Always On

30 Mar 2016 by gebhard, No Comments »

spotlight-300x300 (1)I think something that I often forget is that as a member of the SCA, we are also ambassadors and representatives of the SCA to the mundane world. Sometimes we are reminded in the most unexpected of ways.

During the day, while at work, Katayoun’s phone rang.  It was an unknown number, but we were expecting a number of farm business calls, so instead of letting it roll over to voicemail, she decided to answer it.


“Is this the Mid………………….realm?” asks a small uncertain voice.

I know I would have had a hard time fighting the urge to say something like, “You got it, this is the entire Midrealm.”

But instead, she answered politely and conversation ensued.

“Little G”, as we’ll call him, is in 5th grade. His father, “Mr. G”, was helping him track down information for his assignment, which was talk to people and learn more about the Middle Ages. Their primarily interests are:  Weapons & Armor, the difference between Knights and Infantry, Food and the difference in diet (both food and drink) between the upper and lower classes, and Housing differences between the upper and lower classes.

Mr. G. thought he’d have this in the bag and called Medieval Times (the restaurant).  It turns out they really didn’t know very much about the Middle Ages and referred him to a guy who makes weapons.

The metalworker in California job is make sword props for movies (like Pirates of the Caribbean), however he was very busy and suggested that someone in the SCA would definitely be able to answer all his questions.

So Mr. G searched the internet for the SCA and made another call to California. A nice lady suggested he call “the Midrealm” because he lives there. He found and from it Katayoun’s phone number from the Page School listing.

So he made another call. She answered many of the questions, but said that it would be even more fun if he would talk to a fighter (me) to answer more questions.

The next afternoon, between rounds of farm chores, we sat down our pitchforks, rakes and wheelbarrows to take a call from a 5th grader and his father about the Middle Ages, and the SCA in general. The four of us talked for about hour on all sorts of topics from porridge to why castle walls are round, and how you get ore to smelt into ingots then forge them into something even more useful.

We ended by getting enough information to connect him to the group closest to him so he could try it hands on. I hope we’ll get to meet in person before too long.

The whole situation gave me pause for a moment.  How much do we gain from a simple smile to a passerby at a demo? Or taking the time to share what you know with a co-worker? How much is gained by being polite to seemingly a strange question from a stranger on the phone?

I don’t know the answers to these, but I think I have a pretty good idea what would happened if we stopped.  It’s the little things that set us apart as a Society and allow us to make human connections we need if we going to continue as an organization.

The SCA provides a great opportunity for adventure, but in the end, it is the kindness each of us can offer that brings people in and gets them to stay.



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