The King's Sojourn North

August 30, 2019

#King's Missive

Goodly Folk,

I snuck away from the Texas Renaissance Festival (TRF) one weekend to visit our brothers and sisters at the Bristol Renaissance Fair (B.R.F.) in Wisconsin and this is my tale of my brief sojourn and the lovely time I spent there.

The excitement and joy of the guests entering to the Bristol Renaissance Fair was wonderful. I was reminded of the all the people we have welcomed to TRF for the last 45 years. I donned my disguise and entered the gates and was immediately met by Billy Billy VonBilly, aka Will'm the poorer, a sturdy mud beggar. He stood atop a newly conquered rubbish bin. He saw through my disguise in an instant. (I imagine it is due to his poor eyesight). He warmly greeted me with cool morning mud and promises that the weather for today would be partly muddy with scattered mud, particularly at the Mud Pit.

Billy Billy VonBilly at B.R.F.
Billy Billy VonBilly at B.R.F.

I thanked him and bid him a fond, "Adieu".

He said, " Aye, do what?"

Unfortunately, I responded, "Nothing. I say, Adieu."

" I say Gesundheit, your Majesty, aa-dieu," he said looking for his next fool.

" Thank you ", I said and made no further comment lest I fall farther down the punny hole. ( I imagine groans are still echoing across Lake Michigan and by now Lake Conroe. } As I wandered off thinking how fun it will be to hear the crowds cheering for The Mud Show TM at the Tower Stage this fall.

I was filled with nostalgia and excitement for the start of our own goodly festival, as I walked deeper into this lovely village. (In several weeks our gates will be opening to the earth-shattering, "ka-boom", of Sir Oscar's arquebus, which begins the day). Throughout the fair, I recognized many of the artists, skilled artisans and fine art crafters that TRF and its patrons have come to love and appreciate over the last 45 years. These and many others were at B.R.F. working diligently at their craft, while their beautifully displayed works were admired and purchased by many people. It does my heart good to see folks appreciating and enjoying the labors of so many wonderful artists, artisans, craftspeople and merchants.

Red Vardo, B.R.F.
Red Vardo, B.R.F.

I found myself inexplicably drawn towards a red vardo at the intersection of two lanes. As I got closer I saw that it was inhabited by two women. They bid me forward to a window and in hurried, hushed voices they told me a story of a great evil, intent upon the destruction of all the world. I was shocked, I had not expected the end of the world today. Seeing my reaction and alarm they bid me help. How could I say, "no" ? of course I accepted, (After all everyone I love and know, including me, live in the world), they set me upon a quest to save the world. I spent several hours communing with several Norse and Greek gods, who had come to stand against this enemy. They were all quite nice despite being somewhat full of themselves, but that is to be expected of gods, I suppose. We discussed a rather unsavory force they called the Void. I pledged myself to assist in its defeat. I was joined by a great many others to confront the enemy. Somehow, we acquired the necessary skills and armaments to make war against this foe. My memory has become hazy, due to all the magical forces at play (and possible legal issues), but I believe we must have been successful in preventing the world's destruction as we are all still here and many of you did not even imagine we had come so close. It took quite a bit of thought, effort and some time, but it was well worth it and besides it is fun to save the world, if even just for the day.

After my adventure, I decided to partake in a victorious libation. As I pondered as to which direction to go, my ears detected the siren's call of Iris and Rose. If I had been aboard a ship, I most assuredly would have ended up drowned in the ocean. No amount of wax, rope or mast could have prevented my single-minded progress to the bawdiness. I entered the pub and my were drawn to the stage. Iris and Rose were singing and joking with a lively audience. I regained my composure and went to the bar, where I ordered a Belgian White from a well-spoken barmaid. I laughed throughout the remainder of show. There was much applause and then the audience showed their approval and appreciation, by tipping the ladies several pounds. I decided to do the same. The sisters greeted me with great enthusiasm, as if i was wearing no disguise at all.

Iris and Rose at Polish Pub, TRF
Iris and Rose at Polish Pub, TRF

After everyone's cheeks were kissed and hugs properly attended to, they slyly addressed my disguise.

"Why the disguise? your majesty, are you hiding out?" asked Iris

"Are you in trouble?" pause, "Or do you want to role play, your majesty? Is that it", quipped Rose.

In unison they queried, "Whatever will the Queen think!"

Then giggling and still in unison "Don't worry, your majesty. we won't tell a soul", and then in perfect harmony, "but we might sing about it!"

Laughed out, embarrassed and a little titillated, I blushed and stammered my way through my farewells and bid them both my fondest wishes. I left as they chided me about all fondle wishes we'd have this fall! Dare I say we will have a fun and bawdy time when Iris and Rose return to the Polish Pub, where they perform throughout the day and most of the night (if one trusts in rumors).

My exploration had barely resumed, when I was caught-up in a swirl of scarves, rhythms and color. A troupe of exotic, dancers filled the street danced before the crowd and me. Guiding them was the drumming Great Antone accompanied by other masters of rhythm. He played mesmerizing beats upon which the others embellished, and all the while dancers undulated and spun for all to appreciate. The scene mystically slowed and somehow, we were able bid one another good fortunate and safe travels until he was swept back into the fray. I walked away bathed in the best part of nostalgia. I could only smile knowing that TRF would soon come alive with beautiful dancers and talented musicians.

Antone the Great
Antone the Great
Antone with the dancers and fellow drummers
Antone with the dancers and fellow drummers

I moved to where I heard a tremendous cheer and there was a recognizable sound of a whip being cracked. That was followed by the unforgettable sound of a whip cracking at world record speeds. This whip was driven by a master's touch. It had to be world record holder, and harmonica enthusiast, Adam Crack. Adam was surrounded by an ocean of people. They were transfixed by his skillful whip manipulations. I could not approach him as the crowd was so immense. I left with the satisfaction of knowing, that he, and his Fire Whip Show would soon be returning to TRF.

Adam Crack at TRF
Adam Crack at TRF

I wound my way through the fair, noting performances of all kinds. I heard the thunder of hooves and the crash of steel from the joust. The squeals of delight from the children of all ages riding their favorite rides and succeeding at the games of skill, which they played. I am quite ready to hear such merriment and mirth along the midway of our Enchanted Forest this fall. When in the Enchanted Forest, I enjoy riding the King's Swing, strolling the Magic Garden and enjoying my favorite Italian dishes at Italian Village. I like throwing an ax or attending dance school at Titania's bower. I will often make a Royal progress to the Puffin', owned by master Nemo. The Puffin' is where one can enjoy cool air, hookahs, beautiful belly dancers and my favorite coffee. I often spend a moment enjoying a King's Latte' in the charming company the hostess, Lady Becca . Thank goodness, TRF is only five weeks away.

I experienced a moment of deja vu passing a stage named the Globe (everyone knows any great Renaissance festival must pay homage to the great Bard by naming a stage in his honor, the "Globe" has always been a very popular choice). The show began with a drum roll, then a cymbal crash and suddenly, The Clan Tynker Family Circus took the stage. I drew in a breath and clamored to my seat, while Santiago played an accordion on stilts towering above the audience. I could hardly believe my luck, the Tynkers are one of my favorites shows at TRF. The Tynker's performed feat after feat to perfection. In one, Serendipity blew bubbles, which Elijah felt compelled to catch, and to my amazement, they did not pop. (Serendipity, the bubbles, or Elijah). Suddenly Sam lit torches, Rebekah climbed upon high (very high), and Elijah brought out several knives. Serendipity had magic and mischief in her eyes as she swirled and danced with her cymbal and drum. Santiago ensured all. with a wry smile, that danger would soon ensue. I will share no more, if you desire to witness danger, then I invite you to enjoy the Clan Tynker, who will return TRF's own Globe Stage October 5th. My disguise once again proved ineffective when I went to tip the troupe. I was immediately recognized by talented quintet. Their warm smiles, hearty handshakes and friendly embraces made me feel so welcome, I yearned to be back home at TRF with them. The Clan Tynker bestowed upon me a beautiful, round portraiture of each member. I will be sticking them inside my treasure vault for safe keeping (the round portraits, not the Tynkers) . We then parted and went our separate ways.

The Clan Tynker
The Clan Tynker
The Clan Tynker Family Circus, B.R.F.

I made my leave of Bristol with a beaming smile, it had been a glorious day. How fortunate I was to see so many friends, meet so many people and I helped save the world or least a small bit of it for a short time. I had a great time and I can hardly for the 45th Anniversary of the Texas Renaissance Festival to begin.

Antone followed by Santiago Tynker at B.R.F.

In fact, as I finish up with this missive, I realize there is still quite a lot to be done and I had best get started. I need to practice Lady Amy's new dance. I will need to practice it with lil' Miss Alice, so I can then practice with The Queen. It may seem silly to have to practice practicing, but I would rather to sweep her off her feet, then step upon her toes.

Huzzah! -The King