week now working on the interviews. Tuesday I spent propped in bed (a convenient place to work with my laptop...I can sprawl my papers out and it's easier on my tailbone than sitting on the floor!) going through my script and transcipts of my interviews with Mr. Arthur and Mr. Hendry...and myself. (So far, I used two short clips of myself.) Today, I have spent the day staring at my computer screen listening to two very nice men talk in their two totally different speech patterns about a topic that holds interest for both of them. I did manage to pare down some of the more lengthy, extensive clips. I don't want to overdo the interview aspect of this documentary. After getting two or three more interviews, I think I'm going to say "NO MORE INTERVIEWS!" In my opinion, you can get too many and I don't want an interview overload.
Now my fingers are itching to work on the AfterEffect compositions...but some of those are going to have to wait for reenactment footage. In October, Savannah and I will be attending a reenactment in Dade City...I'm still planning on the Brooksville Raid in January too. From those two reenactments I hope to have plenty of b-roll. I can visualize in a general way what I want...
I also think that I may actually need the narration recorded before I can get started on that aspect of the editing...that way I know how long an AE comp needs to be, how much of such and such clip I need to use, etc. So...while I actually have something in my timeline, which is REALLY exciting, I'm kind of stuck against the wall again for another little bit.
As you may know, in the Cow Cavalry lulls, I have been working on the scripts for a Western, a Western serial idea, and I also started a really, really, really rough draft of 'Spectrum'. Filmmaking has still been on the brain...everytime I watch an old TV show on MeTV I try to remember to notice the cinematography...like this morning, "Daniel Boone" was on and Daniel was hurt and light-headed. The cinematographer clearly protrayed that through the use of shaky-cam. It was really effective.
So, while you may not be hearing the Cow Cavalry thundering around much, I haven't forgotten them nor my aspirations :) In closing, I will leave you with a quote from Mr. Arthur:
"But to me it is the honor of the thing. Supportin’ a cause when you know that you’re right...when their State succeeded from the Union, they supported their government and their way of life, and to protect their way of life. So you have to give these men great honor in what that they did. You know, none of us is perfect, we all make mistakes but we do what we do because we think it’s right and we stand by it. And that’s no better than we can do today."
What do they have in common? Yesterday.
I'll spare you the gory details of my morning and start post lunch. After taking care of the lunch dishes, I pointed my noise toward town. In the Republican presidential primaries we voted at the county offices, so I went there first. I knew that the Rodeo Grounds was one place to vote, but I didn't know if that was where I had to go or not. I went in and was standing there...obviously I looked like I didn't kow what I was doing, because the lady walking around in the lobby on her cellphone asked if she could help me. She directed me to the Supervisors of Elections office down 'that' hall. I walked in, stated my plight, had to give my name and birthday (I forgot to tack the year on to start with!), and was promptly told I had to go to the Rodeo Grounds. (The girl who works in there is kind of cute and perky...she smiles a lot.)
So, I hopped in my car (rather, Savannah's car) and headed for the Rodeo Grounds. I got there without getting lost :D I went in and I was talking to myself as I stepped through the door. Now, this is funny...one of the poll workers asked me, "Where you talking to yourself when you came in?" I laughed (along with everyone in the room--only poll workers) and admitted I had. "Welcome to the crowd." It certainly made my voting experience pleasant :) I like laughing.
I left after casting my vote--I'm glad to say that one of the men I voted for is HSLDA
approved! There was a tabby hanging around outside the door that wanted to be petted, so I gave it a couple strokes before I left.
From there I went to Wal-Mart and got some banana's (poor Granddaddy had been out for several days--I think he ate 3-4 yesterday afternoon), milk, eggs, cheese, and onions. I almost always grab a sack of onions when I'm in there--we cook everything with onion.
Fast forward: It was POURING down rain when I dashed from the house to the car on my way to the SCV meeting last night. I'm glad that my umbrella was in the house (I had thought it was in the pick-up...a lot of good that was going to do me :D). Even then I got my skirt soaked in the few seconds that it took to seat myself, swing my legs in, close the umbrella, and slam the door. By the time I got to the A.'s it was just sprinkling. I met some very nice men last night. Other than myself and Mrs. A. there was one other lady--Dolly. I like her :) A little more on the rough side than Mrs. A. but nice all the same. After the meeting, she came up to me and said, "I've been staring at your hair the whole time...how do you do that?" Being myself, I grabbed my hair clips out of my hair, took the 'snappy' clips out of the top, shook it out and put it back up in demonstration. It is so much easier than attempting to explain: "You take this chunk in front, give it a half-twist, hold it in place with two of the clips...then take some from either side, give it a bit of twist, and hold it in place with the clips....Then tie the remainder of your hair in a knot and stick these jaw clips into it!" *grin* See what I mean?
I was told by Mr. A. to stand up and tell people who I was. I was already pretty comfortable in this group of fine Southern men, so I hopped up and really spent more time on the Cow Cavalry project than anything ;) My next interviewee was there so we talked a little bit...he's been real busy and it won't be for another couple weeks before he can be interviewed.
I even got to see a fella in Confederate uniform :) The eldest gentleman in the room was getting rid of his because he's not going to do anymore events where he dresses the part. So, the gent I was sitting next too, Billy, tried it on and came out for everyone to see...He bought it :) It fit him perfectly. I put one of Mr. A.'s kepi's on my head. I didn't go look in a mirror or anything, but I was told that it looked good on me :) (You know, you can wear one of those things with a bun!)
I also spent a great deal of time talking to a Mr. S. They homeschool and his 13 year old daughter has an interest in filmmaking. So we talked about everything from home-education to filmmaking to boys/young men (lack of, mainly) to eschatology. I'm post-mil (had to admit I wasn't too sure about how post-millennialism handles the millennium--all the details) and he is pre-mil; but we could agree that God is Soveriegn. Mr. A. says he's pretty close to post-mil. It was an awesome evening. I throughly enjoyed myself.
On my way home, on the home stretch, I was barreling down the road (going a little over the speed-limit. NO ONE does the speed-limit on that road anyway...) and out of nowhere I see this girl--who looked soaking wet--waving her hands in the air as though she was signaling me to stop. Well, I hit the brakes, but I didn't stop...my brain got to whirling. Here I was, a girl, by myself, at night--unarmed...nope, no stopping for me. I went on home. I almost cleared the house when I got home--Granddaddy was in bed with the door unlocked--but I didn't bother since anyone hiding in the house could have grabbed me before I even got to my bedroom where my gun is and as no one did I figured it was safe.
After taking my shower and as I settled in to Skype with my folks and after running my mouth for a while I mentioned the girl. Immediately, they told me to call the Sheriff's Office (now why didn't I think of that?) Finally, I got through after wasting my time calling (by accident) first the ambulence--thank-fully no one answered, then the city police who also didn't answer (not that they would have done me any good since we're not in-town), then finally the Sheriff's office non-emergency line. I gave the lady on the other end a discription of the girl and my best estimate of what time it had been. Oh yes, and I also mentioned the pick-up truck that had come up the driveway (it's a quarter mile!) and turned around in the front yard...
I was suffiently 'creeped' by this time. So after prayers when we all said good-night and the lights were out, I kept my snubbie in reach. I also did a little practice of how I could use my cellphone as a flashlight and shoot at the same time. I kept my finger off the trigger of course...
Not too long after going to bed and settling in with my door locked, I saw a flash. So, I sat up in bed and peeked out the window...sure enough, flashing police lights. I took the cardboard out of my window, grabbed my binoculars, propped up on the stone window sill, called my parents and gave them a play-by-play as I strained my eyes. (After all, I was looking through not just a dirty window, but a dirty screen with those binoculars--in the dark.) Must have been a car in the ditch--though I didn't really see any evidence of it when I poked out there this morning rotating the cows. (Speaking of which I still have at least two cows and a calf on this side of the fence. 'Bad Child'--so-called for her past fence breaking escapades--had her calf just moments before I came on her. She still had afterbirth hanging out her backside--I went in and got Granddaddy to come look--just in case she had a prolapse--and the calf hadn't gotten up yet. It was still wet.)
Anyway, I got back in bed around 12:15 this morning. If you can't guess, I kind of groggy today. I had a big day yesterday...
Yesterday, July 26th, was my interview with Mr. Arthur. The Arthur's are a very nice couple and their house is quite interesting. It is almost like a museum and appears to be built after the old Cracker style. I don't think you can see them in any of the pictures, but along one wall, they had pictures of all the most famous Confederate generals. I thought it was so neat...
It took us a little longer than it should have to get there because I got my directions messed up. Well, rather I just didn't realize that Co. Rd. 660 was (or becomes) the road I was looking for...Anyway, now I know how to get there :)
We arrived and unloaded the car and started setting up after some initial chit-chat. Once everything was set up we had a pre-shoot cup of coffee.
One of the lights...and my head. This was actually after the interview.
Mr. Arthur did use his notes some during the interview, but for the most part I believe it was alright. I'm sure it didn't help him any that the lights had to keep on being rearranged. The sun kept shifting so Savannah (my DP) kept telling me to move this light...shift that one...adjust the blinds, etc. It wasn't necessarily condusive to perfect continuity of thought for Mr. Arthur, but it was actually rather amusing. After all, it's better to laugh at stuff than rant. Particularly when you can't do anything about it! :D
I know that I got some usuable stuff from this fine Southern gentleman with his special Florida speech peculiarities. The best part was actually after the official questioning was over...Mr. Arthur gave me the closing speech for my doc! It was one of those times where I got the 'feeling'...as soon as he was done speaking I turned to Savannah and said, "I think I just got my closer." (If that is a word.) She responded, "I was just thinking that myself!"
We had a short picture taking spree afterwards and then Mr. Arthur broke out the period firearms he has made. (There were more flint-locks than precussions.) This man is a real gunsmith! We got to handle those big-bore beauties freely. These are certainly not girls guns. Nor for left-handed (or eyed) shooters. He made a left-handed 'boy's gun' for Mrs. Arthur, for like me, she is left-eyed. She went and got that so I could see and handle it.
After enjoying the guns, we sat around with another cup of coffee and talked for quite a while. Mrs. Arthur loaned us a DVD on black Confederates, so we will have to return at some point :) We also got invited to the SCV meeting next month and I think we will probably go.
That's a buffalo hide...
I have to go now...
This is just a quickie...Tomorrow is my interview with Mr. Arthur. I will try to get some stills up shortly after the event.
I have had another gentleman agree to an interview--this time Commander Hill of the SCV. We still have yet to work the details out, but I have suggested next Wednesday for the interview. By that point I ought to have Mr. Arthur's interview transcribed :)
Mr. J. Frank (the younger Mr. Frank...if referring to his papa I will say Mr. W. Frank) called me on Sunday to let me know that he had contacted to gents and said he would text me their phone numbers....he hasn't done it yet, but I think he is probably covered up. Still, I'm thinking about shooting him an e-mail.
On the Fourth of July we filmed our program...but the mic quit working during it and I didn't realize it til I put the footage on the computer. Anyway, I tested the mic this morning (I was supposed to do it on Monday!) and it worked. I think I must have bumped a setting when I moved the camera and tripod on the 4th. From now on I will pay better attention to such details...
I am throughly convinced that I want to and am planning on attending the Brooksville Raid reenactment in January. The consequence of that is the extending of my deadline (which was September 1st) and not entering in the 2013 SAICFF (which was a goal). Anyway, I think that it will be better with the reenactment footage. There will have to be some talking with J. Frank about this...he said he could get us in on the opposite side of the spectators--and if I filmed mulitple days I could get shots from different angles and such that might be great. But since I'm in no way familiar with the lay of land I can't really be sure of anything :)
I need a bigger calender--and a 2013 one to boot!!