by Baron Master Devon Adair Bartholemy and Baroness Mistress Daedez of the Dark Horde Moritu

Dave Cooper

Like his father before him, Dave Cooper was one hard worker. Like his father before him, he helped run Coopers’ Lake Campground and expand it into the amazing event site it is today. Dave was one of our hosts for 39 of the 44 Pennsic Wars to date. In the process, his service and courtesy more than earned the Court Baronetcy earlier royalty bestowed on him. Oh, and like Mac before him, Dave was a man of few words.

Some years back, Dave joined us at a campfire on the final night of Æthelmearc War Practice. Dae and I considered it a singular honor. Between the pleasantries and companionable silences that ensued, I said: “You know, Dave, your home has a pretty special place in the hearts and minds of a lot of SCAdians. Quite a few of us have said that if the modern world ever fell apart, this is where we’d want to head. What do you think about that?”

Dave looked at us and then gave me the Cooper nod. (That’s several seconds of concerted thought, followed by a single decisive bob of the head.) “Bring seed,” Dave said.

Well, by Pennsic 24, I had acquired a few hundred packets of flower and vegetable seeds. I passed them out to everyone I knew who could pick Dave out of a crowd. Dave couldn’t go anywhere that War without having some random attendee walk up and give him a big grin or hug, and a packet of seeds. Dave took the joke with remarkably good grace.

At Pennsic 25, there were new flower beds next to the camp store and under the bath house balcony. There was also a vegetable garden out by the old stone house.   Dave mentioned that he had considered labeling the rows NOT with what the packets said they contained, but with the names of the friends who had given them to him. I figure I’d have been the pumpkins, Eddy the zucchini, Melkor the squash, and so on.

I’m going to miss Dave something fierce. But if hard work, valor, and kindness can be said to grow, then (I don’t care whether you call him Heimdallr or St. Peter) I’m willing to bet that the gatekeeper greeted Dave Cooper’s arrival with a knowing nod and the words: ”You brought seed.”

With heartfelt condolences to Betty Cooper, and all of Dave’s family,

Baron Master Devon Adair Bartholomy, Mayor of Pennsics 32 and 40, and

Baroness Mistress Daedez of the Dark Horde Moritu.