Pirates on the Lake
Last weekend I got a chance to break away from the crazy of our move-in. I had heard about a little gathering at our local reservoir called the Pirates of Paynetown which was to be a historical recreation of piratical days. I was as excited as my kids to go. Though I have a deep love of theatrical pirates, I carry an even deeper love of the dynamics of the buccaneer time period which, for some reason, I’ve carried since childhood.
However, growing up in Southern Indiana doesn’t give one much of a chance to see 17th & 18th century nautical re-enactors and as a kid I had a Viewmaster with Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride, The 1970’s Three Musketeers, and the occasional viewing of Errol Flynn if I got lucky. I took what I could get…
So, it was a real treat to take my youngest kids to see a small historical village perched on the shores of our local reservoir. The campsite/village was filled with woodsmoke, muskets, white canvas tents, firing cannons, sword fights, and gun battles. My little girl , who is smitten with both cinematic pirates as well as historical privateers (I have no idea where she gets it), was in awe and urged my wife and I to join the fun next year. I replied that the only way I would do was if she came along. I’m no stranger to historical re-enactments (cough) or the occasional bit of improvisational theater (coughcough) so who knows? If the winds blow favorably and fortune smiles on us, perhaps we could make our way to a few weekends “roughing it” in 17th century camping gear?
Which brings me around to the final point. Walking around the campground which seemed, literally, to have fallen out of the sky and landed right next to a crowded 21st century beach and campground on one of the warmest weekends of the summer was, well, a bit jarring. The juxtaposition of the two was truly anachronistic as British militia walked past modern day mom’s in swimsuits and holding iphones.
Watching this as well as looking over the camping materials, it helped point out just how easy we have it right now. We are still one tough species and just a few hundred years ago, people were living like this day in, day out, and not just for a few days on the weekend. Actually, in some areas of the world, humans are very close to living like this still.
Without waxing too poetic and historical, we just need to remember it takes more than a few hundred years to change our evolution. Although we might have grown a bit softer with our sofas, our air conditioning, and “horseless carriages” the deep down core is still damn strong and incredibly resilient. We should take heart that it’s one thing which won’t change anytime soon.