[Smashy the Hammer] [An Aspiring Luddite]
I carry no phone
An aspiring Luddite
In a wired world.
[Jeff Berry]
Jeff Berry is an early adopter of the Internet and the Web, a late adopter of Twitter, and declines to adopt Facebook. With the death of Google+, he's experimenting with federated platforms. He admins a medievalist Mastodon instance, and can found on t he PlusPora diaspora pod. He hates cell-phones.

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First Entry

Thirty-Five Years With Blade in Hand
A Youth Spent in the SCA
Part Four

[Alexandre in Cavalier] In the early 1980s, the Principality of the Outlands had two major court events, both in the winter, one in the North and one in the South. al-Barran Midwinter came first in mid-December, and Caerthan Twelfth Night was in early January. In the winter of 84-85, I was not yet travelling to Albuquerque, which meant that the big one for me was Caerthan Twelfth Night.

The two events had, if memory serves, similar structures. They were 'court' events, with gaming, entertainment, a feast, and so forth. And court, naturally. There was sometimes fighting, but it wasn't usually the focus. There was also, for at least a few years in Caerthe, A Grand Procession. This fell out of favour, as the years passed. I've not seen one in decades. The idea was this: since everyone had made new court garb for the event (of course!), there should be a chance to show it off. Therefore, the ruling nobles and any royalty in attendance would sit in state, while everyone else who was interested lined up in precedence order and was presented to the seated nobles. This meant that several hundred people would pass before the thrones, usually in pairs, bow as their names were read, and move on. A quick search suggests that was an Aten custom - Loch Salann also had such a thing at their Winter Solstice Court. I did not process at this Twelfth Night, as I was still figuring things out, and, frankly, with no title or particular word fame, it didn't seem necessary.

Be that as it may, I had asked for fabric for Christmas, and my afore-mentioned supportive mother was making me a black velvet Cavalier for Twelfth Night. She did, however, write in a letter to her mother that the '#$(*##@#$%^*& crepe is driving me crazy.' The result (as you can see) was very nice indeed. Other people seemed to agree - by the end of Twelfth Night, I had a new girlfriend from the Shire of Unser Hafen - although at the time, it was still going by the name of Uns Haven; the name Unser Hafen was registered in October 1985. I had also met for the first time a few people who would feature prominently in my life for the next decade and beyond, including Ian of Nightsgate who would become the second White Scarf of the Outlands in a few years' time. (Just as a note, the picture was taken a year or two later. The major diagnostic points being the existence of the moustache and of that specific sword.)

By this time, Nicholas de Kane had stepped down as Baron, and Katherine Holford was reigning alone. I still think of this time as a golden age. Things were still shiny and new. I was making friends and having fun. I was active, going to events, and doing my best to proselytize to my non-SCA friends. Several of my friends were talked into going to an event or two. One stuck it out for a year or so, another lasted for a few years, on into college, before drifting away. Chacun a son gout - I was a year in and fully committed.

Alert readers will have noticed that my outfit might be considered by some to be out of period. When I joined, the word was that up to 1650 was considered within acceptable limits, and cavaliers were a fairly common sight. In 1985, Baroness Katherine even hosted a Cavalier Gaming House Revel. Nicholas de Kane was often seen dressed as an English Puritan. He had a floppy hat and sometimes wore his coronet over it as a hatband, which I thought was the most stylish thing I had ever seen. I knew then that I wanted a coronet some day, for the accessorization possibilities if nothing else.

Disclaimer: This is based on my memory of the events and people, and although I have bolstered them where possible with references, it is a work of recollection. Errors, omissions, and all such-like are mine.
If you are reading this, remembering this, and wondering why you aren't mentioned or are mentioned only in passing, I'm trying to be very careful about other people's privacy.
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Luddite'sLog, 13 August 2019
© 2019 Jeff Berry
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