From time to time we come across small little gems tucked into out of the way places. Sometime ago I came across this little place in the train station in Brantford. You can sit, have coffee, a bite to eat, and look at the art the owners display on the walls show casing local artist. Its quiet and never seems to be in a rush. The owners if they have time will even sit and chat about the state of the world or life in general. On weekends they have live music, poetry readings, and book launches, much like the folk clubs I used to hang out in way back in my younger days.
When I was 6 years old my parents took me to Old Fort York inToronto. At first being 6 this struck me as rather strange because it was to go look at old stuff that you couldn’t touch. To a 6 year old this was rather odd and potentially boring since it wasn’t a sand box with cars and what not that you could play with.
I should explain about Fort York. The fort that exists now isn’t the original for that was built by Sir John Graves Simcoe. That fort along with Government House was burned by the American in April of 1813. This was the fort that was built as the replacement at the end of the war of 1812 and it does contain the largest collection of early 19th century buildings inOntario. At one time LakeOntario lapped at its southern wall but time and land fill have changed that so the lake is now some distance away.
So anyway, when we walked into the fort I had a sense that something inside me changed as I began to look around. The first thing I noticed where the two staff dressed in uniforms of the King’s 8th of Foot. They marched around while other staff members took us on a tour of the building and explained the history of the fort. Later I watched the two King’s 8th fire a musket and a small canon and thinking to myself. . wow that’s cool I want to do that.
The end result of the afternoon was I became completely hooked on history. Now I’m not talking just hooked I’m talking hooked like in drug hooked. . .”history is the drug and I need to score.”
For me history is something that is a living thing. I look at artefacts, hold them in my hand, touch them and they speak. Historic sites, old battle fields, an old house down some back road, all have a voice that if you listen carefully you can hear. Years later I became a historic re-enactor portraying a Loyalist solder in the American Revolutionary War along with some War of 1812 thrown in.
That was 32 years ago and while I now shoot with a camera instead of a musket. I still get that feeling I had about history when I was 6.
Well I guess its time I added a little more than just photos to this blog site. This is a project that my wife and I started last year when we discovered that our love of photography had turned into something of about 80,000 photos between us, in a very short span of time. This was something we found we both enjoyed either at the historic reenactments we attend or one of those quiet walks in the woods. We both look at the world differently and have even noticed it in photos we have both taken of the same thing. I guess that’s the “photographer’s eye” coming out in both of us. She is the one who started this blog but I seem to be the one who is adding to it most of the time. We both enjoy sharing our photos with people and enjoy the feed back and comments we get as a result. In the reenacting world we even seem to have developed a little bit of a following with friends asking us, are we going to be at various events.
For myself I would not call me a professional photographer. I don’t make a living at it and couldn’t sit and give you the technical details on how I got some of the images. However it is something I enjoy and if it evolves into something more, well then all well that ends well. After all, nothing ventured nothing gained as they say. In the mean time continue to enjoy. Take care and have a good day.