A Return to the Renaissance

- September 22, 2011

"...knights in battle dress, men in tights, opulent gentlemen and ladies of the court..."

That’s it. I have finally decided to let my curiosity overcome my vanity…and I will wear my glasses in public.

Not having done so this past weekend caused some great difficulties as I attended the Santa Fe Renaissance Fair at El Rancho de las Golondrinas. First of all, I read the brochure incorrectly that spoke of the many “fine winches” at this annual event and thought I might find a good gift for my brother, who sails a two-masted schooner out of Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. I found out my mistake when I asked one of the vendors where I might purchase a couple of these winches, only to find out that I misread the small type and what was promised were many “fine wenches”. Opps

Not being familiar with Renaissance fairs, I also was mistaken about the term “society for creative anachronism”. I assumed this was personally addressed to me, referring to my family members. I mean, it really is an apt description of them. But no, it is a name of an organization in capital letters and refers to those people who run around at these fairs and bash each other with maces, axes and swords.

I soon got the hang of things and had the most splendid day out at this historic ranch in La Cienega.  There were all manner of things from Renaissance times – fair maidens (I much prefer this over that other, confusing, term), knights in battle dress, men in tights, opulent gentlemen and ladies of the court and, yes, even a king and queen. The queen, apparently, flies in from Florida each year for this event. Go figure?

The treat of the day for me was the performance of our own Clan Tinker Family Circus. While I have enjoyed these siblings over several years at various events, their performance at the Renaissance Faire was pitch perfect. These wonderful performers with their multiple skills as acrobats, minstrels, mimes, magicians sand jugglers are perfectly in tune with an earlier time -- when suspension of belief and a sense of awe did not require pyrotechnics, high-volume music and technology to win over a crowd. We are so lucky to have these fine performers in our community. The look of delight on the faces of children and, yes, adults also, was great to see.

The greatest surprise of all at this fair was the fact that many of the people in Renaissance attire were not performers or vendors or anyone remotely involved in producing this event. Many people show up at the front gate and plunk down the modest entrance fee in full costume regalia just to be part of it all.

Count me, in!  Now what shall I wear next year???