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  1. #1

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    T&T Marching Through History (Prado Dam)

    I apologize as this has been a long time coming. We've been really busy preparing for Halloween. Our daughter's birthday is also Halloween, so it simply adds to the craziness. These photos were taken in September at Prado Dam. Every year military and history buffs gather together to showcase the various uniforms, equipment, tactics, and history of various time periods. More on that later... short version is it was a family day and the kids had a blast. I want to stress this now. This does not involve politics, or a glorification of warfare, or a glorification of the military. I served, but I will not push my kids into the service. That is their decision to make when the time comes. This is a history lesson, and Tink and I both feel strongly about getting the kids out to see it.

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    This Humvee greeted us at the entrance. It was sponsored by the California Guard. Seeing my kids behind a 50cal made me miss my grandpa. There is a photo of me around that age "driving" a Willy's Jeep.


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    This is EXACTLY the type of Hummer I worked with when I was in. They didn't have the radio installed but I was able to show the kids were everything goes. I explained about the antennas on the back, even talked about why you had to ground the antennas before using the radio (I didn't tell the fried monkey story to the kids but I did say it would hurt if it wasn't grounded). I actually ended up with a few other people listening in and pretty soon the California Guard was asking about my service. The Humvee was great for the kids, and a recruiting tool for anyone interested in the Guard.

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    This is a specialized jeep built in China during Korea. Only about 3,000 of them were made. It was amazing to look over this little gem.

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    The beloved 5 ton!

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    The sign pretty much sums it up

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    I hadn't realized they had a semi-graphic display in there. However this was a chance for the kids to see a field hospital.

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    Most people have seen MASH, but few realize they did surgery in the field. This was an "interesting" time for the hospital. The Korean War is when the US Army switched from glass IV bottles, to plastic IV bottles. The reason was simple; a blood transfusion in a glass bottle took upwards of 5 minutes, with a plastic bottle you could squeeze it and do the same transfer in 3 minutes. Bags were introduced shortly after the plastic bottles because they were even "faster" and more efficient when you squeezed them. Today MILLIONS world wide benefit from this breakthrough.

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    The field medicine cabinet. They also had a display on the surgical tools but I kept the kids away from that section.

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    Outside I found this little gem

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    I couldn't resist the "shot through history"... 1840's stage coach behind 1940's Marine encampment.

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    This was all near the entrance. While I was enjoying it, the kids were restless, so we headed to a more interactive area and came back to this later!
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  2. #2

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    Re: T&T Marching Through History (Prado Dam)

    It didn't take long to find the Romans


    For the 3 school age kids, the thought that this was "an expensive book" prompted giggle fits.

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    Someone was wearing one of the suits... but the various unit shields were on full display.

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    Wealthy Roman children learned to write on wax tablets, any mistakes could easily be melted back. This "learning tool" persisted right up until the Industrial Revolution when mass production of paper made it affordable to the masses. Roman children usually didn't use paper (papyrus) until they were adults, and even then it was very rare to use it as it was expensive to make.


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    They also had a pulley display set up. The Romans were expert builders thanks to 3 inventions. The pulley (not sure who "claims" the invention but Romans were "known" for using it on land), the odometer (actually a Greek invention) and the level (again a Greek invention). I was so busy explaining that I didn't realize I'd gathered a crowd. I talked about how the "Dark Ages" set us back, and related that to the architecture at Notre Dame (inability to build buildings above 2 stories without outside supports). I ended my little lesson with the fact that the re-discovery of the pulley and other inventions (notably the reverse gear) allowed St Peter's Basicilla to be possible. The Roman solider was impressed with my lecture and asked if I was interested in joining them. When he asked how I knew about it I replied that Da Vinci was a boyhood hero.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  3. #3

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    Re: T&T Marching Through History (Prado Dam)

    Children learn best through play. You can tell them how heavy the armor is, or how balanced the sword feels, but it isn't until they don armor that they realize what you're talking about.

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    He was able to stand with the mail on. His sisters couldn't do it.


    He talked about how "heavy" the helmet was


    The shield was almost as tall as he was! I was just outside the shot... sword was dull... no worries.


    She ended up on the ground right after he let go!


    I didn't feel comfortable with her holding the sword just yet, so we gave her the training stick. She still had a blast.


    He asked politely if he could wield the sword. The Roman solider said it was up to "us". So I made sure he wasn't near anyone or anything before he was allowed to pull the sword out. Behind him is the level I had mentioned earlier.

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    The kids believe in saying "Thank You" when someone goes out of their way to help out. So this picture goes along with that Thank You!

    So in a short amount of time they learned how Roman children learned to read and write. They learned about Roman rank, pulleys, levels, swords and armor. Sure they could just read about it in school but it wouldn't have been as fun.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  4. #4

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    Re: T&T Marching Through History (Prado Dam)

    Looks like a great day. Thanks for sharing.
    Hidden Mickey - Tower of Terror



    Hidden Mickey's here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/whatzup...7623565921220/
    Check out my Wal't Apartment tour here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/whatzup/sets/72157625183415995/

  5. #5

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    Re: T&T Marching Through History (Prado Dam)



    These are German vehicles. I also spent some time with the German troops but I will refrain from posting those photos. I believe strongly in teaching history when it is appropriate. While I was chatting with the Germans, Tink and my mom had the kids at the WW2 Japanese camp!





    He said his "accurate depiction of a Japanese solider startled several WW2 Vets!" and I believe it. He also explained that as the war dragged on, Japan ran out of metal, and at the very end of the war they made porcelain hand grenades (in the crate behind him). He also talked about the difference in military tactics. The kids learned about the "other side". I hope to expand on that in the coming years when they study WW2.


    Some of it is replica, some of it is original, all of it is amazing to look at.
    Last edited by techskip; 10-16-2011 at 10:03 AM.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  6. #6

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    Re: T&T Marching Through History (Prado Dam)

    WW2 USA
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    Original Indian motorcycle and yes it is in perfect running order.

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    WW2 bike

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    I laughed so hard because the military STILL uses those field desks


    They gutted the radio and put a modern speaker in the back but it looks nice from the front.

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    That would be "Fred"... the real deal was a leopard that became a unit pet (look it up if you don't believe me). Fred was "known" to ride on the hood of the jeep in this manner.


    For the photobugs out there... yes it works... and yes it is original. Amazing to see this gem out here.


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    Hand Held Air Raid Siren (original, and very heavy to hold).
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  7. #7

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    Re: T&T Marching Through History (Prado Dam)

    How often do you get to stand next to a WW2 Sherman Tank?


    Yes it is that big

    Attachment 14743
    They weren't letting people inside it, but the kids asked a lot of questions about everything they saw.


    minus the 2x4 it's a pretty impressive shot


    Notice the gun port on the right side of the barrel... amazing piece of history and it RUNS... more on that later.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  8. #8

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    Re: T&T Marching Through History (Prado Dam)

    They have something called the "pass and review". Where each unit forms up, is announced, and passes in front of the audience. It's the middle of the day, it's hot, last year we didn't see it and this year we missed half of it. A few things to mention. If you are a military veteran they offer you VIP seating. This year I had the honor of meeting a Peal Harbor survivor, a DDay survivor, and someone who flew and parachuted into France. I decided not to sit in the VIP, or even mention my service. My choice to serve was a private one. Usually I don't bring it up. It's not a lack of pride, it's simply a choice I make. So... pass in review... I didn't get the names but here are shots of various units.

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    Everything from Ancient Greeks and Romans all the way up to modern day. They have a variety of units represented and each year it gets bigger.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  9. #9

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    Re: T&T Marching Through History (Prado Dam)

    We ditched the parade early so we could hit up the Vikings. My ancestors were Viking among other things... so there is a personal connection for me.

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    A Viking Welcome

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    I swear when he gets older he's either going to deny how much fun this was or he's going to want to dress up and do it.


    She said it tickled!

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    I love that shield

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    So exciting the 3.5 year old CRASHED in the wagon.

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    Learning how to weave wool

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    She got really really good at it!



    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  10. #10

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    Re: T&T Marching Through History (Prado Dam)

    Skip forward about 400 to 600 years, this is 1500's England


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    Some of you may recognize the various members... this is the same guild that does Ren Faire each year. The kids had a lot of fun. They were extremely excited. I learned a lot about period tactics.


    This amazed the kids!

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    Lots of fun just taking in the camp. The kids learned how to make yarn from wool, and how to weave the yarn. They also played with the royal pugs!


    Amazing how much ammo has changed after several centuries.

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    A mix of generations
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  11. #11

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    Re: T&T Marching Through History (Prado Dam)

    And now Revolutionary War period
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    Just watching the blacksmith make musket balls was entertaining. He also explained how cannonballs were cast!

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    They were hesitant to take this shot as it "breaks theme"... there is about 100 years between these costumes.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  12. #12

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    Re: T&T Marching Through History (Prado Dam)

    Off to the frontier to learn to make dolls

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    We didn't make it to the Pirates or the Mexican American War section. but we did hit up the Civil War camp

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    Gatling Gun... working replica (sorry no video of it firing this year).

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    Repeating Gun... or "the Coffee Grinder"... also working replica.

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    always time to look at a cannon


    People actually camp the weekend out here in period tents


    Lincoln speaking to a group of kids.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  13. #13

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    Re: T&T Marching Through History (Prado Dam)

    On the way back we went through the rest of the Frontier section
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    the Hot Tub!

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    The everything wagon

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    I forgot the exact date but it is an 1800's Singer, foot pedal powered, still working perfectly. She also sewed her blouse and skirt on this machine.

    One display had a buffalo hide as well as deer. Sadly my camera decided to act up while the kids were exploring the display. The kids learned how rough it was on the frontier. Everything you had you either brought with you, traded for, or made.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  14. #14

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    Re: T&T Marching Through History (Prado Dam)

    Now about that tank...

    It is a WW2 Sherman Tank that runs. Last year it wasn't on display because there was a tragic accident when they attempted to load it on the trailer (the owner of the tank was killed in the accident). It took the whole year to bring the tank back online but everyone wanted it running for MTH. They wanted to remember the owner, and have it on display in his memory. They stage period mock battles throughout the day, Romans, Revolutionary, Civil War (with Gatling gun)... end of the day is WW2. So... I think this clip speaks for itself.



    Nothing quite describes hearing it, or feeling the ground shake as it rolls past. When it fired it's blank (not in video) the air around you moved. It was mesmerizing to watch. The kids looked on in awe as it rolled past. They couldn't believe it was the same tank they had climbed on earlier.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


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    Re: T&T Marching Through History (Prado Dam)

    The following have been used with permission. These were taken by an old friend of mine who was also in attendance at Marching Through History. He was there both days, no kids, and had a chance to take some amazing shots.

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    Lincoln

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    The Stage

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    Desert Light Infantry


    Russian Naval Officer

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    German Field Hospital

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    German mortar demonstration

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    German bike with side car.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


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