Monday, May 19, 2008

Where Was I....

Over the last little while

(since St. Pat's Day),

I flat haven't had the energy or the time to post anything. Politically, things are in the shitter

(I don't need to tell you that!),

Personally, not much has been going on to write about. I think part of my problem is that I have never, ever liked repeating myself & that's what a lot of blogging is about. You all know what I think politically, religiously, and personally

(Unless I really need to rehash something)

and I've always thought that if I have to say the same things over and over, then either (or both) of two things is true:

1. The intelligence of the reader/listener is sorely lacking
(not true in the case of those I call friends)


2. I S.U.C.K. as a communicator.
(the most likely of the two).

Well either way. let me try to catch up in what's been going on in the Bodhran Clan.

Firstly, Squeaks has been rechristened. Since he breaks wind with the resounding thunder of his old man, he is henceforth called Boomer. He's almost 3 months old now. I'll have some new photos soon.

Secondly, I was informed last week that my work day has been shortened from 9 am - 7(ish) pm, to 11:30 am - 7(ish) pm. The volume of freight over the last few months just hasn't been there.

For example, if I had more than two deliveries & more than 2 pick-ups, (granted I cover a large area), I was a busy man. Lately, I leave the dock with one delivery, drop it off around 10 am or so, and find a place to park until 4:15 when I go to my first of two daily pickups, unless I'm lucky enough to get called for an unscheduled pickup.

If it wasn't for the fact that I'm a voracious reader (and sometimes napper) I'd be bored off my ass! Hell, face it, I'm both of those things and I'm still bored off my ass with my job. I became a truck driver to see a whole helluva lot more of the country than the northeastern part of The Sheoples Republic of Illinois!

Damned familial responsibilities....


Thirdly, living history. Now, I know the history and origins of the bodhran, & to be honest although it is an ancient instrument it just plain wasn't in this part of the country during the time I reenact -- early French & Indian War.

It. Wasn't. Here!

Usually, I don't care (I seriously couldn't care less) of what most people think of me. However, I do have friends who are living historians (Seamus, Petey, Wil & others) & I'm not ashamed to say that I DO care what these fella's think in the context of historical accuracy.

While discussing the issue of the bodhran in the Northwest Territories in the middle part of the18th century, I challenged my very good friend and confidant Seamus to find information on the subject, knowing all the while what he'd find but hoping he'd find something I'd missed.

He searched, he cursed, he searched some more, he drank, he searched some more, drank more, tried to deny the evidence before him.... and finally came to terms with the fact:

There is no documentation that we could find of there ever having been bodhrans in this part of the country before the early 20th century!

Needless to say this sucks for me! It's what I do, I play the bodhran and sing Jacobite songs! What the hell do I do now?!

I strive for historical accuracy. For fooksake, I shaved off my facial hair after a discussion with Seamus and Wil about how improper beards were considered for "civilized" men in polite company.

How can one put a limit on historical accuracy? If I continue playing my bodhran at events, would I be perpetuating a lie upon those who come to reenactments to be educated in the life-ways of our ancestors?

I don't think I could LIE to people like that!


  1. Holy Crap dude.

    We ALL have things that aren't quite accurate and we KNOW it. I just bought a guitar for taking to events. I know the guitar is a woman's instrument in the 18th century. But I love music and used to play guitar and it was the idea of playing with my friends at events that got me back into it.

    Hell, I even bought a Bodhran to try and learn to play as well. Can't seem to get the hang of it, but I am trying.

    Just pick your events. Galesburg, other bubbavous, bring the damn drum.

    Or else, no peach nectar.

    'Course, that would mean you would have to come to some more events.

    Just kidding.

    And as to the facial hair. WTF???

    I wear a goatee. Not because it is right, but I just prefer to have one. We all strive to be very accurate, but we are not professional nor is this the only thing we do. Sometimes, real life wins out over re-enacting life. But thats me and my choice.

    Ask Seamus about my reaction to seeing him for the first time clean -shaven. Granted, I was drunk, but still. And I will do the same to you.

  2. Personally, I applaud you for doing what you think is right. Don't let anyone else try to tell you what or how to do anything when it involves your hobby and how you feel about it.

    With that being said, I think you could still bring it for after hours, but as we had talked that's like using a flashlight after hours, so I can see your point.

    I think Petey is missing the point, it's not about doing something you don't want to do, it's about taking pride in doing something right.

    I shaved my facial hair, because it wouldn't have been proper and I wanted to be more historically accurate.

  3. My good and Irish friend. Red just told me that you had a blog so here it comes. Frist, Scot and Irish folk ran the big fur companies, ie HBC, XYZ, and the Northwest Company, since the early 18th century. These men explored, traded, and settled most of this country{ Northwest territoiy} Well into the mid 18th and early 19th century. You can not tell me that some clerk, engaee, or partasin didn't own a balderan.
    2nd Not all imfo is readly out and alot of what is useally is false or miss interpeted.
    3rd I'm home for a while so give me the chance to look around. I'm not saying that I'll have any better luck than anyone else but give me a little time.
    Last I would suggest that for your music just find some old Inish or Scot songs the are correct to the time frame you wish to portray. It's very and I mean VERY likely the Irish and Scot immegrits brought there music and instuments to the new world with them.