Real Name: Wanda Michaud Spencer

SCA Name & Title: THL Eleanore Godwin

Number of years in the SCA?  28 years

How did you find out about the SCA?  We went to a demo at a mall in Jamestown, New York. It was hosted by members of the Shire of Heronter.

Where did you start, what was your first event? My first event was Harvest Raid II. It was a great experience! We even experienced a wedding! We thought that was normal for every event.

What is your persona? Eleanore Godwin is a 13th century Anglo-Saxon woman who has been widowed twice.  She is an heiress in her own right, so owns property that is hers.  Edward I is on the throne and fighting a war in Scotland. Since it is expensive, he has raised taxes on us lesser nobles. I provide 5 knights, equipment, and horses to the crown. Edward was looking for more and devised a way to get more money by offering a “widow’s dispensation”. What that means is I can pay him to get a written dispensation that guarantees I cannot be forced to marry against my will. So, I run my manor, and my expenses, and most importantly, my life without interference from any man.

Why did you pick this persona?  Well, the last name is my grandmother’s maiden name and in researching it, found it is the name of a very early king of England. Earl Godwinson. The time and place came from garb I saw someone wearing and I thought “it’s a jumper I can make that!” So, I ended up 13th century Anglo-Saxon.

Do you have any group or household affiliations? I am a member of the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael, Clan Blackheart, the Tribe Tuatha Firen, and Otter’s Keep.

Tell us a little bit about your life outside the SCA… I’m getting settled in a new home, I like meeting with friends, and talking about everything!  I have a two-year-old grandson who is a busy, chatty, little smarty pants! I’m looking to have a new routine with plenty of things to do! I get to travel some, and that is fun!

What SCA activities do you, or have you participated in? Scribal arts are my first love! I have been a Thrown Weapons marshal, and a 3-time baronial Thrown Weapons Champion. I have been an archer, and target designer! I have been a teacher of many different subjects, from heraldry, scribal arts, to embroidery.

Tell us a little bit about your SCA experience (jobs, offices, duties, etc.)  I have held many different offices from chatelaine, to herald, A&S officer, group signet, demo coordinator, chancellor minor (principality). I have autocrated many events, small and large, I have taught classes small and large. I spent many hours running thrown weapons ranges and helping run events.

When you started in the SCA what goals did you have? My goals were to meet people, work at events so people could have fun, help where needed, and possibly receive recognition.

What are your goals now?  Teach scribal arts to people who are looking to start making scrolls and scribes who want to improve their skills. I want to meet new people and go to events I haven’t gone to before, or that it’s been a long time since I attended.

What was the most intimidating thing you encountered in the SCA? Speaking in front of court as herald! I was a teacher and could talk to a large class, but in court, Yikes! Not much intimidates me now, I’m a survivor of heart surgery!

After the unexpected shutdown ends, what is one thing you would like to accomplish in the SCA?  Encouraging new people to join the SCA and start having fun! Then see them time after time participating more by working at events, holding offices, and bringing their friends to join too!

What advice would you give to a new person in the SCA, or if new yourself, what question would you ask?  I would say take your time getting comfortable with what we do. Make yourself familiar with how we function as a group. Do not be afraid to speak to someone you don’t know. Ask a question if there is something you want to know. Don’t try to do it all, be it all. Take your time figuring out your persona, name, and culture. You may change your mind after you “find your place” in the SCA!

If you magically woke up with an SCA talent that you do not have, what would it be? To cook an SCA feast! I know so little about medieval cooking, it would be wonderful to be able to do that!

If you had to join the SCA in another “era” (1970,1980, etc.) what “era” would you pick and why?  I might have joined in the early ’80’s.  I would have had the energy to learn to fence!

Don’t be modest, what award or honor would you like to receive above all else and why? I would like to be considered for a peerage. I think it is a way to do more to serve my kingdom in a more impactful way.

If you could pick one thing you would like to see more of in the SCA, what would it be? (and why)? I would like to see more people helping run events. It lightens everyone’s burden and gives a sense of pride to those who are getting things done for others! Seeing people have fun is a good goal!

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