I was first introduced to the SCA in August of 1991. A female friend of mine and I had been talking about our different interests and I mentioned a fascination with knights and the middle ages. She started telling me about this group she participated in now and then. She mentioned that there was a small intimate event coming up and invited me to join her.
She got a hold of a basic t-tunic (a shirt made of 1 piece of cloth, folded, the sides sewn up, and a head hole made) for the event so I would be in costume. A term I know know as garb. She told me that the name of the event was "Pennsic Paupers Potluck".
We met that Saturday morning and she drove to this small building in Pickens SC. There may only have been around 20 people in all at the event but they were having fun and enjoying each others company. I noticed the different types of people and garb. It was like a party.
She introduced me to some of the people there and as I talked to them a heavy set man around 5'-5" or 5'6" with red hair and a beard walked over. He had what appeared to be a crown on. The group bowed to him a little and I followed suit. It turned out that it was a baronial coronet. It was brace in color with 6 white pearls, or fax pearls on top.
He had a pleasent smile and began talking to me. He had a great sense of humor. He introduced himself as Baron Corwyn Woodward. The landed baron of Nottinghill Coill. He introduced his wife Baroness Dedrie Morgan and they began to tell me more about the SCA and all it had to offer.
After talking for a while I ventured outside where I had heard there was fighters in full armor fighting. I was in awe of the sight. Men in real armor, hitting each other with weapons. I tall fighter by the name Baron Rufus Barbarosa introduced himself. He explained he was not a landed baron but a court baron.
A landed baron is one who is in charge of lands granted to him by the kingdom. A court baron is one by name. Granted to them by the king but not in charge of any lands.
Rufus was a tall gentleman. Perhaps 6'-4". He began explain the rules of combat to me and how a blow was gauged by the fighters. He asked if I would like to try it. I agreed and he armored me up. Biggest problem was that I am 5'-4" and the only loner armor they had was Rufus's extra. It did not fit well. Definitely made me want my own.
I had a blast and wanted more. However I also saw people fencing and wanted to check it out.
I met the fighter teaching the fencing (rapier, in the SCA) and he told me the rules of combat for that form. Forgive me but I do not remember his name.I found that also very intriguing and began trying to decide.
I made my way back inside and began talking and sat down and began playing chess and also learn a couple of "new to me" games. It was a fun time and then dinner was served.
This was a pot luck so it was a mixture of all different types of foods. I sat and enjoyed the dinner and company. I even entertain a bit by juggling for the Baron and Baroness.
I found out at the event that this was a local event set up so that those that could not make it to a much larger event in Pennsylvania (aka PENNSIC XX) could still get together and enjoy some of the festivities.
I left that event with a thirst for knowledge. Since then I have spent the better part of the 20 years in the SCA trying to learn more about the time periods, weapons, clothing, fighting styles, foods, and just plain old ways of life. I try to impart this knowledge to new people in the SCA and even take time and do demos for schools, churches, and youth groups such as the Boy and Girl Scouts of America.
I am not as involved as I would like due to jobs and personal life. But I am trying to get back into it more. I have so much more to learn and I want to keep learning until I die.
I have lost a lot of friends in the SCA over the years. They have past or moved away. Corwyn passed away in October of 2010. It has made me begin to look at life. I only get this chance once. I am going to live it to the hilt. My friends will be there but I need to let them know how I feel and that they mean a lot to me.
The SCA teaches honor above all. With honor I can be a good man. I will do my best and I will continue to serve in the SCA. Either on the Field as a fighter or washing dishes at an event to help take some stress from the cooks.
So if you want to know more about the SCA after this. look up www.sca.org or check out youtube. There is a lot of info out there and we would be honored to have you.
Thanks for letting me ramble.