October 2011 Newsletter
This month’s event was the annual Italian Festival conducted in Columbia, SC. The Bella Italia Lodge 2808-Columbia hosts this event each year to increase awareness of the local Italian community – its heritage and culture – and share its festival proceeds with various charities throughout Columbia. The lodge has successfully contributed to Harvest Hope Food Bank, The Oliver Gospel Mission, Christ Central Mission; paid for Veterans Memorial Trips to Washington, DC; and assisted various other humanitarian efforts around the region and around the world! In addition, a portion of the proceeds is earmarked to provide college scholarships to worthy students in the Midlands.
Hosted by our comilitiones from Legio VI FFC, this was a nice event in the middle of downtown Columbia. Legio XI was represented by Chip Lewis, Chris Stewart, Paul Silva, Alex Kyrychenko, and myself. All of us had a wonderful time, enjoying some great Italian food not once, but twice at a local restaurant! The only downside was that we once again proved that caligae and asphalt don’t mix – I know my feet hurt for a couple of days even though we were able to stand on a rubber mat (camouflaged with some burlap bags, of course) for much of the day. The organizers of the event greatly appreciated our participation and have already asked us to return next year. Thanks to Legio VI, especially Mike Daniels, for their hard work in making this happen.
The October workshop and subsequent work throughout the month have gotten us almost to the point of completion on the tent. Friday afternoon prior to the workshop, I bought the planks of rough-sawn white oak required for the poles. Chris Stewart came over that evening with his portable table saw and we cut the poles (after some very careful measurement!) into the required dimensions, leaving them a little long for final adjustment after we’ve been able to erect the tent. The wood was incredibly dense – I broke off a drill bit actually made for metal drilling in it before we were done, and the table saw was literally smoking! These poles are heavy-duty! Copying a page from Legio V’s tent, the center ridge pole is hinged with a leather strap so that it will fold. This work stood us in good stead for Saturday’s workshop with the larger group.
Saturday, Alex Kyrychenko, Chip Lewis and I finished stitching the tent. Chip and I made and attached the pegs and loops for the actual closures, while Alex finished stitching the two remaining door seams. This was Chip’s first attempt at stitching leather, and he, like the rest of us, has now shed blood for the legion!
At this point, we’re pretty much done except for the following:
- Need to actually erect the tent and ensure that any adjustments required in the length of the tent poles are made (shortening as required).
- The tent needs a good coat of neatsfoot oil (or two).
- We must attach the guy ropes that will run to the pegs.
Not much left to do – can’t wait to unveil it at Castra.