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March 2006

2006 Calendar of Events

March 11-12 Indoor Infantry Drill (round-rolling/game club/movie night in the evening) at Dollinger Farm at 9 am
April 15 Unit Dues are Due!
April 21-23 Living History with the 45th Illinois Infantry, Downtown Galena, IL (with a board meeting Saturday night)
April 28-30 Company Drill at Dollinger Farm, Minooka, IL

Remember that you can always find more event details and directions at the unit website, http://www.64thill.org/events/. We also have info on several Civil War dances/formal balls held throughout the year in the area.


From the Editor's Desk (okay, so it's more like a coffee table, but close enough)

Okay, guys, please bear with me in these difficult times. Or, more directly, please bear with me being the new organizer/editor/publisher (heaven help me) of the unit newsletter. This one in particular is my first attempt, so if there are any mistakes, type-o's, general signs of my continuing idiocy, please don't send me a letter or email calling me a twit. I already know I'm a twit, thank you. If I have made any grievous errors, however, you are more than welcome to let me know. If anything, that's the good thing of my being an openly admitted twit, I'm willing to concede to any mistakes I've made. If you like my work, on the other hand, I'm also willing to accept any baked goods sent to me. I'm especially partial to chocolate chip, but I've never said no to a good cookie.

Oh, well, I had to try.


Dues, Dues, Dues!!!
...and, of course, Insurance!

You all might be getting tired of this constantly getting drilled inside your heads but, let this be another reminder that dues and insurance fees are due on April 15 of this year. There is, of course, a grace period of 30 days (until May 15th) but if your fees have not been received by that time you will be dropped from the member roster and will need to petition the board if you wish to become a member again. I know some of you will wish to simply pay in person during the event in Naperville, but that re-enactment is during the May 19-21 weekend, and therefore past the grace period deadline. There will be no exceptions, so please, please, PLEASE pay by April 15th if you wish to remain a member. For 2006 the unit dues are $10 per individual or $15 per family. Insurance is $9 per member and are NOT optional. Please note that this insurance fee this year is slightly higher due to higher premiums. In making your due and insurance payment, please send them to our lovely unit treasurer, Dianna Bierman, at this address:

Dianna Bierman
1121 Westshire Drive
Joliet, IL  60435


A Small Change in the Event Schedule

Just to let everyone know, a company drill has been scheduled for April 28-30th at Dollinger Farm in Minooka, Illinois. We'd like to see a good group come out and participate, so please come if you can make it!


Western Brigade

As reported in the February newsletter, Scott is currently looking into the 64th joining the Western Brigade for future re-enactments. The whole idea of joining the Western Brigade is so the 64th will have a larger unit to participate with national events that the 1st Illinois Battalion does not attend. Both the Western Brigade and the 1st Illinois Battalion, however, will be attending the national event in Perryville this year.


Next Board Meeting

There is no board meeting scheduled for March. As of this publication, though, the April meeting with occur at the Galena event on April 22nd, which will be on a Saturday evening. A specific time will be designated later on.


Door's Open
By Ken Gough

We're 'Over the Top', 'Past the Point of No Return', 'On the Downhill Slide', or however you want to call it. The point is, winter's almost over and this season's events are just around the corner.

Are you ready?

With the gas companies trying to pick our pockets on an epic scale the weather gods have been kind to us by softening the blow. In other words, you can get a jump on getting organized cause it's nice enough outside to drag out all that stuff that's been piled in the corner of the garage since the last event.

Take a deep breath and tip that pile over. You really should have aired that stuff out before stacking it up. You dive back in there and start chucking junk out the door, ignore the staring neighbors who think you're setting up a particularly low-end yard sale.

Pay attention to the orange flaky things that used to be your cookware. It would be a whole lot easier to clean and re-season them now that trying to do it Friday night at Naperville. That rag you've been using to pick up the orange things, shake it out. Oops. I think that may have been a chemise at some point of time. You think that maybe you'll have to make up another one soon?

You get the idea.

Now, while you're busy replacing or repairing your stuff, think of what you want out of the event this coming year. Yeah, we all talk about teaching the public but let's be honest, if we're not having fun ourselves we're not going to be very good teachers, now are we? Pick up one thing and research the hell of out of it (no, that doesn't mean you'll end up like me, but am I really that bad?).

Example:

Coin collecting during the Civil War years. My apologies to any Numismatists out there. Look up old magazines or books. Try to locate one or two examples to show. If possible, mount them in a period-like manner. By now you should be able to talk to the public, possibly in first person, about the hobby you enjoy. Don't forget to have some fund with it. Ask spectators if they may have a coin to sell that you could add to your collection.

Then the fun starts. Nothing will prime the pump of a first person like a little light confrontation. Fathers with kids in tow are a great target of opportunity for this kind of thing. After all, 'dad knows everything'. - At least until the kids turn thirteen, then he knows nothing. Be very careful, however, for if dad feels ridiculed just for fun's sake they'll be gone. If you include him in the fun, however, like making him a party to sucking in the next group of spectators, then he can feel a part of the process and everyone has fun.

Berate him/her/them for trying to foist off an obvious counterfeit! 'After all, look at that date. And Lincoln's alive, how did he end up on a penny?' 'Come on, that's some kinda joke campaign token, ain't it? There's no way he's going to be president that long!' The lengths that some people will go to convince you it's really the 21st century is worth the effort in itself. Be ready to bail if the whole thing's not working, though. Some spectators just won't walk into that world and offending someone who thinks they're being made fun of just isn't the point.

Be very careful that no matter how much fun you have in your chosen subject that you must keep true to the basic facts. Using our example, a true Numismatic (love that name) will come along and catch you making it up and then your credibility is shot. Believe me, paradox (21st meets the 19th century) alone will be enough to carry this scenario along.

I used this technique on a lady just this past year who inquired about buying one of my quilts. I expounded on all the work that went into its construction, the time spent lovingly stitching it together, -you get the idea. Then I told her that I had to ask five dollars for the quilt in question. When she asked in disbelief, 'Five dollars?', I caved and told her that it was highway robbery but she could have it for four-fifty. By the time the poor woman caught on to hat I was doing she had me down to three seventy-five and I was calling her a thief. Everyone in the cabin was rocking with laughter by that time.

You get the idea.


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