ANST - A questionnare.

Lenny Zimmermann zarlor at
Wed Jul 30 08:18:53 PDT 1997

On Tue, 29 Jul 1997 16:54:51 -0500, Gunthar wrote:

>How did you first get started in the SCA and how old were you?

I first heard about the SCA from a Black Powder enthusiast by the name
of Rob Harrison (don't know what his SCA name was and he's no longer
active) who was also in the SCA in Grand Junction, CO in 1983 when I
was but 16 years of age. He gave me a membership form, but I didn't
really know how to get in contact with the SCA in Littleton, CO, where
I lived. So I DIDN'T join then. (Kinda wish I had, now. :))

The next time I ran across the SCA I was living back in my home town
of New Orleans, LA. My, now, wife and I had run across the local SCA
groups a few times. but they were a rather flakey crowd, from what we
could tell, and we renamed them the Society for Chronic Absenteeism.
For those of you out there that think it's OK to run on SCA time for
demos, just remember that the rest of the world tends to appreciate
punctuality, so you may easily be missing out on some great new folks
if you always start your demos late. That was around 1991-92.

Well, in 1995 my wife and I went to the Texas Renaissance Festival
north of Houston after having just moved to San Antonio, since we had
heard so much about it. We watched an SCA fighting demonstration, that
started on time (go figure) and that was nice, but then we saw the
rapier combatants walk out on the field and fight. There is nothing
like it in Meridies and we had both long been interested in historical
swordplay but considered the armor for Chivalric combat to be too
expensive to really get involved with. (We were naive about that. ;-))

I hit the net and asked on the Rialto about a group in San Antonio and
Ld. Stefan li Rous let me know there was an event that weekend. My
wife and I went (on Sunday, in mundane clothes, since we sure had
nothing else to wear) and got there in time to see one of Mari's
courts. Talk about a fun crowd, that court was so funny I knew this
group would be a blast to play with. We've been in ever since.

>What made you stay?

Like the rest of these folks, I'd have to say the people. We've met
many close friends and comrades. Not to mention the SCA is a great way
to roll all your hobbies into one. What other group encourages you to
learn and assists in teaching you about so many different interests?

>What did you do to develop your personna and why did you choose it/them?

In reverse order, I chose Lionardo because in some genealogical
research I have traced the Acquistapace line (my Grandmother's line)
back to the 1600's in Italy. The family even has a Villa in Northern
Italy on Lake Como (near Milan). Having been stationed in Italy for
two years while I was in the service, I really enjoyed the country and
the people and culture. There was a family history there that sparked
my interest in learning more.

Development of my persona is manyfold. I approach Lionardo from the
viewpoint of an actor studying a character. What quirks can I give him
to make him come alive, what do I know about the people of Italy and
their culture to give the character depth, and so forth. From there I
was given a book by, at the time, Don Kasamir (now he's Don Jasper
Sommerfield), entitled "The Book of the Courtier", by Conte Baldassare
Castiglione. For those who don't know, this book is a period piece
discussing what the perfect Courtier should be like. 

Well, after reading more of the general history of Italy, this book
helped narrow my focus down to 1530 in Northern Italy. I've have ever
since decided I would make Lionardo a Courtier and Diplomat. I've been
reading further books on Renaissance diplomacy and biographies and
first-hand accounts of just about anything I can get my hands on
dealing with Italy in the Late High Renaissance. I'm completely
fascinated by the time and the Italian sense of Honour and the oddly
Individualistic bent to the culture that is not nearly as prevalent in
the other cultures of Europe. Not to mention the Italian penchant for
viewing the world with a wide-eyed wonder. It's a sad, but
exhilarating, history. Luckily I am a voracious reader and all of
these things help to flesh out the character of Lionardo and I
constantly learn more things to give him depth.

>Simple enough questions but they generated some fascinating answers.

Hmmm... I hope I didn't ramble on too much. All of the answers so far
have been really interesting. SO... where's your's Gunthar?

Honos Servio,
Lionardo Acquistapace, Bjornsborg
(mka Lenny Zimmermann, San Antonio)
zarlor at

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