Real Name: William James Dowie

SCA Name & title: Lord William fitz William

Years in the SCA: 37, on and off, more off than on, about 6 total active years in the bunch, the last being about 14 years ago.

How did you find out about the SCA? I went to the Sterling Renaissance Faire and the Shire of Delftwood was having a demo there that day. I had just turned 13.

Where did you start, what was your first event?

My parents weren’t keen on driving me to SCA stuff, so my first years were essentially as a lurker, reading TI and the Pikestaff. I drifted away into other pursuits, I rediscovered the SCA in college in the early 1990’s on “The Rialto”. I read that usenet newsgroup for a few years before I could convince my girlfriend Mona and a couple of guys I knew that we should do stuff. We started going to Delftwood fighter practices for a while, then more or less dropped out again without ever having gone to an event. Mona and I later decided to give it another shot and just went to a few events to check them out and see if it was for us. It was, and I always suspected it was, but as a couple of nerdy introverts, we had a hard time making ourselves go do stuff with other people. I want to say an early Melee Madness was first, but it may have been a Thescorre baronial championship event or maybe something else.

What is your persona? I am William fitz William, 12 century Anglo-Norman.

Why did you pick this persona?

At first I tried being Bjorn, because it means “Bear” and I have often been described as bear-like and I dig viking stuff, but Mona always called me William, so that’s how everyone knew me. Ultimately it was set in stone when I fought in my first tournament in Myrkfaelinn, the day I authorized as a heavy fighter, when they needed an SCA name. My name is William mundanely, and my father’s name is also William, as was his father before him, and his before him, so a patronymic seemed like an easy way to go. I considered very briefly going with Uilleam Mac Uilleam, to honor our Scottish Gaelic heritage, but made the executive decision to go Norman, because the Normans are the super hero warriors of the high middle ages.

Do you have any group or household affiliations?

Not currently. I had been a member of Duke James’ household during it’s brief existence “die pferden von Lindau am Bodensee”, which I may have spelled wrong, as I do not really speak German and it was some time ago. I also had my own unofficial household that was mainly myself and my lady and a few of our sometimes Scadian friends and eventually our kids.

Tell us a little bit about your life outside the SCA.

I am a 50 year old disabled widower, I don’t have a lot to talk about about my life outside the SCA these days. I do a little consulting, editing and playtesting for RPGs mostly OSR stuff, some other systems.

What SCA activities do you or have you participated in?

I have been a heavy fighter, and I plan to get back to it. I have been a herald, voice and research, a marshal, I have autocratted a couple of Baronial events, run or worked a few feasts, served feast once, taught a class on how to make a gambeson at A&S once with a friend, stood guard at a royalty room once.

Tell us a little bit about your SCA experience (jobs, offices, duties, etc.)

I don’t recall ever holding an office outright except for baronial heavy weapons champion, which is more of an honor than an office, but I was a deputy herald and deputy knight marshal for a while.

When you started in the SCA what goals did you have?

I wanted to be a knight because that has always been my goal since I was a child. I wanted to make my lady a queen, that never happened.

What are your goals now?

I’d still like to be a knight, it’s still possible, but replacing the prowess I had is going to be harder at my age. I need to replace my fighting kit, which was stolen off my porch a few years back while I was in the process of moving house.

What was the most intimidating thing you encountered in the SCA?

Extemporaneous public speaking, I am always afraid I am going to screw something up and look foolish, or inadvertently insult someone.

If you could accomplish only one thing in the SCA in the next year, what would it be?

Replace my lost fighting gear. I am pretty single minded about that right now.

What advice would you give to a new person in the SCA, or if new yourself what question would you ask and who would you ask it of?

Find the things you like in the society and do them, don’t worry about not being good right away, if you like it it doesn’t matter.

If you magically woke up with an SCA talent you do not already have, what would it be?

Sewing, for real. I am good for a bit of mending here and there if it really needs it and no one better is able to do it. Anything artistic would be nice too, but I only get one, right?

If you had to join the SCA in another “era” (1970, 1980, etc.), what “era” would you pick and why?

1970’s I guess. I think it would be awesome to be there in the beginning and watch it grow.

Don’t be modest, what award or honor would you like to receive above all else and why?

Knighthood was my goal, always. I strive to live with the virtues of knighthood in my life anyway.

If you could pick one thing you would like to see more of in the SCA, what would it be?

Young people. The entire organization was founded by idealistic young people. We need new blood to survive, ideally there would be at least as many people in their 20’s as there are in their 50’s, but I am not really seeing it.

Any final thoughts?

The people I met in the SCA are some of the best friends I ever had. When Mona and I planned on getting married in a small civil ceremony, our SCA friends decided to throw us a wedding and it was awesome, to this day I have people occasionally tell me it was the coolest wedding they’d ever attended. Later, after Mona died of cancer, they were still there for me. They helped me move and provided a support system, without which I cannot say where I’d be today.

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