Young Gentleman's Salle - 2008

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Review written by Zubeydah

The Young Gentlemen's Salle was held a few days ago at Northkeep Castellan. It went both better than I feared but not as well as I hoped. I truly hope and pray that the problems were not entirely visible to the young gentlemen who attended.

We planned for fifteen attendees plus the speakers, and had four attendees for the whole thing and a fifth who arrived in the middle of the discussions. Speakers included: Sieur Jean-Paul de Sens, who spoke on manners and courtesy; Don Timothy le Corbusier, who spoke about the bearing of a lady's favor, courtly behavior and the concept of courtly love, and how to bow and show respect; Dona Therese Maria Giovanni, who followed up his conversation about tokens with discussing what a lady expects on the field and off of a gentleman who bears her favor; Syr Owen ap Aeddan, who discussed examples of right behavior, both when treated rightly and otherwise. He discussed examples taken from the Arthurian tales, discussing the tale of Sir Gareth and Lynette. As well, we were blessed and honored by the presence and wisdom of Her Royal Majesty, Vanessa de Verona. The Queen presented the young men with a token of a ladies handkerchief, adorned with a ribbon rosette. She asked them to find a lady whom they held in esteem, and present her with the token. She also granted them the opportunity to demonstrate their bows, giving praise and acknowledgement to each one. We were also visited by Their Excellencies of Northkeep, Ian and Kelandra, who came by to chat with the boys during the lunch break.

Each of the boys was presented with a small collection of gifts, and the use and meaning of each item was described. This was one of the areas that my hopes and planning fell short of what came to pass; Thursday evening of last week, movers brought our possessions from our old home to our new home. They piled boxes in stacks literally taller than I am throughout the home in no apparent order, and in doing so, buried a box that had many of the items I had received as donations from members of the Armour Archive community. This included the medieval replica coins so generously gifted by both Jehan de Pelham (ecuyer and servant of Sir Vitus von Atzinger, of the Middle Kingdom) and Eadric of Stonemarche (Squire to Sir Artemas Maximas, Barony of Stonemarche, East Kingdom), which I had intended to be placed into the leather pouches made and donated by Aaron Schnatterly and his wife, Shan-aan (who are Living History aficionados - not even members of the SCA - who heard of the event and wanted to support it). I told the young gentlemen that people from two different kingdoms, Jehan and Eadric, had sent gifts for them that they might learn of generosity, but that through my own failing, those gifts were not present at the Salle. I have the boys contact information, and will be mailing out a letter to each participant, with the coins included. Items they did receive included the leather pouches by Aaron and Shan-Aan, a white linen handkerchief, and a journal which included inspiring quotes on gentlemanly virtues, including one passage from Lord Tristan von Schwarzwald of the Barony of Lochmere, Atlantia. (Also a member of the Armour Archive).

The boys seemed to enjoy themselves, though to varying degrees of attention. We had youth ranging from one who literally grew up in the Society to a newcomer at his very first event.

I could not have accomplished this task without the support and love of my husband, Abe, who put aside his own feelings about the SCA to attend the event with me. As well, Syr Owen ap Aeddan battled a great deal of personal difficulty to send up his personal pavilion to the event on Friday evening and arranged for it to be set up Saturday morning and taken down Sunday morning, so that I didn't have to worry about that logistical issue. That took a huge weight off my mind - thanks also, to Dougal, who provided the actual transport and coordinated set up and tear down. The generously given time and support of the other speakers (Don Timothy, Dona Therese and Sieur Jean Paul) was also greatly appreciated, as was the presence and support of Her Majesty, Vanessa.

My sincere thanks to all those who helped make the Salle a reality, from HE Ian, who asked me to do it, to the gentles who helped put up the tent, to the speakers, to Their Excellencies of Northkeep, to Her Royal Majesty for her patronage.