The documents in this web page that are noted as by Master Hirsch von Henford, should all be read with the following Disclaimer and Introduction in mind. In addition, this started out as a single document, and is broken up into sections to make it easier to find areas of interest and to make it easier to read ...
I cannot speak for anyone other than myself on these topics, therefore I wish it clear that I do not speak for any other person, peer or non-peer. Opinions in this document are bound to be West Kingdom-centric, because this is the only place I've lived in the SCA -- it does tend to color one's outlook. Opinions expressed in these pages are mine, and while tempered by many people over the years, are solely mine. If someone agrees with them, great. If not, ... well, that's life and frankly, it's human nature! I'm willing to discuss them in a non-emotional, open forum ... You can EMail me ( )
I have been active in the SCA for 25+ years (since 1977) -- the first year wasn't heavy activity, until the group in Winter's Gate (Fairbanks, Alaska) became an actual entity. I served in several capacities there, ranging from local Arts Minister, through Oerthan (Alaska) Regional Arts and Sciences before it became a Principality. I served as a herald at the local level as well (College of St. Boniface -- University of Alaska, Fairbanks) ...
I have been a peer of the West Kingdom for 20+ years (I was made a Laurel at West Kingdom 12th Night, AS XXVII (1983)). I was admitted to the Order of the Laurel for my jewelry- making skills.
I was the Stellanordica Herald when Oertha was made a full Principality; moved to the central part of the West Kingdom a couple of years later. I have served in various capacities in the West Kingdom College of Heralds, including Stellanordica; Seawolf; Baldric; Banner Herald; Vesper Principal Herald and currently am the Golem Pursuivant. I was admitted to the Order of the Pelican at 12th Night, 1991 for my service in the College of Heralds. (Currently I handle the West Kingdom Herald's Handbook and the West Kingdom Ceremony Book, and the West Kingdom Awards List.)
I am active in a variety of areas in the SCA, including being the founder of the Golden Stag Players (an acting troupe); a minstrel (sometimes); a jeweler; a herald ... I'm still a member of an active household in Oertha (Quid Non), as well as "domus entropius" (where the housework always wins) in the central part of the Kingdom.
About These Web Page Documents
The following discussions are inter-linked really -- I broke things down into what seemed to be individual topics, but really, everything ties together. This "paper" is based on many discussions with many people (and it's a lot longer than I anticipated when I started). I started trying to put my thoughts down "on paper" (as it were), after having discussions with my wife; my apprentices; friends on the Living History Forum of Compuserve; some discussions on SCA-West (an internet user-group); an online vigil for a friend in Oertha; and friends at events (and sometimes elsewhere). The friends involved included a wide-range of people from non-armiger to armiger, non-peer to peer, to Royal peer ...
There are likely to be places that this sounds very much like I'm ranting or even rambling. I apologize in advance for those. I've tried to edit those down a bit, but it's hard when you feel strongly about a topic.
I realized that as time went on, my feelings on various topics had evolved, and I felt it might be useful to put some of my current feelings down in a way that can help myself, and perhaps anyone else reading this, understand some of the issues covered. Quite frankly, when I first became a peer, I didn't think about much of this (I was surprised, and startled, and you often do not get much chance to think in situations like that!) ... I understood some of the basics, but that's about it. As time goes by, some of my feelings on these topics are just as likely to evolve again -- the nature of the beast. Some of the topics I cover here can be a bit emotional, although I've tried to limit the amount of emotion that comes through my discussion here.