[Northkeep] For your entertainment

Jerry Herring j.t.herring at sbcglobal.net
Wed Dec 16 09:53:25 PST 2009

Greetings All,
Oh the tales I can tell of those people from long ago...Tales of William Blackfox, Catrin FerchGwillim O Gonwy, Alanna of Cair du Pard, of Thomas Redhawk, and Talana "the Violent" and so many others...these folk were like legends to me for I had heard tales of how they lived and breathed honor and chivalry and how glory was a just reward for their efforts, I had learned about how they pursued a dream lifestyle long before I ever met any of them. The tales of these legends were spoken to the ears of a very young farm boy from Missouri whose only contact with such a life had been through books, movies, and his own imaginary adventures...these tales were told to me by Kevan Michael Keary and Keigan of Ravensfaire people I knew and my Cousin Judy and her husband Steve, whom in my young mind was one of the coolest guys I had ever known.

I would speak now of the first time I met Catrin FerchGwillim O Gonwy shown in an iconic image in a dress that surprisingly can still be seen today. The notes on that image say it was possibly from he Spring 1983 Norman Medieval Faire. That dress was one that Catrin gifted to my wife in 1994 when we returned to Tulsa and it still looked brand new then, later in 1999 it was passed on to Lady Faolan McFarland, and today is one of her favorite possessions with in the SCA...such is the skill and art of Mistress Catrin's craft in clothes she build them to last. Many people know that Willam BLackfox and Catrin were dear friends they and all those first members of Northkeep so long ago were all close. I first met them at the home of Lord Anton Thoth Rukhkh and his lady wife at the time Patricia Fionna Mcgregor (now known as Mercedes Lackey). At this small local gathering held for the needle workers. I was so shy and quiet barely a teenager visiting my cousin's
 in Tulsa for the summer. At the time I spent most of my time drawing anything and everything fantasy and science-fiction my pencil and sketch pad went everywhere with me along with a pile of art. At this first meeting of mine with this crowd of people whom I was awed to be in the presence of  they appeared dressed in tunics and gowns adorned with hand sewn trim and cloaks with fancy clasps. They were walking talking examples of the stuff of my imagination. It was Keigan who introduced me to everyone, a proper introduction with bows and all that, they made me blush at the time but in my mind I was standing before truly noble folk. It was Kevan who got me to pass around my art...So there is Willam Blackfox a renowned cartoonist looking at my art and when everyone has taken a turn looking over the fantasical works of the imagination of a teen scribbled in pencil on paper, it was Catrin who first told me that she liked my work. The care she took in giving
 me positive feedback was really amazing...It was William Blackfox who told me that he saw in my art real talent and he wished that he had real talent like mine.  These people who I had made into legends with in my mind were so accepting, kind, and warm. They even addressed me as Milord...a fact that tickled me to no end. These people took the time to make me feel relaxed and comfortable among them. These great people made me feel like I belonged and for awkward farm boy from Missouri who liked sci-fi and fantasy making him an outcast among his peers (who were at the time only into sports,cars, and farming) that was a big deal.  Kevan and Kegain led me to the SCA but it was people like Catrin, Anton, Allanna, and William who showed me all that it could be...they were living examples of all my imagination had created. The skill and their art in living this dream were the masterful works of a craft that is still visible to day, sometimes I hope in the
 dream that I live and try to share with others.

There are so many times today when I see glimmers of the legendary days when honor and chivalry where a part of every aspect of what was done with in the SCA. As I look on the crowds passing about an event I ocassional catch a glimpse of William in a belly laugh brought on by some bawdy joke, and I catch the songs of Catrin and Alanna on the wind at a bardic circle...or sometimes in the kitchen it is like Kendra is there. William is long gone so is Kendra. Catrin is still here, and I wish Alanna were not so busy that she too could come back and see her old friends here in Northkeep again...but life does go on and we must make our own magic and pursue our own dreams. So long as we all share it this pursuit with honor and chivalry those legends of old will always be with us.


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