Augie Farks understood. His Sturdy Wings big brother, Danny, not so much.
“Why do you bow for that guy?” asks Danny. “Because he’s the king, and he rules the entire realm,” Augie explains.
The pair is hashing out the details of something called “anachronism” in a movie called “Role Models.” But the casual viewer may not realize that a Society for Creative Anachronism actually exists – and a branch practices in Tahlequah.
SCA is an international, nonprofit organization that dedicates itself to re-creating arts, skills and traditions of pre-17th century Europe. Members and participants take part in a variety of activities, including combat, archery, costuming, calligraphy, and more.
“We do historical re-enactments from the fall of the Roman Empire to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I,” said Barony of Northkeep Treasurer Shirley Hackworth. “We also give classes on historic arts and crafts, as well as letter work; it just depends on who is there and what they’re interested in.”
The Barony of Northkeep is the Tulsa-based branch of SCA. Hackworth – or “Lady Sicily Bridges,” as she is known in the SCA community – organizes the Tahlequah satellite group, which meets in the Northeastern State University library.
“The group meets every other week, on the second and fourth Saturday of the month,” said Hackworth. “At the library, we do arts and sciences – things like sewing, embroidery, painting, illumination, and calligraphy. We’ve got about 12 paid members in the local area. A lot of college kids are interested in this sort of thing.”
Among the most popular activities of SCA is armored combat. Opponents face each other in single combat, or may engage in large melee battles. Participants wear real armor and use rattan swords. In Tahlequah, these battles are held at Sequoyah Park.
“Rattan is similar to bamboo, but it does not splinter,” said Hackworth. “A marshal must also be present for safety reasons.”
According to Hackworth, visitors may also participate after signing a waiver. The group has loaner armor on hand. Novice fighters are trained by more experienced fighters.
“They are taught how to use their weapons, how to defend themselves, and how to judge blows received in combat,” explains the SCA website. “Every fighter on the field is on his/her honor to accept a blow sufficient to ‘wound’ or ‘kill.’ At the end of training, if the marshal decides that the fighter is safe – not necessarily good, but unlikely to hurt him or herself or an opponent – then the fighter is considered authorized to fight. The process of becoming authorized can take from a few weeks to several months.”
Like “Lady Bridges,” each member of SCA chooses a name for use in the society. The College of Arms is available to assist members in selecting and registering an SCA name and heraldic device. Some members try to create an entire persona of sorts, even behaving as if they actually were their personas.
“The major activity in the SCA is our events,” said Hackworth.
“The opportunity for us to put on our medieval clothing, cook and serve the recipes we’ve been researching, dance the dances we’ve been practicing, socialize, and generally have a good time. SCA events take place almost every weekend of the year.”
Augie Farks understood. His Sturdy Wings big brother, Danny, not so much.
- Local News
Foster mom denied bond in child’s death
A 47-year-old woman arrested Tuesday night for the alleged murder of a 2-year-old girl was jailed in 2011 for wielding a knife during an argument over aluminum cans, and several agencies are reviewing the decision to allow the woman to be a foster parent.
Investigators on Wednesday continued their search for information into the death of Alysa Horney, who was found unresponsive at the Woodall home of her foster mother, Delila Pacheco, Sunday morning.
Pacheco, 47, appeared in front of Associate District Judge Mark Dobbins Wednesday morning and was denied bond a day after her arrest for first-degree murder.
Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault said investigators discovered the toddler had minor visible bruises on her body Sunday morning, when deputies and EMS were called to the home.
Getting in compliance
During harsh winter weather, such as Cherokee County has experienced during the past week, concerns are often raised about the plight of people living in substandard housing. In Tahlequah, the situation has been compounded by the recent controversy over a rooming house where a child died last month.
Recently, the city of Tahlequah has begun to closely scrutinize homes that may not be up to code, and officials could decide to take action during 2014.
Pair helping former Stepping Stone residents
Christmas is a time for “peace on Earth and good will toward men,” and two local woman are putting the adage into practice by helping a group of recently displaced Tahlequah residents.
Denise LaGrand and Toni Bailey have volunteered within the community for years, but when the Stepping Stone Rooming House closed abruptly, LaGrand was spurred into action by others’ attitudes toward the evicted residents.
New pizza, liquor businesses in Tahlequah
Though the holiday season is usually a slow time for new business openings, a few new ventures are now welcoming customers in Tahlequah.
Recently opened businesses include J&L’s NYC Hot Dogs, Rum Runners liquor store, The Taco Truck and Pendleton’s Barbecue and Pizza.
Music to their ears
Local musicians looking for a chance to perform band music with fellow players are invited to join a group at Northeastern State University.
The Communiversity Band is a concert ensemble composed of NSU students and members of the Tahlequah community, and there is still time to get involved.
Hand-crafted ornaments, holiday gifts mean the most
For families on tight budgets, Christmas gift-giving means advanced planning and thinking outside the box. Often some of the most cherished gifts are those made by hand.
People looking to exercise their creative side this year need only look as far as Pinterest, according to Heather Winn, family and consumer science educator for the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.
Cherokee County foster mother arrested for murder of 2-year-old
Investigators have arrested a 47-year-old foster mother for first-degree murder in the death of a 2-year-old girl Sunday morning.
Delila A. Pacheco was arrested and transported to the Cherokee County Detention Center at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault.
Pacheco is accused of killing 2-year-old Alysa Horney.
Ki Bois to offer services for veterans, families
In an effort to assist some of the area’s neediest veterans, the Ki Bois Community Action Foundation recently announced the startup of its Supportive Services for Veterans Families program.
Ki Bois will hold a grand opening ceremony Thursday, Dec. 12 from 1-3 p.m. at the Muskogee office, 421 N. Broadway St.
However, Ki Bois began actual administration in its area of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs program Dec. 1. Funding is through the Veterans Administration, and Cherokee County veterans will also be served.
Roads get help from Mother Nature
Cherokee County commissioners were pleased to see the sun and rising temperatures help melt away some of the muck left along area roads Tuesday.
All of that melting is sure to leave some slick spots in the overnight and early morning hours for the next several days, but conditions are expected to improve.
Braving the cold
Though the weekend weather made travel difficult, the Snowflake ice rink still attracted plenty of skaters who wanted to spend time outdoors, balancing on blades.
The closing of Tahlequah Public Schools and other Cherokee County schools Monday created another skating opportunity, but there were only a couple of teen skaters on the ice at 3 p.m. Monday, braving the cold.
- More Local News Headlines
- Foster mom denied bond in child’s death