April 2012 – Newsletter
Once again we headed to the Rock Eagle 4H Center near Eatonton, GA, for our sixth trip to the Georgia Junior Classical League Annual State Convention. This was a great event as always, even more so that we finally followed through on our many-years’ promise and unveiled our leather tent for the first time at GAJCL. Myself, Rusty Myers, Chris Stewart, Chip Lewis, Paul Montello, and Alex Kyrychenko joined together in the sweltering heat to have a good time, even though this was the hottest any of us could remember a GAJCL event. I can guarantee that next time we will make it a priority to erect the castra such that the part of it where we interact with the public is in the shade!
This last point leads me to point out an interesting discovery. We placed the painted canvas and leather tents side-by-side, and during the course of the day we observed that, contrary to our implicit assumption, the leather tent was much, much cooler on the inside than the canvas tent – I’m talking 10-15 degrees cooler. This was a surprise to all of us, even though we should have known that the Romans, being as practical as they were, would figure out how to make a tent that was both warm in winter and cool in summer.
Natalie Faulkner, the Convention President, was very appreciative of us as she always is. She refers to us as “her Soldiers” and it truly is a fact that we are now an integral part of Convention for both faculty and students, with one young lady telling us that she “saw us for the first time when she was in 8th grade and now she’s a senior” and she was emphatic that we made a great contribution to the students’ experience. My, my – “tempus” certainly does “fugit!”
As usual, all of us had a great time, with the usual side-events that make this trip worthwhile – eating dinner together a couple of times, sharing a laugh – it’s always a great experience spending time with the superb professionals that make up “Legio XVII.” Can’t wait to see you guys next month at Explorations in Antiquity.
Although the April workshop was thinly attended, Alex Kyrychenko and I had a great time as we always do working together and hanging out in general. The two of us started out by spending about 3 hours maintaining the leather tent. While our basic design was pretty strong, we noticed that the leather had started to tear where the “tabs” holding the tent ropes join the tent walls – especially at the four corners. We reinforced these with additional stitching, actually attaching the tabs onto the 4” rain flaps, which seemed to give them pretty good strength – it certainly worked out at GAJCL since I noticed no signs of additional tearing. There were also about six feet of assorted tunnel stitching that required repair and/or reinforcement. Most of these were early seams that we completed prior to fully understanding how tight we could/should pull them. With these repairs, the tent was ready for GAJCL and seemed to hold up very well. I’m sure we’ll have to do one more maintenance session in the summer following Explorations in Antiquity in May, but for now it seems fine.
Following the tent repair, Alex worked on polishing his balteus terminals – he’s finished all of them (man, what a commitment that was) and his balteus is ready for tinning and assembly. Thanks goodness the last two soldered terminal tips held up to shaping so I don’t have to repeat that fiasco! I can’t wait to see the finished product.
Nothing major to report – you guys out there that we have not heard from in awhile please drop us a line and let us know how you’re doing.
As soon as we can get some plans, we intend to start on the artillery piece. I know we’re all looking forward to this one.