One of the (many) advantages technology gives us modern day humans is the gift of time. Just 60 years ago, people spent significant amounts of time performing a variety of necessary-yet-mundane tasks: washing dishes by hand, spending hours at a Laundromat, shopping for groceries every day… With the introduction of efficient dishwashers, affordable washing machines that can be installed in individual homes, and reliable refrigerators/freezers, people living in the early 21st century have been able to reinvest some of that formerly chore-driven time into other endeavors and pursuits. Granted, some people choose to spend significant amounts of their now-open time on still more technologies (like television, video games, Twitter, Facebook…), but other people choose to invest their free time in more ‘unique’ ways. In fact, some people choose to spend their open hours provided via modern-day developments by reenacting various activities of decades past. (Talk about a Mobius-strip approach to living!) [“Whoa. You just blew my mind.”] 😉
One of the results I wanted to obtain from my 101 list was to visit all of the state historical sites in the metro area – and Historic Fort Selling is one of those locations. However, what compelled me to choose August 17th specifically for my visit to this site was the Civil War Sesquicentennial event; and more specifically, my chance to see and engage with re-enactors!
As a child (and adolescent, and college student, and younger adult) who disliked history, I never understood why some people would choose to spend so much of their precious free time dressed up in old clothes, speaking in old language, and acting out old scenes. (“Stop living in the past, man!”) It’s only in the past two years (ever since I started this 101 project, actually) that I have begun to appreciate the role history can play in helping to ensure positive societal progress – and that I have begun to see my judging mind slowly move to a more curious space regarding events like reenactment gatherings.
So when I read the description for the fort’s Civil War Weekend, this felt like the perfect date to explore this historical site.
I arrived at the fort around 10 am, and stayed nearly two hours – and during that time, I snapped over 250 pictures (all on my phone). When I returned home from the outing, both my sweetie and I were kind of shocked by the copious (excessive?) amount of images I had on my camera. In doing the math, I realized that I had to average one photo every 13 seconds during my time at the fort… Um, it didn’t feel like I was taking that many pictures during my visit – but the numbers don’t lie (at least, not in this case), so I guess I did…
Given that I have so much visual footage from my excursion, and given that this topic lends itself well to images versus text anyway, I thought it might be a fun change of pace to present this 101 item as a series of pictures (with explanatory text as needed) instead of a wordy post. But given that I have SO many pictures, I will break this topic up into a few separate entries (mostly so that people can pace themselves and not feel compelled to scroll through a crazy-long post all in one sitting). You may be happy to learn that I did delete about half of the pictures I took (because they were out-of-focus, too dark, not super interesting, and/or duplicates of other images I already had), so I won’t ‘force’ you to suffer through a miserable slide show like some deranged narcissist who has just returned from a week-long vacation in North Dakota. (Not that there’s anything wrong with North Dakota – just that it’s kind of flat….) Anyway, before I dig myself into a deeper hole (*wink*), let’s get on with the show…
[Click here to go to Part 2 of this post.]