William and I spent the weekend in Strausburg at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania for their annual Trains and Troops tribute. This was my first time at the event (and Wil’s first reenactment ever!) and we had a great time. If you’re anywhere near the museum, I highly suggest making the trip to visit. I was blown away! The WWII displays are only set up for this special themed weekend but you can still see, touch, and take a ride on real trains year round!
Typically, WWII reenactments revolve around military impressions and skirmishes, so I loved that this event had a lot of civilian displays. My job as a civilian reenactor is to basically walk around and provide an authentic ambiance for the general public. Not a bad gig if you ask me! That may sound like a no-brainer kind of role, but when you take reenacting really seriously, it takes months (even years!) to study and put together an authentic impression, and actually have an understanding of who you’re representing. I’m slowly collecting and sewing my way to a really authentic WWII era wardrobe.
The table commemorating the All American Girls Professional Baseball League was definitely one of my favorite displays. If you’ve seen the movie A League of Their Own then you’ll recognize the uniforms!
I’ve never been on a train before, so to experience a 45 minute ride through the Amish countryside in a Victorian parlor car, pulled by a real coal burning steam locomotive, was something that put a smile on my face for the entire weekend. Wil and I rode twice in a row because we loved it so much!
After shoveling “coal” in the children’s exhibit, Wil decided he’s not cut out for the back breaking labor that powers steam locomotion. Train Firemen: we salute you.
Wil is definitely interested in reenacting now and wants to research some WWII photographers and journalists and maybe put together an impression based on that. I liked my college/canteen girl impression, but the farm girl stuff is what I relate to most. Though if Wil and I are going to start reenacting together, I think a reporter and a messenger would be a really cute couples impression. We’ve got some time to think about it before our next event in January so we’ll see what we come up with.
Have you ever been to a WWII reenactment? How about a railroad museum? Pretty neat if you ask me!