Above is a pic of Lt. Colonel James Galbraith, Regimental Colour in hand, alongside Bobbie the regimental dog and some of the other "Last Eleven" survivors of the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment, making their last stand in one of the walled gardens just South of Khig village, a few miles West of the Afghan town of Maiwand.

Monday, October 31, 2011

COUNTDOWN to Colonial Barracks begins...

Man am I beat -- between ref'ing soccer games all day Saturday, teaching an all-day class at the Boy Scout merit badge midway Sunday, and non-stop work the week before, I am literally about to keel over, BUT... somehow I have managed to eek out the time needed over the past couple weeks to get most of what needed doing done in order to be ready to pack "Maiwand Day" up in my wife's nice big Mercedes some time tomorrow, go to sleep tomorrow night, wake up early Tuesday to join her in taking our older daughter to a school interview, then drive back home (in my own more humble car), get out of my car, hand my wife the key to my car, kiss everyone (or at least the ones who are home at that moment) goodbye, climb into my wife's car (which will pre-packed to the gills with terrain boards, miniatures, playing aids, and maybe a toothbrush if I remember it), hit the gas and head to the 10-East, so I can start the 1900-mile trek to New Orleans.

Earlier tonight my wife and I took all three kids to visit a house in our neighborhood which became famous a few years ago for the incredible HALLOWEEN display put on by the owner and his family. The owner is an incredibly creative guy who puts on a dazzling show "spooktacular" show that's fun for all ages and is always filled with everyone from the littlest tykes to teenagers to old geezers and geeze-ettes (I don't count my wife and I in this category quite yet, but we are will be approaching it soon enough!). Here's a LINK for anyone interested:

Thing is, several years ago Boney Island went under, so to speak. It disappeared. I wasn't sure why, but I figured the home owner/creative maniac responsible had probably had enough and simply wanted a break from hosting hundreds unto thousands of enthusiastic Halloween visitors. But it turns out that wasn't the case. It turns out he had a neighbor who didn't take kindly to living near to one of the world's leading home-made Halloween haunts. This fellow made his feelings known to Mr. Boney Island, who chose to put the kibosh on it. But this year, the unhappy neighbor MOVED AWAY, so the ghostly curtain went back up and BONEY ISLAND has made a ghoulishly fan-tasm-tastic return from the grave, and I for one am very happy about that -- and my kids and wife make a minimum of five, and I know I saw at least a hundred others who would agree over there tonight during a mere 1/2-hour visit.

The reason I bring this up is that I think, in a way, Maiwand Day and "Boney Island" have a lot in common. They both involve men somewhat madly obsessed. In his case with turning his home into a larger than life haunted house, in my case with refighting the 1880 battle of Maiwand over my homemade terrain. We are both lucky enough to be able to bring our mad obsessions to life -- though in my case, only at a small miniature scale. Still, I know I am lucky, even more so to be able to take a "time-out" from my normal routines of work and family life, in order to make the trip from Los Angeles "LA" to Louisiana "LA". For that, more than anyone else I must thank my wife for being extremely generous and forgiving of this particular mad obsession of mine. Of course I have thanked her already, but I want to do so publicly as well: THANK YOU, DEAR!!!

131 years ago, Maiwand set Roberts' Kabul-to-Kandahar march into motion. Obviously my one-man highway sojourn is nowhere near as desperate or dangerous. Nonetheless, for me personally it will be quite an epic trek. So... to anyone and everyone who reads this blog, if you are a praying type, please say a prayer for my safe travel, and if you are not a praying type, please keep a good thought or cross your fingers, or just wish me luck in getting all my stuff get safely from Point A to Point B over the coming days -- and also that I don't leave anything I need for the game behind in my garage. I'll try to make daily posts regarding my progress, but I know it will be a challenge with my limited travel time and solo travel circumstances, so I'm not promising anything until I get to the convention site!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

66th converts back from Igor the painter...

Received my Pontoonier Third Burma War British Infantry w/helmet conversions to make them better resemble the 66th Regiment (Berkshire) at Maiwand. As usual, Igor did a wonderful job, as you can see for yourself:

(click on photos to enlarge them to full size)

These guys will be playing the part of the 66th Regiment's component of Major John Ready's BAGGAGE GUARD on Maiwand Saturday at the upcoming COLONIAL BARRACKS TSATF convention in New Orleans. They will be joined by elements of Jacob's Rifles and the Bombay Grenadiers, as well as a small cavalry component.