Stories From the Civil War

It was right after JM's graduation, that we noticed that there was a civil war fair close by. A bunch of my  friends and I decided to stop by and look around. Lo and behold, the sounds of the crowd was broken by a thundering explosion, followed by a shockwave of unforseeable magnitude. The shockwave passed through building glasses like ripples of water, your hearts stopped for a couple of miliseconds, as if you just fell from a plane. Then, applauses from the crowds roared as if  a magnificent play just ended. It was an authentic, restored, civil war era cannon, ignited with gunpowder. Thankfully all the crowds were warned multiple times beforehand, otherwise it would have been catasthrophic. We walked around to see what interesting things we could find; honestly we weren't expecting much. Boy, we were wrong, should have known from the cannonfire. The sound of guitars and songs caught my ears, a trio of musicians were playing instruments, singing songs from the civil war era; one of them was a child. They performed as if it was their backyard, filling between the songs with conversations, jokes, and crack-ups. "What other civil war songs do you know?" asked the old man in the middle, to which some of the audicence would reply with song names that I, not studying American history, wouldn't recognize. All three of them would start playing; guitars, percussion, and sung.

The boy would sometimes switch from percussion to play fiddle; he was great at both, but what caught my attention was his confidence, and his passion. At one point he muttered a song name to the old man in the middle, to which they would start playing a song that even I could recall, though I still couldn't remember the name of.

As we strolled onwards, we found an area where children and adults alike played some civil war games. Two of my friends were playing a game I would later found out to be called "Games of Graces". Game of Graces originated from france by the name "la grace". It involves two pair of sticks, and two pair of hoops, thrown in the air simultaneously, as both player try to capture their opponent's hoops.

Another thing that caught my attention was a booth full with food products. A table full of grains, cans, vegetables, eggs, all of which seemed older than I am. The booth guardian invited me to taste the hard tack, a kind of hard biscuit made using only flour and water, suitable for long travels. It is perhaps from here that J.R. Tolkien got his idea of both Cram (the Dwarven bread), and Lembas bread (the Elven bread). Trying it for the first time was exciting for me, I have heard and read of hardtack elsewhere many times, yet never actually came across it anywhere; I was ready for the worst. Instead, however, it tastes pretty normal, like a tasteless biscuit, I wouldn't mind having it as a carbohydrate with my soup.

The booth guardian went on to show us the dehydrated vegetables available at the time. The vegetables would be broken into a pot of water to make soups to eat the hardtack with, he went on to say that people back then didn't get enough vitamins and nutrients, after which I stopped listening as i took the picture of the dehydrated vegetables.

Sometime after the food booth, my camera decided that it was time to go to sleep, and I stopped taking pictures. Much more fun was had, yet not captured on camera. A shame, I must say, but nonetheless, I had a ton of fun at the vicil war fair. Behind every stories of wartime, lies the colorfull culture of the times; it is those colors that made photography and photojournalism so much fun.