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Gettysburg Summit 2002

This web page chronicles the Gettysburg Summit held March 22, 2002 in Gettysburg Pennsylvania. Big thanks to Pennsylvania Dan [A.K.A. Neosmatrix] who pulled this thing together.

I left right from work Friday night after printing out the directions from MapQuest.  I’ve taken that route with Carol a hundred times, but the directions that I got from MapQuest just seemed quicker and more direct… I hope the MapQuest system isn’t leading our forces around in Iraq.

It was surreal, talking on the phone with my wife, Carol, occasionally on the way down while reading the directions that took me almost on the same route I always follow when we go to her parents house, while taking short excursions around this bend or that bend to see things in that area I hadn’t seen before. All the while I’m scanning the FM and the AM dial for war news. The best I could find was around New York City, the CBS Radio news had everything from on-the-scene reports from a bombed out Baghdad to the obnoxious protestors in Washington DC and Chicago.

Hours later, I pulled into Neo’s driveway. First impressions of Neo when I met him for the first time in person was that he’s a gentle giant who takes everything in before saying anything… Neo is a young man of few words.

Couple of hours after I laid down to take a nap, I woke up and we got ready and headed out on time. The ride over to Gettysburg, we had a long conversation about High School and IndyGear. I have to admit I’m intrigued by fellow Gearheads in High School and College. What kind of things are you guys going through? How different is it today from when I wore my fedora to school each day? What’s the dating scene for young Gearheads these days? Just things I’m always asking about.

[Pictured Above: "The best fedora in… "In the event that I was around during the civil war and I happened to be into leather… this would have been the best fedora I’ve ever worn in 200 years!" It's an inside joke that ties into my motto when describing the fedora I bought from Akubra... out of the few pictures I took of the museum at Gettysburg, this is one of the few that survived...]

We finally got to Gettysburg and Neo read the map while I was driving to the visitor center. I insist that he had me drive around the same block twice so he could see a cute college girl walking by. We parked at the Gettysburg Visitors center and awaited for the other guys to show up. Neo was able to talk to Mike on the cellphone… little did we know that while we were walking around and waiting out front, he happened to park next to the silver beetle with New Hampshire plates (Mine) few minutes after we arrived.

What I learned from the other times I’ve met other Indy-Gearheads is that you always have to go though who’s wearing what. Mike… was the real deal. Everything he wore was authentic… the Herbert Johnson Fedora, Wested Jacket, Noel Howard shirt and pants and the Alden boots with black socks. (We had a laugh or two about the debate about whether Harrison wore black or dark brown socks.) Neo had the Cabela shirt, Dockers and his Michealson Borsalino… while I was wearing the best of what LL Bean had to offer… the safari shirt I wore the night I ran out into the middle lanes of the highway to get that mattress out of the way, my heavy knit pants, Rockport boots, Wested… and the best fedora I’ve ever owned in 20 years- the Akubra Federation. We all exchanged hats and jacket to give them the once over then went back to the front of the visitor center to look for Captain D.

After waiting for D, we went inside to see if he was waiting there. Little bit about the Museum: perfectly laid out, well sized but with all the rifles, uniforms, and the diarama’s… there is so much to take in. Here we were, trying to find D and looking at the artifacts at the same time… I was hardly able to get come clever quips in…

The Four Hombre’s

This is the first pic taken of the four of us together… this short hill overlooking the field and more then a few monuments. It can’t be understated the importance of this field and it’s place in American History. Every American should come here at least once.

Pictured Pennsylvania Dan, a.k.a. NeosMatrix; Aaron, a.k.a. Captain D; Mike Marosy; Renderking Fisk.

We check outside for Aaron (Captain D)… every time we saw someone with a wide brim hat our hearts leapt. Another thing about the Gettysburg area… there are so many people walking around with Civil War era uniforms. Three guys wearing different variations of the Raiders outfit didn’t phase anyone. Heck… you saw so many young men wearing Boy Scout Uniforms you would have thought there was a search and rescue party for the Raiders of the Cross of Coronado.

While we were waiting a young man with a Marrine haircut walks up to us and says hello. “Which one of you is Renderking?” It’s odd to have folks ask for me by that name out side of COW, other forums or work (I printed out the logo Marcus made for me months of go and used that in place of my name tag at my desk.) It was Aaron with out a fedora which he left at his car. Again we did the breif rundown of who’s wearing what. Aaron was wearing his dye free Herbert Johnson shirt and jeans… looked good. Thanks to the extra pair from Neo to Aaron… we all had Wells Lamont. As we walked from the back of the Museum to Aaron’s car we noted how great it was to hear how everyone pronounces product names such as Alden’s or Wells Lamont and Akubra.

The big book

You’ve heard of The Good Book? Now… this is the The Big Book. It’s made of concrete, which makes changing the pages during story time real hard.

We agreed that we would walk around the battlefield and Aaron would lead the way. One thing I didn’t know about Aaron… he really knows his Gettysburg history. He lead the tour and gave breif discriptions of what happened in the area. After hearing him talk about what happened there, I really want to study more about that era and watch the moves he glowed about “Gettysburg” and “God and Generals”.

Talking with the other guys, I was real happy. These are guys that I’ve gotten to know really well on this forum. We talked about other members of the board, we wondered out-loud about the guys we hadn’t heard from a while and other folks we all regard as being members of our own familes, (Michelson's been elevated to a folk hero, while Indiana John’s a virtual Saint for bringing all this together… Saint John? Father John? Hmmmm.)

We talked a lot about old Gear memories… the hats we’ve loved and lost (And my brief history about the many stetsons that have come and gone.) It’s funny how the search for Gear was before Indy John and the other contributing members. Mike and I agreed that one of the best places for gear back in our teens was surplus Army and Navy stores. I was blessed gowning up with a library that had catalogs from all over the country or the world while Mike was ordering from direct suppliers. If Mike wants to tell the story about the longest wait for some of his gear, I’ll let him do so cause it’s his story: but I’ll warn you- after you hear it I never want any of you to complain about a long wait ever again!

Monuments

There's really so much to see here at Gettysburg, and part of a morning and an afternoon just isn't enough. Every State that had been involved in The Civil War has sent a monument to this region or had one commissioned by a local company. Not only are there a lot of monuments here, but there are also countless others around the area, indicating where solders camped, where they fought other skirmishes... I got the idea that there were many people from this area who have made it their careers to keep track of all of these things, I'm sure it's a full time job.

Civil Warriors

Amazing thing about this town is the "casual" dress. Sometimes it seemed there were more people dressed either in Union or Confederate Uniforms. There were also as many Boy Scouts in uniform then in everyone else in modern/contemporary clothes.

[Pictured on the on the left - a Sepia picture of "Gettysbrew" and their logo. Below Left: me and an old car that someone is restoring, which was parked outside of Gettysbrew.]

After walking around the battlegrounds and monuments (Someone’s making a fortune selling Granite and bronze Statues.) we went to an out of the place Neo had found on line. I have to hand it to Neo… I don’t know HOW HE DID THIS! He found "Gettysbrew," an old barn converted to a restaurant/brew house.

Although the main section was closed, the location and the ambiance was perfect. Our host (and I’m guessing the owner) was a terrific sport who knew we were coming thanks to Neo e-mailing ahead. (The service was excellent...) In the main section, there was the fireplace that reminded all four of us of the one in the Raven bar to a small extent.

 

Obviously, Mike looks more the part then I do.

Gettysbrew Interior

These time-laps photos just go to show what a little practice with a whip can do... strike fear in the hearts of villains and the neighbors. While Mike and Pennsylvania Dan were cracking whips, the neighbors who owned property next to this field came to watch. Captain D said would be a good place to show off...

From there, we went to find a field for whip cracking. Here, Neo and Mike were the stars! I was impressed with Neo and his nylon whip. That gentle giant can crack! He was doing double cracks that were just awesome and loud. Mike, wearing his authentic gear was a real site. Aaron and I were the learners, getting in some good cracks with some brief lessons. While resting, mike and I were sitting on the stone wall. I told him this was the best time I had with out Carol since we got married. He had to laugh…

It was time for Aaron to get going, and we drove back to the Visitor center. Aaron told us he was going to be a part of the Re-enactment this July and we should come and see it. We agreed we would all be back, if not then, another time.

From there, we said good by to Mike… wish we could have done more while we were there and I feel bad for cutting it short after Aaron left but I still had to bring Neo home then drive all the way back to New Hampshire. Mike was a real sport and we all agreed we’re going to have to get together again soon. The way we all got along, I knew the next gathering that was planned I wasn’t going to miss.

I would have called you guys to let you know I made it home, but it was 2:30 AM (New Hampshire time) when I got back and I literally got undressed, crawled into bed with Carol, Coppertop, Lizzy an Noel and fell asleep. I was THAT exhausted. It’s Monday morning now… and my arm is still sore from the whip. 

 

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