My Weekend of Unequipped Camping with the Society for Creative Anachronism, a.k.a. Keen Judgment, Wherefore Art Thou?
In a previous post (3/22/15), I mentioned my one camping experience with The Society for Creative Anachronism—a medieval reenactment group. A friend and I had gone to Rochester, NY, to observe one of their battles. We prepared for it as only two boys in college would. Which is to say, we didn’t.
I like to believe our reasoning was akin to Albert Einstein constantly forgetting to comb his hair: we had a lot on our minds. Going on this extended weekend journey completely unprepared was, in fact, a mark of penetrating intellect.
And in an immediate sign of that genius, we managed to cadge a tent, blankets and some table scraps from people that looked at us and shook their heads.
Of course, we then proceeded to erect our tent on a root-gnarled hill and sleep with our heads on the down slope side.
As I say, genius.
The people who’d come to the battle as bearded Norse warriors kicked butt. They had the full regalia of axes, furs and helmets with horns. These folks erected a big, round, plush medieval tent (which, historically speaking, was probably a hair off accurate), had brought a surreal amount of mead and proceeded to get tanked in a culturally appropriate bacchanalia by a great, roaring bonfire.
By the last day of the gathering, my friend and I were starving and even the hardcore folks were hankering for some 20th century chow. Someone in knightly garb suggested that we go to a nearby IHOP for breakfast and a wimpled damsel replied, “Yeah, let’s go freak the mundanes.”
Like salmon in a river, memories have a way of jumping, flashing and disappearing again beneath the foaming white. This, however, is a memory that has stayed clear through the years. As The Kinks once said, “That’s the way that I want it to stay, and I always want it to be that way.”