Nine Seconds a Soldier

Today, Commander Prior drove in real life to attend a Civil War fair in the town of Winchester, Virginia. There were reenactors, cannons, and plenty of heat.

Prior is a collector of many odd and historic artifacts. In his office (not his penguin office, his physical one), you will find:

A mummified piranha

A leaf of 14th century illuminated manuscript

Glass from Twin Towers

Mammoth ivory

A Roman terra cotta vessel (original)

Sperm whale oil

A piece of Titanic’s hull

A scrap of Steve Jobs’ black sweater

But most prized among all his collections are his American Civil War photographs: daguerreotype, ambrotype, and tintype.

The eyes you look into here are eyes no one has gazed into for a long, long time. Until you came along.

They are serious, grim, and stoic.

Then Prior experienced something unique. Under one of the tents at the fair was an old camera company and a box of clothes. For a fee, old-style ambrotypes and tintypes of yourself could be made.

Prior donned a Federal uniform, grabbed a Colt .44, and put on a kepi hat. He positioned in front of the camera and was told to hold his breath and stay very, very still for nine seconds.

He stared into the lens.

Receiving the plate of the photograph, Prior looked, for the first time ever, into his own eyes in an ambrotype. Something hit him: he looked just as strong, just as serious, and just as grave as the soldiers he collects. And it felt good.

There he was. A warrior masked in the haze of black-and-white. Captured like a ghost on a piece of glass.

Nine seconds a soldier. But will collectors in the future find this image and know it is a fraud?

Or is it the photo of a real Commander?

RFCP encourages everyone reading this to ask themselves if they too could stand still for nine seconds, hold their breath, and become the person they see in photos and admire. Can nine seconds turn you into the person you want to be?

It came close for Commander Prior. But not exactly. Perhaps nothing will.

He is glad to be not the leader of the Virginia 4th Infantry, but the Recon Federation of Club Penguin.

And that is for more than nine seconds.

Erat ipso sacra.

A shout out to Lieutenant RomanPrincey who was interested in seeing these photos.

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