MTA 2014

Vietnam Display
Vietnam Display

For a change of pace for me this year, Linda and I attended MTA at the Jamestown Settlement as mere tourists, rather than participants. Because of this, we were able to actually take our time and look at every exhibit in depth and at our leisure. Certainly a different feeling than the usual ‘stealing a little bit of time’ from your own setup to check out what everyone else has. Going around the grounds slowly  and examining each group’s site in detail was fun and usually informative. While a lot of the same groups come back each year, they usually have some new wrinkle that they have added. Also, there are usually new groups that have formed, sometimes from the ashes of old ones, and these usually represent a period in history not seen at MTA before. Because this is an invitation-only event, the quality is invariably good. After checking out the recreated Indian village, Jamestown settlement, and harbor, we moved outside the stockade and began our trip with the most recent time period represented, in this case, the Vietnam War. These folks had an extensive collection of weapons and gear from the 1960s and represented a Special Forces squad. Then we moved on to the Korean War and then to WWII. We stopped off to visit with our parent group, the 193rd Rifles, then continued our trip back in time. I must say that one of the most original camps was that of the Women’s Land Army, a WWII group portraying British women who went into the countryside to help the war effort by raising livestock, cutting timber and raising gardens. One of the ladies was even shearing a very docile sheep with manual clippers for the edification of the crowd. Another of the group asked if I would like to try my hand at the cow milking training apparatus, but I replied that I had milked a real cow before, so probably didn’t need the training. We moved on past a very good Boxer Rebellion camp and on into the 19th Century. As usual, the American Civil War had the largest representation of any time period. At the Union Infantry camp, Linda got to try her hand at bayonet training. She actually did rather well. Following that, we passed the War of 1812, where we heard about some impressive local victories over the invading Brits, then into the 18th Century and beyond. We finally ended our journey in the Carolingian Empire around A.D. 800. We were tired by this point in the day, but still had enough energy to tour the excellent museum. Then, after a cold Coca-Cola in the snack bar, we were energized enough to drive down to the original Jamestown Settlement and tour it. This was a fitting and informative end to the trip. There is a lot to see in this area and it is a good idea to plan for more than one day!

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