Jump to content

Annoying re-enactors interacting with the public...


Recommended Posts

I just thought of another "creepy" reenactor type while perusing this thread. I once saw a fellow who was a member of a WWII German group, and he had swastika and "Gott Mit Uns" tatoos all over his forearms. Hard to say what was on his biceps and torso, as they were covered. That's a little "odd," if you ask me. Not the sort of values I think I'd advertise even if I shared them, and I have no idea what the German unit he was acting with was thinking when they let him attend. Maybe he just showed up?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope the picture loaded because it is an expensive example of a less than accurate depiction but it is not the aircraft I am trying to illustrate as it was the uniforms of the owners.

I was the last guy, besides the owners who took care of this plane and went with it on the circuit out in the SW. Don't mistake this for the one out of Kansas as this one has since been sold and stripped out. Anyhow, the owners had gotten some old nomex flt suits for a good price and wanted to adorn them with some of the patches I sold from underneath the plane when we were at shows. Well, it WAS their plane so all I could do is remind them that the patches were merely reproductions from the VN days and were not even correct in size. Though the plane is gone we are still very good friends despite my sometimes obstinate appeal for accuracy. What they lacked in accuracy they made up with me who knows the mission and the gun like the back of my hand. Great plane, great times which might go better in another thread.

In this category of uniform accuracy I can only agree that much of this seems more like vicious gossip than efforts to correct mistakes. Though I am new to this site does not mean I don't know what I'm talking about, it just means you all are well hidden. Anyhow, there are many folks out there who have their reasons for putting on a period uniform without knowing what to do next. I have seens many of these types in my airshow travels but have never had the time to interact. My own suggestion here is that when you publish your intention to be at an event where other individuals might show up you consider incorportaing them into what you do and conduct an informal trng session beforehand. Not only will it enhance what you do but you stand a good chance of having a convert intead of a rabid critic.

Yes, this is an Internet pic because my own are much too large for posting here.

post-54272-1319050983.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was in the Nebraska National Guard they had a bunch of guys in the guard the would act as the enemy. Wearing Italian Camo and civilian clothes. I was in maintenance and at this summer camp they had us stay in the base area at Camp Ripley and do service calls. I got called out on a service call and since vehicles had to have two people they stuck me with a guy in the unit. He was a Vietnam Vet who joined the guard for tuition benefits and was mentally not all there. He was long range recon and had gone through hell, he'd didn't talk much about it but when we had to wear our greens he had more ribbons than anyone else. Well while I was driving out on the service call the enemy came down the road the other way. I knew all of them and waved as we passed and so did they. The guy riding with me asked who they were and I told him, they were the enemy. He had a shocked look on his face and said, "They aren't going to take me alive." It scared the you know what out of me, I did the service call and we went back. I told them never send him out on a trip like that again. He was a nice guy who had gone to war and was the only survivor of his unit and experienced too much for a man to take. I just wished the government would have helped him so he wouldn't have had to join the National Guard to go to college.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Dirt Detective
This seems to be a very common theme amongst, and unique to, reenactors. I'm still not sure why, but 95% of the reenactors you meet have nasty, negative things to say about every other reenactor. They question each other's wardrobe, kit, even their motivations for playacting, and not one of them seem to find anything wrong with it. For the life of me, I can't figure out why if they all hate eachother, and constantly have to justify their hobby as something honorable or noble, and denigrate others who aren't as well-dressed or rehearsed in period speak. If collecting militaria stuff caused me to constantly butt heads with other collectors, and I had to hear all the time about how my collection isn't up to par, and my motivations for collecting are questionable, I'd probably quit doing it, or at least keep it to myself and not involve others in it. Odd thing, this fantasy of theirs that so many think so little of so many others. Maybe 5% of reenactors are decent folk who accept others willingly, don't mind the awful "public" getting in the way of their historical demonstrations, and actually care about the history of other men, not their own ego.

Don't want people touching your stuff? Keep it at home.

Don't want some jerk babbling to you about the government? Stay away from military nuts and weirdos.

Don't want to get into historical debates with those less educated than you? Keep your mouth shut and don't come off like you know it all.

Don't want people questioning your kit or your motives? Don't reenact, or at least don't do it with a bunch of jerks.

Don't like veterans talking to you about their time in the service? That's a tough on there. The Marine in me wants to say screw you...but the history nerd in me is just sad beyond words that someone would be so annoyed that a veteran would want to share his story.

 

The thing about reenacting is that it seems to be a very deliberate action one takes to draw attention to themselves. Or to draw attention to the character they're portraying, but still -- it's like walking into church with a giant sombrero on your head and getting your feathers ruffled when everyone stares at you.

 

After reading this whole thread..Im glad Im not the only one thinking this same thing. Im all for the uniform being 100% correct but this is supposed to be fun..lets keep it real its about play acting..just like my radio controlled warships are really just big toy boats.. :unsure:

Link to post
Share on other sites
Were you wearing MILES gear? If not, how would you know if they had killed you. If you kept walking toward them, even after being "killed" several times, eventually you're going to walk into their lines. Just wondering..........

 

It was probably the German troops... everyone knows they don't take their hits... LOL

 

Wayne

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
I would not be so quick to dismiss all us "Cold War Warriors". I flew maritime reconnaisance aircraft (P-3s) during the 1980s and 1990s with the USN and USNR. The maritime patrol community flew an awful lot of dangerous missions during the Cold War - in fact, some of us would say that virtually every mission we flew was dangerous (my old squadron VP-8 lost an aircraft and everybody on board on a training flight over northern Maine just before I arrived in the unit, a few months after I left they crashed an aircraft in Sicily doing landing practice). A number of Privateers, Mercators, Neptunes, and Orions were shot down by the Russians, Chinese, North Koreans, and North Vietnamese during the Cold War era. In fact, you may recall that a Navy EP-3 was struck by a Chinese interceptor over the South China Sea within the past ten years or so and the crew just barely got that aircraft down alive (as I recall it practically flipped over on its back due to the damage sustained and it took the combined strength of both pilots to keep it from rolling over while they brought it in for an emergency landing in China). I personally flew ELINT and photo recon missions over Soviet naval anchorages off the coast of Libya during the 1980s and was illuminated by SAM and AAA radars all the while and could have been and expected to be shot down at any minute. It was called the "Cold War" because it really was a war, just a strange different kind of war where most of the fighting was done by proxy and the rules were somewhat unsettled. So, although I can understand the "laundry service about the destroyer" bit go easy on the Cold War Warriors. We had a job to do too and we did it. In fact, the Cold War is one of the few wars that we've won since the end of WW2.

 

Thank you for your service! Yes, the Cold War Warriors never got the recognition it deserved but it will some day.

I was stationed at former NAS Valkenburg myself. You may remember it.

 

As for OPFOR things. We did some stuff at times. Don't remember the correct date anymore but for an upcoming "Peace/Ban the bomb" demonstration at NAS Valkenburg, the Marine security det needed some training and OPFOR volunteers were wanted. The Marine det under command of a young LT2 was to have some anti riot training so we gave it. The Marines needed to stay in line and were not allowed to break formation while attacked by OPFOR which was under command of a seasoned Marine SGT. The OPFOR group used all available to throw at the Marine group trying to break up their formation and testing the new LT2. The battle grew pretty intense as many stones, cow shinola, grass sods, eggs and many other available but undetermined stuff flew their way. At a certain moment one of the Marines went down after a stone hit him between the helmet and the eye safety shield. The LT panicked, formation was broken and the old SGT decided to call it off for a moment although he enjoyed seeing his LT going through the stress and pressue on his anti riot group. An ambulance picked up the wounded much of ashame of his buddies and his LT. He was okay later on.

 

Anyway to continue: When the Peace demonstration dudes showed afew days later there were only......5 of them. Sometimes training can be worse than reality.

 

As for re-enactment: I do some myself and our main goal is to have fun. There's no need to nitpick at others. We have vets over at times and they enjoy being there as well and that says enough to me despite of what others think of our group.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Try the manufacturing end of things sometime if you really want to have fun....Regardless of how many originals I have to pattern my repros after, theres always at least one stitch Nazi in the unit who knows better. I enjoy the heck out of (but don't always agree with) the rants on ATF, but I definately understand the point of view. We do our best out here to get it right, but 1/2" square cotton netting isn't made any more anywhere! The wife decided after the first one that crocheting netting for WWI helmet liners was not what she went to college for. Trust me, if you age it right (just wear the helmet) the nylon ages down just fine and won't rot in the long run. Does it still glow like a nuke under a blacklight? Yup, but you weren't trying to pass it off as an original anyway, were you? Well, were you??! Don't get me started on oil cloth either, although we have come up with a good substitute for that. I appreciate all the re-enactors out there as they are my bread and butter, but guys, give us some credit. The days of the polyester civil war uniform are over and the Chinese are moving in fast with some good quality stuff. The only way guys like me stay in business is to make it right the first time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know the complaint over and over is the age of reenactors HOWEVER, I recently received a wonderful scrapbook that someone created by clipping articles about servicemen and women serving in WWII from our local paper. This person clipped thousands of articles creating a book that is nearly six plus inches thick. I have been slowly going through the book creating a master index of all the names and I stumbled on a wonderful article about a Sergeant from my home town getting married to a gal in California. Not uncommon for the time period however...wait for it...he is over 70 years old and his fiancee is in her 50's (talk about robbing the cradle). The article states that he is active duty.

 

I am going to make a scan of it and will post it in the reenactor section (it does include a picture of him in his Class A's and I believe his overseas cap if memory serves me.

 

And here I was going to quit WWII reenacting at the age of 45!

 

Steve

Link to post
Share on other sites
I would not be so quick to dismiss all us "Cold War Warriors". ................ We had a job to do too and we did it. In fact, the Cold War is one of the few wars that we've won since the end of WW2.

 

I have no difficulty with Cold Warriors. We are still searching for the remains of several crews still unaccounted for from the Cold War.

 

However, the Cold war was eventually won by politicians, just as the Vietnam War was lost by them. President Reagan, Cap Weinberger et al. outspent the Soviet Union to "victory" and dismantlement of the "Union." In the same vein, LBJ, McNamara and their gang of thieves lost the Vietnam War by interference, bungling, and hamstringing / micromanaging those who actually did the heavy lifting in the war.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I know the complaint over and over is the age of reenactors HOWEVER, I recently received a wonderful scrapbook that someone created by clipping articles about servicemen and women serving in WWII from our local paper. This person clipped thousands of articles creating a book that is nearly six plus inches thick. I have been slowly going through the book creating a master index of all the names and I stumbled on a wonderful article about a Sergeant from my home town getting married to a gal in California. Not uncommon for the time period however...wait for it...he is over 70 years old and his fiancee is in her 50's (talk about robbing the cradle). The article states that he is active duty.

 

I am going to make a scan of it and will post it in the reenactor section (it does include a picture of him in his Class A's and I believe his overseas cap if memory serves me.

 

And here I was going to quit WWII reenacting at the age of 45!

 

Steve

 

Could always reenact the Indian wars. After examining multiple pictures of Company Grade officers and Privates, I'm convinced the average age of these two groups was around 60. Or something like that.

 

In all seriousness, the age of the army at the time was greater due to a number of factors. I just received my "Fred Benteen" fatigue blouse and he was a Captain well into the 1880s.

 

As for annoying reeactors: The never interact with the public type. A group of Vietnam guys who attend an annual event I also attend have a great display, great kit and all look the part. However, they tend to be dismissive of the public and us other "scrubs" who are set up. The only approachable member of the group was, ironically, the only real Vietnam Vet there with a great display inside of a wall tent.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Anyone ever come across the one that "knows" everything about WWII (history,battles,units,etc) and refuses to believe anything about battles that he has no knowledge of even if they are a matter of record and covered in many books?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
WOW, after 21 years in the USMC, Vietnam to Desert Storm, Retired and finially got to where I can afford to spend some money on trying to put together a good WWII Marine impression now have found out I can't. Seems that I am too old. Maybe a little heavy, got grey hair. Seems that all the years doing has ruled out me being able to enjoy somethin I've wanted to do for a long time. Guess I won't be seeing any of you experts at any event now except as a visitor dressed in my blue jeans and retired hat. Sometimes doing causes you to miss out, but at least somebody has the freedom to do.

 

Haha! Stick it to'em! You and I both know its not the age, it's the tonnage.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 years later...

I know that this topic has been quiet for a bit but I wanted to say that I sure had fun rereading all of these posts. I feel that these "reenactors" referenced here make up a small fraction of the community but unfortunately they make the biggest "impression" on everyone around them.

That being said, I wanted to add one that happened to me just recently (a week ago).

Off Duty Reenactor
This is the guy who shows up at an event wearing his civilian clothes (in my case it was a t-shirt, shorts, hiking boots, sun glasses, cold beer in hands and civil war forage cap on his head) and has to tell you how he is a reenactor as well but just couldn't get dressed up today (with the exception of his cap) because he had to (PICK ONE) work, babysit, hang with wife, do yard work, all of the above. Now this is not the problem as we have all been in this situation. The problem with the Off Duty Reenactor is that he feels that because you and he have the same hobby (even though you have never met him before) he can come right in, pull up a camp chair (yours, not his) and be a part of the event. Unfortunately he always seems to show up during heavy spectator time and unfortunately he likes to take over any interaction with the public despite being completely out of uniform. In my case he hung around for about 10 minutes when our Captain asked him politely to move on. Despite this nudge he lingered for another 5 before his wife stormed up and informed him that she and their son were tired and hungry and if he didn't come now he'd be walking home.
We got a good laugh at that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow - what an entertaining and, um..., informative thread!

Sad to say though, the first one I've read here in which the snootiness and elitism of some folks has been on display.

 

"Cold War Warrior, ...laundry service on a destroyer...", seriously? I read in this forum a lot about "doing it for the vets" and "thank you for your service", which seems to imply a mutually shared respect for service members regardless of era, branch, etc., etc. That description is anything but respectful. Yeah, yeah, I read the explanations and spin, but the original statement seems to ring as the most sincere. Perhaps if you untouchables talked to some of the undesirables, you might learn something.

 

I've never been a reenactor but think I will take up the hobby. My impression will incorporate as many of these annoying types as possible!

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Cold War Warrior, ...laundry service on a destroyer...", seriously? I read in this forum a lot about "doing it for the vets" and "thank you for your service", which seems to imply a mutually shared respect for service members regardless of era, branch, etc., etc. That description is anything but respectful. Yeah, yeah, I read the explanations and spin, but the original statement seems to ring as the most sincere. Perhaps if you untouchables talked to some of the undesirables, you might learn something.

 

Look, I served in peacetime, so I get it. But there are those in the hobby who I feel show up for no reason other than to tell their "nothing interested happened to me" stories to the public. I've seen plenty of them over the years and many other re-enactors will back that up as this type is pretty common.

At a living history display or re-enactment, it should be about the time period you represent, not what you did in the 80s or 90s!

When you get members of the public coming up to you and complaining that some of your people will only discuss their floor buffing stories at Fort Polk from 20-30 years ago and not what they actually came for (that is, to show off the stuff and discuss the time period the historical display is for), there's a problem.

You either get that, or you don't.

And if you actually participated in living history displays and had people from the public complaining about it, you'd understand that.

That's no less out of place than someone only talking about the paddle boat they have or their fantasy football group at such a display. It's a matter on context.

Just because someone served, that doesn't mean they can't be annoying or that there can't be a problem with them.

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.