As some of you might be aware, I live near Niles, Michigan. Niles calls itself the City of Four Flags because the area, at one time or another, has been in control of France, Great Britain, Spain, and is now in control by The United States of America. Niles is built near the location of Fort Saint Joseph which was primarily a fur trading outpost for France. After the French & Indian War, along with the rest of New France was given over to the British. After an Indian rebellion, an American raid, a brief occupation by the Spanish, and a retaking by the British, it was eventually abandoned. Where the exact spot where the fort was located was forgotten. It wasn’t until a few years back when remains of the fort were found. Unfortunately, due to daming of the Saint Joseph River, part of the site is under water.
I had heard that there was going to be an archaeological open house down at the Riverfront Park on Saturday and Sunday. I’m into history and have a glancing interest in archaeology so I went there to check it out. The banner advertising the event downtown gives the impression that it was going to be… academic. I was expecting to see tables set up with artifacts and perhaps a few presentations.
I was almost run down by a bunch of redcoats.
Yeah, the archaeological open house turned out to be an historical reenactment. I arrived just in time to see the British take the “fort” back from the Spanish. Seeing this happen was a pleasant surprise even though I tend to look at these sort of things as kinda corny. I’m used to seeing Civil War reenactments ad nauseaum. What?! All I see are a bunch of blues going after greys with some vague references to a particular battle given by a presenter. It all looks the same to me! At least here, we had some damsels in distress.
After the “battle” I could go around to various tents which had a variety of things to see. I was particularly interested in watching some blacksmiths. While they weren’t hammering out swords, they were making some interesting cooking instruments.
After a couple hours there, I headed over to the high school. My friend, Erin, was part of a church team participating the Relay for Life. It’s a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society. I must say that this event was pretty darn cool. I participated in the ones over at MSU but they are relatively straight forward compared to this one which had an almost carnival-like atmosphere.
Other than seeing people walk the track, there were games to play, food to buy, and wrestling matches to watch. Ah the wrestling matches. What utter cheeseballs! Although I must give some points to the guy who wrestled in his posing trunks. Then I have to take them back as his briefs started to slide out during the show.
After a spending a little while there, I went with Justin and Carrie to go see the new Batman film. What a disappointment that was. It was an okay movie but after seeing Batman Begins, my expectations were riding high for this one. Still, I must give credit for the exceptional performance by Heath Ledger in his role as the Joker. He was, by far, the best Joker I have ever seen. My gripes with the movie mainly have to do with the pacing of the film. It’s going great, not so great, boring, okay, getting better, boring again, great, WTF, I’m confused, okay now I get it, oooh this is getting good, and then wait—how do we know he’s dead?
It’s definitely worth the $3.50 admission. If you live in the city and pay $7+, I would say see it only if you are really into Batman. Otherwise, you can probably wait on it.
Anyways, that’s my Saturday. What a radical day it was.