Summit Up 4-14-11: Where we’re reenacting Third Bull Run
Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column thinking about some of this week’s big anniversaries: 150 years ago the Civil War started, and 50 years ago Yuri Gagarin became the first guy to go up in space. In the grand scheme of things, neither of those two were all that terribly long ago. Why, just the other day we were talking with a guy who claimed to have fought at Second Antietam. We thought he was pulling our leg (there was no Second Antietam, for starters) and then we realized he was one of those re-creationist dudes.
What’s up with that? We firmly believe in knowing your history, but what does it take to move into the realm of the guy who dresses up like a Union or Confederate soldier and spend the day in the field pretending to be at Second Antietam or Third Bull Run or whatever?
It must be similar to the phenomenon that propels a fan of a particular sports team from ardent spectatorship to showing up at the game with your face painted and some other stuff drawn on your chest or whatever. Who are those guys? And do women date them, we wonder?
Speaking of women: It’s interesting, dont’cha think, that one rarely sees the X chromosome set out there stoking a campfire in the rain pretending to be a rebel soldier. Nor do we see them dye their hair Broncos blue and show up at Mile High riding some sorta fake horse – or carrying one of those “D-(picture of a fence)” signs. Who does that?
From our perspective, just getting to the game is hard enough without carring some kind of sign or banner or special costume. There’s the procurement of the tickets, the parking, the traffic, the whole hassle of the thing. On top of that, we have to put together a costume, an act?! And then there are the folks who show up for the tailgating business with all kinds of grills and coolers and meat products and all that – on top of the tickets, the parking, the traffic, the costume, etc.
Guess we just don’t understand mega-fandom all that well. But at least if you’re the nutbag Raider fan in the full-on Darth Vader/Raider deal, you’re expressing your loyalty for a cause that’s nothing if not contemporary. Being a Civil War “fan,” we have to say, represents a whole ‘nother level of … something we don’t understand.
But hey, if it keeps them happy and out of the bars or whatever, more power to ’em.
Going back to Yuri Gagarin, we have to say that all of those early space guys had major cajones. Just think, they had no idea if they’d really make it back, and they were stuck in a can and shot out of a giant cannon, more or less. The ones who stayed up longer had to endure Tang, drink their own pee and hope to god the other dudes in the capsule weren’t wearing Old Spice or something nasty.
Of course, going even further back in history, we had people get in wooden ships with nothing but a hunk of salt pork and a sextant, all with the aim of finding something over the horizon – they weren’t sure what. Our favorites, of course, remain the polar explorers, who routinely froze their asses off (sometimes quite literally) in the quest to find out what all was there. Actually, they knew there wasn’t anything there, really, they just wanted to say they’d gone.
Nowadays, of course, going to the South Pole, for example, is doable if you’ve got the time and money – and chances are good you won’t have to die in the trying. To stand out, you really have to come up with a new angle on the thing: The first all-women team, the first crosscountry skier to the pole, the first person to be towed to the pole in a bathtub by a team of wolverines, etc.
It’s all been done, more or less. But maybe, just maybe, we have a new take: Howzabout an expedition to the South Pole done by a team of Civil War reenactors and Yuri Gagarin impersonators? That’d get some press, eh? You’d have to figure out how to make your cold-weather gear look Civil War-y, but the spacesuit should be fine – just stuff it full of down or something.
Just a thought.
OK, we have a quick Angel Alert! Angel Alert! here from Jamie, who left us a message wishing to angelized the agencies responsible for plowing and cleaning the recpath along the Dillon Dam Road.
Yep, it’s that time of year, when we’re starting to see more folks getting out their bikes to tool around the county. Pretty much all the visitors are gone, so you can hang out in the cereal aisle of City Market in Breck for as long as you want and not see one gaggle of Houston-based condo dwellers haggling over their selection.
Of course, we miss them, all those money-spending tourists. But not too much. Yet.
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