March 2011 Newsletter
Although it was last minute, and not many of you guys could attend, the Anabasis was a really great event that I intend to schedule twice a year – Spring and Fall – at the McIntosh Reserve Park. The Spring experience will be placed in March in lieu of Lafe, while I intend to schedule the Fall outing in either September or October depending on the potential for events like Roper Mountain, etc, to be scheduled during one of those months.
The event this past month was attended by myself, Chris Stewart, and Alex Matras. Although originally scheduled to begin on Friday, due to the limited number of participants and the fact that neither myself nor Alex could get there until very late in the day, I decided to delay STARTEX until Saturday AM. Accordingly, the three of us arrived early Saturday, selected a campsite, and prepared the Castra. Our campsite selection was OK – we were told by the Rangers that by choosing the site on the backside of the “amphitheater” we’d avoid a crowd of Boy Scouts (which never showed). As it was, we ended up being observers of (and observed by – think of a pig looking at a wrist watch) a wedding rehearsal that occurred over a couple of hours Saturday afternoon about 30 yards away, and of course folks just had to come over and ask….
At any rate, we found a cool spot for a tent – on a little peninsula that was bounded by the Chattahoochee on one side and a slough on the other, closed that off with sudes and a rope, and then proceeded to build a fire and cook and eat period Roman military cuisine for the weekend. Thanks, as always, to Michele for buying the food and getting the exact ingredients we needed as well as ensuring that we were well looked after. I did the actual cooking, and since nobody got sick I guess I did OK – I can assure you that nobody left hungry!
After dinner on Saturday, we told war stories around the fire and then hit the tent in some perfect sleeping weather. Sunday tear-down went quickly.
If you guys can make it this fall, I can guarantee that you will enjoy this event – with more folks, I intend to add some route marching and other skills to it for what I think will be a great alternative to Lafe.
March Workshop Report:
The momentum we’ve got going on the tent is amazing! Keep reading – in addition to the great progress at the workshop there was continued work by Jared Fleury and myself over the course of the month that really paid off.
The workshop itself was attended by Alex Kyrychenko, Paul Montello, Jared Fleury, and myself. Prior to the start, I wanted to ensure that we had enough material on-hand in the event that we got into work on the walls, as well as to ensure that we had enough material to continue to assemble the complete roof. Accordingly, I was able to punch holes in 40 linear feet of 1” strip, as well as punch the perimeter holes in 9 of the 20” x 30” panels that we’ll need for the walls prior to the start of the workshop. When we all got together, the four of us then continued work on joining the large roof sections together. In the process, Jared learned to tunnel stitch – a skill no real milites should be without! By the time we called it a day, we had finished both halves of the roof (2 sections, each of 2 x 9 panels) completely joined and tunnel stitched.
But wait, there’s more! Since Jared is staying with us while he completes his film project, he and I continued to work on the tent over the course of the month. So, as of 31 March, we’ve completed the roof in its entirety (immediately below); one of the walls is complete; and the remaining wall only lacks assembly of the 4” eave and the 6” sod flap.
I am sure that we will be able to complete the remaining wall as well as starting the attachment of the walls to the roof at the April workshop. Hope to see you there.
Nothing much that I am aware of to report here. I heard from Brad Addona, who sends his regards but explained that he’s still working full-time for NASA while also attending graduate school full time. I’m sure we can all sympathize with that schedule. John McKinnell and Jesse Bailey also sent their regrets as far as Anabasis was concerned – we hope to see them all soon.
Loaner Gear and Financial Report:
4 Loaner Kits are complete, featuring every item of the Basic Kit with the exception of a balteus and caligae, which will not be included. I do, however, now have a very good pair of size 11-12 caligae available to loan that were a sort of windfall from Matt Lukes. So, if we get recruits with big feet I can set them up for an event.
I’ve decided to ditch loaner kit 5, since I was only working on that for someone who has since dropped out, and instead I think that I’d like to pursue the Mercenary Peltast impression that would add some good discussion at our events. I have the helmet – I don’t think that it will be too hard to complete it. We’ll see how it goes once we complete the tent.
Here are some of the future improvements I’d like to make to the other loaner kits in terms of detail – some progress is already being made.
– Replace the suspension loops on the two DPKa “Plain Steel” pugiones with the correct type (Type “A”) used by myself and Alex K. to improve our own pugiones.
– Make tegimena (covers) for the clipei for Kits #1, #2, and #4.
April 15-17, 2011: Georgia Junior Classical League Annual State Convention. Rock Eagle 4H Center in Eatonton, GA. I’ve published instructions in the “GAJCL” folder in the “Files” section of the Legio XI Yahoo Website.
May 6-7. 2011: Explorations in Antiquity at the Explorations in Antiquity Museum in LaGrange, GA. I am working out the final details with the museum now. Plan for a Friday set-up beginning about 1500, a Saturday event, and then tear-down Saturday evening. Folks can stay with me, on-site, or we have some motel space in the area.
April 2011: 2 April at my house; usual plan.
May 2011: NOTE – THIS IS A CHANGE: We will conduct the workshop on 14 May in order to de-conflict the dates for Explorations in Antiquity which falls on our regular workshop day. My house – usual plan.
June 2011: 4 June at my house, usual plan.
Gaius Aurelius Calvus (Edge Gibbons)