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 Posted: Mon Jun 18th, 2007 11:02 pm
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PvtClewell
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As I prepare to leave on Saturday to spend a week in Gettysburg for the Civil War Institute, I'll be leaving my wife behind to fend for herself once again for the 17th year. I was just curious to see how the rest of you get along with your spouses or significant others when it comes to your interest in the Civil War. Are they supportive? Share your interest? Groan and consider having you committed?

My wife of 27 years has only a marginal interest in the war and I guess I'm lucky we're still happily married after I've dragged her to sites a far north as Brunswick, Me. (we found Chamberlain's grave) and as far south as Ft. McAlister in Savannah, Ga., as far east as Ft. Fisher in Wilmington, NC, and as far west as Shiloh.

I try to keep it interesting for her, spending nights at B&B's or taking ghost tours in Gettysburg, Charleston or Savannah, which she enjoys (ghost tours! that could be another thread). Our TV room/den has two Kunstler and one JP Strain prints and any number of artifacts that I've collected over the years, which I'm pretty sure is not part of her sense of design for the house.

All in all, she's been a real trooper. How goes it for the rest of you?



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 Posted: Tue Jun 19th, 2007 02:15 am
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Johan Steele
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My wife shares my passion for the period.  For my wife it is the knowledge that she is trying to learn more of her GGG Grandmother, Myra, one of the last slaves imported into the US in 1860.

Her impression of a free woman of color stops traffic, both public & re-enactor; when she cooks people stop and absorb the smells and when she speaks people can't help but listen.

Frankly, my own impression of a scoundral corporal pales next to her impression of a common civilian of the day.

Last edited on Tue Jun 19th, 2007 03:42 pm by Johan Steele



 Posted: Tue Jun 19th, 2007 02:22 am
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ole
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Dear One doesn't share my interest either, so I don't take her along on excursions. Did take her to Antietam/Manassas/Harpers Ferry early on, and she gamely trotted along -- not coming alive until we got into Harpers Ferry with its quaint buildings and little shops.

Next year's muster is in Charleston/Savannah. She's already checking flights and such. The reason? All the good stuff that has nothing to do with the WBTS. Besides, when we were in Savannah last year, I had to drag her away so we could at least stay close to our schedule.

I know only a few couples who share the fascination. Luck?

Ole



 Posted: Tue Jun 19th, 2007 03:14 am
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JoanieReb
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All I can say right now is, my deepest sympathies.

There are ways to get your spouse involved, but you may have to be willing to let it be "all about him/her", no matter what you wish to say or do.

Good luck!

Last edited on Tue Jun 19th, 2007 03:16 am by JoanieReb



 Posted: Tue Jun 19th, 2007 01:54 pm
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Albert Sailhorst
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My wife is glad to let me go to reenactments!! I'll leave on a Friday, her mother will come to pick up my son for the weekend, so the little woman gets a respite from hearing me rattle on about battles, pards and miniture soldiers!!

She did make a dress for herself, and she usually goes to 2 events a year, but usually she comes out on Saturday and leaves after the battle. We've got 2 dogs at home, so someone needs to take care of them. I'm trying to get her more involved by getting her books about women of the period, etc. I've even offered to buy her an evening dress so we could go to the dances.

As our 5 year old son gets older and better able to go with me to events, I think maybe she'll want to go too.

Her main reason for not going too often is that she doesn't want to travel too far (which, in my opinion, is NOT a valid arguement!!)

All in all, she supports me, but I think she stays at home to enjoy the quiet.



 Posted: Tue Jun 19th, 2007 03:13 pm
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David White
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Al I'll say is she is resigned to her lot.



 Posted: Tue Jun 19th, 2007 03:16 pm
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j harold 587
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Happily my wife of 36 years enjoys camping and learning about just about anything. She also enjoys antiques and travel. I now have a room (kids have moved out) for my WBTS books and relics. She redecorated it with border, window treatment, and a Dale Gallion signed and numbered print of the 8th Ohio at Gettysburg.  She has built and painted fence at Gettysburg with me and numerous ranger walks at many battlefields. We also build reproduction period furniture and she does folk art so museums and homes are field research for us.  I guess you can tell from this post that she supports my WBTS intrest.



 Posted: Tue Jun 19th, 2007 03:52 pm
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Albert Sailhorst
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David,

Yep, that's the problem!! Being home alone is too much fun for her!! Maybe the next time I go to an event, I'll leave her a list of things to do!!....Mow all the land....paint the house inside and out, wash all the vehicles, etc!!.....Then, she'll BEG to go!!



 Posted: Tue Jun 19th, 2007 06:03 pm
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younglobo
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Albert

Or she will do like my wife would and smack me with the list.

My wife of 12 years supports my civil war habit, early on when i took up reenacting she went with me but then 3 kids came along which hinders her interest in camping out of doors , if the event is not to far away she brings the kids out for the Sat. afternoon so they can "watch daddy play " as she calls it . Sometimes she still comes on her own when gma will babysit. We even went to Pea Ridge AR battlefeild as part of our honeymoon so i guess she would be considered supportive. You have to do that in marriage support each others interests or you are doomed . She supports my c.W. habit and I let her scrapbook LOL , she watches the kids and i go reenact and when she wants to go to her fav scrapbook store i dont  object or watch the kids while she is scrapin with friends.

 



 Posted: Tue Jun 19th, 2007 06:20 pm
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Albert Sailhorst
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younglobo,

I've been hit with many lists in the past, sometimes for even less!

In July, I'm hosting a "Summer Encampment" for my reenatcing Unit. I was telling my 5 year old son about it, and how he could camp with the "soldiers", etc. During supper that night, he answered the phone. He said into the phone "Oh, Hi mee-maw!! Guess what??...The soldiers are comming to camp out at our house!!"....My wife dropped her fork, gave a stern-quizzical looked, and asked "What does he mean 'the soldiers are comming to camp'?"....I said, "Uh, yeah....I was gonna mention that...."....As it turns out, she's volunteered to fix biscuits & gravy for us for breakfast, so I did pretty good!! Actually, there's been very few events that she didn't make some kind of pie or desert to send for the boys.....She's even helped me make hardtack!!

I just wish she'd get more involved and participate in the events. Slowly, I'm geting my son involved. He was on hand for Memorial Day ceremonies at a Confederate Cemetary. He got to hold the flag, march and salute. He did pretty good, too (we even got our picture in the paper!). I'll take him to some events that are closer to home, that way, if he wants to go back home, the wife won't have far to drive to get him. I think the encampment we're having will be good practice for him. He "graduated" pre-school a few weeks ago. For each child graduating, the Announcer would say, for example (Bobby's favorite color is yellow, he likes pizza and wants to be a doctor"....When my son was up there, it was announced that he wants to be a Soldier!!.....Ah, the apple doesn't fall too far, does it???

Last edited on Tue Jun 19th, 2007 06:22 pm by Albert Sailhorst



 Posted: Fri Jun 22nd, 2007 03:02 pm
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39th Miss. Walker
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I would say I am a very lucky man. On our honeymoon 30 years ago next month we camped at the Bull Run Regional Park and we literally walked for 7 days at every battlefield we could reach and did the Smithsonian.
She was also introduced to powerboat racing and for 28 years she helped and was a valuable member of the team, whether rebuilding carbs or working as a race official all over the country.
She has spent days with me restoring old graves in rural cemeteries and helped GPS and measure CW earthworks.
She loves to "chicken ride" so stopping at historical signs or exploring old sites are part and parcel. No matter what my interest, she is there to always support me.
Even when I go off for a week with some other earthworks nerds her reply is always "have fun". What a woman!!
We are partners in every sense of the word. Boy oh boy am I lucky!



 Posted: Fri Jun 22nd, 2007 09:42 pm
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PvtClewell
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Hey 39th,

I'm a big baseball fan, especially the Phillies. My wife and I got married in October 1980 and we drove to New England for our honeymoon. Our second stop on the way was to Cooperstown, where we visited the Hall of Fame.

1980, you might remember, was also the year the Phillies won the World Series. I always made sure we were in a motel room by 7 p.m. — to watch the World Series.

Two years later, I got into the Civil War big time.

And, yes, we're still married.



 Posted: Sun Jun 24th, 2007 02:26 am
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booklover
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At most times, my wife has what I would call benign neglect with my passion. She really doesn't care for me buying books, especially ones that I may never read but want for my collection, but then I point out that she has enough fabric to clothe a small city. She and I don't argue as much about it anymore.

Best
Rob



 Posted: Sun Jun 24th, 2007 03:09 pm
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ole
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Rob:

That's exactly the situation at our house -- I do my thing and she does hers. Then, we do create mutual ground where we focus on together.

Ole



 Posted: Mon Jun 25th, 2007 03:48 pm
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David White
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Rob:

Sounds like my house too without the fabric.  She's into other things but not as much as my purchase of books and her purchases usually revolves around the kids and getting things for them, which really allowed her to lay the guilt trip on me.  But I think she just resigned herself a few years ago to the fact and stopped the nagging and guilt trips as it only sowed discord and did no good anyway.  She still avoids anything to do with the CW unless absolutely trapped, like on a vacation, but she usually enjoys herself despite her objections when trapped.  For example she really like spending a whole day at Port Hudson a couple of years ago walking the entire five miles+ of trails they have there, of course it was December and not July.

Then again she still won't forgive me for taking her to Ft. Henry on our honeymoon, you should have seen the look on her face when she realized most of the fortifications were underwater.  She'll never stop talking about that one.

Last edited on Mon Jun 25th, 2007 03:50 pm by David White



 Posted: Mon Jun 25th, 2007 05:47 pm
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booklover
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David, lol! My wife and I went to Gettysburg a few years ago and by the time we got to the Copse of Trees, my suggestion that we go to East Cavalry Field was roundly met with a look that suggested I was crazy. Turns out it was better that we didn't since I never got to see the visitor's center (and its bookstore :D) and wouldn't have been able to see the cemetery as it was getting near closing time.

We had a  somewhat funny story that we still laugh about today. After walking the battlefield (in July, of course) I wanted to eat at the Herr House tavern. We walked in there in our shorts and soaked shirts to see people in suits and evening gowns. We were seated on the porch and basically made to feel like we had peed in the punch bowl. After eating 1/2 chickens that were $25 each, I asked the waiter if we were under-dressed. He looked at me with all seriousness and said "we're not a 4-star restaurant yet, so we will let anyone in. Next year you would be." Needless to say his tip was to read "How To Be A Smarter Waiter".

Best
Rob



 Posted: Mon Jun 25th, 2007 08:54 pm
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javal1
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booklover...

Had to laugh as I read your Herr Tavern story. Would be curious as to when this was. There was a time when that was a very fine dining establishment. Great food, friendly staff, etc. Then, in about 1998, it totally changed. They obviously thought they were a 4-star place, but they were in fact sliding in the wrong direction. Food got worse, staff got haughtier, atmosphere sucked. They seemed more concerned with turning it into a B&B after spending lots of money adding rooms upstairs. If you weren't planning on staying there, you were treated rudely. I for one will never return.

I would add that Herr's actually consists of 2 buildings, the restaraunt you speak of, and the bar/lounge building beside it. That's the one you should have gone to. You would have been the best dressed ones there. The staff is great, the barfare food is great, and it's a friendly atmosphere.

BTW, welcome to the board!



 Posted: Wed Jun 27th, 2007 01:46 am
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booklover
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Javal1,

We were there a little over three years ago. I saw the building next to it, and actually considered eating there, but then I though, nah, we'll be fine. Probably wouldn't have made a very good general (They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist------).

Appreciate the welcome. Hopefully I'll contribute something positive.

Best
Rob



 Posted: Wed Jun 27th, 2007 07:04 pm
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CWgal
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I hope this isn't just for men.  If so, forgive me ahead of time. 

It was the love of Civil War history that caused Steve (slnj) and I to find each other.  We love being on the field and we especially love getting together with our muster family.  We are already planning our retirement to buy an RV and hit every civil war site we can find, read every sign posted along the way. and read all those dusty civil war books in our library. :D

I wish I had a solution for you gents who are not fortunate enough to have a companion that shares your interest.  See, I once had the same problem.  (that is not why I got rid of him)  :P

Perhaps you can get her interested in the other cool things in the surrounding areas and you can do both.   Who knows, maybe, you will learn to love the things she is interested in also. ;)

Colleen aka CWgal



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