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.

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