|View single post by PvtClewell|
|Posted: Sat Dec 15th, 2007 01:09 am||
The Civil War Roundtable that I belong to is small, with about 20 active members. We usually meet the third Thursday of each month in the back room of a local steak restaurant, although we don't meet in December because of the holidays nor in June, July and August because of vacations. We usually show up around 6 p.m. for a meal, then on to the topic of discussion. Meetings are usually over by 9 p.m.
Most of our members are male, 40ish to 60ish, and our group includes a couple of lawyers, a few small business owners, two ministers, a police officer and a retired sports editor. The group is always open to women, but few choose to participate. Maybe there's too much testosterone, I don't know. Usually it's boys' night out. As far as I know, we have no geniuses but we do have a lot of knowledgeable guys with their own areas of interest and expertise.
I'm the only damn Yankee in the group, a role I have come to relish. I've been a member for about 20 years.
Topics vary. Sometimes we invite guest speakers (like authors or rangers), and sometimes a round table member will conduct his own discussion, complete with audio-visual aids. A few years ago I conducted a discussion on Sickles (sound familiar?) and when Bob Zeller first published his book on 3-D civil war photography I was able to get him to present a 3-D slide show for our group. Several women showed up for that one.
We pay no dues. Anyone is welcome as long as they pay for their own meals. If we have a guest speaker, we'll ante up and pay for his meal. A larger roundtable may require dues.
Our group is small and rather informal, but one of our members was instrumental in getting some Civil War Trail signs located in our county.
The past few years we've taken three-day field trips, usually one in the fall and one in the spring, to places such as Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Antietam, Newport News (to the Mariners' Museum to see the Monitor), Richmond, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Appomattox. These places are all anywhere from 4-to-7 hours from our town.
We have a lot of fun at our roundtable. Probably can't hurt to call up the one you're interested in and find out what they're all about.