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 Views on CBI reenacting (7 Replies, Read 14002 times)
Texasmatt
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Howdy fellows
I am a certified school teacher, guide for USS Texas, and living historian.
My question is what is the opinion of the forum-specifically CBI veterans and their families-about living historians portraying CBI personnel?
Is this acceptable by the majority?
Likewise, what would be the best sort of uniform or display to do? Would the group suggest travelling around an event wearing a correct uniform, a static table display? Both? Weather and security of display would be a factor.
I wish the greatest respect, and welcome any and all comments.
Thanks.
Matt
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Views on CBI reenacting
gemiller111
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As a living historian myself- for several time periods- I am well aware that it can be done as a correct tribute or as frivolous "Hollywood" play.  I never try to do a specific historical impression in public except for educational purposes.  I believe that historically correct clothing and equipment can help teach the true history of a subject in a fashion that makes the knowledge more lasting for the "students."  The obligation for the historian, therefore, is to do extensive research and to be correct in all said and done.  I have the advantage of access to all museum resources- including hands-on study of original items. Re the AVG, I do my impressions for and with the blessing of the Chennault Museum and of General Chennault's daughter and granddaughter.  I am asked to do an occasional program for school kids or for special events (Memorial Day celebration at the museum, for example).  I have also been asked to give a talk to appropriate organizations such as the Retired Military Officers.  I wear the correct khaki clothing most commonly seen in the period photos of AVG pilots.  I took great pains and expense to get the correct items- not something "close"- where this was possible. I bought several "Disney pins" and blood chits before I found ones that looked acceptable to me.  I was very careful in my selection of Chinese wings and bullion cap insignia.  I don't wear modern Navy/USMC khaki, I bought WWII style Army officer's khaki. If I can't get something made like the original, I don't use it (I can't find or make proper squadron/flight leader shoulder tabs) or, if I really need to use it, I explain why it is not 100% in my presentation.  I am sober and respectful; the glory is theirs, I only have the honor to tell their story. To date, I have not done any AVG impressions on my own at general WWII events or anywhere else other than by approval of the museum.

Edited by gemiller111 : July 31, 2012, 7:47 am
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Views on CBI reenacting
Texasmatt
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I actually meant ground crew etc. , but I understand .
Without official approval- no reenacting or living history.
I am sorry to have offended,
Matt
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Views on CBI reenacting
gemiller111
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Matt- You absolutely did NOT offend me so please do not worry about that.  I am obviously a supporter of appropriate living history.  But as such, I want to make sure I don't offend those who actually lived it or who had relatives who did.  It is "easier" to do good living history for periods like Civil War and 1812 where those who lived it are long gone and so are their immediate descendants. (Folks here in the South don't find Yankee uniforms offensive, for example, as they likely would have when Reconstruction memories were still fresh.  I still feel bad about doing a German WWII impression many years ago and unknowingly making a camp survivor uncomfortable.)  I make sure the museum is OK with what I do because I live right here in General Chennault's last hometown and some descendants are right here and are friends of mine.  My opinion, for what it is worth, would be the same for ground crew.  Research, correct clothing and equipment, and be sure the portrayal is appropriate and respectful.  You don't need anyone's approval (and no one can claim to be an "official approver"); you just don't want to knowingly offend. As a guide for the Texas, you would be very aware of what I mean so I have no worries about your intent- especially since you sought out this forum and asked. I'm just a guy who is interested in the AVG and is in awe of what they did. There are folks on this forum with "first hand" and "second hand" AVG connections.  I am sure those folks would have or will speak up if they have any concerns about what you ask- or what I do and have said for that matter.  PS- I see no difference between good "displays" and what can be seen at a museum.  Not everything in a museum is original, for example.  I hope this helps.

Edited by gemiller111 : August 3, 2012, 2:42 pm
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Views on CBI reenacting
gemiller111
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PPS- I lived for many years in Houston.  My in-laws are still there.  I did CW, Republic of Texas, 1880s, Alamo, and Mexican War during my time in Texas.  A couple of my friends were school teachers who wore their uniforms when teaching history.  I am VERY sympathetic and supportive of what you are doing.  I enjoy seeing good reenactors at a historical settings- whether that be the USS Texas, Williamburg, Shiloh, or Memorial Day at the Chennault Museum.  Thanks for wanting to keep history alive.
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Views on CBI reenacting
Texasmatt
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Thanks for the postings.
Your letters clear up many of my concerns and answers several general questions, too.
Ding hao!
Matt
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Views on CBI reenacting
puailihau
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The AVG Living History Group is accepted by the tiger families as a reenacter group. www.avglivinghistorygroup.com
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Views on CBI reenacting
aaatripp
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cousin of Maax C. Hammer, Jr., AVG 22Sep41 RIP
Quote From : puailihau August 14, 2012, 6:50 pm
The AVG Living History Group is accepted by the tiger families as a reenacter group. www.avglivinghistorygroup.com


Dear Puailihau,

I just came across your posting from 5 years ago.  Could you please clarify your statement?  Thank you.


-----------------------
Tripp

Tripp Alyn, chair
Historical & Museums Committee
AVG Flying Tigers Association
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