[Elfsea] first SCA exposure

Lady Simone simone at elfsea.net
Thu Oct 31 08:41:54 PST 2002

In a message dated 10/30/2002 11:04:11 PM Eastern Standard Time,
rjt at softwareinnovation.com writes:

> In the past we have done this by asking a large group of us,
> "What event, demo, fighter practice, whatever was your
> introduction
> to the SCA?" It is interesting to see the results.

My first intorduction into the SCA was in 1979 on an Island in the fae east
called Luzon which is the upper most Island of the Phillipens. My mom had
been stationed at Clark A.F.B. for about 3 onths and we were at Bicentenial
Park for one of her squadren functions. she and I were talking about the
need for me to find a hobby or extra corricular activity we taled about this
for abit. I still remembers she had jst finished telling me I could do
anything I wanted to do. When the air was suddenly filled with the
distinctive sounds of "Sword hitting boards" (as I know it today in SCA
terms). We both tuned to see what ad made the noise and there against the
backdrop of tropical floiage and trees stood two figures in Armor fighting,
with other Armord figures standing around watching. There were  people
dressed like pictures of the middle ages I had seen in my history books at
school. I remember turning and asking my mom if she could see it to. I
didn't belive what I was seeing. It apeered to me that the pages of m
history book had just come alive, (it was one of those magical moments I
have experianced in the SCA) She said she could see it to. then boldly I
pointed at the fighters and said "I want to do that"

I remember my mom simling pating me on my back and going to talk with my
dad, after a few moments she came back and we went over to watch the
fighting. I think I drove the fighters crazy asking questions while mom
talked with one of the fighters someone had called Sir Mika. Even though I
had so many questions the fighters answered them patiently between bouts,
they let me handle thier swords and helms, it was wonderful. My mom came
back with Mika and introduced me to him. To the 10 year old me he appered to
be a big man he intorduced himself as Sir Mika a knight of the Society,
stood in awe here was a real live knight in my mind all I could say was Hi.
Mom told me I could be part of this group But I had to do everything Sir
Mika told me or I couldn't play ( I know now it was because of my age) I
couldn't belive my luck and I agreed. Mika told me that becuse I was young I
would start as his page. he produced a Tunic that belonged to one of the
other boys in my age that were in the group.I spent the rest of the day
following him around and helping fighters get out of and tend to there
armor. Mom went home and got my sleeping bag and a change of cloths for the
next morning.

 I got to stay the night with them at this overnight event in the park. the
feast was grand for me I remember they had a meatloaf with cloves in it and
if you got a clove in your loaf you were suposed to give someone a kiss. for
this 10 year old it seamed a bit stange to kiss olks I didn't know so they
let me give hugs instead. afte dinner we all got together and they sang
songs and told stories I fell asleep listing to them. when I woke in the
morning I was relived to find it was all real I helped everyone get packed
and get the park clean up. Mika gave me a ride home and talked with my mom
somemore and told me he would pick me up next week for fighter practice
which he did.

As I look back over the years  and ask why I stayed there are several
answers. one the magic of the moment has stayed with me all my life even
when things get bad I ask my self what interesed me and I remember that day.
then I would say is everyone kept there word to me. they took the extra
effort to keep me involved by picking me up for activities, includimg me in
conversations even though I was young. encouraged me to be the best I could
be. the didn't just meet me and leave me to my own to figure things out. I
was shepareded and taught by an older and experianced memeber. and that same
effort was exteneded over the years to new adults that Joined the group, we
worked together as a group and accepted everyone with the good and the bad.

I remeber mika telling me that the first few years in the SCA are a time of
learning. Today I understand that a lot more. The newcomer comming into the
society does not fully comprehend all the nuances of our group. Many are
untrusting and nervous and here we are with old fasion values and integrety
recreatin an atmospher of the Middle Ages in an Idealistic way. They meet
folks with manners and honor who genuianly care about each other instead of
just thier own agendas. the first few years are definatly a time aof
learning not only wht the SCA is, but it challenges up to be the best we can
be. I am a firm beliver of Sheparding and working with newcomers. to give
newcomers what was given to me. to take the effort to help the newcomer be
involved. It is also my opinion that the newcomer is the most important
person we have at an event. without them we do not grow, we don't have the
opertunity to share freely what was given to us. they bring with them new
Ideas and new ways to look at things. There is a nsence of joy that comes
from working with a newcomer and watching them grow in SCA. I am idealistic
and I belive in the wounder that the SCA hold for me now and what it held
that summer 23 years ago.

Lady (Simone) Muirenn ingen Senáin uí Dúnlaing

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