Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Casper, Wyoming July 29....continued
Historic Becker Farm at Emigrant Gap is a beautiful 160-acre working grass/alfalfa hay farm that was established in 1922 and that operates today much as it did 80 years ago. It is located close to the Oregon, California and Mormon trails and abundant wildlife such as antelope, deer, foxes, and eagles. The farm is now a tranquil homestead for the Beckers who are in the process of making it their own. Our hostess was Kathy Becker
For the first part of the visit, Kathy introduced us to Bruce Berst. Bruce’s ancestors were also Germans who immigrated to Russia
and ultimately to the United States.
Bruce is also a military historian who reenacts battles and was dressed in full infantry uniform. He has appeared as an extra in the movie Gettysburg and earned entry into invitation only battle reenactment events. Bruce shared with us many details of the lives of soldiers of the Civil War era including:
-The uniform is made of wool and extremely uncomfortable in warm weather,
_The hat was fashioned after Napoleon’s army, as was the bayonet of the rifle which was virtually useless when fighting Indians.
_The rations were minimal and tasteless at best, spoiled and rotten at worst.
_Tents were too small and resulted in dog fights over limited sleeping space. Called dog tents in the late 1800s, the minimalist shelter was the forerunner of our modern term “pup” tents.
For more details on Bruce’s volunteer living history reenactment group based in Casper Wyoming, check out http://www.historic-america.com/3rdinfantry.html.
Next, the Silhouettes of the West made up of Kathy Becker, her daughter Hannah, her friend Donna and the marvelous bass player whose name I missed, performed a number of songs. It was a thoroughly relaxing and entertaining afternoon.
For dinner, I walked my usual jaunt to downtown Casper and chose dinner at The Jazz Spot. My waiter, Gary, also works at the Parkway Plaza so he was familiar with the convention. I have eaten at a number of good restaurants here, but the Jazz Spot is my favorite. Good food, good music, plus they have Leinie on tap. What more could a Wisconsin girl ask for?
As I update my blog, it is already 9:47 p.m. on July 30.
Today was so full and I have more and more to write,
but it may not be posted until tomorrow.