Monday, July 18, 2005

How a reenactor renewed my faith in humanity.

I can't believe you spell 'Reenactor' that way. I keep wanting to read it as reen actor.
Anyhow... a couple of weeks back Mel and I went to a reenactment thingy. A war of 1812 battle that took place in Stoney Creek. (Stoney Creek is the name of the city- the battle didn't actually take place IN a stoney creek. That's just silly.) So at this thing there are 2 reenacted battles, one during the day, and one at night. It'd been a couple of years since I went and we stayed from noon until 10, as to not miss a thing. We were delighted to find that they had added a speaker system and a narrator to the battles, thus allowing the viewer to understand exactly what was going on. The narrator had his little microphone and described who was who, what was what, and why this was going like that. The day battle was pretty neat, but the man that narrated the night battle was glorious! He explained everything in vast detail, giving great insight to the whole ordeal, almost blow for blow. After the battle finished he stated that he'd be sticking around and if anyone wanted to come ask questions, he'd be much oblidged to answer. Mel and I were sitting right in front of him, and as people asked questions, we stood up and listened. Nothing really of note, just general questions- how to become a reenactor, where they would be performing, stuff like that. Then, just as it looked liked the questions were done and the narrator was going to head back to camp, a man walked up with a young boy in tow.
This, my friends, is where it gets cool.
"Hi there" said the man. "This is my son"
"Hello there!" said our narrator.
"He's totally blind, and we've just come to thank you for giving such a detailed account of the battle- usually I try to describe to him what's going on, but you did such a great job! He loves coming to these things and its great that he could get so much out of it thanks to you."
Then, without missing a beat our narrator turns to the boy and says:
"Well, feel this? This is what we all wear. Its bright red and heavy wool. Its got 24 large buttons all over it. Feel this button? There's some here on my sleeve, some down the front, on the back...."
And off he went. He took his hat off and handed it to the boy, letting him feel the emblem on it, telling him what the feather was for, talking about the significance of this and that.
"Feel that bugle emblem? Did you hear the bugle? That was my son playing it."
And so forth and so on, perfectly explaining, letting him feel everything.
Then he paused for a moment, looked hard at the boy, and drew his sword.
"Hold out your hands. There. That is my saber. That's my last line of defense I have to defend the colours with. I hardly let anybody touch it. You're the first person I've let hold it all weekend. Here, hold the sword out at arms length. Heavy, isn't it?"
And he wrapped up his little narrative and the boy and his father thanked him very much and were on there way.
Its the nicest, greatest, thing I've seen in a long time. I hadn't felt that happy about the niceness of one man to another since I read 'involuntary Man's Laughter' by Spider Robinson.
And to top it all off, a man ran up to the narrator and told him to announce that the child that had gone missing earlier had been found.

Just the feel good day of the year, man.

Super Robot will now have a bit of a bad day.


Blogger elizabeth said...

Don't worry Super Robot; you have fans. You can fight this!

6:59 PM  

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