(By Lady Ariadne la Noire, Canton Historian)
THE RIMSHOLT CENSUS:
Completed by Baron Daibhre, on the 12th Day of February, 2000 (at St. Valentine's Day Massacre).
1.) Ariadne [Hence forward known as A.]: During what period of time were you a member (or interacted closely with) of the canton of Rimsholt?
Daibhre [Henceforward delineated by D.]: Well, let's see... When Rimsholt first began to get started it was about the same time we were starting Three Walls, 1980, 1981, around in there someplace. We had struggled along with Three Walls for probably four or five years. Finally it was obvious that it wasn't going to work, so Rimsholt graciously allowed me to be a member... From about that period, from maybe, well until we started Three Walls again-two years ago.
2.) A: Where were you living at that time?
D: Still in Ionia.
A: Ionia County?
3.) A: Who were your fellow canton members during this period?
D: Oh my goodness, during the period I was a member? ...That was, let's see, The gang would've consisted of Lady Iarlaith...Better known as Nina. Umm, then there was Dirk, who was Fresh...
A: Was he daring?
D: Uhhh, no... He was... Well, anyway, then there was Jay, I'm trying to remember what his SCA-name was-I don't remember-but the two of them were like, inseparable buddies and we called them Dirk and Jerk i. That was affectionately their names. Ummm, they were fair fighters. They had a lot of fun doing the fighting thing. Their wives, Viola-I don't remember her SCA-name either ii... Dirk's wife for a while was uhh-I'm embarrassed I can't remember her name. Little skinny chick... Then there was Jim and Jenny Lehay iii, I have no idea what their SCA-names were. And then there was Sylvia iv, and then later she got married to Glen. And Glen was part of that group. And then James Foxton, he still shows up once in a while. I think. And then occasionally his wife would show up too. I can't remember her name either...That was pretty much the core group-that I hung with anyway. There was also Matthias the Hermit. And his wife, I can't remember any wives' names tonight. But, all these guys took turns being officers ya know, and there was a couple of young kids too, involved...But I can't remember any names there. But it was a fun group and it was later during that time when Garth and those guys started showing up. And the whole-Nina moved away-and the whole color of the group started to change. And I stopped being quite so involved because of raising a family and running a business and things like this. So I didn't do a lot in SCA for quite a while. Several years.
A: During what period was that, mid-80's?
D: No, that would've been mid-90's by that time. Yeah, so there was in fact-I almost missed a Winter Revel one year. I was just like "Nyah, I don't feel like going," but the guys down at the part said, "Where's Daibhre? Ya idiot, get down here!" And so they called me on the phone and said "Get your butt down here." So...
A: So you've been to every single Winter Revel?
D: Yeah, so I've been to every one...And I almost missed that one just because I didn't feel like it. It feels real strange to me now. But that was just a period during my life when there were other priorities I guess.
4.) A: Which (if any) offices did you hold in the canton?
D: All of them.
A: All of them?
D: Well, no, not all of them. I didn't hold the Chirurgeon. At one time or another we all just traded offices or whatever.
A: So, all the offices except for Chirurgeon?
D: I'm trying to think for Rimsholt...You'll have to check all the records and stuff like that but mostly I was Chronicler. Umm, there was a time that I did the Herald thing, didn't do Seneschal. So I lied. I didn't do Seneschal for Rimsholt. But as I say, we passed-oh hey, I was Master of Arts, or Minister of Arts for a long time.
5.) A: What was the approximate population of Rimsholt at this time?
D: Probably in the 20's. Maybe around 20's to 30's.
A: Were most of them paying members?
D: Probably half. Oh, I just remembered somebody else, Cedric. His wife would show up once in a while too. He was a dashing fellow, always covered himself in blades. I mean he was great to have at demos because he was good with people and always had these blades all over him. People were very impressed.
A: They let him into the buildings?
D: Yeah, they were really impressed.
6.) A: What were the main events held or attended by the canton? What was the approximate attendance of these events?
D: Well, attended would be Val Day, Squire's Revolt, The Tyger Hunt...What was the other thing-oh, Pirate Tourney.
A: Pirates Armada?
D: No, no Pirate Tourney here in Three Hills.
A: Is it a non-existing event now?
D: Yeah, there hasn't been a Pirate Tourney since Fun left. The Merchants Return...There was an event that was held down in Silver Swords for a while but I can't think of the name. And then of course Border War. And Winter Revel.
A: What was the approximate attendance of these events?
D: Oh there was nothing as large as the event today <Val Day>. Val Day for instance, was just one room, the big room. And then eventually there were too many-it was a hassle to move all the merchants out to get ready for feast so they ended up in this room. Usually it was the same time as the antique fair thing. So all that was happening in the building at the same time. So now obviously, we take over the whole fairgrounds. And it's that way with most of the events, they all started out being in a gymnasium or something, now they've just grown like crazy. So, if you had 300 people at an event, that was a good event. Now-a-days, you could have 300 people at a feast.
7.) A: During your time in Rimsholt, what pastimes did you undertake? (i.e. combat, arts, sciences...)
D: I actually fought once.
A: Heavy Weapons?
D: Yeah, Heavy Weapons, the main thing was I needed to know what it was like. And so I trained enough to get authorized for a Tourney-it was just a day authorization thing. They allowed me to fight because they knew that's why I was doing it. I was dead in a single blow, and I said, "Okay, that's it. Thank you very much." And I still have the helmet, but uhhh, I said now I know what it's like, so now when I talk to Neos I can explain it better. But, calligraphy and music were the main things that I did, and still dabble in now and then. Of course, you can see I make all my own clothes, I got heavy into that. But leathercraft-I made these shoes, ya know, and all the basic skills because I wanted to be in the spirit of things and make everything-my own stuff. Not buy it off the rack, and of course back in the olden days you couldn't buy everything off the rack like you can now.
8.) A: How often were Royalty present either in Rimsholt or in nearby events?
D: It seemed to be a lot more rare than now. It seemed to be that if Royalty was there, it was really something special. Now the Royalty gets around a lot more, and I'm not sure why that's changed. I mean, we've had recently a lot of Royalty from around these parts anyway, but it just didn't seem to happen as often. Usually people would hear about it way in advance, make special preparations. And now it's just like there are more people attending, and it's not as big of a deal as it used to be.
A: Were awards given to canton members often during this period? Are there any awards that you particularly remember either bestowed upon you or someone else during the period in question?
D: One thing that I remember specifically was a Purple Fret that was given to the entire staff of the Pennsic Progress, and a Rimsholt person was part of that staff, and therefore got to wear a Purple Fret. That was Matthias the Hermit.
A: The Pennsic Progress?
D: It was a newsletter-daily-that was done at Pennsic, on site, that recorded all the events of the week and so on. And I specifically remember that one because just about everybody's jaw dropped, like... "He's getting a fret?! And all he did was be a paperboy?"... But he was in the group that made it happen. So that's where that came from. Other memorable stuff, well, uhh, my own Court Baronetcy was astonishing.
A: Why was that astonishing to you?
D: Well, I was completely freaked out, I didn't know it was coming. They schemed behind my back and did an excellent job of pulling it off. It was Reynard and Brunhildr at Border War in the Lodge <Palmer Lodge> and it was just perfect. I was wearing a monk's cassock and at that time House Mendicus was pretty powerful. We had like, a dozen beggars. And they called us all up in the middle of court, the sunlight streaming in from behind the throne, and it was really cool. And they put this crown on my head that was like a circlet, kind of like yours, with green blow pops pasted on it for the little, uhh, roundels or whatever. I stood up and I turned around with my arms outstretched to face the populous, and they said I looked like Jesus or something, rising, you know. It was just an awesome thing. But I was amazed. I just had no idea it was coming. And yeah, I was friends with Reynard and Brunhildr, we had a lot of fun together, but it just blew me away. So that was pretty amazing.
A: Do you feel you deserved the award?
D: No, not really. Other people might disagree, but that's my modest streak I guess. But I mean, there's other people that ought to be getting this, not me, but whatever.
9.) A: Describe the geography and population distribution of Rimsholt at this time.
D: It was pretty well concentrated right in the Greater Grand Rapids Area. There were a few from like, the Holland Area, but for the most part it was right in G.R. And me. And Moondog and Slime. In Ionia. That was about it.
10.) A: Did anyone fight Crown Tournament from Rimsholt at this time?
A: Not a soul?
D: Nope. Nobody even got close.
11.) A: Who were the canton officers? Were you lacking any officers during this time?
D: No, we generally had somebody to fill out the paperwork. Uhh, there's officers and then there's officers. There's people who hold the office because you need somebody's name on the form, and then there's people who really do the job, so to speak. Who those officers were I couldn't tell you now, they passed around so much. I know Vi was the Seneschal for a while. MOS was Jay for a long time. He had a little article called "Forgery" in our newsletter, the Bolt. Gosh, I don't remember. It didn't matter a whole lot.
12.) A: What activities seemed to be most popular with Rimsholters during this time?
D: Playing Trivial Pursuit. That was actually later, but you know the group, uhh, gosh it's really hard to say. Just basically having fun. I mean, it was just a fun gang to hang with. You never knew, people start to get bored at an event and they would just make their own fun. We'd pull out the cards and play Euchre. You just never knew what was going to happen, but it was always just a fun gang to be with. Wasn't always period, but it was always fun.
13.) A: Did you or any other canton members have original, unique or strange trades/pastimes during this time?
D: Aside from my own tendency to be on the floor a lot?
A: Did anyone make naughty underwear or-
D: Oh, well, I could tell you about the danglies. The danglies was a big deal. It started, I don't know exactly when it started, but it became an issue at Pennsic, which Pennsic... Oh, I don't know, back in the teens somewhere, I think. I was, we were talking about authenticity and so we were talking about authentic underwear. And I said well, in persona and stuff, I would probably have a loin cloth, you know, swaddling clothes kind of. You know, a diaper sort of looking thing. So I found an old gauze shirt and basically tied it around myself to make a diaper. It worked, it looked good. And at the front of it kind of hung down, you know, a little long, like a loin cloth kind of a thing, and so we called it a dangly. Well then, within the next few months everyone was talking about, "Hey, have you got a dangly?" or "Yeah, we've gotta make some danglies here..." So the women in the group found some really nasty Hawaiian fabric, you know for the bright crap, so we made some Hawaiian danglies and had a Hawaiian dangly party. So all the guys showed up in danglies. Yasmin had a fur dangly at one time, it was all the rage, at Pennsic. I have a picture of it in fact she doesn't know about. That was our big contribution to fashion. That was a big episode.
A: Do you ever think it will make a comeback?
D: Well, you never know what's under these clothes. But again, it was originally an attempt to go authenticity and got its typical Rimsholt slant on things... And got totally out of hand. And very soon had nothing to do with SCA whatsoever. But again, it was fun. Now what was the question?
A: Did you or any other members of the canton have unique or strange passtimes or trades?
D: I could tell you stories, but I'll save those for later.
14.) A: How did you come to be in the S.C.A.?
D: Playing Dungeons and Dragons. Way back in the old days, and I was playing at work, they allowed us to have a room after hours to go and-gave us to play in. And one of the guys that was playing that had actually-had been in the SCA down in South Carolina, and was looking for SCA people up here. And it was just kinda at the same time he was doing that was the time it was getting introduced to me. And basically the guy said, "Do you want to know what it's really like to wear chainmail?" And we're all sitting around going, "Sure!" And he just happened to have some. And we just thought, "Wow, this is pretty cool!" And it just took off from there. Really, it was the 4th of July 1980 I believe. I went to an event in Silver Swords, and it was out in the woods, I don't remember who the King was at that time, but he was there. And Nige, and-who was the guy-Duke Somebody-or-Other, who lived down there at the time, and Countess Nige. Anyway, I just went to the event and I just walked in and I said, "This is what I've been looking for, this is fun." It's perfect, it's just otherworldly, and I was hooked right from the word go.
15.) A: How did you come to reside in the canton? We've already covered this a little bit but that's okay.
D: Well, I'm a fifth generation resident of Ionia County. Always been there. I moved once in my life, 200 yards. So I'm pretty well married to that place. So, Rimsholt without Three Walls was my closest choice, and my funnest choice.
A: So Rimsholt just kind of-adopted you in there?
D: Yeah, I actually have a scroll of sorts that officially let me be a Rimsholt Honorary Citizen, or whatever they call it. And there was no expiration date, so I still am I guess.
16.) A: Do you have any "No Shit, there I was..." Stories?
D: Tons. It's hard to be spontaneous like that with a question, but, there were some stories. One fun thing I think that's very Rimsholt centered was a Coronation in Columbus, Ohio. What the heck year it was I have no idea, but it was during that time when Rich and Jay and the gang were really active and they had put in their Seneschal flyer, "No Beggars Allowed"-no, wait, it was the opposite-"Please Bring Your Beggars." I guess that was what it was. So anyway, the entire Rimsholt group begged. Everybody. And I have a picture in my album at home of like, fourteen people all piled in a corner with bowls in the air. And it was great. I mean, they got a tremendous impression of us, and there was one particular fellow there we came to call The Great Provider. He threw lots of food at us. He was actually, I think, from Roaring Wastes. That was a fun time, it was very Rimsholt. It was all the gang, and that was cool.
A: Do you have any Pennsic "No shit, there I was..." stories?
D: Pennsic stories abound. Some Pennsic's more than others, but... No shit there I was stories are usually Pennsic stories. So the most memorable stuff I guess was when probably... Again in the teens Pennsic's, when the whole dangly issue was going on. We were camping near the Stormvale group on the west end of the Rune Field. Just across the street from the little showers. And privies that were down there. That was a fun place to camp. There was one year that the meteor showers were timed perfect and it was great. Everybody just zippered all of their sleeping bags together and everybody was in one huge sleeping bag, watching the meteor showers. It was awesome. There was spontaneous drumming going on all over the campground and one camp would take it up and the next camp would kind of answer it. And that was going on like that all night and that was cool. I don't think it was the same year, but it was the same encampment that we were there that the Killer Bees came. They were white-faced hornets, and they were nasty. And literally we were just hanging around the tents, just making small talk, playing cribbage, whatever it happened to be going on that day, and we heard this humming noise. "What the heck was that?" And several dozen of these white faced hornets came careening around the edge of the tent and they just stung everything in sight. They were stinging pots and pans, and furniture and tent poles and they were just vicious. We luckily got away without any humans being stung. Yasmin was camping with us that year and she was particularly glad to be out of there, because she's very, very allergic to the bee stings. That was the year of the killer bees. And there was nothing we could do about it. We went up to the company store there, to buy some spray to see if we could kill them, but all they had was the household Raid stuff, and it didn't even hardly affect them. So, we just basically had to wait until their foraging was over and then they let us back in camp. And they never showed up again. It was very strange, they were nasty. Literally biting everything in sight.
Stoning of the beggars-you've probably heard that story, but there was one year there was probably four or five of us. But mostly it was Slime and me, begging on the main roads by the store at Pennsic, by the showers actually. Which is where there's pretty good-sized gravel, so you're careful about rolling around on the ground. This household of fighters I guess, in fact, Slime I think even knows where they were from, were in their cups, and having a good time. And we were begging from them, being pretty successful with begging that day, and they took the schtick a little too far, and their kicks were not pulled as soon as the should've been. It was getting pretty painful, and rolling us around on the ground and stuff, and of course when you're at Pennsic you're dirty and being sunburned, and it was very sore. I kept telling these guys, "Okay, alright, ha-ha-ya know-That's a good joke," but they kept on kicking and pushing and we finally had to literally run away. We were doing it as authentic as possible, the jewelry was gone and everything and we were very much in character. So we crawled around behind some porta-potties-we used to crawl around them to count our bootie-and we were counting our bruises instead. And I went to reach for my glasses, which I kept in a little pouch-gone. And I'm going, "Oh man, my glasses are gone." So I'm back out on the street and we're crawling around and everybody just thought it was part of the schtick, but I was looking for my glasses. And people are walking around, and you're feeling around in the dark, and it's just torch light. And I don't remember if I heard a crunch or what, but I finally found my glasses. I found the frames all bent all to heck, one of the lenses is missing, so we're feeling around and finally find it. They're all scraped-they were plastic lenses-and it was terrible. So that kind of ruined that Pennsic. We were not only bruised but it cost me a whole lot of money. But other times the begging's been astounding. One of the things that Slime and I did one year was the Shrine Game. And you know how when you go to the Fair, and the barkers are there, "Hey, come on in and throw a few for the little lady," or whatever. But we set up a little pile of stones by the corner and said, "Come on, and pitch a quarter into the shrine, and win your eternal salvation." And we had some chicken bones there for relics. That was really successful, and we had a good time. We went most of the day doing that, and just everybody was over playing the Shrine Game. We all walked away with $40 or $50 dollars a piece. It was great.
There was one year that I went to Pennsic--when I got to Pennsic I actually had negative twenty bucks, because my share of the gas to get there was twenty bucks. And I stole it from my daughter in order to get to Pennsic. I literally had to beg my way around the place, and the first day, basically I snuck in because I couldn't afford site fee anyway, and I begged enough to go back and pay site fee for the weekend, so they wouldn't kick me out. I came back home with a few quarters in my pocket. Begging worked out okay that year, but it's hard work, people don't realize. It's schtick but when you get in an environment like that, and when you get into a place when you're doing it because you have to, it changes the whole perspective.
...This is going back to the Dark Hoard. There were a bunch of people who were not Kingdom people. More or less seceded from the Known Kingdoms, and they formed the Dark Hoard, the Mongol Hoard. And Yang the Invincible was the guy that started it all way back in the early 70's. There were some pretty colorful guys in the Hoard, and they would sell their allegiance to the different kingdoms, you know, and for however many truckloads of beer they could coerce out of them. But they were colorful, a very loyal bunch, and they were very into the dream and played their characters to the hilt. And a lot of people were very proud to have a "Friend of the Hoard" cord on their belt. Kind of a favor to recognize them as friends of the Hoard. And for some bizarre reason, and I don't know all the details, there was a political rift, and there became the Dark Horde, and then-gosh I can't remember the other-and there was like the Red Hoard. Or something like that. I mean it was a different group, and I was there one day when they were shouting. It didn't come to blows, but it was close. I don't know what it was but basically the Hoard fell apart after that. It was too bad because it was a very colorful group. It was kind of like the Zuofs in the Civil War gang, they were all brightly colored, in this kind of flashy Mongolian stuff. Yeah, it was a fun bunch, but took themselves a little too seriously I guess is what I want to say.
Well, there was swimming hold stories. I don't know if they still do this but they used to have a contest at the swimming hole. There was this rock underneath the water and they'd see how many people they could get on the rock every year. It was pretty bizarre, to see all these wacky naked people having to stand on this rock. Oh, and the helicopter from the local T.V. Station always flies over the swimming hole to take pictures of the bathers. There was one year that the place flooded, and the flood at the swimming hole [caused] the water to be warm. I don't know why. But it was good swimming, because it was usually very cold water.
i Actually Jay's SCA name was Lord Johann the Deaf, Dirk's was Lord Deryk von Waldfrysk
ii Lady Amber de Chesery
iii Lady Caellainn the Willfull and Lord Baldr de la Haye
iv Lady Allenna Mac Carthiagh of Muskerry
Page last updated Monday, February 21, 2000