For this and the next Vintage Tale, I am going to recount some of the interesting things that occurred at the Society’s Twenty Year Celebration. TYC, as it was called, was held at the site of the Texas Ren Faire in Magnolia, Texas from April 25 to May 4, 1986.
Isolde and I arrived after dark on the evening of Sunday, the 26th. Our arrival, during a brief thunderstorm, caused much excitement at the registration desk. No sooner had I given my name than the troll exclaimed, “These are the people from the place Shaul and Francesca are moving to!”
It was raining and I was tied from the drive so I didn’t bother to look up this Shaul and Francesca, indeed we never met during the whole event. As a result we delayed the beginning of a good friendship by about two weeks.
Nightly thunderstorms it seems were to be a problem during TYC. We were camping in the Axemoor encampment with the Kimadens Dancers and early on the Kimadens started taking rain pills. The rain pills were M&M’s which were consumed in order to stop the rain. Unfortunately, the rain pills seemed to be ineffective.
The Kimadens had a large circular pavilion that everyone was bunked in and early on it became a refuge for insects fleeing the deluge. They gathered at the peak of the tent and seemed to be quite happy there, this is until Boris moved in. Boris was a praying mantis who appeared sometime Tuesday morning. He found the peak of the tent around the center pole an excellent hunting ground and Isolde swears that she would occasionally hear a small burp coming from that area.
Across the way from the Axemoor encampment was the “Enchanted Land.” This was the camping area of Duke Cariadoc of the Bow. For those who don’t know the legendary Duke Cariadoc, he is the ultimate authenticity maven o f the Society and the Enchanted Land was to be an absolutely period encampment.
Mistress Siobhan Bregoghan told me that one of her most vivid memories of TYC was sitting in Cariadoc’s tent where it was raining inside almost as hard as it was outside. She reports that His Grace gazed at the tent roof and commented, “You know, maybe that period water proofing wasn’t such a good idea.”
Thursday afternoon was to be the day of the combined court of all the kingdoms to celebrate New Year’s Day, A.S. XXVI. Wednesday evening the skies did open and we were hit with the strongest storm yet. The rain continued into Thursday morning with nary a break. We were all secure in the Kimaden tent, generally making light of the weather, until I noticed that the rainwater was pooling up and creeping under the side of the pavilion. By late morning when the downpour finally stopped we had all the gear in the Kimaden pavilion piled in the only quarter of the tent which did not have standing water in it.
The decision was made to move the tent, gear, and Boris to higher ground. It was in the middle of this move that His Majesty Orlando Cavalcanti III came through on an inspection of the damaged Meridian encampments. His Majesty graciously assured us that while he had to be at combined court he did not expect anyone who was trying to salvage their campsite to be in attendance. It was during this move that the men noticed a curious phenomena. Frequently we would try to remove a rebar stake front thr ground by applying all our manly strength to no avail. Lady Fiona Mulvane would then come by and with only a modicum of effort pull out the rebar. It got so that when we couldn’t budge a stake we would call Fiona over to do it. I have been told that this has something to do with a woman’s center of gravity being lower than that of a man’s but it was still a humbling experience.
The rain decided to give us a break Thursday night and Friday morning. Fenrus and Philelum, two friends of ours from East Realm, came by. Fenrus and Philelum were living in Start Gate (Houston, Texas) and day tripping the event. They offered us dry quarters which Isolde and I gratefully accepted. Of course this garnered that we had no more rain for the rest of TYC but at least we had good weather to help break down the camp site Sunday morning.