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The First Year

The First Twelfth Night
January 6, AS I 1967

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As the Berkeley weather forbid any further tournaments outdoors until the spring, and as the Society events were basically scheduled to fit around the UC Berkeley quarter system, the next event was held indoors on January 6, 1967 at the Mills College Student Union in Oakland, California. This was the first Twelfth Night Revels. The idea of having Kings had been discussed, and it was decided that the winners of the lists would be the Kings. Henrik, the winner of the last tourney, was informally referred to as “the king” ... Alfonso de Castile and his Consortium Antiguum performed. Medieval dances were taught and performed. Siegfried von Hoflichskeit gave the Muckin’ Great Clubbe to Fulk de Wyvern as a Christmas present.

[... events were basically scheduled to fit around the UC Berkeley quarter system ...] “First time I've heard of this, particularly since hardly anyone was a student at Berkeley at the time. After all, we were using the Mills College student union because various members were Millsies. Henderson, Henrik, and myself were going across the Bay to San Francisco State. Of course, I suppose some people were going to Berkeley fencing classes ...” – Stefan de Lorraine

[... it was decided that the winners of the lists would be the Kings.] “No one was too sure what to do with a King at the time, but someone (Fulk?) came up with the idea of Lord of Misrule. They decided to choose the Lord of Misrule by having a little wooden figure put in a square of a cake baked (I believe) by Ellen Hodghead. He (or she) who bit upon the cake became the self-same Lord. “I got one of the early pieces. Nothing. I was told later that David Hodghead was the one to bite down on the figure and promptly complained that he didn't want to spend the evening thinking up entertainment for everyone else. Steve Henderson, who was passing the cake around, said "No problem." They put the figure into the biggest piece left and brought it to me. I said I had already tried. They said that everyone had tried and there was still no Lord. I, as Steve knew I would, grabbed the biggest piece and bit down. Unfortunately, the piece was so big that I missed the wooden figure with my first bite. David and Steve were somewhat surprised, but assumed that maybe they had forgotten which piece they put the figure in. I kept chewing and said "wait a minute," as they were walking away, looking for another sucker.”
     “It was actually a very enjoyable evening. I had a girlfriend there from my home town who knew nobody, and this gave her a chance to be Lady of Misrule and preside over mustache measuring contests and the like. No, this was not Luise. Luise showed up in the Bay Area soon afterward and I believe the March tourney, the fourth, was her first event.” – Stefan de Lorraine

“I think I had a good time, but I recall it as also being enormously crowded. I've been to the Mills Student Union many times since and I can scarcely imagine that many people being there all at once. Mills is a great hall, beamed ceiling, huge fireplace at either end, altogether great place.” – Steven MacEanruig

“As I recall, Fulk and Edwin staged a short combat in the hall, and Lord Mediocrates entertained us with his rendition of "The 12 days of Solstice" (featuring "A sun god all crowned with hol-ly" and "10 catered orgies"). Since the Muckin' Great Clubbe didn't start getting handed out to doughty fighters until after the next 12th Night to my recollection, perhaps it wasn't given at this event. But I am entirely unsure ...
     “I'll be interested in seeing what others remember of the evening. I know Karina sang a song that's a favorite of mine from "Silverlock," but I can't remember its title; has to do with Gilgamesh and Innini and suchlike people.” – Stefan de Lorraine, who is getting nostalgic for mulled wine and cider (it has been awhile..)

“The Clubbe was given at that event, to Fulk. Jerry (Mediocrates) had actually written quite a good heathen version of the 12 days of solstice. I have the words written down somewhere, but as I remember them they go like this:
On the 12th day of Solstice, my priestess gave to me:
12 catered orgies,
11 ancient witches,
10 sorceled potions,
9 captive demons,
8 red grimmoires,
7 scheming wizards,
6 bottled genies,
5 casks of wine.
4 chanting priests,
3 love charms,
2 magic rings,
and a sun god all crowned with holly.” – Steven McEanruig

“Siegfried von Hoflichskeit gave the Muckin' Great Clubbe to Fulk de Wyvern at the first Twelfth Night as a Christmas present, not as a prize. Fulk was the one to make it a prize by giving it away to another doughty fighter, thereby establishing the tradition. (At least that is what Dave Thewlis told me back then.)” – Wilhelm von Schlüssel

“I knew how Fulk got it, and I'm pretty sure he gave it to Berzark, who gave it to me. I suppose it just sat on Fulk's wall (or next to his very medieval looking fireplace – he lived in Fox Court) for several months before he passed it along to Edwin ...” – Stefan de Lorraine, who got belted, chained and clubbed in one tournament. Those were violent times ...
“My memory also. I still remember Fox court. A great little apartment off of University in Berkeley. Now and then I drive by it and remember fighting on the brick walkway there, doubtless to the confusion of passerbys. I remember when Henrik first got his mail shirt completed and everyone (Me, Stefan, Fulk, and Edwin Bersark) had to try it on. Edwin was last in line and got his beard caught in the butted mail links. It took some effort to get it off of him along with some rude jokes.
     “All this talk takes me back again. Things like riding the bus (this was pre-Bart) across the bay bridge, mostly wearing what armor we had, carrying shields, wooden and rattan weapons, maces, axes, and the like. As least we weren't afraid of being mugged.” – Steven MacEanruig
“Ken and Mary were living in a small studio apt. at Fox Court on University Ave. in Berkeley and had very little room and Ken may have considered it a white elephant and gave it away as an award to prevent hurting Dave’s feelings.” – Henrik of Havn
[... gave it to Berzark ...] “No - to Henrik.” – Henrik of Havn

“While it's obvious that Steven and I have slightly different memories of events (I could have sworn that I was told David Hodghead was the one to first bite down on the little wooden doll -- oh well), we were roommates at the time and most of our memories are coming from the same angle. There were whole realms of activity that we were not privy to. And I'm not even asking about the political lines that were being formed between Berkeley and the rest of the Bay Area (largely because of commute distance and telephone costs) even in these early days ...
     “A lot of what I'm saying is speculation and hearsay (albeit speculation and hearsay from the period, as I remember it). Does anyone have any other rumors from the period they want to share?” – Stefan de Lorraine, who is actually relishing the memories of the sounds of the voices of the people who were passing on the gossip and the memory pictures of the people talking in various living rooms and porches and kitchens long gone (except in the case of the Andersons – definitely one of the First Stops in the Bus Tour of Pivotal SCA Sites).

[There were whole realms of activity that we were not privy to.] “I remember the 12+ hour drive up to participate in "Northern" events for those of us who lived in San Diego. That was before I-5 was built - afterwards it only took about 10 hours.
     “I heard about the SCA from a friend's showing me the article in Time Magazine, must have been '68 or '69. I looked for it after that, because I had gotten my first costume book several years earlier and wanted to join a group where I could wear costumes like that. Then one day, when I was a car hop for A&W, I put a tray of root beer on somebody's window and asked them what that satin thing was hanging in the back of their car. They (I can't remember Tina ne. Hobart's SCA name [Elonwy de Lur]) said it was a banner for the SCA, and I said I'd been looking for them for two years.
     “Wilhelm von Messer was the passenger in the car, and he gave me his card, along with the info on the next local event. I remember pulling an all-nighter to finish a costume (which I still have) for that event. I showed up right when he said it would start, and wondered where everyone was (it was my first event).
     “I joined in AS 4 in time for the second Caid Twelfth night (in San Diego/Barony of Califia), with (must have been King and Queen) Paul and Carol and their three-year-old only son (who went around proudly announcing the anticipation of a baby brother or sister). Bevin Frasier of Sterling had her neck in a brace disguised by a ruff.” – Käthe Willig von Mainz
“Nope, wasn't me with neck in a brace disguised by a ruff. (Don't think I've ever worn a neck brace.) Also, I didn't join until A.S. VI, though I'd first run into the SCA at Baycon, in 1968 – the first and, I believe, only time I ever saw Sir Bela fight.)” – Bevin Fraser of Sterling
“Just an observation regarding dates - it couldn't have been AS IV if Paul and Carol were reigning and Brion was on the way. Paul was Knighted in AS VI and won his first tourney at the following crown, I think it was their fourth reign when Brion was pending.” – Kevin Peregrynne
“Also,Caid's Tourney of Union was in 1974-I don't know when we started having 12th Nights but before 1974 we were called the Southern Baronies. Angels & Calafia were founded in 10/V & 11/V respectively.      “Incidently, if anyone has a copy of the June 1977 Page (which was printed by Lord Randolph the Devious-an Old Brotherhood of the Blade guy who fought with us at the last war with Atenveldt in February) one can see a full color picture captioned "Duke Paul of Bellatrix chortles with sardonic amusement as Prince Martin the Temperate dies by his own hand after slaying his comrade-in-arms Sir Loren sur la Roche."” – Colin of Dublin

“As for the scheduling of Crown events (equinox-solstice-equinox) ... I had it on good authority long ago (Diana, in fact) that the third (October) tournament was specifically scheduled for Bilbo and Frodo Baggins birthday.
     “According to Siegfried, who ought to know, the MGC was a gift to Fulk from him. It was made of a chunk of elm blasted loose from its parent tree by lightning, shaped smoothed and polished in (soon to be) Master Beverly's workshop. The wood was so hard that they burnt out several drill bits making the hole to drive the spike through (and it bent in the process). Fulk originated the use of the MGC as the award for ferocity in combat. The first time that Patrice and I saw it the bearer was Caradoc ap Cawdor, it looked so natural that we thought it was a permanent part of his costume. A tradition that went with the Clubbe was that, before presenting it at the next crown tourney, the bearer had to rub at least a quarter pound of wax into its finish.” – Kevin Peregrynne

[... the idea of having Kings had been discussed ...] “This was done before the Sept. 25, 1966 Tourney since Henrik’s victor’s scroll presented to him at the end of the tournament proclaims him King!” – Henrik of Havn

[Regarding a morning star that Henrik used] “I think it might have burned up in a fire some years later, but Henrik might still have it around ...” – Stefan de Lorraine

“No – it’s gone – but the ball was a 3" sponge rubber ball and I always used it in large circular moves originating from the shoulder and elbow– not wrist flicks!”
     “Also I made a second one (flail) for Richard which he used in some of his combats.” – Henrik of Havn
“I liked that morning star. It wasn’t nearly as dangerous, IMHO, as the axe Henrik also made of heavy rubber and leather with an oak handle. Hit like a ton of bricks and would probably be outlawed today.” – Steven MacEanruig
“Yes, I used the axe in some of my combats. It consisted of an oak handle about 30" long with a 1/4" rubber core and 2 layers of 1/8" leather wrapped around the handle and extending past the handle onto cover most of the rubber blade core.” – Henrik of Havn

[Regarding a boken] “I think I gave it to Henrik when I left for Europe and the air force in 1967 and I’m told it eventually burned up in a fire.” – Steven MacEanruig

“Yes I had it, then I loaned it to Mary of Tamar and it was stolen out of her car.” – Henrik of Havn
“What does one do with a glue-and-string wrapped, silver painted, oak boken? – Steven MacEanruig
“Think that there’s a steel blade inside perhaps?” – Henrik of Havn

Description of this event, © Copyright 1980 by William R. Keyes (Wilhelm von Schlüssel)
This is from The History of the West Kingdom, Volume 1 (the only volume produced). When reading this text, please keep in mind the following disclaimer:

Disclaimer: This history may have errors in it, as much of the detail is “remembered” history, or as one of the cover pages of the original type-written manuscript states “The material within is derived from the information printed in The Crown Prints and in The Page, and from the memories of the participants.” The original document was typed on onion-skin paper, with hand-written notes (often in the margins). All attempts have been made to reconcile the notes with the original document.

Annotations, when they are added, are from The Annotated History of the West, Volume 1, which is the same text as Master Wilhelm's mentioned above, with commentary from members of the SCA who were active at the time of the event, and are added to help clarify questions and expand on what happened and why. This volume is copyright © Ken Mayer (Hirsch von Henford).

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