Sunday, March 31, 2013

Showtime - April-May 2013

Thu, Apr 11, 4:30 AM
Tue, Apr 23, 11:35 AM
Wed, Apr 24, 4:35 AM
Wed, May 01, 8:40 AM
Fri, May 10, 5:25 PM
Tue, May 14, 12:00 PM
Tue, May 14, 8:30 PM
Thu, May 16, 5:45 AM
Thu, May 16, 10:00 AM
Wed, May 22, 4:45 AM
Wed, May 22, 9:45 AM
Wed, May 22, 5:20 PM
Sun, May 26, 3:20 PM
Mon, May 27, 12:00 PM

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Showtime March 25-April

Mon, Mar 25, 4:40 AM
Thu, Apr 11, 4:30 AM
Tue, Apr 23, 11:35 AM
Wed, Apr 24, 4:35 AM

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Camptown Shakers

Camptown Shakers
We formed the Camptown Shakers minstrel band to explore our interest in the popular music of mid-19th century America after meeting as Civil War reenactors. As the soldiers did then, we entertain ourselves and our friends in camp, passing the time with music. Our goal is to research and perform the early minstrel style of music in a way that is faithful to the original form. The sound of the fiddle and banjo is a classic combination, but with the addition of percussion the more primitive rhythmic sound of the early minstrel band is heard.
The "Shakers" instruments include early 5-string banjo, fiddle, bones, and tambourine. The fretless banjos are strung with the gut strings of the period, tuned down low and played in the minstrel or "stroke" style. The fiddle is bowed in the traditional manner, fit to send dancers' to their feet or provide accompaniment for a song. The tambourine and bones shake and rattle, driving the music and giving the band its name.
Our music is composed of songs, banjo jigs, and fiddle tunes from the 1840's through 1865. We can be seen performing at reenactments, living history presentations, period dances, and other events. The Camptown Shakers will be found entertaining and educating the public throughout the day as well as playing for the participants at a dance or around the campfire. The music on our recordings represent some of our favorite songs and tunes and is what you would hear should you camp with us.
Dave Culgan banjo & vocals, Renny Allgyer fiddle & vocals, King Bennett percussion, vocals. Since the time of our first recording the band also included Rich Bauer on jawbone but he died following a long illness on August 30th, 2007. We all miss him and his music dearly.
Some contact info for the band:
Dave Culgan - dculgan (at)
Tracy Culgan - 610-742-0445

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

More Civil War trivia and facts

Caring for the wounded at Antietam, 1862.

Persons, Sites, Actions, and Things

Q. What milk product, patented in 1856, became an important part of the Union Soldiers´ diets?
Q. What was the name of Robert E. Lee´s beloved horse, now memorialized at Washington and Lee University?
Q. What was the name of Jefferson´s Davisfords last home, which after his death became a home for confederate veterans and the wives or widows and is now a museum?
Q. What state university, whose students left en masse in 1861 to join the University Grays or the Lamar Rifles, is best known by its nickname, the antebellum term for the mistress of a southern plantation?
Q. When the Federal government confiscated Mrs. Robert E. Lee´s ancestral mansion where the Lees lived before the war, what use was made of the property?

Numbers Tell Their Own Stories

Q. In the election of 1860, what percentage of the voters backed Abraham Lincoln, who had pledged to preserve the Union, whatever the cost?
Q. What was the population of the United Sates in 1860, slaves included, but American Indians not counted?
Q. During 1861-65, with more that 955,000 immigrants arriving, what was the approximate division to the North and South?
Q. At Antietam, or Sharpsburg, about how many casualties were suffered on Wednesday, September 17, 1862?
Q. How many men were in the Pennsylvania units that reached Washington on April 18, 1861, constituting its only important defense?

Places: Small and Large, Obscure and Famous

Q. The English-born entertainer Harry McCarthy wrote the popular southern song "The Bonnie Blue Flag" in the spring of 1861 and performed it for the first time in what city?
Q. In what vast uninhabited marshy area of tangled forest and underbrush west of Chancellorsville, Virginia, did Grant propose to fight it our "if it takes all summer"?
Q. Jefferson Davis regarded what site in his home state as "the Gibraltar of the West"?
Q. What city held the only gas works of the confederacy capable of inflating observation balloons?
Q. What small community was completely transformed by General Grant, who made it his headquarters and the "nerve center" of the Union for the final ten months of the war?

Weapons: Old and New, Deadly and Harmless

Q. What was the caliber of the bayonet-equipped Enfield rifle-musket, usually listed simply as "rifle"?
Q. What distinguished the eight-inch seacoast howitzer, model 1841, from counterparts used in the field?
Q. What was the maximum range of a shell from the gigantic twenty-inch Rodman Smoothbore gun?
Q. Thirteen-inch seacoast mortars could send a 220-pound bomb 4,325 yards if elevated to what degree?
Q. How many guns were expected to be fired as a salute to the U.S. flag when Fort Sumter was surrendered?

War in the East

Q. What engagement is generally considered to have been Robert E. Lee´s final offensive of the war?
Q. What battle, at the time considered by some Federals to be a victory, became the excuse for issuing the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862?
Q. At Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia, May 12, 1864, approximately how many casualties were counted within one square mile?
Q. By causing considerable mirth among watching Confederate soldiers across the Rappahannock River in January 1863, a bogged-down "advance" by Union troop was given what name?
Q. Where did Joseph E. Johnston, C.S.A., surrender his army to William Tecumseh Sherman, U.S.A.?

War in the South and West

Q. Although General Rosecrans reported a Union victory at Stone´s River, Tennessee, how did his casualties compare with those of the Confederates?
Q. What northern general, threatened with being relieved of his command, was described to President Lincoln in 1861 as "a drunken wooden-headed tanner"?
Q. In what state did the engagement of Coffeeville take place?
Q. From what site was the last large Federal land Campaign launched?
Q. Although they fought only skirmishes, what troops made a heroic march in 1862 across mountains and desert to secure the Arizona Territory for the Union?

War on the Water: Salt and Fresh

Q. The loyalty of what Union naval officer was questioned because of his southern roots?
Q. In what waters did David Farragut, U.S.N., reputedly cry,"Damn the torpedoes! Full steam ahead!"?
Q. What Confederate ironclad dueled with Farragut´s flagship, the USS Hartford, in Mobile Bay?
Q. Jeering Confederates aboard what southern vessel called the USS Monitor the "tin can on a shingle"?
Q. What was the result of the famed duel between the Monitor and the Virginia (Merrimack)?

Roles of Civilians

Q. The parents of Thomas ("Tad") Lincoln became concerned because he had not learned to read at what age?
Q. After Shiloh, which Union general did Gov. David Todd of Ohio want court-martialed?
Q. What woman writer who defended Lincoln's use of war powers claimed to have planned the western campaign of 1862?
Q. Whose name is attached to a December 1860 proposal for six U.S. constitutional amendments regarding slavery, to seek sectional compromise to avoid war?
Q. What Scottish native reared in Alabama was enlisted in the Confederate army's medical department as a hospital matron?

Transportation and Communication

Q. Of the many signals transmitted to cavalry units by buglers, which one alerts them for march or combat?
Q. Who was entrusted to deliver Lincoln's secret relieving John C. Fremont of command in Missouri?
Q. In what vehicle did Lt. Col. Robert E. Lee travel in 1861 from Fort Mason, Texas, to Washington?
Q. What was the difference between Union and Confederate directional bugle calls?
Q. When Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks burned many freight cars following Cedar Mountain in August 1862, how did he move what was left of his supplies?

First Events and Achievements

Q. Who was the first general to be replaced by Lincoln, having been earlier picked by Lincoln to command?
Q. What was the target of the first military attack ever made on an oil installation?
Q. In what year did the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, first celebrate the Fourth of July after it fell to General Grant on July 4, 1863?
Q. Who received the first Congressional Medal of Honor?
Q. Connecticut-born George S. Smith of Charleston, South Carolina, made an epochal first photograph of what?

Fighting Men of the C.S.A

Q. What guerrilla was hanged in front of U.S. Colored Troops for the reported massacre of black prisoners at Saltsville?
Q. Who was the last surviving general of the C.S.A.?
Q. What general was reduced to the unofficial rank of colonel after having been drunk at Mill Springs, Kentucky, in 1862?
Q. What future general lent travel money to U. S. Grant when Grant resigned from the U. S. Army in California?
Q. Who refused to use pepper on his food, saying it gave him pains in his left leg?

Fighting Men of the U.S.A.

Q. What friend of Abraham Lincoln formed Chicago's Zouave Cadets and the New York Fire Zouaves?
Q. What was unusual about the appearance of zouave units?
Q. How many defenders of Fort Sumter later became major generals?
Q. How many regiments wore Federal blue uniforms at First Bull Run (First Manassas)?
Q. When did U. S. Grant quit trimming his beard and for a short time permited it to grow full length?
AnswersSpecial thanks to Webb Garrison who was gracious enough to allow us to use his trivia question from his wonderful book Civil War Trivia and Fact Book. Also thanks to Dick and Pauleen Peterson. Contact Gallery 30, where copies of Webb Garrison's book can be purchased.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Civil War Trivia

"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."
-- Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1861, From His First Inaugural Address.
African-American Soldiers in the Civil War

  • More than three million men fought in the Civil War about 900,000 for the Confederacy and 2.1 million for the Union.
  • An estimated 300 women disguised themselves as men and fought in the ranks.
  • More than 620,000 people, or two percent of the population, died in the Civil War.
  • Approximately 6,000 battles, skirmishes, and engagements were fought during the Civil War.
  • There were over 2,000 boys who were 14 years-old or younger in the Union ranks. Three hundred were 13 years or less, while there were 200,000 no older than 16 years.
  • At the Battle of Shiloh, on the banks of the Tennessee River, more Americans fell than in all previous American wars combined. There were 23,700 casualties.
  • At FredericksburgVirginia in 1862, the Confederate trenches stretched for a distance of seven miles. The troop density was 11,000 per mile, or six men to the yard.
  • 3,530 Native Americans fought for the Union, of which, 1,018 were killed.
  • The greatest cavalry battle ever fought in the Western hemisphere was at Brandy Station,Virginia, on June 9, 1863. Nearly 20,000 cavalrymen were engaged on a relatively confined terrain for more than 12 hours.
  • An Iowa regiment had a rule that any man who uttered an oath should read a chapter in the Bible. Several of them got nearly through the Old Testament.
  • There were more Northern-born Confederate generals than Southern-born Union generals.
  • The famous Confederate blockade-runner, the C.S.S. Alabama, never entered a Confederateport during the length of her service.
  • During the Battle of Antietam, Clara Barton tended the wounded so close to the fighting that a bullet went through her sleeve and killed a man she was treating.
  • In March 1862, "new” ironclad war ships, the Monitor and the Merrimac battled off Hampton Roads, Virginia. From then on, every other wooden navy ship on earth was obsolete.
  • There were 100 men in a Company and 10 Companies in a Regiment.
  • Not fond of ceremonies or military music, Ulysses S. Grant said he could only recognize two tunes. "One was Yankee Doodle, the other one wasn’t."
  • President Abraham Lincoln was the first president to be assassinated.
    • Missouri sent 39 regiments to fight in the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi -- 17 to theConfederacy and 22 to the Union.
    • At the start of the war, the value of all manufactured goods produced in all theConfederate states added up to less than one-fourth of those produced in New York State alone.
    • In 1862, the U.S. Congress authorized the first paper currency, called "greenbacks."
    • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., future chief Justice, was wounded three times during theCivil War: in the chest at Ball’s Bluff, in the back at Antietam and in the heel atChancellorsville
    • Surgeons never washed their hands after an operation, because all blood was assumed to be the same, nor did he wash his instruments

    • Confederate Private Henry Stanley fought for the Sixth Arkansas, and was captured at Shiloh, but survived to go to Africa to find Dr. Livingston.
    • On July 4, 1863, after 48 days of siege, Confederate General John C. Pemberton surrendered the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi to Union General, Ulysses S. Grant. For the next 81 years, the city VicksburgMississippi did not celebrate the Fourth of July.
    • Disease killed twice as many men during the war than did battle wounds.
    • The 12th Connecticut Regiment entered the war with a compliment of 1,000 men. Before it entered its first engagement, sickness had reduced its strength to 600 able bodied soldiers.
    • On both sides of the conflict, potential recruits were offered monetary rewards, or "bounties," for enlisting, as much as $677 inNew York. "Bounty jumping” soon became so popular, that hundreds of men signed up, and then deserted, to enlist again elsewhere.
    • For those who were drafted, the law allowed them to pay a substitute to go in their place. Another type of "bounty jumper” was born when men would hire out to more than one draftee and then make a hasty exit once they were paid. The record for bounty jumping was held by John O’Connor, who admitted to hiring himself out 32 times before being caught. He received a 4 year prison term.
    • Though African Americans constituted less than one percent of the northern population, by the war’s end made up ten percent of the UnionArmy. A total of 180,000 black men, more than 85% of those eligible, enlisted. By the time of the Confederate surrender in 1865, there were more African Americans in the Union army than there were soldiers in the Confederate army.
    • In November 1863, President Lincoln was invited to offer a "few appropriate remarks" at the opening of a new Union cemetery at Gettysburg. Though Lincoln spoke just 269 words in his Gettysburg address, the main speaker, an orator from Massachusetts, spoke for nearly two hours.
    • Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest had 30 horses shot from under him and personally killed 31 men in hand-to-hand combat. "I was a horse ahead at the end," he said.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Showtime March-April

Wed, Mar 20, 4:35 AM
Wed, Mar 20, 3:40 PM
Mon, Mar 25, 4:40 AM
Thu, Apr 11, 4:30 AM
Tue, Apr 23, 11:35 AM
Wed, Apr 24, 4:35 AM

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Where are they now?

Randy Kovitz - Fight coordinator - Racing Daylight

Lawrenceville-based actor takes a turn in 'Parks'

May 10, 2012 4:19 am

Randy Kovitz of Lawrenceville portrays an election commissioner on tonight's season finale of "Parks and Recreation." Amy Poehler plays Leslie Knope, who is running for Pawnee city council.

Local actor/instructor Randy Kovitz appears in the season finale of NBC's "Parks and Recreation" (9:30 tonight, WPXI), playing Pawnee's election commissioner, Terrance.
You'd think he might know the outcome of the city council race between Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and an empty-headed Sweetums candy scion (guest star Paul Rudd), but he doesn't.

'Parks and Recreation'
  • When: 9:30 tonight, NBC.
  • Starring: Amy Poehler.

"I was not given an entire script," Mr. Kovitz said. "When you work, they just give you the [script pages] for the day you're shooting, so I have no idea."
Mr. Kovitz grew up near Los Angeles and graduated from Carnegie Mellon in 1977, moved to New York and then spent 20 years in Los Angeles. He moved back to Pittsburgh seven years ago and lives in Lawrenceville. He's a local actor and filmmaker, is a fight director at Pittsburgh Public Theater and teaches acting in front of the camera at CMU.
He previously appeared on an episode of "Fringe" after moving back to Pittsburgh, and he auditioned for "Parks" on video and was cast off of that.
He appears in two scenes and acts alongside Ms. Poehler, Adam Scott and recurring guest star Kathryn Hahn, who plays a political operative for Leslie's rival.
"It was terrific. They would change things up a lot on every take," Mr. Kovitz said. "And what was very cool is when I left L.A., they hadn't started with this style of television, which developed from 'The Office,' shooting with two handheld cameras. I worked on four-camera sitcoms and one-camera episodics, but on this they shoot with two handheld cameras. You don't even know where the [cameras are] at, which is really good for your acting."
He was also impressed by director Mike Schur, one of the "Parks" showrunners.
"Once they've gotten everything he says, 'Let's do a fun run,' which is a very loose version of the scene with lots of room for improvisation," Mr. Kovitz said. "The last time through, everybody overlapped and added things. It was very fun. I have no idea what takes will be used, but it was a cool thing."
A version of this story first appeared in Tuned In Journal blog at TV writer Rob Owen: or 412-263-2582. Follow RobOwenTV on Twitter or Facebook.
First Published May 10, 2012 12:00 am

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