Friday, August 31, 2007

Who are we and why are we here?

These questions are taken from the Ross Perot campaign of 1992. In a Vice Presidential debate, Perot's running mate, retired Rear Admiral James Stockdale started things out by saying, Who am I? Why am I here?". At the time, I like other folks tuning in, scratched our heads and muttered, "is this guy all there?" and probably laughed really loudly thinking he was just a senile gentlemen with a bit of a sense of humour. Well, as I have gotten older and involved in different activities outside of my job, I have found myself asking the same questions. Andrew (Seig Heil!) beat me to the punch and did a very nice breakdown of each event, analyzing the pros and cons. As I began going through his breakdown of living history events, I found myself asking, "Who are we? Why are we here?". Well, upon answering those questions, I found that the major driving force for the reason we do the things we do revolves around educating the public in regards to the maritime history of the area. At every event (even the pure reenactments), our group does educate the public by either directly engaging folks in attendance or by trying to paint them a picture of what it was like in the time period we are portraying. With those primary objectives evaluated, then it was time to review the perks provided by each host site, whether those be monetary based or intangibles. It's not like we are all about the Benjamins but it is nice to be compensated with stipends, food, access to collections or pure honest-to-goodness southern hospitality. You know what we found, with exception of two events, every host site treats us well. Some differently than others but in the end, we receive some compensation for everything we do. I think this was a healthy process and should be applied to our everyday life.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

How do you do everything you want to do?

Last week my comrade in arms and our navy group's President (Seig Heil!) were beginning to discuss next year's calendar (Yes, Margaret, we do start this early thinking of next year's campaign!). We decided that maybe it is time to put all events we attend under the microscope and weigh out the pluses and minuses of participating. I think this is warranted as we want to satisfy as many of our crew's wants and wishes, especially when it comes to our Age of Sail folks. But I ask the question, how do you begin? I suspect once we begin, we will find that it's going to be hard to choose between events to begin. Check in from time to time and follow our progress. If you have any suggestions, I bring it to the floor for discussion. Thoughts?

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Caswell Event....The Day After

The Caswell Event has come and gone. The days were hot with light visitation by the public. I really feel the public would have been educated as the crew of the Continental privateer Bellona, the 5th NC Continentals, the 64th Regiment of Foot, the 33rd Regiment of Foot and folks from Tryon Palace provided excellent displays and discussions. Also, the Continentals crewed the 3 pounder from Alamance Battleground and my 1/2 pounder swivel gun on both days. Artillery demonstrations went swimmingly with my lil' baby suprising people with her "loud voice". The new Caswell exhibit in the visitor center was really well-done except that I do take a bit of issue of Caswell being portrayed in a Continental Line officer's uniform when he served very little time in the Line. Caswell spent the majority of his time as a militia officer so I feel that gentleman's clothing would have been more appropriate. I guess the exhibit designers wanted more sparkle than accuracy. It's a shame when history is not portrayed correctly. Overall, I think everyone of my bunch (the Bellona and the 5th) had a good time. I know that the 5th enjoyed themselves as they got introduced to Steuben's Drill so as to begin to prepare to take the field (finally) for the first time. Other than work, my task today is to get a copy of the swivel gun drill from the National Park Service so I can become familiar enough to teach it to my shipmates and my Continental Line brothers.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Celebrating Richard Caswell

Tomorrow, I'll be off to Kinston in the wee hours of the morning to celebrate NC's only five term governor, Richard Caswell. Both my navy group, the Ship's Co of the Roanoke, and my Continental Line unit, the Fifth NC Regiment will be in attendance. For the weekend, I will be doing the infantry thing, as we need to get in some training before heading off Colonial Williamsburg and Camden, SC later in the fall. One neat thing I will be unveiling is my new bronze swivel gun. My Dad and I have been working on her (I purchased her unfinished), sanding all the cast marks, etc. Last Saturday, we fired a couple of shots and she sounded nice! I can't wait to put her into action this weekend. As for the Gub'na and his celebration, I am glad to see that the Kinstonians and State of North Carolina are recognizing his contributions to our beloved old north state. However, some folks in Kinston are referring to him as "the father of our state". Personally, I think that this is carrying it a wee bit too far as there are many other folks that could fall into that category. Let's not forget folks like Samuel Johnston, James Iredell, John Harvey, Josesph Hewes, William Hooper and many others that played major roles in the formation of our state and our country. That being said, Richard Caswell was a great man and I am glad he is finally being honored. Next week, I'll give a report of all the happenings over the weekend

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

And so it begins.........

Welcome to Albemarle Soundings! Honestly, I never thought I would have a blog. However, a friend and another acquaintance started their blogs and I realized what a neat way to create an online journal of one's adventures. Primarily, this blog will deal with the history of Eastern North Carolina as history is my hobby. I will tend to focus on the American Revolution all the way thru the American Civil War but there might be some tidbits from other eras as well. I hope you enjoy reading about my exploits and research while tolerating my rantings and ravings.