Klash on the Kankakee- We Stuck it Out!

Klash – we had it all. The Revolutionary War reenactment was cold, hot, rainy, sunny, windy, still…you name it. We had it. And you know what? We put on our big boy pants, manned up, and chose to stay. And I want to thank those that stuck it out.

I know, I’m talking about the weather. Not so interesting, right? But because of the extremes, some of the upper echelon of NWTA people were thinking of canceling the event on Sunday, and I’m really, very glad they didn’t.

We were all worried that Sunday would be as hot as Saturday, sure. And we were worried it might rain like it did Saturday night. But guess what? It didn’t. The weather was beautiful on Sunday, and we had a decent amount of public come out in the afternoon.

Continental Marines Recruitment Card (Business Card) Front
Continental Marines Recruitment Card (Business Card) Front
Continental Marines Recruitment Card (Business Card) Back
Continental Marines Recruitment Card (Business Card) Back

In fact, our lieutenant handed out a number of the recruitment cards I made this winter. He gave them to interested public who may have some interest in reenacting. Had the event been canceled, those cards never would have made it to those people. Now I’m not saying anything will come of it, but at least there’s a chance.

And really, it’s one thing going home because the heat made you feel sick or something. It’s completely different if you’re feeling fine and maybe tomorrow will be hot again.

I mean, where does it stop? Once we start canceling full days of events because of what might happen with the weather, who says the powers-that-be won’t do that all the time? And then, how awful is that for the people who drove 6 + hours to get to that event?

Once Ginny started dunking her head in the water on Saturday, many of us followed.
Once Ginny started dunking her head in the water on Saturday, many of us followed.

If we don’t want to reenact in the heat, why do we have summer events? In Illinois? I’m not saying we shouldn’t. I’m saying that Illinois weather is unpredictable and our summers are kinda hot. Why is this suddenly a surprise?

We need to suck it up. I realize that’s not always easy. Heck, I’ve got a baby and a toddler out there. It’s not easy for me either. During the hot Saturday afternoon, I kept having to remind mysel that I do this because it brings family and friends together on a regular basis. And if we want the NWTA to continue and grow, we can’t get all mamsy pamsy.

The kids played in the water all weekend long, and loved it!
The kids played in the water all weekend long, and loved it!

The forecast for Sunday looked ominous, true. About half of our numbers left Saturday night…ironic, since Sunday turned out to be so beautiful.

Now I realize I’m very invested in reenacting. I want my kids to grow up making reenacting a priority, like my husband’s family does. I want NWTA events to be our weekend vacations throughout the year. I want my kids to have the stability of friends and family that they can count on seeing – both kids their own age and adults they can look up to. I want events to bring my kids together when they’re all over the place in high school, college, and beyond. Because that’s what the NWTA did for Thomas’ family, as well as plenty of others. Heck, I met my husband out there!

Plus, reenacting provides an appreciation for history that kids just aren’t going to get in school. We don’t focus on specific battles or memorize a bunch of dates. We learn and portray the lives of the people during the American Revolution. Way more interesting, if you ask me, and I want to give that to my kids.

So that might mean I’m a little more apt to push through a hot day than others. I just hope those others – the fair weather reenactors who only reenact when it’s really easy – I hope they realize that if we all took that attitude, there would be no reenactments at all, fair weather or not. So if those others want reenactments to be there for them, maybe they should step up and show up.

We certainly shouldn’t be canceling events unless they’re really, really bad, especially when we aren’t sure what the weather is actually going to be.

Like that Mount Prospect event a couple years ago. That was so cold, rainy, and miserable, I felt so relieved when they called it. I guess the difference to me is that the Mount Prospect event was already pretty bad. We didn’t call it off because of a weather forecast that may or may not have panned out.

Once again, thank you to all you awesome reenactors who didn’t leave because of a bad forecast. We lucked out with a beautiful Sunday. That won’t always happen when we stick it out, but it did this time, and hopefully we’ll remember that next time there’s a bad forecast. The weatherman is sometimes wrong.

Klash on the Kankakee Sunday Afternoon
Klash on the Kankakee Sunday Afternoon

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