This post will be SUPER BORING to anyone but me. I was reading my AoA scroll last night, realizing how utterly wrong the text was. It said I had been playing in the SCA since 1992. Lol. No. So I hit the wayback machine in my brain and began attempting to reconstruct my past. With a brain like a stainless steel sieve, that isn't as easy as you might think. So I record it here for my posterity.
I first started playing in the SCA in the Canton of Tear-Sea's Shore
. I've been trying to remember exactly when. I was part of House Ellenar, headed by Lord John Emeris of Ellenar. It was summer, but I can't quite recall if it was before or after my year in Scotland. I had thought it might be summer of 1980, but House Ellenar wasn't registered until Dec. '80, according to the OandA (oanda.sca.org), so it must have been later than that. Either summer of '81 or summer of '82, then. My closest compatriot was Carolyn Broughton, with whom I have lost touch completely. *sadface* One of the things I love about the Society is how fully involved & engaged we remain. John Emeris is still playing, as is William MacNaughton, who I'm pretty sure I introduced to the game. Mistress Megara, who made our enameled house medallions, which I treasure & still wear, also appears to be active.
In the fall of '84, I moved to the Barony of Black Diamond
. My closest compatriots in the game then (Kimberly & Paul) are not still playing, however, one of the people I knew then is now a fellow member of my current province. He and his wife are very active in the Society.
Fall of '86, I moved to the Barony of the Steppes
. I was super busy at work (100 hour weeks!! yes, I was that idiot), and not as involved as I would have liked to be locally, but found my outlet online on rec.org.sca. My memories of the time are super fuzzy, lol, but I have very fond memories of Wulfy & Jill. Very, very fond. Further deponent sayeth not. :-).
In the spring of 1991, I moved to the NYC area, into the Crown Province of Ostgardr
. Arval Benicoeur, then Brigantia herald, who I knew from rec.org.sca, was extremely generous with his time and local knowledge, helping me find my bearings in this overwhelmingly new environment. He drove me around Westchester to orient me to the neighborhoods, and introduced me to the Penny Saver -- like the Village Voice ads, the Penny Saver was how we exchanged goods, services & cheap rentals pre-craigslist. I lived in an attic in Mount Kisco for 6 months before scoring a studio in Riverdale for the next year. Most of my involvement in these early years was hanging out in Arval's living room, reading heraldic submissions & doing name research & device conflict checking. I was inspired by example to register my own name and device (this is perhaps whence the 1992 date in the text of my AoA scroll derived).
A job change found me in NJ, so I moved there, into the super welcoming and active Shire of Rusted Woodlands
, where super-hospitable Joel & his wife Gail hosted many local activities and dear friends Edie, Erik, other Eric & Little Tom gladdened my days and relieved some of my crippling depression. I'm afraid I wasn't a great friend to them, see depression. Several friends from this time (1992-1994) are still very active though I have not seen them in ages (except at Pennsic, where I keep running into other Eric).
'94-'95 was a very difficult year for me. My thyroid had gone into overdrive, my body was eating itself, and I was physically, emotionally & financially exhausted. I moved into Vinegar Hill (aka, Dumbo, directly under the Manhattan Bridge overpass) and then out to Sunset Park, renting a room in a basement from a dear friend's grandmother. Huddled into a recuperative shell, I was not up for reaching out to the locals. rec.org.sca continued to be a great comfort during this time. In fact, HOLY CRAP! I just found a conversation between me & a current dear friend from 21 years ago!!! In that group! Internet is awesome!
By 1996 things were looking up for me. I had (mostly) recuperated and was ready to tackle the world again. So of course I threw myself into the dot.com boom, lol. How can that possibly be 20 years ago?! I moved into the Canton of Whyt Whey, where I lived for the next decade, followed by a brief sojourn in Brokenbridge, and then back to Whyt Whey
, huzzah! I somehow failed to connect with the local groups until moving back into Whyt Whey in 2007(?), and hooking up with the SingThing chorus. Bit by bit, I was sucked back into playing locally. When the founder & director of SingThing moved out of the area, I took over leadership of the group. We morphed into a more general A&S evening. I became the local A&S minister for several years, hosting an A&S evening twice a month, and then handed over that responsibility to another supremely talented local, taking on the jobs of both seneschal and webminister.
Even as my local playing ebbed, I continued to attend Pennsic
, a massive yearly camping event in western PA. From camping in a teensy modern tent in singles camping, and buying my food from vendors (some years subsisting primarily on chocolate milk from the camp store) to taking over a hill in the northern blocks across from the Tuchux with a ginormous canvas bender built by my partner-in-crime-and-life, Pennsic has been such a rewarding, ever-changing constant, keeping me connected to the Dream as my life circumstances have changed.