Litch and the Hospitaler's office
LANGJ at mail.syntron.com
Fri Mar 24 08:21:04 PST 1995
This commentary has drifted far from the heading of Litch & the
In spite of Litch's scepticism, I too feel that there is too much
emphasis placed on awards as ends in themselves. When I joined
the SCA (in '72), I didn't know there were such things (as
awards), and to a very large extent, there were not. I "received"
my AoA over the phone, in a call made by my seneschal to the Crown
of Atenvelt, I got the scroll 20 years later.
I do what I do for the sake of my love for the Society and its
Ideals. It's growth and continuation are my reward. If I have
been recognized over the years since, I am grateful. If the need
for such recognition was what drove me, I would be a bitter person
indeed. Instead, I have always been surprised at the recognition
that I've gotten (my reaction to receiving a Star of Merit is
For the last eight years, it has been my honour to sit in fealty
to the Crown, as Baron of Stargate. The intimate view of the
workings of awards it has given me, has frustrated me in ways I
would have never expected.
I have pleaded with autocrats to give me lists of those who slaved
away in the "back room" to make their events successful. I can
count the number of lists received on the fingers on one hand.
I request of the populace, that they give me recommendations for
individuals who they believe are due recognition.
All too often, they would rather complain than simply say "x
really ought to have an AoA."
Artisans too are often overlooked. The example of the pottery
cited, is quite topical. If it never comes to an event, no one
can possibly be expected to recommend recognition for it. If it
comes to an event, and serves as feast gear, it may be years
before it is realized that the ceramics are not bought at some
Only if they are exhibited at an A&S function (whatever kind),
will anyone realize where they came from. Worse, only good
documentation can tell what kind of effort went in to the work.
"Did you buy a greenware bowl, decorate it and take it to be
fired? Did you buy a greenware bowl, decorate it and fire it
yourself? Did you throw it on a wheel, decorate it and fire it
The best artisans are often rotten publicist! DOCUMENT!
Where did the idea come from? Where did you get the materials?
How did you develop the design? What problems did you encounter?
How did you overcome them?
Everyone has a Laurel horror story (I've been collecting them for
years), but a Laurel in your corner can do more by just making
certain that your work is seen, than words can describe. Most of
them (the Laurels) want very much to help. They'll do so at the
drop of a hat. They have a duty to promote the Arts. They take
it seriously. When you ask for their criticism, and get it look
for a positive aspect first (Laurels are artist, not diplomats) in
all probability a comment was meant to be helpful. If you want
Finally, this forum is quite useful for the exchange of ideas and
insights. It will correct no ills. If you feel someone deserves
an award. Write it down. Send a copy to the Crown, and your
local nobility. When the Crown changes, send it again (a new
Crown is usually far too busy getting their act together to dig
very far into the files they receive). There are a finite number
of opportunities per reign, the earlier in a reign the Crown
receives a recommendation, the better chance they have of figuring
out how to see it presented (it doesn't hurt to see that the
person you have recommended will be at the event).
No one will hand you a perfect world. Fashion what you can with
what you have. If you wait for someone else to make it perfect,
you'll wait a long time indeed.
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