Berg thought the sound of the siren out of place. It brought him out of the 19th century haze he had fallen into. It turned out to be a case of heat exhaustion on the part of one of the re-enactors. It was no wonder as the temperatures had climbed into the mid 90’s in the metro Atlanta area. It wasn’t a dry heat either. No it was more like the “I’ve spilt warm dishwater all over myself” type of heat. The re-enactors, most in their wool reproduction uniforms and heavy equipment were taking the brunt of it. Berg mused to himself, Sherman must have been in Atlanta on a day like this when he said, “War is hell” because it was sure hot enough to be
“Sarah, while we have this break, I’m going to get something cold to drink. can I bring you something?”
“No, I brought water. You should have too!”
“I did but it’s warm now and I want something cold.”
“In that case Berg, bring me one of those frozen lemonaides.”
“You know that sounds pretty good to me too. I’ll make it two.”
At that Berg trotted down the backside of the hill towards the park concession to pick up the cold treats. As Berg got closer he saw Peter there and he wasn’t looking happy.
“ What gives, Peter? You thinking the park gonna get sued for not having medical personnel on stand by because of this heat?”
Peter just stared at Berg for a moment. “Yeah, something like that!”
Berg saw Peter had other thing on his mind and moved on to the stand to get the drinks. Berg was going to stop and tell peter how well he thought the shoot was going: when he turned to go back he saw Peter was in an unpleasant discussion with one of the re-enactors. No doubt about the heat and the lack of an on-site medical team for such a large event.
Berg was calculating the numbers in his head on his way back up the hill. There were about 250 Confederate actors and 175 Union plus all the vendors, spectators and behind the scenes type who helped put it all together. He estimated that all together it was close to 1500 involved in this event. Berg felt the crowd would swell to 5,000 or more in the evening because of the fireworks display set for tonight.
“Here you go Sarah, they’re still mostly frozen.”
“Thanks, I was beginning to think you had forgotten about me.”
“So how’d your shoebox shots turn out?”
Berg couldn’t resist the jab at Sarah’s old wooden boxed view camera.
“Berg, I wouldn’t know yet. If you wee a real photographer you’d know there’s a thing called negatives and I haven’t processed them yet. I’m sure they’ll beat anything that Mattel camera of yours made”
Berg grimaced at her remark. Sarah could take it and dish it out double. Berg pushed on.
“Well take a look at these” Berg handed over his camera. “Just look at the little LCD screen in the b…”
Sarah cut him short. “Berg, I’m not an idiot. I know how to use one of these damn cameras. I just prefer not to.”
Berg was silent. He was beginning to think of Sarah as a landmine: you just never knew how much pressure it would take to set her off.
Sarah had to admit Berg’s shots were good, really good. They were well composed and detailed. Some of his close-ups had even captured the look of anguish on the faces of the soldiers in smoke and chaos of battle.
“Berg, these are nice. Your camera did a good job.” For some reason Sarah couldn’t resist the jab. She knew the camera was just a tool. It took someone with a vision to turn out work like she had just seen.
Berg caught the dig but no protest. He just looked a little hurt. How could this be from a man like him, Sarah thought. Sarah began to feel a bit guilty about the remark.
“Hey Berg, I’m going back to the wagon to process these negatives before this evenings session. Why don’t you come along and see what this old shoe box can do.”
“I thought you had to take them to a lab to be done.”
“No, I process the film in a daylight canister after loading in a changing bag”