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

The Fifth Year

Westercon Tourney
July 5, 1970

As part of Westercon XXIII, held in the Francisco Tores, Goleta, California, a tourney was held. The arms competition was won by Sir Jon the Lean (Jon FitzRolf). The music competition was won by Richard the Strange, from Atenveldt.

“I have a memory of that event. I had someone down on the ground and was using my mace (A Feather) and had got off a blind shot at him. Then I saw this great helm sticking up over the top of his shield .... so I struck down at it, just as someone yelled HOLD!
     “It seems that my first shot had halfway removed the helm from his head. The second shot put it back on again.
     “We finally got around to requiring helmet straps.” – Jon FitzRolf

“The Trimbles were the main instigators of this event and they asked that I be Tourney Master for them. A bunch of us went down in convoy. There were four cars. First in line was a dilapidated VW Bus that held most of the Rivendell (later Gray Haven) contingent. It was first because it was considered the most likely to fall apart. My Rambler station wagon had had its problems, so Luise and I were second. Andrei de Sebastopol and his lady were our passengers, and the car was packed with materiel for a fashion show Luise had something to do with. Third in line was the Hippogriff, Jon's van, which, while venerable, had a pretty good record for staying in one piece. Riding with him was Caradoc ap Cador and possibly one other. The Hippogriff only had one passenger seat. The van was filled with tourney equipment. Last in place was Harold of Breakstone's VW bug with Edwin Bearsark.
     “All good intentions go awry. The hippogriff's drive shaft broke, and, since we were on the freeway, we had no idea anything had happened. Breakstone stopped to see what was the matter, then couldn't catch up with us. He ended up cramming Caradoc into the bug and continuing on down while Jon waited for the tow truck. I didn't get the details (though it was clear that something was wrong) until I got to the Francisco Torres and Clint came in shortly thereafter.” – Stefan de Lorraine

“Patti and I, with our crowd of passengers (Kathea verKaysce, Sylvanus Andearg, my cousin Janet [more later] and her Stanford room-mate Beth) in the Great Purple Dinosaur (my parent's burgundy colored Plymouth) came upon Jon and the hippogriff somewhat later and stopped to offer help. If I remember correctly, Jon was waiting for his second tow truck, the first had proven inadequate to the hippogriff and its load of armor and weapons.” – Kevin Peregrynne
“The con committee paid for a bus ticket for Jon to come down to the convention with one duffel bag full of tourney gear, which meant that many of the planned events couldn't happen because we didn't have the gear. People seemed to have a good time, anyway.
     “But I could have sworn that Allison of Hightower won the arts competition. Maybe I'm thinking of another competition at a regular tourney ...
     “Princess Angela of the Meadows and some other Atenveldters were also at the convention. And several SCA folk came to the costume ball in black, as SCA folk are wont to do. I knew them all and they were looking at one another, thinking that something could be done with this situation. So I suggested that they assemble as a party from the Assassin's Guild of Lankhmar who had been hired to assassinate the Guest of Honor, Rick Sneary, who had made a speech about how all the fringe fans, like SCAers, should go away and leave the true fans their fandom. Charles of the JACs, Jon the Lean, Kevin Peregrine, a female cousin of Kevin's, and one other formed the group. Rick Sneary and I were both among the judges, and they did a very persuasive presentation of a cup of "something" to Rick. Their award as best group was unanimous among the judges. Astrid of Hawk Ridge's very gorgeous costume lost out on that prize to a lady in a nice enough Egyptian Goddess outfit which mostly featured her bare breasts. I'd like to point out that two of the three men on the panel voted for Astrid, it was the two women, plus Rick Sneary, that voted for the pseudo-Egyptian ...” – Stefan de Lorraine, who didn't get a lot of sleep at that convention, but had some good times ...
“The speech, while it did name the SCA explicitly, also picked on just about everybody present who wasn't old enough to remember prohibition. The strong impression that I got from people I talked to later was that implicit in the speech was that the only "True Fan" was Mr. Sneary ... no others need apply. It did make him a tempting target for our group entry.”
     “I think that the other in our group was Clint Bigglestone. We referred to our garb as 'Basic Black with cutlery', during the judging the guys slouched around menacingly while my cousin Janet Milton (Now Janet Wilson Anderson, widely known in Filk and Costuming circles) a redhead in slinky black satin played our 'bait'. Patrice was pissed off to be left out of the group because her gown wasn't black. None of us ever received the group photo that was to be our prize.
     “I have a couple of other memories that have nothing to do with the SCA of that event.
     “The elevators were the slowest anybody had ever encountered, possibly due to the existence of a party consisting of four floors' lobbies and the intervening elevator (rather Niven-ish), but since they ran slow at all hours, I'm not sure. The elevators' behavior led to a series of running jokes about their detouring through hyperspace, moving sideways, being hijacked to unusual locales and so on. I believe that it was Tim Kirk who produced a series of trenchant cartoons with the theme of a sentient elevator with an attitude that induced spirited bidding at the art auction.
     “The other was the traditional midnight skinny-dipping party. Ardis Waters walked up to the student at the lobby desk and said outright: "Hey, can we skinny dip in your pool?" His reply: "Can you swim?" sent us into gales of laughter and off to our rooms for towels. The resident UCSB students from the other tower who encountered us in the ground floor lobby on our way to the pool got rather bug-eyed. In the pool proper the activities split into two groups - several male-female couples floating around in the deep end and an arm-in-arm ring of several dozen exclusively male dippers in the shallow end who were involved in an elaborate game involving splashing, kicking and chanting until suddenly they realized that there were zero females at that end and the game spontaneously disintegrated and several of them departed red-faced.” – Kevin Peregrynne

“The cartoonist who drew the series of cartoons about a sentient convention elevator with an attitude was Lee Nordling. I have the original of the final strip on my wall, as I suggested the concept of the fan escaping the sentient elevator only to enter the sentient hotel lobby.” – Wilhelm von Schlüssel

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