So, it’s been a while

Once again I appear to have been somewhat lax in posting to this blog. Not quite a month since the last post. Not a month and so much has happened. I have no one to blame but myself. I think the musical prophet said it best in his song Fruitcakes:
” Mea Culpa Mea Culpa Mea Maxima Culpa
Mea Culpa Mea Culpa Mea Maxima Culpa”

I can only promise, again, to try and do better.  I found out this past weekend that more people than I was aware of read this blog, and that kind of surprised me. I’ve got a lot to talk about , but first I need mood enhancers….

(opens Itunes, starts the play list. Roger Daltry begins to sing)

The Death of a Good Man
My uncle, Ken Rennylson, died on Thursday March 17, at about 4:15 in the afternoon. This was not unexpected, as he had been sick for several months. His cancer was already quite widespread by the time it was diagnosed and it continued to spread quickly. His doctors had basically sent him home three weeks ago after telling him there was not anything they could do for him. He was receiving hospice care, and he died at home with his family. I think that was important to him.
My family moved to Mississippi from Omaha Nebraska when I was 16, and in the 24 years since then I had not seen Ken very often. In fact the last time I saw him was at my father’s funeral 14 years ago. So, we’ve not been close in quite some time. However, he was a very big part of my early life. Ken was married to my Dad’s younger sister, Vickie, and his first child was born when I was seven or so. Ken always loved kids, and when ever my extended family would gather at my grandparents home Ken would always spend most of the weekend with the kids. It wasn’t til much later in life I realized that was because he didn’t like my grandparents much (which is understandable), but he loved us kids. He spent a lot of time with all of us.
When I was five Ken built a treehouse in a large maple tree on my Grandfather’s farm for all the grandkids. All of my cousins and I used it for years, but it was MINE. When I spoke to my aunt on Wednesday, the day before he passed, I asked her to thank him for that. She laughed a bit and said he would be glad that I remembered it. During that conversation I remembered a lot of things about Ken that I’d not thought about in a long time. All good things.
Unfortunately I was not able to attend his funeral. I knew I wouldn’t be able to go; Vickie and Ken live in Sioux City Iowa, and with gas at 3.00 a gallon, and with the fact that all of my vacation time for the year is gone, it just wasn’t going to be possible. My Aunt was very, very understanding. She said, “Don’t worry about it Mikey (She is one of three people on the planet that is still allowed to call me Mikey without suffering the wrath of the Bald Man), seriously, we understand, and the fact is he wouldn’t be there either if he had any choice in the matter. ”
So, please join me in a metaphorical, non- alcoholic (Ken and I are both sober. He’d been sober well over 25 years when he died) toast to my uncle…..(Lifts glass) To my uncle. Ken, I learned a lot from you, much more than I think you ever knew. A truly good man.

SCA Stuff
(scans the play list, makes a selection….Ian Anderson begins to sing)

The last month or so has been crazily busy with SCA activities. We had the first meeting of the Grey Niche Gulf Wars Land Improvement Committee last week. That committee is charged with selecting a design for a permananet structure at the Grey Niche Gulf Wars camp, and with raising the money it will take to build such a structure. Now, I have absolutely no carpentry skills at all, so I volunteered to be in charge of fundraising. Over the next 18 months or so I plan on raising between 7,500 and 10,000 dollars. So, if anyone has some suggestions for interesting fundraisers, please let me know.  I’d like to do something more than the standard raffles and silent auctions. I think one fundraiser I’m going to do is giving people the chance to pay to not have me, a person that can snore so loud it could wake the dead not be in their cabin at upcoming SCA events.
In other news; at the last business meeting Duchess Linnet submitted her bid for Beltaine 2008, the Tournament of the Torc. I’m on staff for that as co-autocrat, so that will be a lot of fun to work on. The weekend is going to be a high tournament with lots of heraldry and pagentry.

(we interupt this blog for a musical interlude, courtesy of John Mellancamp)
“On a Greyhound thirty miles beyond Jamestown
He saw the sun set on the Tennessee line
He looked at the young man who was riding beside him
He said I’m old kind of worn out inside
I worked my whole life in the steel mills of Gary
And my father before me I helped build this land
Now I’m seventy-seven and with God as my witness
I earned every dollar that passed through my hands
My family and friends are the best thing I’ve known
Through the eye of the needle I’ll carry them home”

(regular blogging will now resume)

This past weekend was Gleann Abhann Spring Crown list, and what a wonderful weekend it was. The Barony of GreyNiche was represented by four couples: William of Glenn Lyon and Marisa Symes of Berwicke, Dagan and Mashseed, James the Holy and Luca Sachetti, and Sir Uther and Vicountess Kenna. All of the Grey Niche fighters had their pavillions close to each other so they could support each other.
I got to sight about 8:45 Saturday morning. I’d never been to this particular site before, and I have to admit I didn’t see much of it other than the fighting field. What I did see was very pretty, and the weather was perfect. Bright, clear sky, with no chance of rain. Warm, but not excessively hot. We quickly set up the day pavillion that Linnet had sent with us behind Uther and Kenna’s pavillion. Helped Luca get her stuff set up.
Before the actual start of the tournament their Majesties opened court, and much to his surprise Robert von Flusswasser was elevated to the Order of the Pelican. Ashis peer, Bri, was kneeling in front of Their Majesties begging a boon, Robert was literally ten yards away setting up the list mistress pavilion. He wasn’t paying any attention to court until his name was called. That was the fourth elevation to a peerage I’ve seen since Gleann Abhann became a kingdom. All four have been very memorable for different reasons, but I think I liked Robert’s the best. Not a long drawn out ceremony, but short, sweet, and within 15 minutes he was back at work.
The tournament started right after the elevation. There were 17 fighters, and Sarah did a great job organizing the procession. I got to display the fact that I had absolutely no skills as a herald by serving as herald for Will and Marisa. This was the first Crown tournament they had fought in, and I wish I could have done a better job for them.
The tournament seemed to fly. It was extremely well run, and the time between the rounds was very short. The on field heraldry was handled for the most part by Master Stephan, and the list mistressing was handled by Bri. At the end it was Sir Angus and Sir Uther in the final fight. I’m fairly sure that in twenty years, as I look back on my memories of my time in the SCA that fight will be one of my favorite memories. It was the longest tournament fight I’ve personally ever witnessed. At one point Sir Uther asked His Majesty if they could take a break for a beer.  Both fighters were obviously at their best, and were obviously enjoying themselves. The crowd watching the final fight was silent, you could hear the hawk calling as it circled overhead, but that was all you could hear. When Sir Uther got the final good shot to land the cheering was loud and long lasting. What a wonderful day. I was proud of all the Grey Niche fighters. James came in fourth. Dagan and Mahsheed won the best dressed couple contest, and Dagan was awarded th Wreath of Chivalry by Her Majesty Mary Grace. I wish our Baron had been their to support his folks, but apparently Dulinn doesn’t do Crown List.

Ok, that’s enough for tonight. I’ll be back in a day or so. I promise.

4 Responses

  1. Dulinn doesn’t do Crown List because, he says, he doesn’t want to jinx our fighters. There’s a story there, but I can’t remember it. 🙂 He’ll have to tell it to us some time.

  2. The longest one I personally witnessed was Radu and Mike’s fight in GA’s first Crown List. 6 months pregnant in the sweltering heat may have made it seem longer, but it was definitely brutally long.

  3. Excuse me – EIGHT months pregnant.

  4. Oh, I remember that fight well. I remember how calm you seemed while Brenna appeared to be freaking out. I remember how damn hot it was that day. I remember how it looked like Sir Radu had to basically bend in half in order to hit Sir Michael after taking out Mikes legs. It was a fun, fun day.

    C

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