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The Third Year

Benefit Tourney and Revel for T.I.
April 19, 1969

From The Tribune Number One (typos/errors not mine -- Hirsch):


On April the 19th, A.D., 1969 (In the Kingdom of the West, the Year Four), there shall be feasting and reveling, dancing and games and many and varried sorts. This is being presented to you by Toad Hall as a benefit for TOurnaments Illuminated and divers other expenses encountered by the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.. There will be a $3.50 donation per person (your children 12 and under -- free) and all tickets must be purchased by April 5. The Feast will be held out of doors in Redwood Regional Park, so there will be more room than at Twelfth Night; however, space is not unlimited and the wise man buys his ticket early. Of course, pre-1650 dress is required.

Now, on to the feasting and revelling. For Feasting, Toad Hall offers you: Whole roast spring lambs with apple stuffing and mint jelly. Barons of beef with sage jelly. Roast Turkeys with herb dressing and cranberry sauce. Roast Chickens. Sausages and cabbages. Pudgnies (sweetmeat and fruit streamed pudding), marinated vegetables salad. And bread. Each person will be given a half-loaf of bread as a trencher on which to put his food. This is the only form of dish or utensil that will be provided. If you feel the need of plate and fork, you must bring them yourself. (Paper cups will be provided for the beer and cider, but you are encouraged to bring drinking vessels more pleasing to the eye.) Fruit, cheese, and honey spice cake will be served for dessert.

For men, there will be contests in shortsword and buckler, axe and shield, and maul. Contests in archery and javelin will be open to all. (If you want to compete, ask for a waiver form with your ticket order.) The winner in each category will receive a great mucking jug, and the hearty cheers of all. There will be dancing on the green, varied entertainments for all, and games for the children.

Games and reveling will begin at 1:00 P.M., and the feasting will begin about 5 P.M.. The donation of $3.50 covers only the evening feast, so if you come early it might be wise to bring a light pic-nic lunch.

Again, tickets must be purchased by April 5. Send your check ... and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to ...

In case of rain, an alternate date and location will be announced. No refunds can be made, since the food and drink will already have been purchased. Please let us have your (legibly printed) name, address, and telephone number, so we could notify you if necessary.

Good Cheer to All,
From Toad Hall.

From the History (by Wilhelm):

Held in Redwood Regional Park, Oakland, California. Sponsored by Toad Hall. Tickets were sold. A feast was provided. There were contests in shortsword and buckler, axe and shield, maul, archery, and javelin throwing. There was dancing and games for the children. Revelry extended into the night.

See photos from this event

“Don't recall if I even went to this event, though it's likely we did. I'm afraid most of Geraldine's feasts start to run together in my mind. They were all fun and the food was good.
     “And this was the period when the ‘Great Households’ began to form. Henrik's was growing, Toad Hall was immense, and the Forces of Chaos (my house) was of pretty good size. The extended households of Greyhaven and Hightower, and the collegiate house called Headless, started up around this time.
     “In many ways, the concept was started by Felice Rolfe, who organized a bunch of Peninsular SCAers as Mayhem House, named for her name for her house long before the SCA. Having no fighters amongst them, they asked for a champion and the king at the time, Richard, appointed himself (as Richard of Mount Royal, not Richard the King). Other households started to grow as the group got too big for everyone to know everyone and started to fragment, as it has continued to do to this day. The SCA later legitimatized the concept with regional Baronies and other official associations, and often it has been hard to figure where a Barony/Province left off and a Household began, but the Great Houses were the first manifestation of this inclination to splinter and form smaller, more manageable, groups within the larger group.” – Stefan de Lorraine

“This was the 2nd of Geraldine's famous feasts (the 1st being 12th Night, III). Don (Jon de Cles) was finding it hard to put out 4 annual issues of TI for the $1.50/yr. dues, so Geri leaped in to erase the deficit. She made the great spread of food with the help of a dozen or so of the (mostly high-school age) young women & men of the Kingdom. Most everyone came. (Unless you were ill, Steve, you must have been there.) I organized the games, more like Ducal Prize than a regular tourney. Contests in various weapons not generally used in crown lists, (but on hand from live chess) like shortsword & buckler, axe & shield, maul (5' rattan pole with roll of carpet around end, covered & taped; swung 2-handed, not thrustable, a knock-you-over sort of weapon), and also archery & javelin (metal-pointed spear) at fixed targets, and probably wrestling & tug-of-war were among those held. Either then or later, I ran 2-man team melees & 3-man (with 3 different weapon types) team combats. However, as to Steve P.'s comment about households, ("Toad Hall was immense"), not quite yet. I wasn't knighted until the next month (May IV) and Geri got her Laurel in Sept.IV (I think). It was then, along with Master Lin, that we three peers formed Toad Hall with 3 equal Heads of Household (although in practice, Geraldine was always a bit more equal than Lin & I in organizing & running things). We invited people into the shade of our pavilion & she offered them food & drink & we rather quickly grew to 70 people on our household list, with 12 to 15 fighters, of whom 8 were knighted & 4 won the Crown.” – Robert of Dunharrow

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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