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Bob Burns




Location: South Indianapolis IN
Joined: 09 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Wed 31 Oct, 2007 10:21 pm    Post subject: How "They" Feel About What You Love?         Reply with quote

The significant "They" in my life is my wife Gayle (of whom of course is pictured with me, the photo taken of us by Gayle's daughter Kate visiting us in August 2003 prior to going back to college at the Bristol Renaissance Faire on the
IL / WI border.
My exposure and realization for my devout passion of our common obsession came about as a result of Gayle's repeated suggestions (but not with profound desire) that we go to the Renaissance Faire, of which did not really interest me. Gayle brought the idea up a few times in the mid to late 90s and we finally went in July of 2002. I was hooked on the Renaissance Faire! History had always been of great interest to me and I spent seven arduous years researching my maternal genealogy, finding three lineages to Edward I King of England "Longshanks" and "Hammer of the Scots".
It was during our first visit to the faire, though I very much enjoyed the costumes and people adorned with swords in scabbards, this was not the "bait that caught me". We browsed the wares of all the vendors and I'd seen the inventory of three different sword vendors, all of which to my scrutinizing but untrained eye, seemed mundane to me as they lacked quality and to be nothing more than over priced tourist trap junk. However, this all changed quite suddenly when way in the back of the faire, by the jousting grounds we came upon a vendor called "Arms & Armor" Exclamation
Though I would not yet buy a sword until July of 2005, the first item was the 12th Century Spear in 2003, the Saxon Parrying Dagger in 2004, Medici Dagger opening day, July 2005, all bought at the Arms & Armor Vendor Store in the Faire. Then in July 2005, after contemplating that sacred decision of the first sword for nearly two years, I called and ordered the German Bastard Sword. The last Saturday of the faire's season, which was late August, I bought my 5th sword from
Arms & Armor.
Now, here it is Halloween 2007 and I have bought 21 swords, close to 20 polearms, 9 daggers, 2 bucklers, (9 swords, 1 rapier, 12 polearms, 5 daggers and 2 bucklers from Arms & Armor) and (2 swords from Albion "so far")
over 100 related books, over 150 related DVDs both documentaries and movies.

We live in a 3 bedroom, full basement townhouse, take a guess on the motif of the front entry way
and the livingroom! Laughing Out Loud You got it! A medieval armory and library!

Through all of this my wife has been supportive but at times alarmed at the pace in which I was buying, though what facilitated so much so soon, was a nice little chunk of money that came my way. Even so, it's quite a haul for such a short period of time, but she could see quite clearly that this was a whole new world for me that I genuinely found to be quite fascinating and that I just could not get enough of it, in that there just was never enough time in the day for me to get my fill and to have fatigued from the subject for a time or a day.

She's expressed happiness for me, that I found something that was so completely fulfilling and that this is a gift that many people never find in their lifetime. All that she asks is that I be financially responsible and not go off the deep end financially. She herself has an interest to a certain extent, she loves good sword movies, she's found some of the documentaries to be fascinating, she has a personal favor for daggers and there is one particular rapier that she would like to have for herself.
Gayle has 5 daggers, 3 Windlass "Medieval Sword Hilted Dagger, the new Coustile, Steel Hilted Dagger, and two
Arms & Armor daggers, the Elector of Saxony dagger with the deluxe scabbard and the German Parrying dagger which I bought her this past Saturday at Kult of Athena, to go with the Arms & Armor "German Rapier" that I am going to order for her in early 2008.
Gayle's obsessed hobby is gardening and she is truly talented, we have a small backyard and front yard, in both combined, the last two years, she's had over 120 species and all have flourished!

I am Truly Grateful to be blessed in life with a wife like Gayle, as I know from stories that I've heard from others and about others, in which the obsessed impassioned collector such as myself is not nearly so fortunate as have I been!

I'd love to hear the situation of this title from others and how their significant other feels about their collecting, be it their good fortune or and easily as stimulating a story, as to how they cope?

Thank you for taking the time to read this rather lengthy post, I had a lot to tell in order to convey my story correctly.

Sincerely and With Great Interest in "Your" Story!

Bob
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Alfonso Asensio




Location: Tokyo
Joined: 31 May 2007

Posts: 29

PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov, 2007 2:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is quite a post and I could not help myself to contribute

So... My wife is Chinese, which is always a difficult start. When she was a little girl, Mao's cultural revolution was still going on. Food was not scarce but neither was plentiful, in her town, things like movies only started to be common when she was older and cinema even later. So she grow up in an environment that forced a very realistic approach to life. She does not understand why I may enjoy "fantasy tales"of any kind. And although she can relate to the historical component of this hobby, it is only from a esthetic point of view. Handling (and god forbids, wearing) things to try to understand how they may have felt, well that just blows her mind away.

We live in a country where steel weapons are illegal and apartments are very small so I have no swords and I must keep my armour set to a minimum but I just wonder what will happen once we move back to Europe

She is very understanding, has never stopped me from collecting and does not complain about it. I even managed to get her to an event once. But I can see her roll her eyes in resignation when I start cleaning the armour or switch her thoughts to the Nth dimension when I tell her a sword story.

I would love for her to love what I love but then again、she agreed to marry me so I should just count my blessings
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Hugh Fuller




Location: Virginia
Joined: 01 Oct 2003

Posts: 256

PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov, 2007 7:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My wife is tolerant of my hobby and even finds my interest in re-enacting and living history interesting as long as it isn't too cold or too wet. She even accepted it when I told her that I had been saving for five years to buy one of Patrick Barta's works of art and she was appreciative of the beauty of the item only wanting to know if I had really saved up the money. But she grew up in a family where the parents were true children of the Depression and it has been a real adjustment for her to appreciate that we have money to afford such things. She has mostly made that adjustment.

I will add that she and I are "Quakers by convincement" and that she periodically quotes George Fox at me. "Thee may wear thy sword as long as thee can" was Fox's response to William Penn's query when he asked about wearing his court sword to royal functions. Also, since I used to be very much into firearms as well as blades, I am sure that she sees the blades as the lesser of two evils.

Hugh
Still trying to walk in the Light
Please see 1 John 1:5
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov, 2007 8:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've been fortunate. My wife is very tolerant of me generally and my collection in particular. Happy History and weapons aren't things she generally has an interest in, but she's very patient and attentive when I babble on about something (as I often do). Her appreciation for history may have actually increased a little bit over the years. She's told me on several occasions that if her history teachers in school had explained history to her like I do, she might have actually enjoyed those classes.

Some wives might confine the display of a collection to a back room or basement, but my collection is the first thing you see when you come in the front door, a placement my wife actually encouraged. We're now discussing getting a nice-looking low bookcase to display all the arms and armour books I've acquired near the collection, rather than keeping them out of general view in our finished basement (where they might be damaged if the basement ever floods). This was all her idea, too. Happy

We both want the collection out of harm's way and out of the way of harming others, so the display cabinet was something that was important to us. At some point, I'll have to childproof it against our soon-to-arrive little one. Happy

As far as cost, this has been one expensive hobby... For insurance purposes, I recently put down on paper the replacement cost of both my library and my arms and armour collection. If my house got wiped out, it would take over $15,000 to replace the library and collection. Of course, I didn't pay that much for everything there: some used items were great deals that would cost much more to replace than what I paid for them; the retail prices for a number of items in my collection have gone up, so replacing them would be costlier than my initial investment; etc.. Still, I've spent piles of money on this hobby.

What I try to do, though, is make sure that purchases are at least partially funded by the sale of something else. This softens the blow of the cash outlay and also helps keep the house from overflowing with stuff. I make sure that the bills I have to pay are paid first before non-essential purchases are made. I'll save up money for things I want. I don't do this because my wife makes me do it (she doesn't). I do it out of respect for her and our family. Hobby spending shouldn't send you into debt or make life difficult and real expenses should always get priority. With my wife and me, it always comes down to choices. If I buy item XX, I may not have money later for YY (whatever that may be). Am I comfortable with that? If so, buy XX and live with the decision.

For the last year, I've had fun operating with a zero-cash-outlay policy. I started it of my own free will and to see how much I could add to my collection and library without any out-of-pocket expense. This has involved selling off several pieces of my collection, some of whose value has actually appreciated, as well as selling off old books from my shelves, etc. I've also used gift certificates and gift money as well as a jar of change I had sitting around. This has enabled me to "spend" a big chunk of money on my collection and library (over $3,000) without dipping into my checking account. It's been fun and rewarding, knowing that I've improved the library and collection without affecting our financial picture at all.

With us, it's about respect and trust. She respects me and trusts that I won't run the family into the ground with needless spending. I respect her and I'll never consider harming her or us through being a dope and spending foolishly. Happy She lets me display my stuff prominently and in return I consciously avoid cluttering the house with stuff.

I'm well aware that I'm a lucky man and try not to do things that show a lack of appreciation for my situation. Happy

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov, 2007 8:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not really an issue for me as I don't have a live in girl friend or wife and my 87 year old Mom gave up a long time ago managing my life. Laughing Out Loud To be fair to my Mom that has never been a problem except for concerns that I don't overspend.

Actually, I have internalized my own limits and I don't have anyone but myself to put the brakes on overspending i.e. No short term dept that I can't pay in full at the end of the month and no out of control cumulative spending.

So my being reasonable in spending is completely up to me and I don't need to explain or get permission or have to deal with " rolling " eyes. Wink Laughing Out Loud

In other words I have to be my own " adult "! which is probably harder to do i.e. self-discipline is always harder to acquire/maintain than discipline imposed by others or circumstance.

Bob you are very lucky that your wife appreciates your hobby and also loves you enough to want you to be happy. Cool

At the same time I can see some justified need to not lose control of the " sword addiction " as defined as only spending sword money after all life's needs/expenses/savings have been taken care of first. I also see that you are aware of those limits yourself as your sense of responsibility to your family keeps you on the good side of your spending limits.

( Hope that doesn't sound too preachy ? )

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Jonathan Blair




Location: Hanover, PA
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov, 2007 8:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For me, it is an uphill and losing battle. My wife cares very little for my sword collectiong hobby and about threw a fit over my purchase of the Albion Crecy a year ago. Her idea of using money I save is buying the house a gift (ie. fix this or replace that) or "lets get something we all can enjoy."
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - The Lord Jesus Christ, from The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, chapter x, verse 34, Authorized Version of 1611
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William Goodwin




Location: Roanoke,Va
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov, 2007 9:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm blessed in several ways. My wife is British born, she not only is supportive of my obession, but she joins in on the fun as well. We are both history buffs, we've done living history re-acting as a family (my son is included in all this too),she is a period seamstress and is always interested in what I'm working on. We have even done presentations together (her clothing ,my swords) for school groups. She still gives me greif from time to time...calls my collection my "mistresses" 'cause I spend more time with them than her (jokingly). She has even recruited her best friend (also a British lass) to join in on our sword guilde gatherings / cutting parties.

She's my wife and best friend for 18 + years and I try to enjoy everyday with my family in all ways.


Cheers,

Bill



 Attachment: 56.91 KB
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Roanoke Sword Guilde

roanokeswordguilde@live.com
"I was born for this" - Joan of Arc
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov, 2007 11:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is an interesting post.

I was very fortunate that my wife was interested in soe degree before we met, though it had nothing to do with our first meeting. After were had been on a few dates I went to pick her up and had to toss the armour and practice blades in the trunk and she thought it was pretty neat that I made armour. She then helped me make my first decent tunic.

We are both pretty tight with money, but we are poor. I am a fill time postgrad student. We still get to a few reenactment things a year and she is making some very nice things now.

Five years now, one child and things are still wonderful... still do not own an albion sword but I am sure when I have hte cash she will think it worth while...

RPM
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Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
Joined: 24 Oct 2007

Posts: 629

PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov, 2007 12:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Though it's not something outspoken, I suspect most of my family find my obsession with swords to be a bit childish. (Except for my brother who's actually helped me get a hold of a few.) And I'm fairly sure my mother, at least, absolutely doesn't understand how weapons could ever be interesting.

I'm still single, much to my lament, but when I do find a woman to love I naturally hope it'll be one who shares my interests, including this one. Wink
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R D Moore




Location: Portland Oregon
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov, 2007 3:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My wife thinks I'm trying to overcompensate!? She tolerates this hobby, and I've seen her smiling out the window as I slice some squash and other veggies. She had to buy a $5000.00 sewing machine to do the stitch she needed for a pair of pajamas she was making me. And they were really slick. Everytime I sneezed I slid out of bed-hmmm. So I'm thinking she would like a sword for Christmas. A Baron wouild do nicely. Anybody have a room to rent? 30 years now she has put up with me-- and I her. One of us has to be crazy!
"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation" ...Gen. Douglas Macarthur
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Brian Ellis Cassity




Location: Queen Creek, Arizona
Joined: 08 Nov 2006

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov, 2007 4:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My wife has been pretty tolerant so far, but then I'm just starting in this area of interest and only own three swords, none of them really expensive. Since I don't honestly see myself shelling out the dollars for Albions beyond the squire line or anything else over perhaps $400 (I'd have to justify it to myself before justifying it to my wife), I don't foresee any problems with her over this hobby.
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov, 2007 5:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My wife and I met when I was interviewing for a scholarship when I was a senior in high school (she was a freshman in college). My sword collecting came up during the interview, so she has known since the day we met--one full year before we started dating--that swords were a big part of my life. The first 5 years of our marriage saw little action on the sword front. We were "starting out" and did not have the money for many luxuries, then we had a child. Last year she actually encouraged me to buy a sword, and I did! I have even purchased a few since then, with her blessing. She has no interest in swords, but understands that they are a huge part of what makes me tick. She would never make me give them up. She might say, "We cannot afford for you to get one right now," but she would never ask me to sell them or my books.

My 4 year old daughter occasionally shows an interest in swords. I took her to a very small local Renaissance festival here in VT, and she just had to get a wooden sword from a vendor who was selling wasters. I indulged her, naturally, and even got one myself (a bigger one, though). She has also decided that one of my sword bayonets is hers, and sometimes she will want to hold it while watching TV (it stays in its scabbard and she is supervised, of course). I hope that she continues to be interested as she grows older. I have a son on the way, and he will probably like swords someday, but I'd really like to have my daughter like them, too. This hobby/passion/obsession could do with more women!
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov, 2007 5:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My wife just figures a mild fascination with swords is better than a mild fascination with drugs, booze or other women. Its not really her thing but some of her things bore me too. I just make sure my eccentric fascination does not become obsession, addiction or any other driving force in my life and all is fine.
"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Robin Smith




Location: Louisiana
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov, 2007 6:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My fiance is great. She puts up with my never ending kit building, comes to events, and looks great in a wimple and veil. Heck, even though our son is due to be born in December, she is still willing to throw on our kit and go trudge around the Lousiana Ren Fest this weekend. She doesn't complain when I ask her to handstitch the neck, hem, and cuffs. She acts like the voice of reason when I am drooling over a new sword. She's great. Love her to death...
A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
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Bob Burns




Location: South Indianapolis IN
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov, 2007 6:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am Very Grateful Wink to each and every one of you reading this thread and especially to you who have taken the time to write some very interesting posts!
I have found each post to be quite interesting and this has heightened my own appreciation for how truly lucky I am to have Gayle for my wife, which will be 17 years in April. (Gee where has the time gone Eek! )
I also hope that we can to some extent help one another in relation to those who's "significant other" is not all that thrilled and therefore making it real tough for my colleagues! Maybe some ideas might sprout for those finding it difficult to enjoy their passion to a sense of fulfillment! Or at least provide some support, sympathy, empathy and therefore to root our fellow collector onward in his or her quest to find and acquire those cherished pieces to their collection!

Once again, Thank You So Much for sharing your story Exclamation

Sincerely!

Bob

Gayle sure loves her new A & A German Parrying Dagger and she thinks it looks so classy alongside her
Elector of Saxony Dagger! Wait till I buy her that German Rapier, then scabbards and rigging system probably with the hardware being the Griffins. She loves dragons, gargoyles and griffins! LOL
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov, 2007 6:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Two years ago my wife initially expressed the strong opinion that no "gun or sharp thing" belonged on any wall or obvious display area of our house.

Over the last 3 years, she has repeatedly seen visiting guests express strong interest in my "historical based' reproductions of swords that I kept in the closet, and universal interest amongst most children and male father figures of visiting families. This has varied from cub scout's introduced to test cutting, to comparisons of poor reproduction examples carried on Holloween with good quality specimens I now have in my collection.

As of the last 24 calendar hours, she has just bought for me (arrived October 31st, holloween, yesterday) a forge, for my birthday, to enable me to further pursue trying own attempts at reproducing historical swords.

If your partner's current opinion is not favorable, be patient and tolerant of your spouse's position. It could very well change once they realize and appreciate the historical aspects, craftsmanship, and very broad range of appeal of the weapon collecting hobby!

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Jessica Finley
Industry Professional



Location: Topeka, Kansas
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov, 2007 6:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My husband has always been quite supportive! After all, we met due to swords. *grin*
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov, 2007 8:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's great when couples can share the love or at least the understanding of the same hobby but when that is not the case there should be some respect for stuff the husband or wife has No interest in.

I'm sure many wives have interests that leave their husbands completely indifferent also: Does this mean that we should roll our eyes when they indulge ?

Maybe everyone should just respect the individuality of their partner to like weird, to them, stuff ?

What seems to one to be a great big waste of money on swords that might be better used by the other for a huge collection of shoes ! One person's passion can be the other's waste of money.

Sure, if one can't pay the rent because of too much spending on " toys " it is a problem: But the reverse of that is that if one can't indulge in one's passion without it becoming a big issue, that's no fun at all !

Time for Doctor Phil moment maybe ? Good communication, love, being best friends, each respecting the other's individuality etc ... Pick someone you love and like the way they are because people can't be " CHANGED " and trying to is probably the cause of most marital problems. ( Well, the only time people change it comes from inside and not from outside pressure or nagging ).

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Jason Daub




Location: Peace River, Alberta
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Nov, 2007 10:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My wife, Michele, is great, she has little interest in history or in this hobby but certainly indulges me in it. I would like to say that since I've given up motorcycles and cars as a hobby that the "sticker shock" of this hobby is a lot easier on her. She grew up very frugally and the concept of an $800 knife that isn't used for any constructive purpose is awfully strange to her, but at least it isn't like a $5000 overhaul on a 455 that you proceed to grenade "high speed endurance testing" and have to do over again or a $3600 six-speed.

I've been lucky, with a comfortable income and a healthy family so the amount that I spend on this hobby is not a hardship, and I intend to keep it that way. Well, maybe an excursion into financing a 1470's Milanese harness, that is if the H. Tolley 8 bore at the Westley Richards website doesn't get me first, now that is Damascus! Hmm, damascus barrelled black powder stopping rifles, that would be an entertaining experiment this time of year, what's more fun on pumpkins, a Schloss Erbach or 1800 grns of lead at 1500fps?

Michele knows how much I love this stuff and lets me while away my time and extra money on it, and I try to keep her wants in mind before I spend a bunch of cash, I guess balance is the key.

'I saw young Harry, -with his bevor on,
His cuisses on his thighs, gallantly arm'd,-
Rise from the ground like feather'd Mercury,
And vaulted with such ease into his seat,
As if an angel dropp'd down from the clouds,
To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus,
And witch the world with noble horsemanship.'
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Fri 02 Nov, 2007 1:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I will tell you my Mother thought I was mad to make armour. I started with mail about 12-14 and then started plate.... at least mail was quiet she said!!!

Then at 16 I bought a nice late 15th sword. It was a wall hanger. The only one I own. I hid it under my bed for almost a year.... Sadly it was discovered and my mom was quite upset as one can imagine. My Dad luckily came to me side and said since I had already bought it I could not send it back.... Then I decided that meant I could hvae more. Which I do.

It took the better part of 5 years to convince my mom I was not crazy. It took my first year in college to make her realize that most of my history teachers though it was a great hobby and useful for education as well. My mom is a teacher so in the end that had great effect. Now she has even come to a few reenactment events before I moved to the mother country. I also got most of my 4 brothers and 2 sisters involved in the reenactment at various points as well so all my family has particiated in it now. Not that I am nearing 30 it is funny to see how things change.

best thing to do is be respectful. Understanding what they dislike. My mom disliked sharp things around unsecure. Understandable, I am the olderest of 7. So I found places to secure them. Loud noises. did my best to go to a place where it was not as loud. In the end this paid off.

RPM
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