Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Glory of Paperwork...

A while ago, when I started heralding  as a primary discipline in the SCA, decided to make a basic script for the Mooneschadowe Populace meetings. It doesn't mater how well you remember the script, I always liked having my papers with me so I could keep track of who was where, who said what, and who needed to say what. Well, since June of last year, I haven't been calling populace meetings, so those forms had sat in my bag and done nothing for the last 12 months or so.

Now, July will mark the beginning of a new administration here in Mooneschadowe, with a new senechal, and several officers coming up on the end of their terms in the next few weeks. The upcoming senechal, HL Sabine, contacted me, amongst others, today to ask about heraldic ins and out of managing a populace meeting. Most of what she wanted to know was represented in my sheet, so I admit it was a hoot pulling it out for her to use.

Its alwasy cool when something you made is useful to others as well.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Before I was a herald.

I just posted a new addition to my online personal library. This is a writing assignment I turned in during my sophomore year of college.  The story it tells about, as well as the period of time during which I wrote this were both well before I became seriously involved in SCA heraldry, and today seems like it was almost another world for me.

Read and enjoy if you so choose.
"Battle Cry"

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God save the King!"

Stillwater News Press article.

As I said in my previous post, the recent Midsummer festival event got the attention of a local news reporter.

The good news is that the SCA got front page coverage, and the public got to see the best face of Mooneschadowe and the northern region in general.

The bad news; a lot of the quotes attributed to me in the article are actually the words of a good and dear friends who was also interviewed, His Excellency Ian Dun Gillin. I'm not to terribly upset over it, and I have spoken with His Excellency Ian, who just happy that the SCA got good press from it. I just wanted to point out the error and give credit where credit is due.

In any event, here is the article.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God save the King!"

A Midsummer Festival

There are some events that are just fun, and there are some event that are fun despite of crummy circumstances. When the autocrats for Mooneschadowe's Midsummer Festival proposed the event to us back in, oh I guess it was January or earlier, I don't think any one of us even considered that the temperature would be above 95 degrees. Saturday, it reached 106, and it was one hundred percent, certifiably, hot.

And, not surprisingly, it was a small event.

This, however, does not preclude fun, or productivity.

Mooneschadowe pitched all of its pavilions on the open field near the Payne County Fairgrounds, and the area looked smashing because of it. The turnout was better than I thought it would be, though I don't believe we quite reached the break even number that we were hoping for. Still, a lot of long time friends showed up, as well as a bunch of new faces. Sir Jean Paul said the day before that he only anticipated ten fighters, and that eight of them would be Mooneschadowe. He wasn't too far off, we only had eight, and I think seven or six of them were Mooneschadowe. There was some rapier fighting, and lots, and lots of children's activities.

The lunch (part of the event fee) seemed to go over really well, and there was a constant line for the Italian soda's once they started up.

There wasn't as much heraldry as I think the autocrats really wanted, but when announcements had to be made, my name was on the short list of available people... Go figure.

I actually only made a few announcements, but I had a blast doing it.

I was asked by the fest steward to announce that feast would be late because they didn't want to feed the fighters before sending them out to thump on each other. I think my announcement went something like this:

“Hear ye, hear ye! In consideration of the fighters who are about to begin fighting, it is the judgment of the feast stewards that lunch will be delayed one hour's time. It is my understanding that providing the fighters food before sending them off to fight traditionally ends badly for the fighters, ergo we ask your patience on the subject.”

I didn't find it all too funny, but several people were chuckling after I was done, and the steward was grinning widely as she shouted to me “Thats exactly what I wanted, thanks!”

Another good moment; when the heat crossed the 102 line, someone pulled out a garden hose and a lawn sprinkler and asked me to tell everyone that it was available for the children. However, the announcement didn't go exactly as planned.

“Hear ye, hear ye! Unto all parents, be it known that a hose and sprinkler as been made available for the recreation of the smalls on sight...”

To this I was instantly cut off by no small number of adults saying “Only the kids?” or “What's the age limit?” and “Can I play too?”

I paused, shrugged, and then went on with. “... for the enjoyment of smalls of all ages on site. So, if you do not wish your child, sibling, or spouse to return to you sopping wet, it would behoove you to make your opinion's known to the lady who is supervising the sprinkler, as soon as possible.”

As I walked back into the shade, a lot of the fighters and adults were making comments like “Heck, wher'es the line?” and “You go ahead, son. I'm right behind you.” It was all very amusing.

A final foot note to the whole water thing, later on that say I saw a child standing in the stray of the sprinkler, and she was completely soaked. I doubt she could have gotten any wetter if she would have jumped into a pool. Well as I stood there and looked at her, I wondered to myself if her mother was aware of just how soaking wet she was.

Well my question was answered a moment later when I saw her mother walk out into the spray of the water to wet her wimple down.

Next thought: “never mind, I think she knows.”

I was recruited last minute, (think, 90 seconds warning) to herald the event's court for there excellencies Eldern Hills and Northkeep. I didn't exactly have my stuff with me, so I improvised, and worked with it. It wasn't a royal or baronial court, and Mooneschadowe didn't have its own Nobles, and I was opening the court for two sets of nobles....

Oh, and did I mentioned that it was bloody hot?

So, I just winged it with “This does now open the court held in, and for, the province of Mooneschadowe.”

This was the first, and probably only event I have ever been to where an award was given out for best heraldry. Ian did the honors with that, pointing out that a lot of people helped herald (and they did). But then he added that there really was one primary herald for the day, and guess who that was.

My prizes were actually very functional as a herald. There was a ceramic mug, one of those fake books that is actually a storage box, two pewter rings that I think I will use as signets, a heating pad, and a small pad of paper. All in all, truly practical things for a man in my field, so it was a touching gift, I must say. I think the book will be of special importance because I am very annoyed when I have to cry a court and carry an extremely mundane looking pad of paper up there. This will give me a cover for my mundanity, something I will be glad to have.

As an aside from the event itself, the public face of its location lead to an article in the Stillwater News press the following Sunday, and a number of people coming by to ask about us. All told, I think that the event effectively paid for itself with the publicity alone, regardless of what monetary shortcomings we might have had.

If I had it to do over again, I would suggest changes, but I certainly would look forward to seeing something like happen again.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A thing worth doing...

I have been told by a lot of people that anything worth doing, is worth doing right. More to the point, if its really worth doing, its worth fighting for. Sometimes fighting for something means going toe to toe with a human opponent. However, today, it mean going nose to nose with circumstance, and working our collective buts off despite a lot of shortcomings in the weeks, days and hours leading up to today.

So, let me less cryptic and put a name to the event in question.

Today was the first day of the Stillwater Irish & Celtic Heritage & Music Festival. On top of doing a demo, the SCA was also obligated to run Gate for the event. And this isn't an SCA gate, this was nowhere near as organizes, or polished, or calm. This was a regular, good old fashoned, mundane headache, with a tent out by the road, too few people, and 100 degree heat.

In total, we were supposed to run an demo indoors, and the gate outdoors, The Former really needed two really good people on it, or three average people at all times, and the later, which was inside, in the AC, really needed four or five people able to do things that attracted the general audience.

As it was, we had ten or eleven adults, (though not everyone was there all day) , and four kids (ages 3 to 10). And some of the adults really wenent in any situation where someone wanted to put them out in the heat for two hours at a time. This on top of the fact that the kids needed the obvious supervision.

So, this was not, by any streach of the imagination an ideal circumstance for us to take up the challenge.

Of corse, that dosn't mean that we didn't give it our damdest, and make one hell of a showing for it. I think that, al things concidered, it went exceptionally well. But we worked our tails off, and ran ourselfs ragged doing it.

So, in the end, a thing worth doing is worth doing right. But in this situation, it was also worth working until we were all bleary-eyed with heat and exhaustion.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King."

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Counting Down...

Well, Thirtieth year is coming up soon, and I am still on the docket as the coordinating list heralding for the event. My job is to make sure that everyone who needs list heralds gets them. On top of that, even through no one expressly said this to me, I also consider it my job to help train any prospective heralds who want to learn the craft.
I don't know exactly what to expect, I haven't been to a really, really big event in well over five years (actually I think its longer than that, but I'm not going to do the math to figure it out), and this looks like its going to be a hum-dinger.
Some good news is that that My wife, son and myself have secured a place to stay. I've already gotten some good-natured ribbing for this, but I am still on the men after surgery, and my son really doesn't need three nights of camping in July heat.

On some other news, Mooneschadowe is looking at a changing of the guard with a new senechal starting up next month. If you desperately want to know who it is, just look up who the local senechal is in the next blackstar, but I won't hesitate to say that this particlar woman is a boni-fied member of the Queen Elisabeth I fan squad. Considering the type of person said royality was, this partigular term should prove to be quite interesting (in a good way, I should think).

Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

General update and such.

Well, no sooner do I get back in the proverbial swing of things that I am starting to feel too burned out to do anything.
Life is like that some times, or so I'm told. All things being equal, I'm actually going well, but I have been told that it could take another month before my energy levels are back to what they were before I got sick.
But still, I'm a thousand times better than i was six months ago, so that's less of a complaint and more a lazy lament ;)
Overall, I'm doing fine though.
In any event, I'm hoping to turn out the next Blackfeather News show this weekend. And at the end of this month will bring the deadline for applications for Nordsteorra Herald. I'm looking forward to seeing how that goes. (I turned my application in a while ago)

Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Okay, this is just cute.

No, its not heraldry, and not it has noting to do with loud people or court or anything of the like. However, as the man who runs this blog, I'm allowed to break my own rules (Did I ever set any to begin with?)


Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protégé to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Kingdom of Ansteorra
“God Save the King!”