Jump to content

Too old to "reenact"?


Recommended Posts

I met this man (on the left) at an May 8th, 1945 Event in East Germany, for a two day period 6-8th of May, 2010. I was introduced to him by a German reenactor, where as always, "Where you from"?, answer "Washington State", answer "No sh!t"!, so we ended up drinking a beer or three to the "Best State in the Union"!, and top of that, from Federal Way, where I spent my pre-teen years, (played alot of "Combat" there). The man is a Vietnam Vet, 67 yrs. old, might be 68 by now, and has been to Europe many a time, loves what the European reenactors (the good ones) are doing to relive our/U.S. history, also loves to jump out of the oldtimers, (I wouldn't :w00t: ) and takes care of the old Veterans when they are over here, and likes to put on the old ww-2 US army uniform, and do some "reenacting", nothing hardcore, just being a part of. Now some pix of my friend Jim. :)

jim1v.jpg

 

jim2o.jpg

 

jim3s.jpg

Jim finally showed up at the Campingplatz at Vierville-Sur-Mer on our last day at Normandy, and needless to say, we had to drink a toast to each other before saying goodbye.

nor4.jpg

 

Discussing...

20110608192641212dday.jpg

 

Here was our $1,000,000 view from our Campingplatz overlooking Omaha Beach, I woke up the last morning there, around 05:25 or was it 06:25, (can't remember, wasn't wearing a watch) and watched the sun rise out of the water, something I'll never forget!

nor6w.jpg

 

So I'm sure Jim would say, "Your'e never too old to reenact, just live and enjoy, whatever you do"! :thumbsup:

Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess he has a point...only one life! Check out these British re-enactors. Ain't no "spring chickens"...but they're having fun!

 

 

post-8022-1319896391.jpgpost-8022-1319896429.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Age shouldn't matter. It's all pretend and playing soldier anyways, right? So what's the difference if you're 70 or 17? No one can make the argument that being "mature" in age is not "realistic" since the very notion of "reenacting" a war could never ever be realistic. Besides, when you've reached that age, you should get to do whatever the hell you want! :thumbsup:

Terry

Link to post
Share on other sites
Age shouldn't matter. It's all pretend and playing soldier anyways, right? So what's the difference if you're 70 or 17? No one can make the argument that being "mature" in age is not "realistic" since the very notion of "reenacting" a war could never ever be realistic. Besides, when you've reached that age, you should get to do whatever the hell you want! :thumbsup:

Terry

 

 

Well said Terry...though I do think that "senior" reenactors should display a rank in keeping with their age...know what I mean? A 60 year old shouldn't dress as a buck-private!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done a little reenacting myself over here, mostly Switzerland, tried France and Germany once. I've always felt a little uneasy wearing a uniform with insgnia I never earned, so I've always tried, earlier, to be a tank crewman, wearing the 1st I.D. patch, which I "really" was in the early 70's, but as one gets older, changed to War Photogragher, almost can get by with it, with a little imagination. ;)

And alot of the "older boys" have the money to put a decent uniform and display together. Found this picture in a German Forum, it speaks for itself.

infantryman.jpg

 

And while I'm at it, can't forget Patton.

generalpatton.jpg

Please don't forget, reenacting is supposed to be fun too. :thumbsup:

Link to post
Share on other sites

My dad likes to wear an old uniform he has to the big reenactments, though he's not part of a unit. He's in his late 70s, but hey...it's fun for him.

 

He sent me this picture taken recently because of the "other" reenactors who hopped in the photo of him with the WAAC... :pinch: :lol:

Dadinuniform.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing too is the impression. As we do AAF ground crew we are loder and alittle plumper and that's O.K as many ground crews of WW2 were also that way. As for infantry types it REALLY should be a younger and in shape crowd. And as for it being "pretend", well yes BUT if one is doing a living history set up you REALLY should look the part PROPERLY.

 

Scott

Link to post
Share on other sites
Cobrahistorian
Well said Terry...though I do think that "senior" reenactors should display a rank in keeping with their age...know what I mean? A 60 year old shouldn't dress as a buck-private!

 

I agree 100% Ian! I'm 38 now and the only impression I still do is a P-47 pilot. So, I've got silver oak leaves on my shoulders now to reflect that. It isn't about rank, but about reality!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was a member of the Swiss B.R.O. reenactor group for awhile, and they wanted me to do a Drill Instructor at an Event back in 2005, like I stated, I had a problem with rank and insignia, so I wore Pre ww-2 Specialist chevrons, commemorative ribbons on my Ike jacket, and wrong insignia on my campaign hat, now if I could repeat that, I'd wear at least Master Sgt. chevrons, period correct campaign ribbons (NO valor), no campaign hat, to make it look at least halfway believeable, but too late, live & learn.

im000478.jpg

 

@Dave, I think your dad looks pretty good! ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

After re-enacting the American Civil War for a number of years, several of us decided we were getting too old to be believable as soldiers, but we still enjoyed going to the events. So some of the guys with musical ability put together a somewhat period civilian medicine show. They played period-correct songs on the type of instruments available--banjo, mandolin, etc. We even "sell" bottled Wonder Oil to shills in the crowd. It allows us to go to events, wear strange clothes, and have a fun time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Never too old to reenact...never too old to rock 'n' roll! As Groucho once said..."You're only as old as the woman you feel!" :lol2:

Link to post
Share on other sites

I got into this hobby in Revolutionary war at the age of 5. Civil war came at 7, WW2 at 19. I have done plenty other time periods since then. Until my late 20s, I was extremely thin and looked younger than I was so I really looked the part then. I’m 41 now, and while I’m not as thin as I used to be, I don’t think I fit the ‘fat boy’ re-enactor mode because I have lots of original uniforms that do fit me. And my recent adventure of being mistaken for a NASA astronaut has boosted my ego a little, to realize I’m not nearly as bad off as I thought.

But the reality is that although I’m still young-ish when compared to many other re-enactors, I’m no longer a kid. Maybe that’s a reason I decided to take on collecting and re-enacting War Correspondent, and hopefully doing it better than many others.

 

LeeWarCoOly09-1.jpg

 

WarCoClassAStand.jpg

 

For the most part, this impression will serve me well for quite some time to come, the way I see it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As I recall, there were a lot of 40 and 50 year old staff officers during WWII... pulled from civilian life, especially for specialist roles.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like you have delved into a very unique group. Have you considered expanding this into other eras? Maybe not the uniforms but at least the history of American correspondents throughout our history. I suspect a well done collection could actually garner you more stuff from families of the men & women who did this for real, including those who died at the front. This may seem oversimplified but as an example it is actually possible to go knock on the door in Sacaton, Az of the kin folk of Ira Hayes. I'm not suggesting doing such a thing but just using him as an example of how easily you might be able to gather who knows what.

Link to post
Share on other sites
It looks like you have delved into a very unique group. Have you considered expanding this into other eras? Maybe not the uniforms but at least the history of American correspondents throughout our history. I suspect a well done collection could actually garner you more stuff from families of the men & women who did this for real, including those who died at the front. This may seem oversimplified but as an example it is actually possible to go knock on the door in Sacaton, Az of the kin folk of Ira Hayes. I'm not suggesting doing such a thing but just using him as an example of how easily you might be able to gather who knows what.
I have a pretty substantial collection of US WW2 correspondent stuff and am writing a book on the subject right now. This link shows just a portion of it.
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've used the text below in issue two of our group magazine "Strictly GI44-45". It came from Yank weekly. I've checked the accuracy of its content and have no doubt its true. It means at age 48 I still have another 10 years I can still serve as a GI from WW2...

 

Read and enjoy, because you are never too old!

 

You are never too old. At 58, PFC has seen service in two wars.

PW Camp, Clarinda, IOWA- PFC Christian Nelson, claimant to honors as the oldest private in the army, is scheduled to receive an honourable discharge because of his arthritis.

Nelson, who is 58 and a veteran of the last war, was born in Denmark and came to the United States in 1910. He made his home in Kimoten, Iowa, and then joined the Army first in Omaha in 1917. He saw service overseas for more than a year, participating in the Meuse-Argonne drive.

Discharged from the army, he bought his own farm in South Dakota and operated it until the depression. Then he joined the CCC and was at a camp in the Black Hills for several years.

With war in the offing, Nelson joined the army again in January 1941 and went overseas with the 109th Engineers in February of the following year, landing at Belfast, Ireland. After some month in Ireland and England, he participated in the invasion of North Africa and saw considerable service during the Tunisia campaign. On Sept.28, 1943, his outfit returned to the States and was assigned Fort Slocum, N.Y., and he was placed on inactive duty. After working for about two months in Detroit, Nelson was called back to active duty on Feb. 22, 1944, and reported to Camp Dodge Iowa. Then he was transferred here. (Source Yank Weekly Sept. 8 1944)

 

Research-

Nelson, Christian, b. 04/18/1886, d. 09/15/1964, PFC HQ DET SCU 4772 CAMP CLARINDA IOWA bur. 09/18/1964 , Plot: E 1808, at Black Hills National Cemetery , Sturgis, Meade County, South Dakota

http://www.interment.net/data/us/sd/meade/...black_mosne.htm

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Johnny_Costino for posting this, so I have about another two months to reenact until I turn 58. :thumbsup:

I googled and found PFC Nelson, he must have been one ol' tough trooper, respect!! :salute:

oldestpvt.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
Never too old to reenact...never too old to rock 'n' roll!

OK, but not "Never too fat to reenact" because it is a grim cabaret :unsure:

 

;):lol:

Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeez....I'm 58 but he looks like my grandfather!! :w00t:

 

Ian, think about it, the old boy came from the old country, had to learn the english language, I don't think english was thier second language back then, joined the army, fought in ww-1, was a farmer, fought again through the Depression (trying to live), and served again in ww-2, you know it's going to leave some scars, physically and mentally. Once again, a tough one. :thumbsup:

Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks Johnny_Costino for posting this, so I have about another two months to reenact until I turn 58. :thumbsup:

I googled and found PFC Nelson, he must have been one ol' tough trooper, respect!! :salute:

oldestpvt.jpg

 

 

Thanks for that extra info, I couldnt find anything myself on google regarding PFC Nelson, other than the link to where he was buried. When we write about this people its an extra treat to find out what happened to them in later years. Unfortunately I can't find out much more about him.

 

Anyhow, "Thanks Christian" for proving we can all be GI's at least until we are 58!!!!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeez....I'm 58 but he looks like my grandfather!! :w00t:

 

 

Haven't you heard... 60 is the new 40!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Corpsmancollector
Age shouldn't matter. It's all pretend and playing soldier anyways, right? So what's the difference if you're 70 or 17? No one can make the argument that being "mature" in age is not "realistic" since the very notion of "reenacting" a war could never ever be realistic. Besides, when you've reached that age, you should get to do whatever the hell you want! :thumbsup:

Terry

 

Well said Terry!

 

Dave, your Dad looks good!

 

Will

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.