TWO rain-free events in a row, can you believe it? At our September encampment with La Belle Compagnie we fielded seven legionaries on Saturday and six on Sunday--not bad! The weather was warm and glorious, and we had plenty of shade to pitch the tent and do our drills. Meanwhile, La Belle camped out in a sunny field in their long-sleeved layers of wool and complained of the heat! A few of my co-workers came to oggle; one took some photos of us and had one of me enlarged to a very nice poster. Thanks, Tina!
The weekend at Fort Washington had threatened to be chilly, but turned out to be delightful. Our turnout was a little smaller, and I felt too lazy to drill, but there was a constant trickle of visitors and we did our best to entertain them. There were a half-dozen other groups represented, from Vikings to World War II, and the Park hopes to add more groups to fill in the gaps next year. There was no schedule of activities aside from an hour of speeches by National Park Service personnel--presumably THAT little feature was just because of the Fort's 175th anniversary and will not be repeated. A good site, though, and the event has a lot of potential.
We have picked up a cluster of recruits in the last few months, including Ron Kenat, Doug Cantaral, Roger Moskey (probably his wife, too) , Ed Schramko, and John Dittamo. Welcome! With all the new manpower we should have a pretty impressive force at our spring events!
A number of people have asked if there is going to be a Saturnalia party this year. Well, sure--all we need is someone to volunteer to host it! (You'll notice that Quintus has not jumped up and done that.) There are several avid cooks among us, though presumably this would be a normal pot-luck with some sort of contribution from each participant. So, if you want to donate your domus for an afternoon and/or evening, pick a date that's good for you and tell us! Also let us know if you'd rather avoid children, pets, alcohol, or barbarians. Remember, it's just a party, so don't feel pressured to provide a real triclinium with proper couches, slaves, and musicians. Who would like to be the host?
Albion reports that the "Dan Peterson Line" of helmets are not yet ready to be shipped, and Dan is taking another look at them to make sure all is well. They apologize for the delay and beg for your patience, and will let us know when a firmer delivery date is available.
Delays like this are only to be expected. There is a lot of new ground being broken, and it usually takes a lot of back-and-forth to get the manufacturers to make just what we want. Remember, the concepts of reenacting and historical accuracy are pretty alien to them. But considering that Albion only made contact with me in March and we are already expecting so many helmets and other items, I'd say this is still excellent progress.
More good news is APRON STUDS! You know, those darn little discs on the apron straps that hang off the front of the belt. Albion has them now, polished flat brass discs, one inch in diameter, with 1/8" diameter shanks, ready to mount. Order today!
Doug Cantaral is sporting a nifty new belt, and a gladius that I modified for him from an Indian-made piece that he bought in Britain. It was a tough job getting that scabbard apart, since the brass was heavy and brazed together. Looks good now, though!
George Metz has been doing his best to put Joe Piela's kids through college, obtaining from him a lorica, an excellent Imperial Italic type D helmet, and TWO embossed gladius scabbards! He also bought a very nice Gallic type J helmet made by Kurt Suleski (somewhere in the Great Lakes area). He made his own Mainz blade by grinding, and although it ended up too thin and light it is nicely polished and looks great. Gallio is assembling quite an arsenal!
Mike Cope got a patera from Joe Piela, not bad though the handle isn't quite right. He's been modifying Roger Moskey's lorica hamata for him, and is doing some gladius hilt prototypes for Albion Armorers.
Finally, our tyros have been making tunics and caligae, or getting them made for them. Scuta for several of them are in various stages of construction.
Oct. 23-24 --Legio III Gallica encampment, New Orleans, Louisiana. Contact Darren Nunez for more information.
Oct. 30-31 --Dionysia of Massilia. Games and rites in honor of the god Dionysos, Australia. Contact Mark Kelly
November ? --Yeah, I know, I said I'd schedule a workshop, but haven't yet. So crucify me! Or better yet, invite everyone to YOUR house!
December, 1999? --Saturnalia party? Who wants to host it, when and where?
Spring 2000 --Demo/encampment at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA. Details still being hashed out.
ADLOCVTIO is the official newsletter of the Twentieth Legion, published approximately on the Ides of each month. The Editor, as usual, is Matthew Amt, who can be contacted at .... Valete! Oh, and feel free to insert your own joke here. I'll laugh. Really.