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[fwd] SC - Master Beverly - In Memorium

Poster: James and/or Nancy Gilly <KatieMorag@worldnet.att.net>

For those who knew him:

>From: Mary Morman <memorman@oldcolo.com>
>To: SCA-Cooks <sca-cooks@Ansteorra.ORG>
>Subject: SC - Master Beverly - In Memorium
>Date: Wed, 12 Nov 97 05:44:56 +0000
>The news came today that Master Beverly had died.  To many, it marks 
>an era of passage in the SCA - the founders are passing one by one
>and their loss changes us all.  But to me, it is a very personal
>passage.  Master Beverly held a special place in my SCA life, 
>and I would like to take a few moments to try to share some of that
>specialness with my friends in the SCA.
>I met Master Beverly when I was 22. I had been involved in the SCA at
>various levels for about six  years at that time.  It was the
>summer of 1975, and I was 're-entering' West Kingdom activities after two
>years in Montana where there was no SCA.
>It's hard to describe the SCA of those years to people who have only seen
>its 90's (or even 80's) incarnation.  This was the era when Queen Carol
>told us to make tourney clothes out of polyester double knit because it
>washed easily and draped so well.  It was a time when, to me, the SCA
>meant fighters, and fighting, and watching tournaments.  I had never seen
>SCA dancing - although I had heard of it, had never even heard of a
>'period' recipe (the West didn't do feasts in those days), and the only
>reason I didn't bring potato salad to Crown to eat with my fried chicken
>was that I was afraid the eggs would spoil in the heat.
>I met Master Beverly at a Crown Tournament at Big Trees Park in the
>hills up above Berkeley.  He seemed elderly to me, even then.  But he
>found time to talk to a relative newcomer.  We sat and walked and talked
>most of the afternoon.  Naturally, we started by talking about the
>fighting.  Fighting was what the SCA was all about.  He told me that he
>was a Laurel.  I'd never met a Laurel before and wasn't really sure what
>it meant.  "I think they made it up to make me feel better since I didn't
>fight."  I can still hear him saying that - the amusement, and a little
>self-deprecation, clear in his voice.  
>In truth, he was the first Laurel of the Society.  And when
>I sometimes see the SCA loosing perspective about awards and rank and
>honors, I remember Master Beverly and hear his chuckling voice telling me
>that 'they' made up the Laurel so that an old man who didn't fight could
>still feel appreciated.
>The reason why meeting Master Beverly was so very important to me was that
>it marked a turning point for me in the SCA.  From perceiving the SCA as,
>quite naturally, a group for fighters and their girlfriends, I began, with
>his help and a few introductions, to see it as a place where any
>interested person could work to create some aspect of the middle ages.  I
>began to notice things like tents (he was, after all, Master Beverly
>Tentmaker...) and how some looked like the pavillions in an illuminated
>manuscript and some looked like army surplus.  I noticed a lady with a
>chemise made from some loosely woven white fabric rather than the
>prevalent and useful doubleknit.  I began to ask -why- we couldn't cook a
>medieval feast rather than take a break for fast food at 12th night and or
>have a restaurant banquet after a University of Ithra session.
>I wonder sometimes what my life in the SCA would have been if I had not
>met Master Beverly that hot summer day.  Would I have begun to notice a
>'wider' society on my own?  Would I have grown out of the
>'all-fighters-together' society and moved on to join a bridge club like my
>mother expected me to?  All I really know, though, is that this
>knowledgable, gifted, and delightful man helped to open my eyes to a
>brighter and broader SCA - one in which I am still active almost 25 years
>And if I'm ever tempted to think that I'm "too old" for the SCA, all I
>need to do is remember that Master Beverly was older than I am now when
>he attended the First Tournament in Berkeley in 1966.  And every time I
>watch a new Laurel made I remember his subtle but enduring influence.
>He was a wonderful person. I will always miss him.

James and/or Nancy Gilly


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