Monday, September 17, 2012

Global Excellence

     Somewhere in and around 2005 my friends at the Company of the Chalice, in Las Vegas, NV coined the phrase "14th Century Mafia." I think it was John McFarlane who was the first person to use it on the Armour Archive. It caught on. The simple little nick name helped to give a direction, and even a sense of unity to people who had chosen one of the most dynamic time periods in European history. John and his lovely wife Lorelie even created an online store front where they sold a black t-shirt with the Mafia logo silk screened on the front. -An hourglass shaped gauntlet clutching puppet strings.

Thanks to the internet, La Familia has gone global in a big way. A year or so ago I started up a bulletin board style room on Facebook. Mostly to reconnect with my friends from Las Vegas. It languished with 30 to 40 members for over a year, mostly due to the fact I worked a second shift that precluded most activities outside of sleeping and eating. At the end of August, I like so many around the world, became gainfully unemployed. That's when things really began to get interesting...

I made several people administrators in the room, and they in turn had been slowly adding people. Eventually a young man from Serbia asked to join. Holy Hannah! Little did I know I had unwittingly lifted the proverbial tent flap and the camel had stuck his nose in! What had been a room comprised mostly of Americans and the odd European, exploded!

I for one am very happy Sir Srdjan Obradovic and I became friends. As an aside, he would be embarrassed that I called him Sir. His 14th Century group is called, "The Company of the Golden Barrel." -He told me it was named after the pub he and his mates drink at when not at University or practicing their Medieval European Martial Arts. Got to love that!

Thanks to his contacts, my 14th Century Mafia room on Facebook has grown rapidly, with an amazing grouping of individuals. We now have Russians, Poles, Germans, The French, Spanish, Czech and Hungarian reenactors. There are Canadians and American SCA members.

Since this is brand new blog, I am going to organize it along a pretty informal line. However I stated in my entry yesterday, I wished to profile excellence. To that end, and with no particular order I hope to interview, or profile the following individuals. The one thing they all share is a love of things medieval and of a 14th Century time period.

Amanda Michaels-Heraldic Artist, Member of the Fellowship of the White Shield and SCA Stick Jock. Her harness, is undergoing an amazing evolution. Her painted shields and silk banners are simply stunning.

Andy Stewart Jamieson- Heraldic Artist, Founder of the Fellowship of White Shield, and Scribe to Queen Elizabeth II.

Roberto Cinquegrana-Founder of the Italian Jousting League. He also maintains a Medieval Chivalry Blog here on Bloger. More of his work later on.

Gioacchino Sparrone-Photographer-Originally from Geneva, Switzerland. Covers events from Romans to Pirates.

Zachary Most-SCA Fighter and also Part of Team USA at the International Battle of Nations. If you have not seen any of the videos posted on Youtube I would highly suggest you do so. It is truly amazing. Most styles of fighting pale in comparison.

Csuth Gabor-Hungarian 14th Century reenactor, member of Hungarian Battle of Nations Team.

Luke Binks-Australian Armour Smith and World Class Jouster.

Katrina Kruse-Australian Jouster and International Horse Archer.

Jefferey Hedgecock-USA International Jouster, Founder of The Order of Crescent Jousting Team, Co-Founder of Historic Enterprises

Matthew Bayley-English, Owner of Bayley Castings. Historic Metal Smith, Casting and Armour Smith, 15th Century War of the Roses Reenactor.-We try to not hold the WOTR persona against him

Jacques Marechal-Belgian Photographer Covers everything from Romans to International Jousting Competitions. His Coverage of the reenactment of the Battle of Hastings was inspired.

Mabel Villagra-Spanish. Mabel typically does a persona of the late 1290's. But if you want to know or need to know about any event happening in Spain, Mabel usually has that information.

She is also a Continuity and Script Doctor in the both the Spanish and American independent film industry.

David Teague-USA Reenactor, educator sword master, mentor. SCA fighter and more. Type of man who makes any organization better. Does all of this, and lives in the land of Polar Bears.

Oudart De Renty-France 14th Century Persona. Excellent harness, clothing, period fighter. Has been known to haunt the Battlefield of Grunwald/Tannenberg.

John "JT" Thompson-USA The Techno Ninja, behind the Armour Archive. If you live or reenact or have anything to do with the medieval world, you have been to the Armour Archive.

Malina Opatowiecka Poland-Reenactor and Clothing designer, manufacturer. Her period dresses/men's clothing are jaw dropping beautiful.

Jakub Klinstejn Vacha-Czech Republic Sometimes you have to disagree with someone because they can't see something themselves. Jakub's kit is very close to attaining a truly period level.

This is an incomplete list. One which I will add to from time to time. It should be noted that this is my opinion about the medieval world as I see it. As I see it these are all people that are doing their level best to live some portion of a medieval dream. All of them have set the bar, marked the distance, make us all stretch to attain our goals...

DS Baker

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