Does anyone remember ‘Reenactor Parking?’ I used to love those comics, I think I actually printed a couple off and hung them on my wall.
That was back aways, close to 10 years ago.
2007, The Pacific hadn’t even come out yet and Band of Brothers was still new enough to really get excited about. It was pretty close to the peak of my reenacting experience and I’m now realizing I’m not the only one who looks back at this time fondly.
Was there a reenacting ‘hay day’ and has its time come and gone? My best good friend Cody, whose been reenacting as long as I have, mentioned having the same feeling recently.
“You remember what it used to be like,” he’d say. “How excited we’d get?”
Now Cody and I still get excited about stuff. All the time actually, it’s just not usually about reenacting anymore. It typically has something to do with women, or movies, or which one of us hurled the best insult at the other.
But not reenacting. I figured we’d just been doing it so long that it stopped being exciting, but more and more I feel like no one is excited about reenacting anymore. Even the new guys I’ve seen come into the hobby in the last few years don’t seem as wound up about it.
The young guys, who get into it at 15 or 16 and are usually so gung ho it makes you want to puke, don’t really care anymore. Ten years ago any new reenactor under the age of 19 would literally wet his pants at the sight of anything he didn’t own. I remember I got to carry a GP ammo bag at my first tactical, one of the other guys let me borrow it. I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen and I stared at it all day.
About two years ago I let a new reenactor in our unit borrow a spare wool overcoat for a Bulge event. When the day was winding down and he tried to give it back to me I said, “Naw, you keep it.”
I thought I would be super cool and he’d be in awe of the overcoat forever, but he said, “sure, I guess,” and I haven’t seen him since. This is not isolated or unusual; this is commonplace in today’s hobby.
The hay day is over, the best is past and the hobby will spin into the abyss.
Unless… we all harness our inner Bernie Sanders and start a revolution! Republicans, sorry for the Sanders reference, but you understand what I’m getting at and don’t pretend you don’t love Bernie just a little.
Ok maybe not so much a revolution, but a renaissance. We’re living in a renaissance as it is. Everything that used to be cool is cool again. We’ve brought back music, clothes, food, books and even politics that used to be cool. We love anything that “used to be” so why not do the same with reenacting?
So go to Rockford, even if you’ve been 10 times before. Get in the cheesiest public battle you can find, because god dammit you used to get so wound up for them. Stop thinking so much about what kind of beer you should bring for Saturday night and start thinking about what patrols you want to run or training you could do.
And by god, print off a couple ‘Reenactor Parking’ comics and hang them on your wall.