ANST - Master Beverly - In Memorium (fwd)

brooks, mike chiang at
Thu Nov 13 10:06:41 PST 1997

What a truly moving tribute. Brought a small tear to my eye. 
Thanks for the perspective.
Chaing the Emotional

> From: Pug Bainter <pug at>
> To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG
> Subject: ANST - Master Beverly - In Memorium (fwd)
> Date: Thursday, November 13, 1997 7:06 AM
> >From the Madrone Culinary List, an eloquent, moving memorial to honor
> First Laurel of the Society--Siobhan
> ****************
> The news came today that Master Beverly had died.  To many, it marks 
> an era of passage in the SCA - the founders are passing one by one
> and their loss changes us all.  But to me, it is a very personal
> passage.  Master Beverly held a special place in my SCA life, 
> and I would like to take a few moments to try to share some of that
> specialness with my friends in the SCA.
> I met Master Beverly when I was 22. I had been involved in the SCA at
> various levels for about six  years at that time.  It was the
> summer of 1975, and I was 're-entering' West Kingdom activities after two
> years in Montana where there was no SCA.
> It's hard to describe the SCA of those years to people who have only seen
> its 90's (or even 80's) incarnation.  This was the era when Queen Carol
> told us to make tourney clothes out of polyester double knit because it
> washed easily and draped so well.  It was a time when, to me, the SCA
> meant fighters, and fighting, and watching tournaments.  I had never seen
> SCA dancing - although I had heard of it, had never even heard of a
> 'period' recipe (the West didn't do feasts in those days), and the only
> reason I didn't bring potato salad to Crown to eat with my fried chicken
> was that I was afraid the eggs would spoil in the heat.
> I met Master Beverly at a Crown Tournament at Big Trees Park in the
> hills up above Berkeley.  He seemed elderly to me, even then.  But he
> found time to talk to a relative newcomer.  We sat and walked and talked
> most of the afternoon.  Naturally, we started by talking about the
> fighting.  Fighting was what the SCA was all about.  He told me that he
> was a Laurel.  I'd never met a Laurel before and wasn't really sure what
> it meant.  "I think they made it up to make me feel better since I didn't
> fight."  I can still hear him saying that - the amusement, and a little
> self-deprecation, clear in his voice.  
> In truth, he was the first Laurel of the Society.  And when
> I sometimes see the SCA loosing perspective about awards and rank and
> honors, I remember Master Beverly and hear his chuckling voice telling me
> that 'they' made up the Laurel so that an old man who didn't fight could
> still feel appreciated.
> The reason why meeting Master Beverly was so very important to me was
> it marked a turning point for me in the SCA.  From perceiving the SCA as,
> quite naturally, a group for fighters and their girlfriends, I began,
> his help and a few introductions, to see it as a place where any
> interested person could work to create some aspect of the middle ages.  I
> began to notice things like tents (he was, after all, Master Beverly
> Tentmaker...) and how some looked like the pavillions in an illuminated
> manuscript and some looked like army surplus.  I noticed a lady with a
> chemise made from some loosely woven white fabric rather than the
> prevalent and useful doubleknit.  I began to ask -why- we couldn't cook a
> medieval feast rather than take a break for fast food at 12th night and
> have a restaurant banquet after a University of Ithra session.
> I wonder sometimes what my life in the SCA would have been if I had not
> met Master Beverly that hot summer day.  Would I have begun to notice a
> 'wider' society on my own?  Would I have grown out of the
> 'all-fighters-together' society and moved on to join a bridge club like
> mother expected me to?  All I really know, though, is that this
> knowledgable, gifted, and delightful man helped to open my eyes to a
> brighter and broader SCA - one in which I am still active almost 25 years
> later.
> And if I'm ever tempted to think that I'm "too old" for the SCA, all I
> need to do is remember that Master Beverly was older than I am now when
> he attended the First Tournament in Berkeley in 1966.  And every time I
> watch a new Laurel made I remember his subtle but enduring influence.
> He was a wonderful person. I will always miss him.
> Elaina  

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