The blue and the grey collide with the red and yellow

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

There were plenty of regiments at last weekend’s Civil War re-enactment weekend near here – Union, Rebel and one Feldner.

At least, it probably seemed like a regiment of Feldners to some people.

I was there, as usual, taking pictures for the newspaper – although I have to admit I would attend even if I didn’t have to cover it, being a Civil War buff from way back.

While I was there, I hooked up with Ethan, who was there with his two sons and his nephew, Aiden, who was staying with him for the weekend.

Aiden’s dad was away on Army Reserve business for the weekend or the Feldner regiment might have numbered six.

It made for five Feldners, enough to constitute at least a small squad if not an entire regiment.

Ethan and his contingent were already there when I arrived, so I called him on my cell phone to figure out where we could meet up.

In keeping with the era being depicted, we probably should have used signal flags or carrier pigeons or, at the very least, couriers, but not everything about the weekend had to be authentic.

The rendezvous point we eventually settled on was authentic, at least – by the artillery demonstration on the battlefield.

It meant there were three generations of Feldners gathered around a symbol of a fourth generation Feldner.

My father – Ethan’s grandfather, the boys’ great-grandfather – was an artillery officer, though it was in World War II and not the Civil War, despite what all of his high school students all those years might have thought.

I reached the rendezvous point before the rest of the crew, but then that’s not surprising – a single soldier can usually move faster than a full company or regiment, especially when most of that group is under 10 years old.

We headed off to visit the camps but soon got separated as I stopped to take pictures along the way and the rest of the group was too impatient to wait for me.

I was able to rejoin the rest of the unit at the kids’ activity area, which occupied Ty, Nolan and Aiden long enough for the old man in the group to catch up with them.

They did stand still long enough that I could get a picture of the five of us together, three generations of Feldners at the Civil War reenactment that I quickly posted on Facebook.

That drew a comment from one of my brothers, who pointed out:

“Figures – the Civil War was fought by the blue and the grey. So these guys show up in red and yellow...”

Ethan, Ty and I happened to have various red t-shirts on, while Aiden and Nolan were in yellow t-shirts.

I did point out that we were there as neutral observers, hence the neutral colors, and had no desire to become or be mistaken for active combatants in this particular engagement, but that logic was apparently lost on the Feldner back east.

I do have several gray t-shirts and several blue t-shirts in my collection, but I didn’t feel like trying to decide which side I wanted to take in this conflict – maybe next year.


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