SECTION 1: LIFE IN THE SCA
I am Shaul ben Yisrael of Poznan, Baron of All of Axemoor. Shaul ben Yisrael of Poznan': Many of you know me as Shoiel (pronounced Shoy-el [ properly pronounced like my mother does Shoyl ]. This is the Yiddish form of the Hebrew name Shaul (pronounced Sha-ool) meaning Saul. The "ben in my name is spelled with a small "b" and means "son of". Obviously whatever follows "son of" is my father's name. Yisrael (pronounced Yis-ra-el) is Hebrew for the name Israel. Lastly, The locative part of my name is the city of Poznan, a city in west central Poland in the Warta River.
I as born the son of a merchant on June 30, 1557. I spent my youth learning from my father and Uncle Shmoil (Samuel). We spent many months on the road traveling south to Italy trading along the way as well as at our destination. We would bring back much of the wealth of the Orient and Islamic treasures: cloth, jewels, gold, and spices. My uncle knew how to make a good bargain!
We rarely traveled alone. Usually we took with us folk looking for escort between Italy and Poland. My uncle's caravan never traveled without protection, and believe me, they were well paid! My uncle always said, "Trust your soldiers as much as you pay them." Uncle Shmoil learned the lesson the hard way.
As long as I remember, the idea of traveling west was never discussed. My father would not hear of it. Expulsions and mass conversions of my people, even though they were Sephardic Jews, made the thought repugnant.
In 1584, an event occurred that changed my life. I was on a trading trip with my uncle in Trani, Italy. A woman approached us with a proposition. We were offered a great price to transport her daughter to her true father, a Knight of great renown, Sir John the Plain, who while passing through Trani on the way to battle, had a torrid love affair with this woman, thus, siring her lovely daughter. Sir John, she thought, died in the great battle, but this was not true. This was where he gained his Knighthood. For twenty-seven years Francesca was raised by her mother. My Uncle agreed for two reasons: first, the price was right; second, I was smitten and would not let my uncle say no.
To make a long story short, we introduced Francesca to her father, and I requested her hand in marriage. Once dowry and bride price conditions were met, we were wed on January 25, 1586.
Also in 1586, I began to travel for my Uncle more and more without his attending. He pays well.
In 1586, came the death of the great King Stephan Bathory which almost caused civil war in Poland, except for the amusing guile of Prince Radzwill. This story I have always found inspirational. As some may know, in Poland, our Kings are elected by the Noblemen of our Kingdom. This story ends in 1586, but begins some time sooner. While Prince Radzwill was traveling in Italy, he fell on hard times, and was helped by Rabbi Samuel Katzenellenbogen. For his kindness, Prince Radzwill promised the Rabbi that He would take care of the Rabbi's son Saul when He returned to Poland. Prince Radzwill became Saul's mentor and Saul prospered. So what does this have to do with the election of the next King? .... Well, as usual the Diet of Nobles came with armies looking for an excuse to fight. The election of the next King was not going smoothly, and after two days, the good Prince Radzwill knew that if the Diet adjourned for one more night without a decision, there would be civil war. Prince Radzwill stood up and suggested that his associate Saul Katzenellenbogen be made king for the night and in the morning, they would meet and elect the next King. This idea was so unusual it caught all the Nobles by surprise, thus releasing the tension of the moment, so they all agreed. The next day, with the aid and diplomacy of Saul, Sigismund Vargas III was elected King of Poland, and Saul Katzenellenbogen was given the surname "Wahl", meaning the elected in German, as well as the auspicious privilege of being the first and only Jewish King of Poland (even if it was only for one night).
Well as you know Cesca and I have been ennobled and given Baronial Territory. It is amazing what can happen to a Bourgeois Merchant!
WHY THIS PERSONA
I joined the SCA in November of 1982 in Stargate Anstaeorra (Houston TX).
I chose my Jewish name as my SCA name. At the time, I did not know that Shoyl was Yiddish, or its proper pronunciation. I chose Shoiel ben Yisrawael (the proper spelling of the transliteration for the Hebrew and Yiddish for Israel -- but you know the Heralds! -- see below) . My mundane fathers Jewish name was Israel so I wanted to keep the patronym.
Mundanely, I am Jewish and did not want to change my religion to participate in an organization, but there was a major dilemma I had to face. I wanted to have a late period persona because I wanted to Rapier fight in persona, but Jews were expelled from Western Europe (England in and about Richard the Lion Hearteds time -- 12 th cent(?), Spain during Ferdinand and Isabellas reign -- circa 1490s, and France at some time I am not sure of). I knew that Islamic Spain was accepting of all religions, and Jews prospered. Other than that I hadnt a clue. Some time about 2 years after I joined, I read something about a Jew who was King of Poland for a day. It was one line thrown into some text I read. I had to find the reference, and started the search to the library. I found a book that also referenced the story, then found the article in an old Jewish Digest. I had now picked a country, and a time. Since it was about 1984 when I discovered Saul Wahl (SEE ABOVE), I decided to pick my year as 1584, and progress through time annually with the change in mundane year, anxiously awaiting 1986 (1586), the change of Polish Kings.
In addition to Shoiel, there is also my court fool, Marlin, Keeper of the holy Maceral.
Holy Mackerel? . . . . . Its a long story, . . . .
I'll make it short.
I was working at the Texas Renaissance Fest. at a game booth (Fencing Arena) and asked combatants why they were fighting (a ploy at hawking the game and getting attraction from passers by) You know most mundanes , when hit with a stupid question generally give you the great, all encompassing answer: "I don't know." . . . Taking that as my cue I would yell at the top of by lungs, These men are fighting over a FISH!" From this non-nonsequetor, I would get the following, " A FISH? WHAT DO YOU MEAN A FISH?"
(DO YOU SEE ANOTHER CUE COMING?)
To that I would respond: " Of course, You're fighting for the HALIBUT, SHARKING I know, don't get CRABBY. CLAM UP, stop FLOUNDERING around before I make a BASS of myself -- I'm already on a PERCH!"
(YOU GET THE PICTURE) Then I joined the SCA. It was Nov., 1982, I started to get a “bad” reputation with FISH JOKES. about 6 months later, my "friends" got fed up with FISH JOKES and made me burn them in effigy, and made me promise never to tell another. I said Shoiel will never again utter another FISH JOKE.
So was the inspiration for MARLIN, KEEPER OF THE HOLY MACERAL!
The actual Idea was spawned while watching the play two gentlemen From Verona (Shakespeare) and heard the line, let me tell you the tale of a fish . . . (the Stargate Dance Troop had been performing as the Opener for the Play)
A close friend and confidant made for me my original costume, after my twisted, fishy design. Another close friend, Susan Elizabeth, helped me rehearse my original routine, which I sprang on the Barony of Stargate at the court of the Baronial champion 1983. Only 3 people knew anything about him and the Herald, another close friend, had just found out, and covered for me when they were I was called up to receive a prize for an impromptu bardic competition.
I was hiding behind a bush during court, waiting, and hiding, hiding and waiting, when my cue came, just as I asked him to do "Would please to come before the Court. . .Marlin . . ."
Running start, leap, slide on one knee on a smooth marble floor, more sliding, more sliding, approaching the bassinet of the Baron/ess's newborn, stopping (luckily) right in front of the baby.
". . . Keeper of the HOLY MACERAL"
There was such an uproarious laughter from the timing, and my entry, I almost got caught up in it, and almost lost it, but I burned a hole in the pillow in front of me with my stare, drowning out the audience.
And THEN: Marlin was borne!
Marlin has been my performing persona, born in Anstaeorra, but really grew up here in Meridies. In Anstaeorra, he only had that one GREAT performance. Here, Marlin has been Master of Ceremonies for Axemoor shtick, as well as Harlequino in the Kibitz Kibbutz Comedia del Arte performances.
I waited several years to bring out Marlin in Meridies. I wanted to earn respect of the people of my new Kingdom when we moved here in May 1986, before I tore it down. The decision to actually bring out Marlin was during the Royal Court just after Sir Hadi won Spring Crown List for his consort Emeraude (sp?) , who is only 5 tall (maybe). Cesca and I made it to court too late to get a good seat, so we wound up front row, all the way on the right side (looking at the thrones). The Crown (Stephen and Jacqueline I think) seated itself, then the winner of the list and consort were called in, and proclaimed to be the Heirs to the Kingdom, and seated. There was no foot stool for Emeraude, and her feet did not touch the floor. She spent the entire court perched forward on the throne with her toes stretching to touch the ground, and we spent the entire Court only ten feet from her watching her squirm. Some time during court, I made the comment to Cesca about not believing that they could not find her a foot stool, then the thought occurred that I, as Marlin, could be her foot fool at the upcoming Fall Crown List in Axemoor. Cesca liked the idea and I asked for a new outfit and she agreed. (She got a set of Ghinger scissors out of the deal!)
Fall Crown came, and I had previously gotten permission of the Baron, Ragnar, for this shtick. I saw Hadi just prior to armor inspection, and asked if my plan would be okay, and said that it was okay with the Baron. At that time, Ragnar happened to be walking by, and we called him into the discussion. Hadi said it was okay with him, but he promised Emeraude that her foot stool would be in court. My heart sank a little, but then he said that Duke Lawrence was to set up court, and that I should speak to him. He just happened to be passing by at that moment and we called him over. The plan was set into motion.
Just before court, I got dressed, and hid in the vestibule behind the court area. ( Court is held in a Chapel at a catholic summer camp.) I had sneaked in covered by a cloak. Sat in a chair and waited for my cue. I had arranged with the guard to forcibly bring me out.
Now a little about the outfit -- It is a party color, patchwork, Italian , late period fools outfit of three shades of green and a bright yellow. The hat is three fish (two green, one yellow) conjoined at the belly, tails up and flopping outward. There is also a collar of fish -- tails to the center, and one is a flounder (find the pun). My jesters Bauble (named BOB) is the traditional head on a stick, hut with a fish for a hat -- the mouth is open and over the top if the head, and the fishs eyes are a mask -- reminiscent of my original hat.
Court was beginning, and my heart was in my mouth. I knew I should be first on the addenda, but I wan not. The first thing was to bring in the winner of the list and his consort. THEN Baron Ragnar was called into court for the presentation of the foot stool. Marlin was called, and from the back, I bellowed, Im not coming and YOU cant make me! Ragnar called the guard, who extracted me from the back and flung me to the ground. I tried to crawl away but was blocked. I then looked at Emeraud, pointed dramatically, and cried, You didnt tell me she was SOOOO Beau -TY- full!. I took my place under her feet and remained there all court.
The most memorable points of that court for me were as follows. John the Bear Killer had won Poet Laureate at the event. He was not standing in the chapel when I came in, and missed my entrance. When he was called into court, he got half way down the aisle, saw me, stopped dead in his tracks, looked, looked again. His eyes opened wide and his jaw dropped. (In theater, you are taught how to react to something unexpected -- he went through every stage of surprise -- it was great to find out what you are taught is true!) Later in court, the Kingdom Herald, Carlwyn, who was having a bad mouth day and not pronouncing anyones name correctly, called up Ragnar and mispronounced Kaupmadr. Carlwynn has known Ragnar forever. I just shook my head and thought to myself, what a foo- . . . Then it occurred to me . . . I waited for a moment of pause in court, and raised my hand to let folk know the fool had some words of wisdom. . . Then in the pause I declared, the only difference between a fool and a Herald are the colors they wear! (putting 1 and 1 together you get that I called the man a Fool before God, King and Country). (Note: I fully understand the problems of being a Herald since I had spent 3 1/2 as a Herald before this time.) Carlwynns jaw dropped and he leaned out to look at me in front of the throne and stared. Lastly I remember that Emeraud had a Great time. She spent court playing with BOB, my bauble.
MY SCA LIFE
As I stated earlier, I started in Houston, TX in 1982. I discovered the SCA while working at the Texas Renaissance Festival. I worked part time at the Fencing Arena game in 1980 and 81, and full time in 82. In 1982, I met Bayard, Margaret and Donna, who got me interested in the SCA. I signed up at the SCA information booth, and was sent an invitation to the Newcomers Revel in Clear Lake, Tx (the Canton of Loch Solier) in November of 1982. The Baronial and Canton populace brought food for a buffet. I met Sir William of Weir, and I did not impress him -- I was 25 years old and rather impetuous. They showed a slide show about the SCA and the Barony. I learned period dances -- Hole in the wall, Maltese and one other I cant remember which and met three people who wanted to start a period dance troop Amy Osvath, Donna ?, and a gentleman whose name alludes me. We started meeting weekly at the Church of the Redeemer near the University of Houston, and called ourselves the Mid-Summers Knight Dancers
Eventually others joined the dance troop, including (then) Gwendolyn derk Stern (now Mistress Edwina Derk Stern) and Sir William of Weir, and others. Ultimately, we performed at numerous public demos and at the Shakespeare in the Park, at SCA Twentieth Year Celebrations.
ANECDOTE: The troop performed at the Shakespeare in the Park, Thurs. through Sunday. Friday night, we decided to go out and celebrate. The men still in Italian doublets and tights, we went to a disco in the Houston area called THE TIME TUNNEL. We danced and had a good time, and learned that the troika could be done to Put Another Dime in the Juke Box, Baby. Edwina was in a wimple and veil. The other ladies were being asked to dance by mundanes, but Edwina was being ignored because she looked like a nun. About mid-night, two rednecks passed our table and one looked at us and said, look at those fags in tights!. This comment got Edwinas blood boiling, but I quickly came back, But it sure gets the girls, dont it! the guy who made the comment was speechless, the other just pushed him along. Meanwhile, Edwina was ready to get up and say something angrily back, and I said to her, dont worry, its been taken care of.
My first event was the Old Atenvelt Reunion, held at the Texas Renfair site. I had missed the 1982 Stargate Yule revel. Old Atenvelt was in January (?) , and as goes the winter in the south, the day was warm and the event was fun. It was a camping event, and the showers were a wooden house with two stalls for each coming directly from a well. The water was COLD! I digress. The feast was a hearty stew (way too much was cooked and there was much left over. In the morning, the feastocrat, Siobhan, was dumping it into a garbage bag, and I asked what was going to be done with all the left over stew. She asked if I wanted it. Being 25 and not shy, I said. Yes. There was a third of a garbage bag full of the stew. There was enough to throw a small party and still eat for a week.) Like I said, this was a camping event. I had borrowed a pup tent, and the camping was outside the main fair grounds in the where the fair merchants and participants parked and camped. This is a RED CLAY area. That night after feast and considerable reveling, it started to rain. Not just sprinkle, but a Texas Downpour. Most folk packed up and left site that night. I stayed. There was a river flowing under my tent and I remember thinking it was like a real waterbed. Well, that rain was the edge of a cold front, because the next morning was very cold. Not freezing, but close. I got up early and went to the feast area, an army GP large tent owned by the Barony. One other person was there standing near a something warm (I dont remember what). Others started coming in looking for coffee, and a warm, dry spot. Eventually, folk started bringing in their food -- eggs, sausages, leftovers, etc. (Anstaeorra does not usually provide breakfasts at events). We all stood around eating, and in a big cloak monster, and telling jokes and stories for hours. This unplanned after revel was so much fun that it is all I really remember of the event.
Sir William of Weir and his lady Philippa Rookhaven (Pippa) were invested as Baron and Baroness of Stargate at a Spring event 83 called Elf Stomp, in Bear Creek Park, Houston (remember the name of this park). After the investiture, I said to him that if there was ever anything I could do to help, just ask. On the spot, he asked if I would autocrat Yule Revel -- how could I refuse. (With Edwina and the dance troop/guild s help put together a Yule Revel / Dance Work Shop/ Newcomers Revel -- My first attempt at autocratting)
The first Crown whose reign I remember was Sir Simon of Amber and Tessa. (I believe Sir Sigmund and Mistress Siglinda were the crown when I joined) I saw Simon win Crown List. I Attended their Coronation at the Scarboro Fair Grounds, near Dallas. (The Coronation was breathtaking -- they were lead in on horseback!) Simon and Tessa attended the Yule revel I autocratted (Edwina did so much of the work and trained me, it is hard to say that I autocratted the event). Tessa showed me how to do the dance Scotland the Brave at Yule Revel. I also attended the Coronation at which they stepped down. At that event, I was given my Award of Arms from Tessa herself.
ANECDOTE: At the Simon and Tessas last court at Coronation, the Court was seriously dragging on and on. Court was held in the Feast Hall. Lots of people being called up, then going back to their seats -- lots of people I didnt know. I guess I was starting to zone out and all of the sudden, I got a kick from under the table, and Edwina said loudly, Shoiel! Thats You! I was called up and didnt Know it! I walked up and did the Reverence and kneeled before the throne. I looked up at Tessa and they started reading the AoA scroll. I whispered to Tessa, What did I do? She just smiled. I dont remember if anything was said by either Simon or Tessa, I was on Cloud nine. I remember, when I sat down, Sir William commented that I got my AoA too soon: He would have waited longer. (Lesson one for me: learn when to restrain from speaking) William is my friend, bit that comment brought me down a notch or two. Later, two other folk said things that pretty much negated Williams statement. . Later, I was talking to friend, Mistress Branwynn, from the Steppes (Dallas), and I dont remember how it came up, but she told me that it was Tessas idea to give me the AoA. Later, at a Baronial meeting just after I got my AoA, I was making a comment to a friend, Don David Gallowglass,about not being sure why I received my AoA. I could not figure out what I did to deserve it. In the middle of our discussion, Edwina came into the room, and I had a package of stuff I XEROXed for her. I excused myself from the conversation for a second, hollered for Edwina, and told her I had the stuff she wanted. When I finished, I turned back to David, and he smiled and said, Thats why. I finally understood.
In Stargate, I wound up autocratting the Yule Revel/Dance Workshop with the Dance Guild in 83, 84, and 85, as well as a Kingdom Dance Collegium in early 85.
Late in 84, I met Francesca. It was at the November populace meeting., the second Tuesday of the month, and I was there only because I was autocrat for the Yule revel. Introduced with the offer of a Jordan Almond (Our meetings and dance classes were held on the U of H Campus and I always went to the candy store and bought a bag of Jordan almonds to share). We proceeded to talk. I found out that she found the SCA at the Texas Ren.Fair and that Sir William helped her and her mother out. I invited her to attend the Dance classes at which I taught, one of which would be the next day, since they occurred every Wednesday. She agreed and attended the next class. We hit it off immediately.
We got engaged in spring of 85, and wanted to do an SCA wedding as well as mundane. Cesca did not have an SCA family, but we were both close to a friend, Sir John the Plain of Shern. We thought that he would make a good poppa. His persona was a crusader, and had traveled to the orient, so . . . We talked to his wife, Mistress Lisbeth Polsdotter, and she thought it would be okay. At that Spring Crown, an event held in Stargate, we were going to spring it in him. During court, he was called up, and a letter written by Cescas mother about the warm spring nights and going to the crusades, and returning to her, and how she was on her death bed and he was now a knight, and could take care of their daughter, was read to the populace. He accepted, of course, and took his knights chain, and opened one of the links, and took it off the chain and gave it to her as a token. We then started on bride price and dowry. At the next few events, we publicly argued bride price and dowry. Lisbeth wanted pigs, and I argued that they were not Kosher., and finally at the Stargate Baronial Champion held at Jellystone Park, just west of Houston, we were to finalize the engagement. The day of the event, John hired two guards to keep us apart. One was Count, sir William the Bear. It was his first event, and he took to the role of guard like a duck to water. The guards would not even let me look at Cesca. The Day was over 105° and high humidity. The tournament was a combination of Heavy Weapons and Period Fencing. It was Best two of three heavy , best two of three fencing with the same opponent, and if the heavy and light were split, a trivia question was used to determine the round. I made it to the Final round by the grace of God. Prior to the Semi final, Sir Dinar conceded the Heavy fight to me due to an injury. In the semi final, the heavy fight went the full three fights, and I won that part. The fencing round went to the third fight. Heat exhaustion was taking its toll. I could not breath standing straight up without pain. I had to bend over to breathe. I was so focused on my problems, I didnt notice if or what my opponent was experiencing problems. I dont even remember who he was, except that he was slender. We fought a flurry, then backed away. Again the same, and Again. Nothing. Finally, I said to myself, one more, and if nothing happens I will yield. The flurry began and ended. I looked, and he was down, and I was exhausted. Cesca was worried and asked someone to get me water. It was not enough. It was hot and that last round took everything I had. John did let Cesca come over and congratulate me for getting into the final round, but a spear was held between us to keep us decent. I was given five minutes of rest. It wasnt enough. David Gallowglass was my next opponent. David trained me. I put up a decent fight for someone in my exhausted state, but I lost to David both rounds. Later in court, we did the exchange of Bride Price and Dowry. Cesca hand made a soft sculpture sow with sucklings attached with Velcro. We surprised them with the pigs they wanted. Francesca also received her AoA at this event.
ANECDOTE: For the Crown List, John the Plain became Cescas poppa, Cesca had done a stained glass Anstaeorran Star as the prize. (Sir Shamus of the Cats , consort Carlana, won the List). A week or two before Baronial Champion, William called me at home to get the spelling of Francescas name for the AoA scroll. Cesca was over visiting, and I turned to her and asked. She spelled her name and asked why. I told her William was just finishing the paperwork from the event, and that since she donated the prize, he wanted to get her name right (did I lie?). I relayed the information to William and he was worried and upset that I may have spilled the beans, but I assured him she was none the wiser. It WAS a complete surprise when she received her AoA at Baronial Champion.
Shortly after the engagement, I joked with Francesca that if we ever formed a household, we could call it Kibitz Kibbutz., and we laughed about it. We thought that it would be great to have a household without a head, an autonomous collection working for the good of the others. When I first joined the SCA, I was part of a household called Moon Shine. We were a bunch of friends who hung around together, Raust and Magda, Thelma (whose SCA name I cant remember, cousin to Umbriel from Ewige Vogelsberg) and her son Davie (he was about 13 at the time), and another couple whose names I cannot remember. We were all close. Then came a time when Raust (who was an electronics technician for a geophysical company) had to go out on a ship for a month. We all thought it would be great to form a household so Magda would have family around while Raust was gone. It was great, while Raust was gone. We would go out to movies together, and Magda would cook us dinner occasionally. When Raust got back, he was now THE HEAD OF A HOUSEHOLD. He had wishes and wants and expected everyone to fall in line. I slowly disassociated myself from the household, but still kept them as friends. (Thelma was also my dance partner in the dance troop). It was when Moon Shine was expected to all take up archery, and buy bows and arrows, an expense I could not afford and did not want to participate in, I made my final cutting of ties in my mind. I pretty much lost touch with all of the group except Thelma after that point. It was this bad association with households that I did not want to ever be in the situation of a household with a head and thus KIBITZ KIBBUTZ was conceived., but not yet born. (At Twentieth Year Celebration, I found out that Raust had bought a GP Medium Army tent without talking to anyone, and expected everyone in the household to pay him back $50. This reinforced my dislike for overbearing heads of households)
It was only a little later that a friend, Rebecca (mka Becky Beasly), who I was training in period fencing, and was in the Stargate Dance Guild, asked if Cesca and I would help her. She was to be getting engaged to Lord (now Don) Aldon. She wanted us to give her away. We agreed, and thus formed Kibitz Kibbutz. After speaking to Aldon, at a subsequent event, in court, I asked how he would protect her. And challenged him to a duel. I found him proficient and gave her away.
August (?) of 1985, was held the first Squires Invitational Tournament , an event consisting of several competitions to produce an over all winner. The competitions included Rapier combat for fencers, climbing a Jacobs Ladder, dance and Bardics. The prize was a Knife made by a friend, Sir Dinnar . I wound up in the final round with a friend Lord (now Don) Giovanni di Montefiore. I won the fencing rounds, and ultimately the tourney. The next mornng, I found a small round bruise in my left bicep, and remembered a blow I called light thrown by Giovanni to that spot. I felt so bad about that miscalled shot -- adrenaline of the finals was the culprit. I found Giovanni that morning and asked him to accept the prize since my error in calling the blow may have changed the outcome. He tried to refuse the prize, but I would not let him.
Queens Champion Tourney followed a couple of months later (December I think since I knew that I would soon be moving to Meridies.) Giovanni asked if I would be attending, and I said I had not planned to. I would want to fight for Margo, a close friend, Dinnars wife, and could not stand to just watch. Since we would be leaving Kingdom, I did not feel right about fighting in the tourney. He said come to for court, and insisted. The Tourney was in Bordermarch (Beaumont TX) an hour and a half away. I agreed.. I arrived before court. During Court, Giovanni was called up. He had me called up and told everyone what I had done at Squires. I was so embarrassed. THEN, he took a knife off of his belt, one he has owned from before his SCA time, and presented it to me. I was flabbergasted!
Cesca and I were married, SCA and mundane, on January 25, 1986. (We had originally planned for February near Valentines Day, but that weekend turned out to be Coronation. Since we did not want to conflict with Dinnar and Margos Coronation, we pushed it up a month. This decision was made just after Crown with plenty of time to adjust our schedule.) Lady (now Dona) Gerrod autocratted our wedding. She kept us on schedule. The wedding was held at Bear Creek Park, in Houston. The katuba ( wedding contract) was done by (now mistress) Rose. Friends donated food, a friend donated her time to cook the feast, the Wedding challah (bread) was baked and donated by Darwin. Most everything was donated in leu of gifts. Edwina arranged the Western dancing, and presented her candle dance (eastern) as her gift. Cesca made all of the wedding outfits, including the rabbis, except for two. The wedding ceremony took place under an oak, under our chuppa (canopy) with a full moon. All of the guests were given candles -- all 200 of them. Poppa, John the plain held one of the poles for the canopy.
Originally, I was to move to Meridies in February, and Cesca would stay until April and finish her teaching certificate, but the US Government had a hiring freeze, and the agency I was to work for put me on hold. This wound up better for Cesca and me. I was called back by the agency (the Naval Oceanographic Office) in April of 1986 and told the freeze was off. Since I had already planned to attend Twentieth Year, I arranged to start after the event, and my previous employer allowed the day before the event to be my last.
At Twentieth Year, I attended all week, but Cesca could only attend the weekends due to school. I sought out people from Axemoor at the event to introduce myself and meet the people of my new group. I met Volson and Esmerelda and members of the Eastern Dance Troop Kimadan. They had a large pavilion.
Twentieth year was my last time to fence since Meridies did not allow fencing. My life was about to change.
While in Stargate, I held the Office of Baronial Arts and Science Minister for a year (1985-86).
At the Anstaeorran Kingdom Court at TYC, I received the Stargate service award: the Sodality of the Sentinel of Stargate (SSS).
We moved to Axemoor in early May 1986. Master Gordon Blackwolf and Mistress Antonia were Baron/ess of Axemoor, Volson was Senechal. Sir Phelan and Countess Gilrean were active players in the Barony. Axemoor had an active populace of about 50. This was a major change from a mega-Barony like Stargate.
Axemoor had no dance teachers either when we moved here. I started teaching so we could do a dance demo at the Jefferson Performing Arts Renaissance Festival, a two weekend fair. The SCA did three fighting demos and this year a dance demo in leu of one fighting demo. After the Ren Fair, dance fell away due to lack if interest. Occasionally, I would teach dance at the A&S class that followed the monthly populace meeting.
(Note, it was the 1986 JPA Ren Fair that attracted Sir Manfred to the SCA.)
A few months after we moved to Axemoor, the Barony was in need of a Herald. I was asked by the Baron, Gordon, to become Herald, and agreed. ( I thought it would be incentive to get my name and device passed.) It was time for me to herald my first court, Christmas Revel 86. Caine and Illissa were on the throne for their first rein. I stood to the right of Illissa who had a mug of something glowing green from the glow stick in it and smoking and blurping from the dry ice in it. It was rather distracting. (Note: This Xmas Revel was the last Axemoor event to be held at Fountainbleau State Park)
I remained Herald for about 3 1/2 years. At the Axemoor Mad Hatter event (1989 ?), with the Three Musketeers theme. I gave up the office. I had invented a character, Jean Pierre Richarde de Montegue, a French fop. I wrote a script several months before, and got Mistress Isolde to assist me. In court we bandied words in a comedy of slapstick proportions with words such as when asked how she found me, Isolde replied , I followed the trail of plucked ostriches and cheap perfume., and fought a choreographed fight in which she killed me.
Ragnar, who was Baron at the time cried out, She Killed our Herald! You know what that means . . .
Baroness Lauellen shreaked, Oh no, NOT THAT!
Ragnar: He who Kills the herald becomes the herald!
Axemoors secondary event was a mardi gras type event in February or March, called Mad Hatter. Each year had a different theme. Before we moved to Axemoor there was a Feast of Changlings where every one had to come ti the revel as someone else. In 87 the theme was Polyesian Tudor where the costumes for the revel had to be mase out of Hawaiian Shirt material. In 88, the nursery Ryme, theme, 89 was Spaghetti Westerns (italian-ish theme), and the last ever Mad Hatter, in 90 was three musketeers.
Ragnar and Falcon (Laurellen al Shaheen) were invested as Baron and Baroness at Xams Revel 87. (Gordon Blackwolf was offered a job in the Pacific Northwest, and the anouncement of who would take their place occured ar Baronial Champion.) I was autocrat for Xmas Revel, and Cescas first time as feastocrat. I also tried to change the name to Yule Revel I has gotten Gordons permission, but Sir Phelan objected strongly, and he was seneschal at the time. I was , in the long run, overruled.
I was also the autocrat for the 1991 Xmas Revel. At the Officers meeting just prior to the event, about 10 days prior, it was brought to the attention of the seneschal, Roland, that no funds were drawn by the original autocrat of the event, and that no one had heard from him for a while. When it was decieded that a new autocrat was needed, my dreaded desease -- manus elevatus -- kiched in, and I volunteered. In about seven days, I took the schema laid out in the flyer and constructed an event around it. It was probably the easiest event I ever set up. I called people to dole out the work, and did not have to worry about anyone forgetting to do their task.
I took over as seneschal right after the event., in January 1, 1992, and kept it until the end of January 1994
In 1986, I changed mundane employment, and my lady wife and I moved to Axemoor the week following TYC. Since moving here, I have served the Barony in many ways. I held the office of Baronial Herald for over three (3) years (1987-1990). I have autocrated two local events, Xmas Revel 1987 & 1991.
Presently, I am a Magister in the kingdom dance guild Saltare (1987 - present), and held the office of Proctor for a over one year (1988-89).
I was indicted into the Baronial Guard in 1988 and I am presently the Baronial Champion. I presently hold both Baronial awards the Order of the Axe (1991) for service, and the Order of the Gull (1987) for the Arts and Sciences.