Signal Corps Association Reenactors Division (SCARD)

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Posted By: Chuck Lee on: 06/18/2002 13:52:03 CDT
Subject: RE: Is SCARD For Real?

Message Detail:
I'd second a list of recommended sutlers. Like Ted, I am no fan of the dreaded Thread Nazis - nor of the fellows who show up wearing the French Army surplus wool coats and pretend they're authentic except for... just about everything. We have one fellow in our group who has been trying to sneak in Sportsman's Guide other-nations'-armies-surplus junk, and keeps getting sent back to the tent to put on the right clothes. In his case, he's not pinched for cash as I was when I started (try and outfit four men - my boys are VERY tall - and two women the same season!), he's just cheap. The problem's the same, though.

So the list of recommmended sutlers appeals to me. By the same token, we have to be very, very careful in listing who we recommend - and certainly not ever mention who we recommend they avoid. As long as we include the ever-tedious disclaimer that the listed merchants are not an endorsement of a particular business or product, but rather an indicator of history and experience in having dealt with these particular sutlers by certain of the SCARD members, and consequently reflecting only THEIR satisfactory experiences, blah blah blah blah... then I think SCARD probably has no legal exposure.

The notion of a "loaner closet" is one I heartily endorse. My wife and I are fortunate in that we have a fair amount of extra "stuff" accumulated since we started reenacting. We have extra blankets, canteens, rope beds, gum blankets, boots, a couple of uniforms, haversacks, braces - in short, enough to outfit several people for a weekend. We often do.

Seeing the "price of admission" - the total price tag on all that you probably will need, and a couple of things you'll want, can be rather daunting to the new recruit. It was enough to discourage us for a couple of seasons.

I'm definitely in favor of an authentic impression, but until I hit the PowerBall - and I'm waiting for the cash payout to be around $21 Million 'cause I've got a lot of that already mentally committed - I'm opposed to spending, for instance, $450 for a sack coat that, as Ted points out, "could be in a museum" when I can buy one off the rack if I want one for $65, and the only folks who can tell the difference between mine and theirs know a little too much about fabric for my taste. There IS a middle ground between neurotic authenticity and "don't give a rip" farbosity, and it's not as bad as the Thread Nazis act like it is, nor as stringent as the "don't give a rip's" cry.

SCARD is a great place to establish the guidelines, and to offer guidance of the sort that is meaningful and positive. It's going to require the contributions of many in order to accomplish all its aims, though. Not everyone is going to have a contribution regarding uniforms, but may have a contribution to make in other areas. Whether sooner or later, perhaps having a list of SCARD projects could help folks identify projects they'd like to participate in, or even spearhead on SCARD's and reenacting's behalf.

Chuck Lee

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