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

The Thirty-sixth Year

Old-Timer's Tournament -- Caldarium

June 16, 2001 (AS XXXVI)

Stafford Lake Park,
Novato, CA

From The Page (May, 2001):

ANNOUNCING THE THIRD nothing resembling annual OLD-TIMERS EVENT! Come all who know the meaning of "No s***, there I was," or want to learn, to Caldarium's third Alzheimer's Old-timer's tourney at Stafford Lake Park in Novato.

Activities nailed-down (i.e., one of us grey-maned-folks have promised to coordinate them), so far include:

The "Everlasting Gob-Stopper" Grand March: If you've never even seen a West Kingdom Grand March - see how silly it can get when the Great Grandparents of the SCA take every spot on the Order of Precedence they're entitled to and trade places as the receiving Royalty (unless, of course their Majesties honor us by attending).

An exhibition of REALLY ancient SCA artifacts like single-digits y'know.

A judged competition for oldest hunk of 'legal' armor, sponsored by Henrik of Havn, who has disqualified himself-both his mail and helm (from AS I) are out of the running. Archery: Tamsin of the Raven Tresses will put on a Blind Archer shoot. The archer will be assisted in their aiming by verbal cues from their "Seeing-eye dog" - (picture Royal Peers barking once for higher, twice for lower, howling once for left, twice for right).

Bottle-cutting: Just for fun, run by Richard of Havn.

War-stories: Sponsored by Kevin Perigrynne (so his can't win, though he may tell some).

Handicapped Old-Timers combat: Sponsored by Jon Fitz-Rolf. The younger you are, the shorter the cane. It's your shield arm and must touch the ground if you take a step.

Challenge fighting, sponsored by the green grass and the blue sky.

Site fee: We are asking for a $5 per person site donation, which the Shire will be using to pay the park's mandatory parking fee for all vehicles. The park is open 8am to 8pm. If you have any questions, please contact the Autocrat.

Autocrat: Kevin Perigrynne (contact info omitted).

See photos of this event


The day was hot. Thank goodness for the breeze.

Otherwise, this small event was a joy. For me, it was even more fun, because while I didn't necessarily know some of the folk that were in attendence by face, I learned -- I have been talking through email to some of them for awhile now (for the Annotated History of the West Kingdom project).

After setup, and after Henrik of Havn drove up in the biggest artifact from the "A.S. Single-Digit Days" -- his V.W. Bug that he drove to the first event at Diana's house in Berkeley in 1966, the event got started.

There was a scroll "Dinosauri Societati" that had "boxes" for the first ten years, so that each of the folk there who started in any given year could sign the scroll. Each box but the one for "Year 6" had at least one signature. The scroll was created by Aja du Jardin, and was very nice.

There was a nice range of "old-timers" and more recently active members of the SCA in attendence, and everyone had a good time. The catch-phrase of the day was "Oh my god! Is that (insert name here) ...?"

The event included a lot of sharing of photographs (some of which I took home with me and have sitting here waiting to find time to scan them and get them up on this website), "The Everlasting Gobstopper Grand March", a "Cane and Sword Tournament", a "Blind Archer" contest, and "wack the bottle of water with live steel". There was a display table with artifacts from A.S. Single-Digit (pre A.S. 10) including armor, the Crowns that Henrik and Leanne wore each time they were King and Queen, the first printing of the Rules of the Lists, and more.

The Grand March was interesting, as the idea was that every person marched for each of the titles on their "dance card", in order of precedence. This meant, for example, that Duke Henrik of Havn marched as a Duke, a Count, a Knight, a Laurel, a Pelican, etc., once for each title. The same rules were in force for everyone else. Prince Parlan and Princess Arianwen of the Mists, who were in attendence, were gracious enough to allow everyone to march "to them", as the attending royalty (if no royalty had shown up, then different people would have been selected to act as royalty for the march). It was silly but fun. (For the record, the last few Grand Marches held at West Kingdom events were so big that this kind of thing couldn't happen, and people were asked to only march at their highest title's position in the Order of Precedence. The last Grand March of this type was held approx. 16 years ago, and it took most of the day to set up and run.)

While the old-timers shared their wisdom with the newcomers (as it were), telling stories and such, the "Cane and Sword tournament was held, with six entrants (Old-Timers: Frederick of Holland, James Greyhelm; middle-to-newcomers: Chandra Panthi, Alan MacMillan, Colin MacLear, Brion of Glastonbury and Nathair Coan Mac Tir). This tournament was made silly as the canes were based on the number of years a person had been in the SCA (not necessarily number of years fighting). Those with 30+ years got an approx. 3 foot cane; those with 20-30 years got an approx. 2 foot cane, and those with less than 20 years got an approx. 1 foot cane. The cane had to be held in one hand and touching the ground at all times, and you could only fight with the sword. It was silly, but the fighters had a good time. Nathair won the tournament by knocking James Greyhelm's cane out from under him (since the cane had to be touching the ground ...) in the final round.

Later in the day Henrik armored up and fought Nathair, some other fighting occured as people who wanted to "play" with the old-timers got a chance.

For me, the best part was the schmoozing. Notables who travelled far to get to the event included James Greyhelm who came from An Tir, and Dierdrianna of the Misty Isles who came from the Middle.

Toward the end of the afternoon, Prince Parlan and Princess Arianwen held a short court (the creaking of oldtimers knees (mine included) as they knelt in the pavilion was astounding!), thanked everyone, gave Kevin Peregrynne (the autocrat) a nice Fleur-de-Lys token; admitted Aja du Jardin and Eliska z Jihlavy to the Order of the Corolla Vitea (arts) for their work with scribing ... It was a nice small and friendly little court. Kevin invited everyone still there to his house for an UnRavel. Unfortunately, as I had things I had to do the next day I didn't stay, but went to dinner with some friends and went home, tired, but happy. -- Hirsch von Henford

Description of this event (if any), taken from The Page, or from memory of at least one person who attended the event.

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