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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 04 Feb, 2005 7:14 am    Post subject: The Early Years         Reply with quote

I'm curious about how people come to this hobby, and finding this photo inspired me to think about my own path to myArmoury.com.

This is me and a group of my friends in the 6th grade, Auburn, Alabama, ca. 1981, just before wailing on each other with sticks. I'm the crusader with the cardboard armour, shield, cape (???) and great helm (and bowl cut, Toughskins and "pie-crusts"--I was not the hippest child, but this look now seems to have come into style--the street clothes, I mean, not the armour and cape).

I got hooked through foreign travel with my family. Tons of museums full of arms and armour and cathedrals full of effigies--it worked on me subconsciously, I guess, and emerged in adulthood.



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 04 Feb, 2005 8:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean;

Hard to tell when it all started for me as I have had a fascination for weapons, castles, history as far as I can remember.

One of the first things I remember is my mother telling me the story of the Trojan Horse and the fall of Troy as a bed time story. Also stories about Joan of Arc.

Early TV series like the Robin Hood series of the early 1950 period with Richard Green.

Another series about William Tell and some sort of Viking series (Probably called "The Vikings" go figure ....... LOL.)
Lots of innacurate horned helmets and people with blonde hair. The main caractor could have been a Kirk Douglas clone and his main friend / sidekick was a bearded giant armed with a massive wooden club roughtly carved as a woman I think he called it Matilda: Today I would say that he had a rather affectionate attachment to it, he did spend a lot of time kissing it after "Braining" multiple foes . Definately a Berserker type with a soft spot for a nice wood grain ...... LOL. The whole thing probably warped me for life. (Could explain my affection for my A&A Poleaxe ....... LOL. )

Oh, a lot of the early Disney stuff like the series about Davy Crocket, Robin hood, Rob Roy, Treasure Island.

Errold Flynn movies, Charlton Heston movies like Ben Hur, the Keep, Omega man, El Cid, Kartoum etc......

Love of weapons led to an interest in history, politics, tactics, psychology and other distantly related subjects.

Sci. Fi. and historical fiction, also the sub-genre of alternate history and Sci fi set on pre-industrial worlds.

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




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PostPosted: Fri 04 Feb, 2005 8:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In the beginning..the earth was void....oopps.wrong story....


Actually misfortune kinda brought me into it. While being laid up in the hospital back in 1983, someone brought me a couple of books to read. Those books just happened to be the first two volumes of the Elric Saga by Michael Moorcock.
From that point on, I became very intriqued by the concept of man and blade being one. Bought my first wall hanger a year later,(Toledo Great Captain replica) and then four years later married a British born lassie and was introduced to the world of English culture and history.


Bill

Roanoke Sword Guilde

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


Last edited by William Goodwin on Fri 04 Feb, 2005 8:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


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PostPosted: Fri 04 Feb, 2005 8:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Oh, a lot of the early Disney stuff like the series about Davy Crocket, Robin hood, Rob Roy, Treasure Island.


Oh, yes! forgot to mention those! Robin Hood was a particular favorite. Maid Marion was a fox--literally, you know. I had a huge crush on her. That almost certainly was a stimulus to take up the sword and bow. Now that I look at MM out of the cartoon context, she appears to be wearing a burka. That kind of harshes my groove.



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Gordon Frye




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PostPosted: Fri 04 Feb, 2005 8:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean, Don't get me started (again! you know I can be pretty verbose!). I'll just post this picture and pretty much leave it at that. I think I was three or so, and here wearing my Confederate sword belt with a Navy Colt in the holster... ca. 1961? Although my tastes in what period of arms I'm into at the moment might change from time to time, the basic focus hasn't for over 40 years, LOL!

Cheers,

Gordon



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"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
http://www.renaissancesoldier.com/
http://historypundit.blogspot.com/
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Howard Waddell
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PostPosted: Fri 04 Feb, 2005 8:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gordon Frye wrote:
Sean, Don't get me started (again! you know I can be pretty verbose!). I'll just post this picture and pretty much leave it at that. I think I was three or so, and here wearing my Confederate sword belt with a Navy Colt in the holster... ca. 1961? Although my tastes in what period of arms I'm into at the moment might change from time to time, the basic focus hasn't for over 40 years, LOL!

Cheers,

Gordon


That looks like the same one I had! I played with the saber (plastic hilt and plastic/rubbery blade) until the blade was just a nub... I think my parents got it from Sears...

Best,

Howy

Albion Swords Ltd
http://albion-swords.com
http://filmswords.com
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 04 Feb, 2005 8:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey! What a great photo! A pony AND a Colt--I guess it sucked to be you, huh?

I suspect the Civil War centennial and late 60's re-emergence of the Western (Josie Wales, et al.) sparked the imagination many of us. My first sword, ca. 1st grade, was a plastic Civil War saber that I quickly snapped in half. My father, a historian, consoled me by pointing out that real swords often broke in battle. Come to think of it, this may be the origin of my preference for the battered, crusty antique over the pristine new replica.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Gordon Frye




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PostPosted: Fri 04 Feb, 2005 9:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Howard Waddell wrote:
Gordon Frye wrote:
Sean, Don't get me started (again! you know I can be pretty verbose!). I'll just post this picture and pretty much leave it at that. I think I was three or so, and here wearing my Confederate sword belt with a Navy Colt in the holster... ca. 1961? Although my tastes in what period of arms I'm into at the moment might change from time to time, the basic focus hasn't for over 40 years, LOL!

Cheers,

Gordon


That looks like the same one I had! I played with the saber (plastic hilt and plastic/rubbery blade) until the blade was just a nub... I think my parents got it from Sears...

Best,

Howy


Howy;

Yeah, it probably was the same set! I know that it was recycled as the "Branded" set later on, as a friend has this in his "Collection" (LOL!) and it's the same stuff. I think I must have busted the sword too, just like you and Sean, but I made mine into a bowie knife, I think.... something to assault my Brother with, regardless.

Sean, yeah, I've led a tough life, huh? I guess my biggest burden in life has been to figure out how to pay for the upgrades in guns, swords and horses, LOL! Ah, a life spent in the pursuit of cool stuff! Big Grin Now to figure out how to hang on to the LAST set of cool stuff, without sacrificing it on the altar of affording the NEXT set of cool stuff! Confused

Cheers,

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
http://www.renaissancesoldier.com/
http://historypundit.blogspot.com/
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Aaron Justice




Location: Southern California
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PostPosted: Fri 04 Feb, 2005 9:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I used to play a lot with lattice wood that I shaped into different swords. All were the single edged falchion shape, and by some coincidence I developed a Samurai style daisho by having a longsword, shortsword, and a dagger. I used to stick them in a tree when I was done and then come back to get them the next day. Everything was "Legend of Zelda" back then.

Then my mom threw them away. I was crushed.

Even to this day my mom displays a form of animosity towards my choice of collection, referring to it as childish. I don't return any rudeness in kind but inform her that if swords were a childish hobby the last 4 millenia of our history wouldn't have been spent trying to perfect it.

How can there be a perfect sword when PEOPLE come in all shapes and sizes too?
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 04 Feb, 2005 10:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron;

Your mother is right it is childish ......... LOL.

But what "sensible" persons don't get is that childish things, also known as our passions, are what makes life worth living, while the sensible nescessities merely keep you alive.

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




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PostPosted: Fri 04 Feb, 2005 2:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It’s funny you ask this question as it is something I wondered about myself. As I am fairly new to sword collecting and WMA I am still getting puzzled looks from my family and friends as I wax poetic about a new bastard sword that I am coveting.

I guess that I can blame most of it on my father (how Freudian of me). He has been into military history and wargaming since his childhood and instilled it in my brother and I. While he gave up wargaming long ago he still has deep love for antique toy soldiers and has turned that passion into a nice retirement career. My dad also has an old college buddy who used to be the curator at the Higgins armory so we spent a few family vacations there getting the behind the scenes tour. Of course there also were many trips to museums and wargaming/military hobbyist stores along the way. My brother and I used to make swords and pole arms out of thick cardboard tubes and bash the hell out of each other in the back yard. I went through a heavy fantasy RPG phase in middle school and high school that lent itself to a rudimentary arms and armor education. About this time I also got more into collectible lead soldiers and fantasy figures.

It has only been in recent years that I have rediscovered a love of history and military history in particular. I guess the sword addiction has sprung from this. I have always had an interest in weapons of all kinds but as I grow older the focus seems to be almost exclusively on swords and other medieval weaponry.

I guess that explains it as much as anything. Sean, thanks for asking the question. It really makes one think.
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Anton de Vries





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PostPosted: Fri 04 Feb, 2005 2:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When I was about 3 years old, my parents took me to the Muiderslot, a little 12th C castle out in the country.



There I got to hold a medieval sword. (Hold....I was unable to get the tip off the floor, it was far too heavy for little me.)
And yes I like to brag that the first sword I ever held was a 'real' one. Cool

Only recently (that's about 40 years later....) I gave in to the strange attraction I feel towards edged weapons.
It came as a surprise that medieval swords and replicas are actually light enough to lift, and can even be wielded with relative ease.
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Gordon Frye




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PostPosted: Fri 04 Feb, 2005 3:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Anton de Vries wrote:
When I was about 3 years old, my parents took me to the Muiderslot, a little 12th C castle out in the country.





Anton; That's a neat castle! Are you in the Netherlands or Belgium? And do you still live nearby? I'd love to see more pictures of it, and hear some of it's history from a local!

Thanks,

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
http://www.renaissancesoldier.com/
http://historypundit.blogspot.com/
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B. Stark
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PostPosted: Fri 04 Feb, 2005 3:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vorpal Sticks and Imaginary Dragons!!!! Works everytime. So does getting your fingers wrapped by you friend during an overly zealous but friendly bout of early WMA! Big Grin Good thing we discovered trash can lids. Much to our fathers dissapointment though...
"Wyrd bi∂ ful aræd"

Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense?

Patrick Henry
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Anton de Vries





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PostPosted: Fri 04 Feb, 2005 3:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gordon Frye wrote:

Anton; That's a neat castle! Are you in the Netherlands or Belgium? And do you still live nearby? I'd love to see more pictures of it, and hear some of it's history from a local!

Thanks,

Gordon


I agree it's extremely cute. Very toy-castle like. I live in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. That castle is close to Amsterdam. Real tough guys like me can easily reach it by bicycle. Razz
It was built by Count Floris V in 1280 or so, and it's main purpose, apart from continuous partying/beerdrinking, was to control shipping/traffic I believe. As you can see in the picture it's entirely made of brick, as there's no stone in the low countries. You might wonder (I know I did) if that's even remotely effective against say a trebuchet, but then you have to realise that there weren't any rocks to use as trebuchet ammo either. It got sacked and torched anyway, possibly several times.
That's about all I can conjure up from memory. They have their own mediocre-at-most website at http://www.muiderslot.nl/ (dutch language only, but there are a few nice pics) and of course Google can come up with some info and of course pictures.
The plan is to go there again when the weather gets a bit nicer and take tons of pics with my digital camera. The armoury is v e r y nice.
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Gordon Frye




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PostPosted: Fri 04 Feb, 2005 3:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Anton... I'm just amazed that it didn't get "modernized" during the Dutch Revolt of 1568-1609... Or maybe it was just superfluous to the garrisoning of the Netherlands by then. Anyway, cute castle, thanks!

Cheers,

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
http://www.renaissancesoldier.com/
http://historypundit.blogspot.com/
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Fri 04 Feb, 2005 7:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Without a doubt I blame a childhood of Dungeons and Dragons. Whatever misconceptions I got from that (and there were quite a few, let me tell you), it certainly was all downhill from there on my desires to seek out swords and swordsmanship, from aikido to fencing to stage combat to WMA and beyond.

I recall going out with plastic bats and swordfighting with my friends... of course, I also recall as I was a little older (12-13ish) going out with large heavy branches and doing the same things (I'm still surprised to this day I have all of my fingers). I only wish half of the knowledge resources that are available today were available to me back then! I would've gone nuts over one of Christian Tobler's books alone!
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Joseph C.




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PostPosted: Sat 05 Feb, 2005 6:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, my love of history in general started early. My parents were very poor when I was little, so they didn't have (or could afford) books to read to me. However, a kind-hearted soul gave them a set of encyclopedias. My mother used to read them to me... And apparently, I learned to recognize WWII figures when I was quite young... As my parent's financial outlook improved, there were more books available to me, and I especially liked fairy tales. I also, eventually, got a coloring book full of knights (which I still have).

But that was just the groundwork! In 6th grade I read my first fantasy novel, attended my first Ren. Faire, was given a MRL catalogue by a friend of my father, and played Dungeons and Dragons for the first time... Since then, I've had a strong love of medieval weapons and armor--and have read what I can on it.

And now, fifteen years later, I received my first medieval replica. Happy It was a long wait, but it feels really great to have a dream actualized. Cool

Hosea 4:6a
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Sat 01 Aug, 2009 8:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean's picture in this older post reminded me of growing up in the 70's. My parents left home one evening, thinking it was safe to leave some 13 year olds alone. My best friend and I got our hockey masks, made shields out of wood with foam padding and straps behind, then got a pile of sticks and started wailing on each other. I can remember my best move was to fake a downward slash, let it glance off his shield on the way down and then come back up under his shield with upward thrust. That seemed to get him every time. There were splinters everywhere when my parents got home but no injuries.

Later we made better swords out of hockey sticks (obviously this was in Canada), complete with guard and pommel. I still have mine (the first sword in my collection I guess) - it is covered in carven Elven ruins that I can no longer read. These were heavier and hurt like heck on impact, as I recall. We got caught at some point and had to move our battles to a local field.

There was another time my parents were out and we decided it was time for spear practice in the backyard, complete with great shouts as we released our javelins into the air. Apparently the nieghbours were horrified and told my parents, who then figured out why there were holes everywhere in the backyard.

Ah yes, those were the days.

I must take a picture of that hocky-stick sword some time - is there a 'first sword' thread here somewhere?
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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Sat 01 Aug, 2009 10:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Probably began in earnest by watching the Hobbit cartoon in third grade one day instead of reading for English (what a clever teacher). Set in place when my sixth grade basketball team stated playing D&D while waiting for practice (we had the l-a-t-e slot at the gym). I didn't last that long in basketball, other sports came along that I enjoyed more, but that cartoon and the D&D led me to reading the Trilogy and the Silmarillion and all manner of other Science Fantasy. I was hooked at that point.

My freinds and I also found that survey markers make the most wonderful improvised swords, and that the helpful work crews on a loal sewer project seemed intent on keeping us constantly supplied with new weapons over several summers!!! Big Grin Eek! Razz

"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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