Civil War Reenactor

(Frank) Ha. (Deb) Not gonna say we’re back. (Frank) I’m not gonna say it. No. See, we really are. (Deb) Yea, but we’re back. (Frank) See we do have a lot of fun. We’re so happy that you join us every Wednesday here on Around Kansas. You know we have talked about so many people that are in the entertainment industry from Kansas. And there’s another one that I know you know him quite well, and he’s having kind of a landmark birthday. So, why don’t you talk a little bit about Herschel Stroud. (Deb) Well, he’s just one of my dearest friends. He and Jacque both are just the most amazing people. And we’ve been involved in a lot of history events the entire time I’ve lived in Kansas pretty much. And they’re just the most amazing couple. And yes he just marked his 85th birthday which is unbelievable. This man’s energy is just unreal. And Jackie matches him every step of the way. Just awesome folks. Awesomely talented and generous and just can’t say enough good about ’em. (Frank) Yea, isn’t he a reenactor and he was a dentist? (Deb) He’s a reenactor, you name it, he does it. There’s nothing he doesn’t do. (Frank) Herschel Stroud just celebrated his 85th birthday. His energy, and that of his wife, Jacque, would make most 20-year-olds envious. Herschel retired from dentistry but hardly took to the rocking chair. Rather, he took to the roads. The Strouds travel thousands of miles every year to make presentations on Civil War history. Herschel often appears as a civil war-era doctor and Jacque portrays Mary Ann Bickerdyke, a civil war nurse and veterans advocate. Herschel has portrayed Samuel Crawford on many occasions, the state’s third governor. When not traveling, the two are ardent KU fans and can be found cheering on the Jayhawks. Herschel is truly a renaissance man of many talents, not the least of which is music. He performs with the Kings of Swing, a 14-piece ensemble that began in 1981, but traces its origins to the Carl Johnson Orchestra, which got its start in the early 1930s in the north-central Kansas town of Marysville. Herschel has worked for decades with Ray Rathert, the director of the Kings of Swing, which performs at a variety of events throughout the year. Most Kings of Swing performances include dancing by attendees, a staple of the music when it first was heard several generations ago. The Kings of Swing specialize in Swing dance hits of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, made popular by musicians such as Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Harry James, Count Basie and Woody Herman. Among hits performed by the Kings of Swing are as follows: “A String of Pearls,” “Cab Driver,” “Lazy River,” “Kansas City,” “Moon River,” “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” “Sentimental Journey” and “Tuxedo Junction.” Herschel is a vocalist and plays trombone. Whether grasping a scalpel to demonstrate 19th century medicine or singing the classics, Hershel lives with passion. What a life!!!

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