My grandson, the photographer’s aide-de-camp

FATHER’S DAZE
Emmitt B. Feldner  for The Review

I had a young assistant along with me on my latest photography assignment – and it wasn’t even an assignment for him.

I took Ty along with me when I shot pictures at the Civil War Reenactment last weekend.

It was a last-minute request from his father, who was busy with a project while Ty’s mother was still at work and Ty’s brother Nolan was playing at a friend’s house.

They’ve held 23 of these reenactments and though I stopped counting how many I’ve attended long ago, I know the number is well into the double digits.

I’ve gone on assignment for the paper, I’ve taken family and friends there, I’ve taken grandsons there, I’ve even gone camping with the Boy Scouts there - when Ty’s father was a Boy Scout, which should give you a pretty good idea of how many years I’ve been going.

A few years ago we even took it in with all three of the grandsons when Terry and I took Aiden with us and ran into Ty, Nolan and their parents at the reenactment.

But this was the first time that I was one-on-one with a grandson at the reenactment – which made me about as outnumbered as Lee was by Grant at Appomattox.

Ty seemed really eager to go, however, and he was genuinely interested in what was going on at the reenactment.

He remembered a lot of it from having been before, so I didn’t have to do a lot of explaining about who was who and what was what – and why all those people were wearing all those funny clothes.

I didn’t even have to explain to him who were the good guys and who were the bad guys – he knew the blue guys were the good team.

And this is a reenactment in Wisconsin, not Virginia, so the blue guys were the good team, not the guys in grey.

We did leave before the end of the reenactment of the battle of Chickamauga that climaxed the day – I didn’t want to have to explain to him why the blue guys lost this particular battle.

He would have made his grandmother proud when he decided we should spend some time going through the sutlers’ tents looking at the merchandise for sale – even if his main interest was in the toy guns.

He also worked off a little energy in the kids’ play area, first trying a little hoop rolling – not too successfully – then grabbing a wooden toy gun and joining a mock battle that was underway.

Ty also insisted on a visit to the medical tent, but the demonstration there wasn’t as gory as what he remembered from a few years – it was between battles, not after the battle, so it was a little tamer.

He even volunteered to carry my camera for me and luckily for him, I don’t carry a huge camera with a long, bulky telephoto lens and other lenses – if that was the case, I’m sure he wouldn’t have been so eager to help.

He did take notice of all the other people there with cameras - including those with the big, bulky cameras and lenses – and apparently decided he liked the one I had with me best.

We even got to talk with a young boy on the way who said in another year he would be old enough to become a full-fledged reenactor.

Ty was most fascinated with the replica guns the boy was carrying but who knows – a seed may have been planted for the future.

At any rate, I may be giving Ty the camera to shoot pictures and I’ll just sit and watch for a change in a few years.


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