Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sportsmanship and Laughter: Palio di Stonemarche 2015

This year's War Speech!!!!

The 2015 Drappone, or Palio Banner that is awarded to the winning team.
By Lady Fortune St Keyne (me)

Based on the inauguration speech by JFK. 

My Baron,  My Baroness, Games Master, Lady Angela, Lord Frostolf, reverend guests, fellow SCAdians:

Let every Contrada know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, roll any barrell, meet any hobbyhorse, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the success of this Palio.

This much we pledge- and more.

Let all sides explore what victories unite us instead of belaboring those defeats which divide us.
Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of these games instead of its terrors (barrel roll). Together let us explore the archery and thrown weapons fields, conquer the cheese roll, eradicate the dayboard, tap the bardic depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.

All this will not be finished in the first one hundred minutes. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand minutes; nor in the life of this Palio; nor even perhaps in our lifetime in this Knowne World. But let us begin.

In your hands, my fellow Ferrari, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this Contrada was founded, each generation of Ferrari has been summoned to give testimony to its loyalty. The brave deeds of young SCAdians who answered the call to service surround the fairgrounds.
Now the trumpet summons us again - not as a call to bear arms, though strong arms we need,  not as a call to battle, though embattled we are - but a call to bear the burden of a long daylight struggle, "rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation,"² a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, dehydration, Hippocampo, sunburn, and Sole itself.

Can we forge against these enemies a grand and glorious Contrada, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all SCA kind? Will you join in that historic effort?

In the long history of the Knowne world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility - I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other Contrada or any other Palio. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our Contrada and all who serve it. And the glow from that fire can truly light the Knowne World.

And so, my fellow SCAdians, ask not what your Contrada can do for you; ask what you can do for your Contrada.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Palio di Stonemarche: 2014 War Speech!

The Barony of Stonemarche holds a renaissance Italian Games Day each year in June. There are three teams or Contrada - Contrada Hippocampo for water, encompassing the Seacost of NH, Contrada Sole representing fire, the northern region of NH, and Contrada Ferrari representing earth, with the central region.

The Triumph of Venus - Allegory of March Fresco in the Salon dei Mesi in 
Palazzo Schifanoia by Cosimo Tura  

I have been the Contrada Captain for Ferrari for the last two years. Last year we decided to add war speeches to the docket. Mine was the best. Now, I'm the only one who actually showed up with a war speech, but that's beside the point.

The look on the Contrada Hippocampo Captain Baron Harold von Auerbach's face when he realized what I'd done was worth the weird looks practicing this back and forth from work on my commute.

Lady Fortune St. Keyne's Contrada Ferrari War Speech

(apologies owed to Winston Churchill)

Even though two previous Palio have been won by Hippocampo, and one by Sole, last year was won by Ferrari and we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in cheese roll, we shall fight in the lists, we shall fight on the archery and thrown weapons ranges, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the barrel roll, we shall defend our Contrada, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on these fair grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!

And even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Contrada, or a large part of it, were to become scraped and sunburnt, then our Allies beyond the borders, would carry on the struggle! Until, in God’s good time, the newcomers, with all their power and misguided enthusiasm, step forth to the rescue and bring us to victory!
Let us, therefore, brace ourselves to our duties and so bear ourselves that, that if Ferrari and her people last for a thousand years, men will still say 'This was their finest Palio.'

This year's war speech is inspired by JFK's inauguration speech.