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.
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More than nine years after Northeastern State University student Stephan Adams and his truck vanished from Cherokee County, new information led investigators to search for Adams’ body in the Horseshoe Bend area of Keys on Thursday.
District 27 District Attorney Brian Kuester said a nonprofit group in Colorado loaned investigators a ground-penetrating radar to help them take a look beneath the surface. Authorities traveled to the rocky land about a mile from Horseshoe Bend Road and began pacing back and forth with the radar.
“The information [we received] did specify this particular location,” Kuester said.
TPWA ‘trust,’ predecessors offer local service
For decades, Tahlequah has provided most of its city and utility services through the Tahlequah Public Works Authority.
However, TPWA hasn’t always existed. There were previous incarnations, and sometimes, a service was provided by private interests.
The Tahlequah City Light and Water Department was created in July 1943 and its first offices were in the Thompson Hotel. It operated under a five-member board and had 10 employees by October 1944. There were 12 employees by 1951.
The TPWA was formed in 1971 by action of the Oklahoma Legislature, creating a trust not subject to Oklahoma Corporation Commission oversight. Today it operates under a five-member board, which is appointed by the mayor with approval of the city council.
Rose woman booked for hit-and-run bonds out
A Rose woman booked this week after a hit-and-run crash has bonded out of jail.
Sheriff’s Deputy Charlie Dreadfulwater responded earlier this week when Phyllis and Edwin Haddock’s vehicle was struck by another car in Tahlequah city limits.
The driver of the second vehicle, 43-year-old Ronnie Kaye England, allegedly promised the Haddocks she was pulling over to the side of the road, but instead left in the Ford Taurus and drove to Coffee Hollow Road.
Tenkiller boat ramps, facilities open at parks
All parks and attendant facilities, including boat ramps, are ready for summer traffic, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Ross Adkins, chief for the Tulsa District public affairs office of the corps, said it has been a “normal winter” at the parks.
“Some changes are made during the winter, such as maintenance and land upkeep, due to the reduced visitation,” Adkins said.
“However, all parks on Lake Tenkiller are currently open and ready for summer use.”
Rountrees petition for deannexation from Tahlequah
A Tahlequah couple is asking a judge to grant their request for deannexation from the city.
Kent and Kara Rountree asked city councilors this year to allow the detachment of their property on the western edge of the city.
But after pleading their case before the council, board members refused to take action to either approve or deny the Rountrees’ request. The couple has now filed a civil petition in Cherokee County District Court, asking a judge to order the property’s detachment from the city.
Keeping Tahlequah beautiful means keeping the public parks clean, and dozens of students from schools in Cherokee County converged on Sequoyah City Park Wednesday to take part in the Kick Butts campaign.
The annual hunt for cigarette butts is always fruitful, to the dismay of some of the gatherers.
“This park is more infested than it should be with cigarette butts,” said Elizabeth Martinez, a sixth-grader at Tahlequah Middle School. “There isn’t supposed to be tobacco or cigarette butts, but people do it, anyway. I’m surprised, because I visited another park the other day, and there were hardly any butts in that one.”
Carol Choate, director of the Cherokee County Communities of Excellence Tobacco Control Program, said Kick Butts is a national event aimed at removing litter and enhancing public awareness of the hazards of tobacco use.
Briggs kids get ‘Revolutionary’ lesson
Students at Briggs Public School peered through a window on the Revolutionary War years, thanks to a guest who portrayed three women of the era.
Darci Tucker, from Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, visited the school to speak with students in the fifth and eighth grades and give her “Revolutionary Women” presentation. Tucker’s visit was arranged by Briggs faculty member Marta Ashlock.
Bill gutted after legislation fails in Arizona
A bill recently introduced in the Oklahoma House by Rep. Tom Newell, R-Seminole, has undergone a major overhaul, following Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of similar legislation in that state.
In its original form, Oklahoma House Bill 2873, known as the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act, would allow Oklahoma business owners to refuse service based on “a person’s sincerely held religious belief,” and “a person [business owner] whose exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened, in violation of the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act may assert such violation or impending violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding ...”
The Arizona measure, Senate Bill 1062, came under fire from the American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP and the Human Rights Campaign as being discriminatory against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender community.
Okay men snared in multicounty theft ring
Allegations against two Okay men continue to multiply as authorities in at least five counties investigate a burglary ring targeting churches, schools and homes.
Early Tuesday morning, deputies in Sequoyah County arrested 21-year-olds Dylan L. Compton and Robert R. Ford and booked them on theft and larceny complaints. Deputies said the duo took several air conditioning units from a Marble City school, and musical equipment from the Cherokee Children’s Mission in Adair County Monday night and Tuesday morning.
But investigators believe that is just a small portion of a much larger operation.
Convicted murderer up for parole
A Welling man convicted of second-degree murder in 2002 is set to appear before the state’s pardon and parole board this week for the second phase of a parole hearing.
Matthew L. Williams was 27 when he allegedly murdered his common-law wife, Kelly Deckard, about three miles south of U.S. Highway 62 on Welling Road in July 2001. Williams was accused of shooting Deckard in the head with a shotgun.
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