Friday night, I got confirmation that a household member was being inducted into the Order of the White Scarf in An Tir on Sunday, so I was very happy we were adding another don to the household. Little did I know we were adding two.
Fencing was interesting. I didn't warm up prior to the tournament starting as I was trying to set up my stuff and sell it off. It was somewhat of a lazy tournament. I fenced pretty well I think. Good bouts against Thomas, Caine, Griff, Jean-Michel, and Davius among others. It was fun and relaxed. Something nice, I was not pressing, which has been good for me.
After the formal tournament, I did pickups with Lissa and Christofel. Lissa you cannot give your blade to as she's developed a good inside game. So I denied her my blade holding it very low to see what she'd counter with. She had trouble with it. We talked about it afterwards and I offered a suggestion to try out. I then did some pick ups with Christofel. He was rolling his disengage off the shoulder which I was able to take advantage of it. I also gave him some new ideas to try.
After that, I suited down and drank a lot of water. Duke Edward taught classes on melee, but as my ankle was bothering me, I sat in the shade, continued to drink and drink more water. Archery champs was taking a while, so court was moved to where the final round was shooting.
Thor was called in and surprised when they inducted him into the Order of the Maunche. It was well deserved, and I am so proud of all that he has accomplished. Thor is an inspiration and one of the best people I know.
Molle and Charity were called into court next, as both received awards of arms. If you've never met them, they are two incredible women. I'm marrying one in October, and the other makes one of my best friends very happy. They do a lot more that they think, and both are humble, beautiful women who make the world around them a better place. I knew about both these awards. What I didn't know about was the next one....
So I get called into court. I tried to plead my case by stating, "What happens in Canada, stays in Canada,... or so I thought." After explaining to me that he had a bone to pick about my absconding with his wife and scurrying her out of the country with a bus full of nefarious characters, she then must have had Stockholm Syndrome as she made him watch a movie, which Mabel brought on the bus. Anyway, soon thereafter, they call into court the Order of the Golden Rapier. The best words I can use is, I'm humbled.
Its been a long journey, and its not over yet as I still am not the person I want to be. But I have a ton of people to thank for helping me along the way, and hopefully, I can help others as much if not more so, because if we are not giving back, all we are doing is taking away.
So in no particular order, thank you to the following people:
- Shawn Waggoner for putting the first rapier in my hand and teaching me the basics of fencing while I was in college. Without having met you at the Florida Renaissance Festival in 1996, my life would be very different.
- Jody Livingston and Christopher Umbs, for running the fencing booth at NJRK in 1997, and so much more over the years.
- Scott Lubin for getting me involved in the SCA.
- Hank Salvacoin for teaching a kid on crutches how to break down a fight and what to look for
- Murray Blehart for inspiring me to get into SCA fencing after recovering from my broken ankle.
- Those who attended the South Orange and Piscataway practices and really helped me along the way at the start. You all pushed me hard.
- The East Kingdom Fencers everyone needs "an enemy" who push you to get better. Its true friends who help you along the way.
- The Dancing Goats of Atenveldt for making me feel at home across the country at a foreign war.
- TOAD, for the best family of friends
- Kirsten Lotano & Matthew Lecin... for believing in me when I would doubt myself.
- Jennie Ertle... for seeing in me a better man and making me a happy person.'
I know there are people I am leaving out but its to everyone I owe thanks, so thank you. As I tell everyone, we are a volunteer society, without people helping people, it doesn't work and will collapse. Help out your friends, someone new, or even someone you don't like. Your world, and ours, will be a better place for it.