Kingdom Arms by Robin of Thornwood Calligraphy by Robin of Thornwood Populous Badge by Robin of Thornwood

The Tenth Year

First Annual Tourney -- Province of St. Andrew's
October 25, 1975

Held at Junipero Serra Park, San Bruno, California. There was fighting, a dessert contest, dancing, a ladies pillow fighting contest, a cooking contest, a dying contest won by Mychalene de Topo, a bardic circle, and a kite flying contest, also a gurning contest. Geoffrey of Northhaven was the Pursuivant. Debreceni Ilona and Stephen von Behrend were the autocrats.

See photos of this event

“I wuz there -- my first event. Brian Dritar an Con won the dying contest, and we musta spent over half an hour wrapping him up in his prize (a real shroud, made on site of yumpty-zillion yards of strips torn from a swatch of white fabric and linked one to the next in what was alleged to be the period manner) and carrying him around the field. Not something a newcomer forgets ....
     “The event was also notable for putting two people in hospital and one in jail -- a kid who fell off a slide and broke his arm and a lady who had a strong allergic reaction to a bee sting for the former, and the guy who took the lady to the hospital for the latter he was driving a used van that had been an ambulance in a former life and still had the siren connected, and he figured that the medical emergency justified using it. The cops disagreed, saw him to the hospital to unload his passenger, and continued to headquarters -- or so the story went by the time it got back to the park. I tell the tale as I was told ....
     “Me, all I knew was that I'd come home.” – Hilary of Serendip

“Thanks for thinking about me - my long term synapses started firing and in recalling the event, I think that Hilary may have two different events combined together.” – Brian Dritar an Con
“Entirely possible, I suppose -- human memory being infinitely flexible. But it's all irrevocably and vividly tied up in my mind as one amazing day ....
     “Of course, it could be either of us conflating events; memory tells me I never saw Brian gallop into an event on a white horse, and that isn't the sort of thing that ought to have faded out. It's possible that the dying might not have been necessarily connected to the fighting, there being only five fighters there -- but the scuba incident was before my time, which casts a shadow on Brian's non-fighting status in October of the year X. The 50% overlap between SCA years and real years is a true pain -- I had a message all drafted when October 1974 came thru, asking where this event had gone, then figured out that I was a year out of synch.” – Hilary of Serendip
“The tourney at Junipera Serra Park in San Bruno was, in my time, the only one ever held there. It was a very small tourney and I recall it distinctly. The picnic area was set right on top of a steep hill with a magnificent panorama of the Bay and surrounding cities. I discretely ducked out of the proceedings and went to our stable which happened to be near by. I rode my horse (Zorro - a handsome white fellow) from the trails below up to the tourney site - making rather a dramatic, galloping entrance onto the list, with cloak flying and brass scales and spear glittering in the sun. I know it was pretty dashing as all the women at the tourney told me so ... At that point, I was not a fighter and if I participated in a dying contest, it would have not been in a rattan & armor combat. I vaguely remember the shroud incident (funny what sticks and what doesn't in one's mind) and think it much more likely that it happened at another tournament - perhaps when artful dying became more in vogue.
     “Wendy (Gwendolyn of the Thistle) was there and her recollection matches mine. I recall also that slender Laura with the Borzoi and Deerhound, Anne Maglinte (nee Meyer), Laurie Fadave, Doug Foreman, Bill Sanders, and my parents were there. There were not many of us in St. Andrew's in those days. We were formed from a nucleus at San Francisco State and selected the province name from the San Andreas fault. At one point, we tried to come up with a latin motto that proclaimed "It's not our fault!" but no one could get a satisfactory translation.” – Brian Dritar an Con
“Actually I remember St. Andrews using "Non Est Mea Culpa" as their Latin motto to go with their canting arms of a Cross of St. Andrew with a jagged crack through the juncture of the crosses arms.
     “I'm a bit confused by Brian's assertion that he wasn't a fighter in October AS X. We all recall him coming into the challenge round in scuba gear at Marsh Crown months or years before, and I can clearly recall marshalling his fights from time to time throughout this period. Not to mention encountering him in the upcoming June Crown in our chronology, when he was a well established and respected unbelted fighter.” – Kevin Peregrynne
“My foggy recollection is Brian rode his horse to an event the last time Henrik was King which makes it the second half of 1973. My further foggy recollection is that event was the first Ducal Prize tourney. My continuing foggy recollection is that is the event where Steve Henderson gave knives or bayonets as prizes for the best deaths (which was the precursor to the Order of the Old Battered Helm).” – Andrew of Riga
“My memory is obviously playing me false about not being a fighter in A.S. X, but I'm fairly certain that I did not fight at that tourney and the shroud business still does not associate itself in my mind with that event. I had my hands full with the horse, fencing with the St. Andrew's lads, and my birthday cake. I have not thought about tourneys in years and have no documentation at hand to corroborate. In any case, I would not mind being wrong about the fighting bit.
     “This particular discussion strikes a sympathetic note as I am writing a book and and interviewing elderly people about things that happened sixty or more years ago in connection with the Arab Revolt and other Middle East doings. Naturally, I've been frustrated when they couldn't remember a detail a I was interested in, or when their memory disagrees with published facts, or they really didn't care at the time and consequently, took no notice - all of which and more, I've heard. I'm glad to see that some of this ancient history is being committed to print before we all get to the state of some of the seniors that I've been working with...” – Brian Dritar an Con
“I remember that we came up with the name in my apartment. The translation was "Non est culpa nostra". As I recall, Laurie Fadave came up with it.” – Steven MacEanruig
“Some further revelations on dates under discussion provided by Wendy:
     “"Well, he might have been a fighter at the St. Andrews event, but the "Marsh Tourney" referred to happened afterwards - 1975 or 1976. The scuba incident took place just after Brian took instructor diving training – I picked him up at the San Jose airport after returning from San Diego, and we went straight to the tourney at Coyote Creek park. That was why he had his scuba gear along. Brian and I were married in April '79, but we started going together in May '74. The St. Andrews tourney that WE are thinking of had to have happened in '73, not '75, because we weren't going together yet." – Brian Dritar an Con
“Well! That at least clears up my confusion - AS X started in May 1975, which fits Wendy's chronology below. The Saint Andrews tourney(s) are terra incognita to me until we returned to the Bay Area at the very end of XIII (April) and began to attend more local Mistland events. Where and when Brian rode a horse into a tourney I can't help with, but I'm relieved that I'm not imagining all those memories of his being a fighter by the point the AHP has reached.” – Kevin Peregrynne
“I'm coming in late on this discussion, but I think you have the year of the St. Andrew's tourney in San Bruno wrong. I believe it was in 1973, and here's why ....
     “My distinct memory of that tourney is Brian riding in on his horse, Zorro. It was completely dramatic and romantic. I recall him fencing, but not fighting. I was there with my friend, slender Laura of the deerhound and borzoi, and my then-boyfriend Neal Johnson. I was later to realize that THAT was a defining moment in my life, as I fell in love with Brian at that moment. Even though Neal and I continued our relationship for a few more rocky months, I later realized that our relationship was essentially over at that moment.
     “You don't forget things like that. And Brian and I started dating in May 1974, at MedievalCon. The scuba incident was still later, when he and I were established and in fact he was on his way home from his diving school (March 1975, I believe) which was why he had his scuba gear with him.
     “If I'm wrong about these dates, then early senility HAS set in......” – Gwendolyn of the Thistle

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).

[Back to Year X]     [Main Page for the History]     [Who's Who]

The West Kingdom History Website was created by and is maintained by Hirsch von Henford (mka Ken Mayer).