Ken Mondschein at Medievalists.net is saying good things about the SCA. No objections here, but it has me wondering how many medievalists have belonged to the Society of Creative Anachronism at some point. I did. Kind of. Maybe it would be more accurate to say I stopped by from time to time.
I don’t think I can pin down a start date. Probably 1982 or 1983 in Shire of Loch Salaan (Salt Lake City). I can’t remember now whether I saw a notice at Cosmic Airplane, or whether we were just driving by the park (which park?) and happened to see them. Which park? Wasn’t Liberty Park. Had to be Sugar House. What I remember more clearly is that I struggled to come up with an appropriate costume. My early attempts were an ongoing annoyance to a certain woman, who nevertheless continued to believe I would be interested in her constant stream of trivia about weaving in the Middle Ages.
Then on and off through the years. Never very far but neither very close. The last serious bit was about 1997 or 1998 in the Kingdom of the Outlands, with a last cursory bit about 2005 in the Canton of Hawks Hollow, when I finally registered my name as Juste de Beauharnais, a persona I had nurtured for some time. (I would have said it was 2002 but I looked it up and it’s 2005.)
There was another persona before that but I’m not remembering. Jamie Hamilton? Maybe. Probably. And a persona, something to do with Orkney, but that one is so far distant I doubt there’re any traces anywhere inside my skull.
I think of SCA as a path not taken. About 20 years start to finish, although saying “20 years” might give the wrong impression. It was all duration and very little depth.
I went for a more clearly academic path. No matter how much I might in principle like the idea of a medievalism that is both popular and accessible, in practice most of it drove me nuts. Too pretentious. And by that, I mean even more pretentious than academia.
- Ken Mondschein, In Defence of the Society for Creative Anachronism (June 22, 2019), at Medievalists.net, visited June 15, 2019.
Edited to removed broken links.