[Ansteorra] Favorite event?

Susan Froebel susanfroebel at hotmail.com
Tue Jan 22 14:28:31 PST 2008

As I have been a member of the SCA since A.S. XV, I must echo what others have said about not being able to choose only one.  Here are a just a few of my favorite moments.

At my first fighter practice, in Stargate (for summer break from college), we got there too late as they'd just moved FP start time from 2 p.m. to 10 a.m. due to heat and humidity.  However, Sir William of Weir took time to talk to us, invite us to dance class that week, and offered the protection of his household.  I was honored by that protection from that day until the day I married seven years later.

At my first event, a Stargate Baronial Champion Tourney, I first met the King and was awed by his presence.  I met Tivver/Tivar/Chris Zakes after being dipped and kissed by Tivver.  I met Robin of Gilwell while playing games.  I had great fun participating in the dancing that I had learned at the dance class earlier that summer.

At my first RenFaire, which everyone attended in those days as our major fundraiser, I remember getting to meet many wonderful people.  On the weekend we referred to as "RainFaire," when the campsite had been almost completely washed out, there were 35 people staying in Elisena (Lissa) Lightheart's doublewide trailer.  Since her husband was not in the SCA, and had retired to sleep over an hour before we got there, she sent in two Middle Eastern dancers to wake him up.  He joined us smiling.  An impromptu bardic sharing broke out in which I learned such silly songs as "The Gentry are Sleeping" and "The Lying Song."  In particular verse four of "The Gentry are Sleeping" which is "on the furniture, on the floor" came home as my lord and I slept under the dining table to keep from being trod upon by folk attempting to reach the privy during the night.  I first saw Duchess Willow de Wisp when she stopped by Lissa's on her way to less crowded accomodations.

At my first King's College (which in those years was always hosted by Shadowlands), I remember Her Majesty Sieglinde Syr walking into the back of a class on calligraphy, taking her crown off, setting it on a table near the door, and loudly announcing to the room, "The Queen wants to learn how to write her name."  And indeed she sat down and learned with the rest of us.

I remember the Candlemas court where Master Cadfan mistakenly referred to Vargskol as the "Baroness" Bryn Gwlad.  Later that evening, as Baron Varg and I were helping my roommate Jaelithe to the car after her back went out, Cadfan passed us in a swirl of green velvet cloak chanting, "The Baron's the one with the beard.  The Baron's the one with the beard."

I remember being completely speechless the first time Ragnar told one of his stories and laughing hysterically the first time I heard him tell the tale of the joke played on Olaf.  Then there was the event where a gentleman who looked very much like Ragnar, but proclaimed his name to be something like Jean-Pierre, kept complaining how the unwashed Norse were sucking the perfume completely out of the handkerchief he would hold to his nose to fend off their smell.

There was a time long ago when people would not bother to pay attention in court if someone was *only* getting an AoA.  His Majesty Inman gave a most inspirational speech about why it was not "only" an award, that it led to greater things, and was worthy of respect.  He ended it in his most proclamatory voice, "I am Charles Inman MacMoore, AoA!"  I've never since heard anyone use AoA in a derogatory manner.  I've rarely heard so moving a message.

Last spring, I attended Bjornsborg's April Fool's event and had a wonderful time.  It was a small tourney, but held a lot of the magic I remember from earlier times. The antics of the various fighters were wondrous to behold.  The lady bunny who fought was great fun to watch as she would wriggle her cotton tail superciliously at her opponent while hopping across the field.  The screams coming from Ivarr's barbershop when wounded fighters were carried there were quite memorable as well.  His apron was well-splashed with blood from his hard work saving them that day.

That night I was privileged to eat with some folks from Seawinds.  Master Ivarr had once shared a marvelous story with me about Ragnar that happened at Seawinds.  It started with one of Ragnar's favorite phrases, "Scotch makes you stupid," and involved an attempted boar hunt.  I managed to catch Master Ivarr and have him relate the story to those folks from Seawinds.  As he was telling the tale, others (on their way to the tavern next to us) stopped to listen.  When he finished, someone else told a tale about Ragnar, then there was one by Ragnar.  I'd no intention of sparking a bardic circle on the subject of Ragnar, but we stood there for a long time, passing the drink, and listening to the stories, including those on one of Ragnar's favorite themes, "Because that's what heroes do!"

I had great fun at Bryn Gwlad's fall event teaching juggling at the children's pavillion.  I did not limit my class to children and watching young and old try to master the techniques as I had years before when taught by Don Blayne atte Wood was an experience I will be repeating.

I've been privileged to be a member of this Kingdom for over 27 years.  I've tried my hand at quite a few of the arts and sciences, marshalled fighter practices, tourneys, and wars, practiced heraldry in all of its forms, and been thrilled to tears by the many wonderous bards we have.  I've share my knowledge of all these things to all who wish.  There are still many things that I want to try, and I get to them as time allows.

So, I guess I don't have a favorite event.  What I have is favorite moments at each of the many events to which I've been able to attend over the years.  Even the worst would have some little spark, some little action, some little defining moment that would place the memory in my heart.  No, the good days are not always in the past.  They are everywhere, everywhen, and WE make them so.

Rhiannon o Goed Niwlog
Proud to be an Ansteorran

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