Vol. XIV, no. xi, November 2004

       The holiday season is approaching, and the Legion has been invited again to participate in the Bethlehem Market Place at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Silver Spring, MD.  It is on Friday, December 10 from about 7:30 PM until 9:30 PM, and Saturday the 11th from 1 to 4 PM.  (Got the dates screwed up last issue, sorry!)  Get there AT LEAST 30 minutes before opening so that you have time to get dressed and armored.  We don't need a huge turnout for this--two or three men each day is fine.  Admission for the public is a can of food for charity.
       Please let me know if you want to attend!   St. Luke's needs a list of names for their bulletin.
       There is space to change clothes and secure areas for valuables.  We generally leave our armor there for the duration of the show, to avoid schlepping it back and forth each day.  Basic battle gear, with shields, but NO PILA.  No packs or other gear will be needed, either.  You may wear your crest if you like.  If you want to use earlier gear such as hamata and Mainz swords, that's fine, but at these shows we aren't very strict. It's all indoors, except for the manger scene which we won't be required to man.  (And stay away from that goat, soldier!)  Because of the danger of hobnails on tiled floors, I'll have a roll of brown tape to cover your soles.  There will be a bucket of water and some food, but we really won't need much.  There is none of the usual living history that we do at other events, rather a constant flow of visitors being pulled into the spirit of the first Christmas.  We will either be posted at certain spots or circulating through the crowd, trying to recruit the kids, warning old ladies not to start riots, extorting protection money from the locals, etc.  Don't worry if you use the same lines over and over again, the public will only hear it once.  The crowds come through almost non-stop as soon as the doors open, so BE EARLY to be ready at showtime.
       St. Luke's address is 9100 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, MD, at the intersection of Colesville Rd./Rt. 29 and Dale Drive (across from Mrs. K's Toll House).  From the Capital Beltway I-495, take Exit 30 onto Rt. 29 South towards Silver Spring, go through the third traffic light at Dale Drive, then turn right at the first street past the church and into the parking lot on the left.  (If you get there early enough, there may be parking space available in the lot between the church and Dale Drive, but it's a small lot!)

       The much larger Walk Through Bethlehem at the Seventh Day Adventist Headquarters in Silver Spring runs 6 nights, December 2, 4, 5, 9, 11, and 12.  Public hours are 6 to 8:30 PM each night, though it takes a good half-hour to get the last groups out after closing.  The same general guidelines and ideas apply as for the St. Luke's show, though there are more evenings to choose from and the crowds are MUCH bigger.  The space is bigger, too, so as many troops as we can turn out will not be too many.  Sunday the 12th is Spanish Night, which was a particular blast two years ago, as I recall.  No need to learn any Spanish, though, since body language usually compensates very well!
       Our contact for this is Tanya Holland, 301---.  The Seventh-Day Adventist Headquarters is located in Silver Spring, MD (north of White Oak) at the intersection of Rt. 29 Columbia Pike/Colesville Rd. and Randolph Rd./Cherry Hill Rd.  From I-495 the Capital Beltway take Exit 30 onto Rt. 29 North towards White Oak and Columbia.  Go about 4 miles and turn left at the light onto Randolph Road, then left at the next light onto Old Columbia Pike, and the next left into the parking lot.  Beware, an overpass is being built at this intersection, so it won't look like last year, but the the building is still there and the directions should still work.  You may have to take a ramp to the right and turn left at the top--not sure what's been finished.

       Oh, both of these invitations are directed only at our soldiers, I'm afraid.  If civilians would like to be involved, I can put you in touch with the people in charge, but I don't know if they are taking "outsiders" in the civilian roles.  If you just want to attend as public, that's certainly no problem--I might be able to weasel you in for free, but no guarantees.

       Been a while since we've seen this column!  New members Jerry Burnette, Mike Flowers, and Ray C. are working on gear of various sorts.  Our last few scuta were made with bendable birch plywood rather than luan, and it is very nice to work with and keeps its shape well.  They are also painted with casein or milk paint, which looks great.  The last few workshop sessions have been surprisingly productive!

       Some of you may have been following the recent, uh, discussions on the Roman Army Yahoo list, in which it was finally revealed that the Deepeeka "Embossed" pugio, #3264E, is a hypothetical design said to be a possible precursor to the iron inlaid types, rather than being based on a surviving original example.  While we've always done at least a little "grandfathering" of substandard gear, I'd like to see if we can't weed out these scabbards.  Don't panic, the dagger itself is still usable, though some modification to the hilt won't hurt.  There's no way to modify or improve the scabbard, I've looked and pondered several options.  So now I'm experimenting with making a simple steel shell scabbard to replace it, and am mulling options for a frame scabbard and possibly an "inlaid" type B scabbard (wood and leather with a flat steel plate on the front).  There may be armorers and other craftsmen out there who could do a relatively simple job like this for a low cost, as well.  While I'm not quite ready to ban this scabbard outright, let's just say that if it was the only one I had, I'd go without until I could replace it.
       For those of you shopping for a pugio, Deepeeka's "Brass Beaded" pugio, #3264E, is still a viable option.  It's based on the Leeuwen dagger, which you can see by following the new link on the Pugio page of the website.

       From Bruno Giordan, the cultural website for the Italian Province of Brescia,

   December 2, 4, 5, 9, 11, and 12 -- Walk Through Bethlehem, at the Adventist World Headquarters in Silver Spring, MD.
   Dec. 11-12 --Bethlehem Market Place, St. Luke's Lutheran Church, Silver Spring, MD
   June 3-5 --Roman Days, Marietta Mansion, Glenn Dale, MD.  Includes visits by school groups on Friday, and possibly a mini-symposium on Thursday.


ADLOCVTIO is the Official Newsletter of the Twentieth Legion, supposedly published on the Ides of each month.  I am Quintus, aka Matthew Amt, the Legion's Commander and Editor of the Newsletter,