Happy New Year XXXVIII

Happy Birthday, SCA

May 1st, 1966 was a Sunday. The first day of the first year of the SCA, though we didn't know it at the time.

A bunch of people from various places and of various types gathered in a back yard in Berkeley to have fun.

I was there.

I saw banners floating in the breeze, hanging from the clothesline. I saw trident and net, shortsword and morningstar, crossbow bolt broken upon shield, fencing masks hoping to protect us from the impact of pine lathes we were using for swords. I saw ceremony and heard songs, admired costumes and fondly thought that mine was worthwhile.

I missed the second and third tournies. I was at the fourth tourny in Spring of AS I. Much had changed. The costumes were better, there was a King and Queen. Three-weapon masks were close to becoming standard and a motor-cycle helm was really good for protection. The ceremony was awesome. Medeocrites of Hellas was accused of attempting to assasinate the King, and Aragorn, son of Arathorn (as he announced himself) was challenged by all comers and trounced soundly for his presumption at claiming to be such a famous person.

Time passed, as it is wont to do. The SCA spread. Other Kingdoms formed. Knights were created, then Laurels. Masters at Arms were invented, and I became one. One May Day after another happened, each one in Spring, each one full of ceremony and song and dance and beautiful costumes and blue skies (or rain).

It's still going on. The newcomer is mesmerized by the glitter and display, the manners and the gracefulness of it all and imagines her costume fits in -- really. And it does -- sooner or later, it does.

Happy Birthday, SCA. Happy New Year to us all. Thirty-eight and still going strong.

-- Frederick of Holland


For the views and visions of other people who were there in the beginning, see the following: ttp://history.westkingdom.org/ . Lots of interesting stuff there.