Monday, May 25, 2009

Goodbye, my brother . . .

We weren't actually related, but Charles Heath was one of the true, great friends that we all have too few of during our lives. Charles died of a heart attack last night at age 48.

Charles was one of the giants in the civil war reenacting community. His knowledge of uniforms, fieldcraft, drill, rations, and the life of the civil war soldier in general, was unsurpassed.

We met only eight years ago at a reenactment in Athens, MO, but I felt like I knew him for a lifetime. We were portraying the southern-sympathizing Scotland County (Missouri) Home Guard.

It was well over a hundred degrees the whole weekend, and we called our camp "The Portals of Hell." Notwithstanding the heat, mosquitoes, poison ivy, nettles, and other nasty plants and beasties, Charles was the pillar of the company.

One of the highlights of that weekend was when Charles adapted the speech at Agincourt from Shakespeare's Henry V to our hopeless mission against the Federal troops at Athens.

It may sound corny, but it was absolutely perfect at the time.

Goodbye, my friend. Our time was too short.