To the Times of Ti:
Finally, something in the paper about Fort Ti that wasn’t all perfect and made everything seem so rosy which it isn’t. I was there for breakfast two weekends ago. I felt like I was at a funeral and not the usual happy place with happy workers and vibrant music playing. The times they are a changing. And not in a good way.
There were six letters written about the fort and the re-enactors recently and the one thing we all have in common is the love of history, American history. The three fellows that sent letters in response to my last letter all wrote about change.
The gentleman from New Mexico mentioned the weather being bad for the F and I (French and Indian War) re-enactment in June and that could be the reason for the small turnout. Re-enactors are a hearty group, we pack many changes of clothes and footwear for all kinds of weather conditions. If you remember the 250th anniversary of the French and Indian War a few years back you will remember the worst rain I have seen in years. We were soaked, our canvass was soaked. We have learned to be prepared for anything. Too hot, too cold, too wet. We adapt. The running joke is “they had bad weather in the 18th century.”
As for being proactive, after seeing the writing on the wall following the low turnout for the June event, I met the head of the (Ticonderoga) chamber of commerce and volunteered to help him with whatever he needed help with as far as trying to bring money into the community. I have also been in contact with town supervisor’s office about the same thing. Remember, I live here part time. I care about the area.
The gentleman from Virginia who is involved with history and museums, want a job? Come on up, have a chat with HR at the fort. But those restaurants you went to on your last visit to the area may not be around, God willing they will be.
And last but not least is Mario, a re-enactor from New York who states there are two groups of re-enactors, while he is right about two groups he is wrong about which two groups. The first group is the military groups: your British soldiers and your French soldiers their gear costs about $4,000 and they all look the same. The second group is everyone else: Militia, Native Americans. Sutlers etc.
As I was waiting to be seated at a local restaurant the other night I saw many people there that had been at the seminars at the fort all day.I looked at these people closely and something shocked me. They didn’t seem to be the average, every day person. I realized then what this whole thing about only certain re-enactors were wanted (Group One ) at the fort. Its all about money. The man from Virginia also stated in his letter that Fort Ti was America’s Fort. While it might have been America’s Fort in the past it isn’t now. Now it’s certain Americans’ Fort. It is not the common man’s fort (Group Two, common men portraying common men) just the people with money fort. How sad is that? I had not seen things this way at first because it is a completely foreign way of thinking for me. I have more than some and less than some and could not care less about it. It amazes me that in this day and age this still happens.
At last year’s group meeting to discuss which re-enactments we would go to we had about 70 we could go to. In the area there is Crown Point, Hubberton , Independence, Sturbridge Village . We have a good reputation and always get asked back... what some people need to realize is we are volunteers, we pay our own way, we ask nothing. We do this for the love of history, our history. I must say it has been an honor and a privilege to portray living history at the Great Fort Ticonderoga. Maybe one day we will be back.
Jeanette Siatkowski, Tannersville