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The Second Year

Westercon XX Tourney
July 4, 1967 AS II

Held as part of the Westercon in Los Angeles, California. Elfrida of Greenwalls, in her professional capacity as Marion Zimmer Bradley, was the guest of honor. Many society members wore their medieval costumes into the costume ball. Dorothea of Paravel (Dorothea of Caer-Myrddin) won Most Beautiful Costume for her modified medieval white dress with blue velvet cloak, blue and green feather wig, blue feather eye lashes, and all-white make up. First prize for the best group went to Elfrida, her lord Walter, and her brother Edwin Bersark (Paul Zimmer). They went as characters from Poul Anderson’s (Bela of Eastmarch) The Broken Sword. On the last day LASFS, which had sponsored the convention, sponsored a tournament. Owen Hannifen (Karl vom Acht) was the autocrat. Harlan Ellison tried out as a fighter and did rather well. There was a fascinating fight between Siegfried von Hoflichskeit and Fritz Leiber, who fought broadsword to broadsword with no shields and did very well indeed. The four finalists were Bela of Eastmarch, Edwin Bersark, Richard the Short (Richard of Mont Real), and Sir Henrik the Dane (Henrik of Havn). The final match was between Edwin Bersark and Sir Henrik. The winner was Sir Henrik the Dane (Henrik of Havn), who received a two quart, hand-painted beer stein from the Con committee as a prize.

See photos of this event

“When I joined, a year later or so, there were still lots of stories and legends regarding this event, and some of them may or may not be true ... However - we still have some of the principals in this discussion ... Ok - So Richard fought in this tourney, hiding from other participants his injuries suffered when his shield was caught by a wind gust caused his BMW bike to become more closely involved with the ground then one would like. They discovered this when one of his bandages or casts came off. ( Years later, I heard this story retold, with me as the principal. I set the record straight.) Henrik fought Harlan - I think that the fight was supposed to be between Harlan and Randall, but Randall begged off for some reason ... Harlan's girlfriend at the time was Grace Lee Whitney (Yeoman Rand) who was apparently worried about Harlan fighting Henrik - I think that Randall once told me that Harlan said - "You mean I've got to fight Godzilla?"(meaning Henrik), but Randall was a story teller ... That's all I can remember - It will be interesting to see how the stories changed from '67 to '68, when I heard them.” – James Greyhelm

“Jim (Greyhelm) seems to have gotten Westercon 1967 and Baycon I 1968 blended in his recollection of the tales he was told. The story of Richard being blown off of his bike and concealing his injuries so he could participate in the tourney at Westercon is true (according to Richard who told it to me). (That Westercon was also the source of the extra "Hip!" added at the end of the standard three cheers, that plagued the kingdom for years). The tournament where Harlan was supposed to fight Randall and wound up fighting Henrik instead was Worldcon (Baycon I) the following year's Labor Day weekend at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley.” – Kevin Peregrynne
“No, I fought Harlan Ellison at Westercon XX in LA, not at Baycon in Berkeley.” – Henrik of Havn
“Nope - I think that I am right on this - Henrik told me the story about Westercon 67 about Harlan at the 30 year celebration, and it confirmed what I had been told by Randall and others. I don't think that Harlan fought at Worldcon - the 'Author' fight at that event was Randall, Poul and someone else (Siegfried?) fighting Caradoc, Edwin and (?) to decide whether or not that the only 'Good Campbell was a Dead Campbell' - John W. Campbell was there and it was fought for his amusement...
     “We could just ask Richard about the bike - but he was King at 68 Worldcon - and not wearing any bandages or casts that I can remember.
     “Wasn't the first performance of HMS Trekkastar held at Worldcon 68? If so, then the extra hip dates from then, usually shouted by Hap?” – James Greyhelm
“Also Richard ‘Kited’ off his BMW on way to LA for Westercon XX and only scraped hide off his nose and chin and lost his front teeth – his smile was startling. No cheek holes. Westercon XX (1967, July) I fought Harlan. Siegfried fought Fritz Leiber!” – Henrik of Havn

[Regarding costumes] “Sir Henrik the Dane wore his handmade elbow length, knee length 40 lb mail hauberk and broadsword (the first SCA real armour) and was mistakenly presumed by the costume judges to have rented the armour and was therefore not considered for a prize among the costume contestants.” – Henrik of Havn

[Regarding Richard and his injuries] “Some us knew about his injuries before he fought – his sword had to be taped into his grip.” – Henrik of Havn

[And (also regarding injuries)] “No casts” – 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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