Posted by: nedlnthred | February 16, 2015

Side step, to speak about love, free time, and odd hobbies

I will now honor Jeanne Berke’s Valentine’s Day request with some thoughts on my longtime love, the Society for Creative Anachronism.

When I was a freshman in college, I came across a flyer for a medieval feast sponsored by this group and organized by a man named Owen from CT. I’d never heard of them, but I had been in love with sixteenth-century English clothing for years, and was intrigued that there might be a place that would encourage me to make and wear these.



But as I got involved, there was much more to the Game than a place to dress up. I had never met a more welcoming group of smart, kind, & creative people who welcomed utter strangers into their homes, helped with projects, & were as curious as I was. And I discovered that I. too, believed in their (Victorian) ideals of chivalry & courtesy, & I wanted to make these happen in real life as well. The game and the people in it have given my love back thousandfold in the form of most of the happiest moments of my life, as well as bringing me some of the dearest people in my life.  This really is the best Game in the entire world.  





The late-night hanging out after my first event, Northwoods Twelfth Night (1983), where Owen and I and a few other newbies planned our first event. Which turned into a Shakespeare-themed event April 23, 1983, to which I dragged Emilysue Reichardt and at which I met Lorenzo of the Peacemakers and Lou Kruzy (later Baron BMDL) and Andrew, my longtime college boyfriend.

Being asked to help with a Bronzino-type dress for the Queen by Carla Horan and Maria Knox, and the subsequent mad trip to Kalamazoo in a blizzard while sick as a dog with my BGSU pals in Feb. 1986.

breezeway sew 2014


The Robert Burns nights at the Caer in Kent, with my bf Andrew, Greg Frankhouser, and Rufus the Short. And a later one where the king & queen, Alen & Isabella crashed the party with Baron Charly and his wife, and my dear friend Mary. I met my first Laurel, Roen la Dentelliere, there.

Being welcomed to Ostgardr by Steve Schwall and K.C., through whom I met another love of my life, Cye Lambert, and another dear man, Paul Hilts. And the shenanigans of getting K.C. to *her* elevation at C.W Post.

The awesome creative energy of our group of friends in Ostgardr, including Veda Crewe, Paul Hilts, Sondra Venable, Argyle Wolf-Knapp, Cye Lambert, Helen Pinto, and Ed Morrill. We all tried out a little of every art and fed each other’s ideas constantly.
Falling in love with the only man who ever convinced me to marry him, Edward Morrill, and the adventures in and of Laurelwood, our group in Queens (consisting of Argyle, Sonfra, Helen, Ed and myself.) Good food, good wine, great road trips!
In the immortal words of Hope Scheimer, the “40 Men Robbing a Bank” shenanigans of my own elevation to the Laurel, and the many awesome people who played a part, including many of the above, but also Cindy Connolly/Saebhoc, Jehan de la Marche, Katherine Gillesfleur, Tsuranaga & Genevieve, and more.
The priceless moments at our engagement party at Pennsic where Ed and Laurelen spent being old Jewish dukes at one another.
The evening, after a day of trouble between king and Pennsic staff (of which Ogami and Yoshitsuni were part), where Yoshitsuni went down on his knees in front of Ogami and (king forgotten), offering up himself, only to be sent out to vigil.
The elevations of two of i Sebastiani under the reign of Bjorn & Morgan, one deliciously silly, with Earl Sebastion’s wreath of vegetables, cabbage at front, and the other where the story of Daphne & Apollo was acted out as the ceremony, and the wreath pulled from the “tree’s” hands to crown the candidate.
The way that Manfred von Halstern and his wife Kamilla von Anderlecht, welcomed me into roadtrips and family occasions once I got divorced and was a bit adrift elsewhere and -how.
vh dynasty
The events that Victoria Swann detailed where we spent months or weeks plotting the elevations of my ‘prenti, and nailed the candidates with utter surprise. And the assistance and co-plotting of queens Meirwen Uerch Owein and Brenwen the Fair in the cases of Tofi and Susan Taksa O’Dee. But I would add the plotting and afterparty of Hedewigis Ockenfussin to those notable events. In order to not blow the surprise, we had to let Hedewigis Ockenfussin cater her own afterparty.
Add to those every moment spent around a fire at the Pennsic War, every friend made (you know who you are!), every apprentice taken, every class taught and taken, every weekend of hanging out and sewing,
every movie watched and commented on with these friends, and every stitch and roadtrip taken or spreadsheet set up with and for these friends.


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