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Re: Intros!

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  • Christa & Jay Toser
    I finally got up the gumption to write to this list, instead of just lurk. My Lady & I are Christa & Jay Toser, currently from Fall River, WI -- but most of
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 16, 2005
      I finally got up the gumption to write to this list, instead of just
      lurk. My Lady & I are Christa & Jay Toser, currently from Fall
      River, WI -- but most of our life has been in central Wisconsin.

      We've always read fantasy/sci-fi type books, and got hooked on the
      whole Ren Faire thing in 1986 at King Richard's Fair (which is now
      the Bristol Renaissance Faire). We were returning from a Dr. Who
      convention in Chicago, and one of our group suggested King
      Richard's. We were hooked by the friendly people, and the full
      contact jousting of the Hanlon Lee Action Theater. We made our first
      garb, and attended six weekends that year.

      The closest we could get to that sort of thing in the off season was
      an SCA group in Appleton, WI (then Shire of Windhaven), and the
      people there were as wonderful as the folk at the fair. We got very
      active in SCA for more than a decade. I became Advertising Manager
      for their national magazine, _Tournaments Illuminated._ I became
      both a Field Herald and a Book Herald (and was pretty good at each).
      I also got very involved in SCA bureaucracy (shudder), and in their
      Politics (gag), and became a kind of behind-the-scenes mover and
      shaker. I was one of the committee that helped create the
      Principality of Northshield.

      On the home front, we joined the Portage County Historical Society,
      and were on the board of directors for about a decade. This is also
      a working Historical Society, so they restore and use artifacts
      donated to them (including whole buildings). My Lady has restored
      bunches of garb, mostly wedding dresses; and we both restored an 1832
      Ramage printing press to working condition. It was the first
      printing press to enter Wisconsin, back when Green Bay was part of
      the Michigan Territory.

      In the meantime, we attended many other historical re-creation
      gatherings: Rendezvous in Prarie du Chien, Point Basse in Wisconsin
      Rapids, just about any Ren Faire we could go to including those in
      Pennsylvania, Kansas, Minneapolis, or Canada. Any time we could
      dress up in nice duds, have people compliment how we looked, and get
      our pictures taken. We are simply hooked on being "Faire Furniture."

      I have always been surprised by how very little the people in
      different historical re-creation groups interact. I do not see
      Rendezvouers at the Historic Camelot Project, and don't see SCAdians
      at Pointe Basse. I mean, now that SCA has started to allow actual
      jousting, I'd expect to see Lloyd Clark down at the Stock Pavilion in
      UW-Madison helping train some of our equestrian folk. Or maybe some
      of the blacksmiths out there teaching armor making.

      It seems every group has to start from scratch, make it up as they go
      along, and don't communicate with any other historical re-creation
      group. Possibly it's because each are in their own time period, and
      they feel never the twain shall meet. Perhaps it's just the all
      volunteer nature of the hobby. Or perhaps those things a person find
      so fun in one group, ("I get to wear Elf ears!") just really doesn't
      fly in another group.

      The Wisconsin Living History Society is another good start at trying
      to bring together these different groups. I find many of the skill
      sets that work in one group work equally well in all. Costume
      making, wood working, brewing & vintning, metal working, all the
      Bardic arts, are common to each group we attend. So I am puzzled at
      the lack of crossover we've seen in the past. Or maybe we just don't
      attend enough of them.

      Currently, we have backed away from the SCA. We still attend some
      events, but just those we know we'll have fun at. Partially this was
      because of our Modern day lives. We got jobs where we worked the
      graveyard shift (Midnight to 8:00 am) and that pretty much put the
      kibosh on having any kind of real life. But even now with better
      shifts, we're not as interested in "living the life" as we used to
      be. We still make costumes, and are pretty well known for our wine
      making; but we find the part-time life of Faire Furniture really just
      suits us best.

      Hope this helps,
      THL Ivan Kalinin
      Lady Valentina Andrevena Sokolova Krasnaya ("You killed my brother,
      prepare to die.")

      On Oct 11, 2005, at 8:43 AM,
      wisconsinlivinghistorysociety@yahoogroups.com wrote:

      > Topics in this digest:
      >
      > 1. Intros!
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