Topic: "Boy, I Say Boy"
Activists and Traditionalists are often at one another's throat no matter where they come into contact. Activists look upon Traditionalists as "Headstone Polishers," concerned only with the history and maintenance of the status quo. Traditionalists, on the other hand, see Activists as lobbyists for political purposes and objectives. The conflict is present in governments, churches, homeowners' associations, or wherever groups form. Frodo marvels at how like-minded individuals can become so determined that they destroy that which first brought them together.
One of Frodo's Great Grandfathers served in the Confederate Army. By virtue of birth Frodo was therefore qualified to join an organization known as the "Sons of Confederate Veterans." A bit of research had opened Frodo's eyes to some of his Great Grandfathers' experiences, so he was somewhat interested when contacted by the group soliciting him as a potential member. Getting together with like-minded Hobbits is not a bad thing, and could prove to be educational. His attendance at a single meeting signaled the immortal words of Robby the Robot "Error, error, Danger Will Robinson, danger."
The Traditionalists want to discuss history, military strategy, vignettes about people and things, to maintain historical markers, and to keep parkland clean and accessible. The Activists, on the other hand, want to prove that their ancestors were right, to keep Confederate symbols on flags, and to fight any person who would demean the memory of times gone by.
Nearly all of the members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans are white males somewhere over 50, but generally under 75. There are about 32,000 of them all told. Nearly all live east of the Rockies, and somewhere beneath the geographical location of the never-visited Chicago. They are all interested in the events that transpired roughly between 1861 and 1865.
Given the commonalities, the depth of the struggle for control has produced death threats and, most recently, a legal schism. Now Frodo initially thought this was all about a bunch of old guys who don't get it up much anymore, so they just need to let it all hang out. Unfortunately there are much deeper issues at hand in an organization filled with similarities and absent any diversities.
Frodo's Great Grandfather was a farmer. He lived in an area where there were more rocks than dirt. He never had much, and he certainly didn't have the resources to own any people. He rode his own horse when he joined the 7th Virginia Cavalry, and he carried his own gun. He was "Third Corporal," and he served with several of his brothers in an outfit called the "Shenandoah Rangers."
Frodo knows that on the third day of July, 1863, he rode into a little town in Pennsylvania called Gettysburg.
On the same day, another of Frodo's Great Grandfathers, wearing a blue coat, completed the march, by foot, from his hometown in Ohio into the same small town. On that day that Great Grandfather was wounded. He survived his wounds.
It is possible, although clearly not probable, that the one Great Grandfather, the one in gray, shot the other Great Grandfather, the one in blue. They were on the same battlefield, on the same day, on opposite sides.
Frodo wanted to talk about these kinds of things. The Shire is a land that exists because of men like these, and we Hobbits are who we are because of them. It was clear that the Traditionalists and the Activists had other things on their mind.
Frodo is proud of both his Great Grandfathers. Frodo has no idea what motivated either one, and he has no idea what either truly believed. Frodo loves "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" as well he does the haunting memories of where he was born, "early on a frosty morn." Frodo knows only that after that War they both went home, and Frodo would never do anything or join any group that failed to recognize that is what we all, eventually, must do.