[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 Five

Senior Prom! It was now January of 1985. King Mika and Queen Thamzine had been crowned the previous month and now reigned in Atenveldt. Of this, I knew practically nothing at the time. In a year or two, Mika and I would become friends and members of the same household, but my focus was very local and very much on fencing. I was about to celebrate my first anniversary in the SCA. I was also finishing up high school and preparing to go to college at the University of Colorado, at Boulder - just up the road in Caer Galen.

The tail end of my senior year, the school put on a production of The Comedy of Errors, and I was playing one of the Antipholi - of Ephesus I think. A recent graduate came back to stage the fights, and arranged for the rental of the weapons. This was the first time I became aware of Dennis Graves, who someone once referred to in my hearing as THE Sword Cutler. Sadly, Denny passed away in 2016, but his legacy lives on. Zen Warrior Armory, which supplies many SCA rapier fighters, uses some of his designs. A search on 'Dennis Graves swords' gives back millions of results - although not all are directly applicable. For Comedy we had a few of his rapiers to use, and I was smitten. I immediately began to plan on getting a rapier for myself. This process was simplified somewhat by the fact that Denny lived in Boulder, whither I was bound. Over the summer, I met with him and comissioned the sword that features in the picture from the previous entry in this series. It wouldn't be ready until the end of the year, and if memory serves - which it may not! - it cost $200.

I was keeping busy with local events, a newsletter from the time shows a couple of events that ring a bell, including a Cavalier Gaming House Revel. There was also a demo at Alti-Egos Con, on 26-28 April. Our demo was on the Saturday, which was also the night of my High School Senior Prom. The choice was clear. I bailed on the Prom, did the demo, and then crashed the after-party for the Prom. Well, it wasn't actually crashing, since the whole senior class was invited. I finished the demo, changed part of my clothes, dropped by the party long enough to win a door prize of a bag of tortilla chips, and then bugged out again.

As the summer drew to a close, I moved up the road to Caer Galen. Freshmen were supposed to live in the dorms, and so a friend of mine and I were duly paired up as roommates and loaded our various odds and ends into our tiny dorm room. My odds and ends included SCA garb and fencing gear. Classes at CU began, I think the Tuesday after Labor Day, which meant that the first important outing of my school year was actually Caerthan Premier Blade.

I honestly don't remember my arrangements for that event. It would have been camping, but I don't think I owned a tent. I might have borrowed my parents' or I might have day-tripped. Probably it was the former, I would have hated to miss the evening festivities. In any case, I was there. There was a Premier Blade competition, which probably had multiple tourneys. To make a long story short, I won. This drew me into the orbit of Saint Mary's Abbey, the head of whom, Katherine Linnet Holford, was the Baroness of Caerthe. I am still a member of that household, and many of my dearest and oldest friends number in its ranks.

One thing I do remember from the year I lived in the dorms was loading up for an event, pulling out and hearing the Premier Blade itself - the physical sword - roll along the roof and off the back of my car. Needless to say, I jumped and out and fetched it, none the worse for the wear.

While Premier Blade may have been the most significant event in my SCA life at the time, larger events were afoot outside my limited sphere ...


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, or by reference and not by name, I'm trying to be very careful about other people's privacy.
As an experiment, I'm linking to a Diaspora posting for comments and such.
Comment thread on PlusPora

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Luddite'sLog, 24 October 2019
© 2019 Jeff Berry
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