To Absent Friends
By Magistra Nicolaa de Bracton and Dame Tsivia bas Tamara v’Amberview
Each year we come to Pennsic, rejoicing in seeing old friends and making new ones. Unfortunately, each year we miss faces that are no longer here in our midst. This past year was particularly tough for losses, especially for those who have become accustomed to seeing Pennsic regulars.
Frank “Mack” Cooper, the surviving patriarch of the Cooper family that has operated Cooper’s Lake for over forty years, passed away on April 1 of this year at the age of 84. Mack was known for his sense of humor, warm smile, and generosity, and still was a vital presence at Pennsic. He could often be spotted as he drove to “work” around the campground waving to friends, or as he sat on the front porch of the Coopers’ Store, sharing coffee and conversation. He was recognized as a Baron of the Court jointly by the East and the Middle Kingdom in 1980, and is remembered as a true gentleman. His wife Betty survives him, as do a number of other members of the Cooper and Wilver families. A memorial service is planned for Monday at 4 PM on the battlefield. All are invited to sign a memory book in his honor.
Baron Tancred of Tanglewood
Customers of Tancred’s Tangled Woods will be saddened to hear of Baron Tancred of Tanglewood’s passing on May 15 from lung cancer. His hand-made coronet boxes, mirror boxes, chests, lanterns, and banner stands spread all over the Known World because of their craftsmanship and practicality. The Pennsic Independent was a satisfied customer and our banner hangs proudly to this day from one of his banner stands. A visit to his shop at Pennsic always meant the smell of fresh wood and a friendly “Hi, darlin’” from the shop’s proprietor, wearing his wooden coronet and drinking his ever-present coffee (preferably Tim Horton’s with a shot of English Toffee).
Introduced to the SCA by his son, Tancred later served as Baron of Rising Waters (Niagara/St. Catharines) in Ealdormere. He overcame a number of challenges to become one of the oldest fighters ever authorized in Ealdormere and was also known for his inspiration and leadership of youth fighters. He was devoted to his lady wife, Baroness Rosalinda, and is remembered for his deep-seated sense of justice and boundless hospitality.
If you remember Baron Tancred fondly, please feel free to stop by his shop at the corner at the corner of Woad Way and Street of Dreams. Many of his family and friends are staffing the shop during the War to sell his remaining inventory and to visit with those he touched. At his wake, it was announced that there will be an award introduced in his memory within the Kingdom of Caid, and other such commemorations are said to be in the works in groups closer to home. The annual Tribute Ship that sails each Pennsic in honour of the departed will bear a sail in his memory.
Countess Elaina of Oaklawn
She was the smiling face so many knew well, and she always had an answer to your question. “Where are the A&S tents?” “How do I find Midrealm Royal?” “What’s the nearest hospital to the site?” She was often the first voice heard by callers to Pennsic when they needed to reach someone in an encampment with news.
In an era before tweets and BlackBerries, Countess Elaina of Oaklawn was “Miss-Information” and served as Pennsic’s head of Information Point for about 15 years. Countess Elaina had lived in numerous kingdoms during her years in the Society, including Caid, Ealdormere, Ansteorra, and the East Kingdom, where she served as Queen during the glorious 25th year of the Society. Her exquisitely executed fine cross-stitch was sold for garb-trim through Medieval Miscellanea. Her hand-crocheted snoods were worn by many women, sold by Thorny Rose and Intriguing Designs from the East to An Tir. But it was as “Countess Mom” that she is best remembered, encouraging both new members and old-timers to do their best as artisans, as fighters, as volunteers.
Despite increasing levels of chronic pain due to back and other injuries, Elaina always had a smile on. She rarely wore her county coronet while on the job, saying that she did not want to intimidate people who needed advice. Countess Mom died suddenly on April 10th of this year in her home in the canton of Caldrithig (Ottawa) in Ealdormere. She is survived by her beloved husband Master Cerdic O’Cuileamhain, OP. Her work at Information Point will be remembered as the road in front of the store that encircles Information Point has now been renamed “Elaina’s Circle.” A memorial for Countess Elaina will be held after Midrealm Court (approximately 10 PM) on Thursday night of War Week, presided over by Lady Ariadne Flaxenhair of Æthelmearc, reception by Mistress Aibhilin fra Skye of Ealdormere. If the weather is good it will be held on the Runestone Field; if the weather is inclement, it will be held in the Middle Eastern Dance tent. All are invited to attend and bring their anecdotes and remembrances to share.