2012 Bourgeois: Eugene Fowles
Fifteen to Twenty years is how long the original Fur Trade Era Lasted. Now we are going into the 40th year of the Fort Bridger Rendezvous, more than twice as long as the original Rendezvous lasted. This way of life must have been quite exciting, intriguing and a hard way to make a living.
Here we celebrating 40 years of reenacting the best way we can of that time period in History.
Our Rendezvous is not what we expected theirs to be. Due to laws, rules and regulations of our time period we have to do our Rendezvous in a completely different way than what was done in the 1840s. The Rendezvous of the past would be strung out for miles. Traders, Camps, Horses, Shooting Wrestling, Knife and Hawk throwing and just down out fighting were mixed up all together and not set up in rows, shooting ranges and camping sites. There was no set schedule. Things transpire on their own when the men got bored and overindulged.
I know that we are not as close to what a real Rendezvous would be like, but we are the best there is in portraying the History of the Mountain Men with the restraints of our time. I know that if we were able to step back in time and had to live; and work like these tough men had to that not a one of us would last for more than a week.
I have had a real opportunity to live for a short time in the ultimate wilderness of our time in Alaska. I have taken several trips to hunt Grizzly Bear, Moose, Caribou, Black Bear, Dell Sheep and Wolf. Modern hunting is nothing compared to what was done in the past. I had a chance to think of how tough it was at the time and what those great explorers and trappers would have given to have some of the equipment that I have had on these trips.
My name is Eugene Fowles and I am your Booshway for 2012. This year the Board was forced to make dramatic changes from how the Rendezvous has been in the past. As a Board we did the best to minimize the changes to no avail. Camp sites have been changed. Traders Row will be restructured in a completely different layout.
As a Board we tried to keep everything we are used to, such as events, entertainments, games and demonstrations.
I know these changes will make more work and take a lot of effort on us all. Everyone will need to let go of the comfort of the way thing have been done in the past and understand that these changes are to preserve the Fort for the generations to come. I feel that if we all work together and support the board, we will make this 40th Rendezvous the Best Ever!
Like I said I am you 2012 Booshway and was your Booshway in 2006, so being my second time around I know how we can all pull together and work thru the hard parts, and enjoy the good parts.
We have a Great Board of Directors this year, putting the Rendezvous ahead of other things to put this Great Event together.
At this time I would like to Thank My Wife Maria for all of her support and help, for without her support and the support of all of the Boards Spouse and Families this job would be impossible to achieve.
So let’s all work together and let’s all have FUN!!!!
Your 2012 Booshway
2012 Segundo: Mike Chatelain
My name is Mike Chatelain and I am Happy to be serving the FBRA as the Segundo for the 40th Annual Fort Bridger Rendezvous. Many of you will recognize me from my term as Booshway for the 35th rendezvous in 2007. Others of you may recognize me from my participation in “Kid’s Games” at the rendezvous.
Like many of my generation, I grew up watching TV cowboys who had a strong sense of adventure and a firm opinion of right and wrong. As a boy I always had a great love of Horses, guns and swords. At the age of 12, I was first introduced to some of the pioneer members of the “Buck Skinners” that we know today. I eagerly jumped into Fur Trade Era re-enactment with those men and continued to spread my wings from there. I became one of the founding members of the American Long Rifle Association. That handful of men, meeting in a log cabin in Syracuse Utah, has grown into a national organization which is highly respected for their levels of authenticity in Colonial Re-enactment. From there I met up with a retired Air Force Colonel who introduced me to re-enacting of the U.S. Cavalry during the Indian Wars. This eventually spread into the Civil War Era as well. From these bases I have developed a number of historic impressions which include military and civilian impressions from the French and Indian War through to the early 1900′s. I believe that this love of history and longing for adventure is what draws so many of us to this modern day Rendezvous at Ft. Bridger Wyoming.
My re-enacting roots are in the Fur Trade. My first trip to the Ft. Bridger Rendezvous, as a spectator, was in 1976. I have attended in the primitive camp every year since 1979. I have put out a Trade Blanket several of those years. Some years I have assisted in putting on Flintlock Shoots. I have adult children who have never known a Labor Day weekend anywhere else.
The Ft. Bridger Rendezvous has been a family tradition for me for 33 years. I have served in one capacity or another on the FBRA Board of Directors since 2003. The main thing that I have learned from my service on the F.B.R.A. Board, is that there is no way that one or two people can put on this event. It REQUIRES the entire board and all of the volunteers who help us at the rendezvous and throughout the year.
We all come to this Rendezvous for different reasons; some to trade, some to compete, some to camp and enjoy old friendships. Some just come to see the show. What ever draws us to the Ft. Bridger Rendezvous, we are all here for the same thing, a chance to step back into our history. A moment to be enjoyed briefly by all those who share it with us.