(Click on Ben’s picture to see the video of his Voodoo Economics presentation in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.)
This past Wednesday (Aug. 15th) I presented my “Threads” program to the Western Pennsylvania Civil War Roundtable. This was a good choice for my first presentation – I’ve been a member of the group for eight or nine years now. I regularly teach recertification continuing education to professionals, but I admit to having been more than a little nervous about the prospect of addressing this group that includes a good number of very knowledgeable ACW enthusiasts.
About 60 members and guests braved the heat in a church hall hard by historic Old Economy Village in Ambridge, PA. Old Economy is the remnant of the third and last Harmony Society settlement, founded in 1824 (click here for more on the Society and the settlement). While the hall is newer than the church, it does not have air conditioning, so it was cookin’ in there.
The night before, I did a run through of my program. I had it set up with 12 maps of the campaign, and with each map I had one or two stories (threads) with slides – mostly photos. In the practice round, I covered about half the slides in about 70 minutes, and I was only going to get 60 at the meeting. So I changed things up during the day on Thursday, and wrote a summary of the battle (one page). By starting off with that I figured at least I could give the whole story of the battle with some of the points I wanted to make, and wouldn’t have to worry about getting to the end of my program since the threads stand alone. After the intro, I went into thread pulling mode. Out of about 90 slides, I got to go over 14. All of the work I did produced about 2.5 to 3 hours worth of material. So, I got that going for me, which is nice.
I think the program went well, and the folks seemed to like it – at least they laughed in the right places. Afterwards they asked about 8 or 10 questions, for each of which I think I had a pretty good response. Thanks to President Russ Broman, program director Dave Fisher, and founder Gary Augustine for the A-1 treatment.