Special Guest Blogger: Dave Loda

19 Feb 2016, Posted by Founding Franklin in Get To Know Bill Robling

Diversity in First Person Interpretations

As a Gemini-Cancer cusp I have found much satisfaction, and dare I say, delight, in portraying a plethora of historical figures. I have had the honor to present and educate people in venues from Boston to Washington DC.


My multi-faceted Gemini nature comes in handy for different personality types, while the Cancer sensitivity of emotion helps me to interpret feeling by immersing myself into the characters, envi-ronments, and time periods of those I portray. I can carry on in a heated argument for the Patriot cause and just as easily make a case supporting the legitimate (British) government with equal fervor. This sometimes confuses folks who have seen me in my blue coat as General Nathanael Greene at one event, then in a red coat as General Sir William Howe at the next, but they nor-mally come away with a better understanding of each point of view.

My best friend and faithful companion, Huckleberry Finn McCool, is a key part of our activities. This horse and I have such a close bond and are so similar in personality that we interact as if we could read each other’s minds.

Spending a lot of time together fox hunting, competing in hunter races, and historic training with sword, pistol, and jumps, brings us together as no casual relationship with a rented horse could ever be. He is a critical part of the team and we have tremendous fun at events, much to the de-light of the general public and other living history folks.image1


On the battlefield or when doing demonstrations he is the alpha horse, we are all about taking care of business while focusing on safety. But the moment we step off the field and up to the crowd, he turns into the biggest teddy bear you’ve ever seen, especially if there are children about. I have seen him gracefully arch his neck and gently kiss the top of the head of a small child reaching up to him on the ground, or held in their parents’ arms to a chorus of “Awwwww,” from the other folks. He is a special horse, and I am very fortunate to be able to share the ad-ventures in history we have together.

I do this kind of work to help people realize that historic figures were real people once. We should remember their achievements and sacrifices, honoring them for having helped enable what we have today. They are our ancestors and should be remembered not as icons, but as having been just like us: mostly ordinary people in extraordinary times.

And who knows? Someday our descendants may remember and honor some of us for what we accomplish now. The cycle of life goes on.




Bolton, Connecticut
February 13th, 2016

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