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

The Eighth Year

Renaissance Pleasure Faire Outing -- Barony of the Golden Rivers
September 8, 1973

The members of the Shire gathered at the home of David of Castlewhyte and then caravaned to the Faire in Marin.

“I notice that, just as it did in real time, the Faire has drifted away from our SCA history. By this point the Sheriff vs. Robin scenarios were dead and our participation with the Queen's Guard in the parades was either the same or seriously moribund. Sir Robert can probably pinpoint the ending of his involvement with the latter with more accuracy.
     “About the only remaining involvement was the Company of Arms' fighting exhibitions which took place four or five times a day on the various stages all over the Faire. Because of the month of intensive practice, the Company's members were usually dominant at Fall Crown.
     “The first year of the Company's existence we had to "audition", so Steven MacEanruig and I armored up and got up on the main stage to do some sparring. In the middle of which Steve executed a step-around rising wrap which caught the rim of my helmet in back and popped it off of my head and up into the air like a champaign cork (it had never even been jostled before). As we stepped out from under its descending trajectory I asked Steve if he wanted to surrender now, then we did some very fast talking to the Faire's representatives to keep from blowing the gig.” – Kevin Peregrynne

“Ah, yes, the Company of Arms.
     “It came about because (a) most of our fighters had determined that if they were going to fight at Faire, they were damnwell going to get paid for it, even if not much, and (b) the Faire wasn't interested in writing, maybe, a dozen checks to a dozen different people every week.
     “So the Company of Arms got itself a bank account and the Faire paid it and the Company wrote little checks to all the fighters. We also got to distribute yards and yards of food tickets. Or I did, actually.” – Dorothea of Caer-Myrddin
“Little tiny checks. The food tickets were nice, however. – Steven MacEanruig
“I have only one vivid memory of those days. It was the day (well, one of the days) the crowd was inching in towards the little, foot-high stage we were using, and when they reached it, beginning to creep up over its sides like Helium-II. Not a good idea, and those of us who were marshalling were attempting in vain to get them to back off.
     “And then somebody hit Flieg in the crotch.
     “What Flieg said afterward was that it hadn't been that hard a blow, didn't hurt all that much, but he knew an opportunity when he saw one, and he collapsed into a little ball on the stage, writhing and moaning. He made a good job of it. You never saw a crowd scoot backward so fast without getting up.” – Dorothea of Caer-Myrddin
“I think that was a slightly later faire than the first one, though I could be wrong. As I recall it, Flieg was jumping over someone and Paul caught him in mid-air with a mace. Afterwards he may have claimed it was a setup, but it sure didn't look like one at the time and I seem to recall that he didn't look so good when we took the helmet off of him.” – Steven MacEanruig
“After that (? I think it was after that) we added to the demo a little schtik where the herald asked the audience please to keep well out of the way, some of these blows were pretty hard--whereupon he'd borrow a broadsword from a fighter and whack Hal across the groin, hard as he could. Little, young, *skinny* Hal in his mattress-pad gambeson. Then he'd lift the gambeson and show off the one-layer-foam, one-layer-leather, two-layers-steel groin plate. "You aren't wearing one of these? No? Then you really ought to STAY BACK." It sometimes worked for as much as ten minutes at a time.” – Dorothea of Caer-Myrddin
“I remember that one. One of the few pieces of SCA armor from the early days that was better (much better) than a standard cup.” – Steven MacEanruig
“I remember that vividly, right down to the clang of the helmet as it struck the stage. A bit of a scary moment. While Kevin was asking me if I wanted to surrender, I was asking him if he was all right.
     “The faire was interesting. This was when they were going theatrical and the two organizations just sort of drifted apart. It always felt a bit odd to me, wearing northern European clothing during blistering hot days in Novato.
     “I think this was the faire that Paul of Bellatrix and his son Steven (quite small then, he's taller than I am now) were staying at my place in San Francisco during the faire weekends rather than driving down to San Jose. The first night Paul said he would cook dinner, only to find out that I had maybe one pan, no spices or even pepper, and damned little else in the apartment. I can still remember his (deservedly) somewhat snide comments about it all.
     “That faire was also the only time I think I ever beat Paul at Go. He was a much better player than me normally, but we finished a fighting demo in the hot sun, he drank a cool sugary drink, and his blood sugar crashed just as we got into the game.” – Steven MacEanruig
“Sir Kevin recently mentioned that I might remember more about when SCA presence at RenFaire declined. We were a bigger part of the show at the old site (first 4 years - 1967-70) with Robin Hood & Sheriff's bands, 4 Live Chess Games, impromptu fights on bridges, etc. than at the Blackpoint site (1971 on). I organized the Queen's Guard at 3rd Faire, at Julie Meredith's request (she was Queen at first several Faires) and was its Captain for 12 years (1969-1980). It gradually included more non-SCA folk and evolved into the Companie of Foote, which is still going. I kept working Faire for 29 years, but from 1981-1995 I did English Country, Morris & Longsword dances on stage. (more fun than marching, really) Henrik helped Kevin Patterson get the Horse Tourneys going, and I worked with him one year (1986, I think). The SCA-type fighting demos, which had earlier been on stages, later took place in the center of the horse arena, alternating with equestrian events. Sir Jon Fitzrauf was active with these for many years and should remember more than I do. Dukes Paul & Henrik, among many others, were also involved. However, I think perhaps nothing after 1970 was done by the SCA as an organization, but by ad hoc groups of SCA fighters and others. – Robert of Dunharrow
“Lady Anne of the Golden City (Miki Byrns) was a prominent attendee, I think, perhaps an organizer. (Can you believe a ticket to Renfaire was only $3.75 then?)
     “The old (some say notorious) Golden Rivers 'Wizards Guild' also formed that month.” – Edward of Southhaven

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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