[Elfsea] Galen comments

pmitchel pmitchel at mail.ev1.net
Fri Jul 11 12:56:44 PDT 2003

Galen of Bristol here.  You may remember me.  (Or not.)

I just want to compliment the barony for the tenor of the 
discussion as it's showing up on the list.  I've seen some good 
questions, and some good answers.  Several of the candidates have 
shown themselves very favorably in response to some very 
interesting issues that have been brought up.

Unable to improve on Xene's advice, I'll simply endorse it, remark 
that I often asked myself as baron "What would Llywelyn & Xene do", 
and share the following:

Whoever you are, Your Next-One-ness, you're not ready to be baron 
or baroness.  No matter what awards, experience, mature wisdom or 
youthful energy you have to bring to the job, no matter the quality 
or quantity of good counsel, you're just not ready to step in and 
_do_ the job as it needs to be done.

I know this because after over 20 years in the SCA, having been a 
Prince and having been noble for a decade and a half, with two 
peerages, a well-regarded and highly intelligent lady of much grace 
at my side, a large household, many friends, much consideration, 
prayer and planning, I came into the position of Baron of Elfsea, 
the pinnacle of my long SCA career, and was surprised at the 
workload.  Over and over again.  I was surprised at how taxing it 
was to preside over a tournament.  I was surprised at how awkward 
it is to find someone to reliably do the -- very necessary!! -- 
personal service a Baron needs.  I was surprised to find that 
things I said with the best of intentions could sometimes really 
upset people I cared a great deal about.  I was surprised at all 
the things I needed to think of and be ready for in advance.  I was 
surprised a lot.  I was just getting to where I felt had begun to 
get the hang of the job when I suddenly had to step down, to my 
great regret.

I'm sure every candidate is committed to doing their very best to 
learning to do the job well.  That commitment is all that can 
reasonably be asked.  But there is no one who will not have a 
learning curve, and two years isn't a long time.

What I'm not sure of is that the barony recognizes that they will 
have to give their support to a Baron/ess couple who's still 
learning the job over a year after their Investiture.  The people 
of the barony will have to go through that learning process with 
their new B&B.

If not, 18 months from now, you'll be back here at this same spot 
in the road again.

Beyond that, I encourage you to find the hardest worker for the 
Barony, and promote them.

Good luck, you're all in my prayers.

- Galen of Bristol


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