[Darkwood-SCA] Fwd: The Eric

Michelle Chapman-Thurber mct at warriorprincess.com
Mon Jul 3 11:41:04 PDT 2006

On another list I belong to arrived this lovely post with a window 
into how "The Eric" got its name.  I enjoyed it, and thought you might too...


 > I have a question for you West Kingdom folks. What is the origin of
 > calling
 > the Tourney Field the Eric?
 > Caroline, Meridies

>Oh goodie! Story time!
>Way back in the dawn of time, oh dearly best beloved (oops, wrong
>author) there were tourneys. There was one pavilion, then 2, 3, and a
>Royal pavilion. This part doesn't really matter to the topic, I'm just
>trying to set the mood. If an event had 100+ people it was big. We sat
>on blankets around the Field of Honor and watched the fighting. 1 or 2
>ladies found some red fabric at a very cheap price and made a short
>(maybe 6-8 inches high) edge-of-the-field marker.(Possibly because more
>families with children were coming to events) Others helped by making
>bent wire holders to make the fabric stand up. It was probably mostly
>bent coat hangar wire. It was decided to make the barrier short and
>pliable so that if someone got too close, it would bend and lay down
>flat, so the fighters wouldn't get hurt. It was also easy to step over.
>Because of its color it was called Eric the Red (as in something/someone
>you didn't cross without a good reason). The color quickly faded to a
>tomato soup color and it got saggy. It was also only big enough for one
>fight at a time. Melees getting popular, the group growing, and the red
>needing help, another length, longer than the first was created out of
>yellow cloth (same style so they could be used together if we ever
>needed a field that big). More bent wire was also pressed into service,
>possibly slightly thicker wire. The yellow part was called the Yellow
>Peril. It faded, too. It got dirty, thin from being washed, and saggy
>enough to match the now nominally red part (sort of a dirty pink and no
>Viking wants that as their legacy). Another enterprising household
>decided we needed a whole new barrier. We were already regularly calling
>it Eric, as in its name, out of respect for the first one. The new one
>was a little taller, used stronger wire and made of a slightly more
>sturdy fabric, all in white. It was twice as long as the red and yellow
>combined (appoximately). That one was called the Great White Hope, which
>no one liked (the name, not the barrier). I think the hope was that it
>would last more than a couple of tourney seasons.
>The different barriers continued to be used (depending on who showed up
>and which one they brought). They were all called The Eric as it was
>custom and the easiest to remember. I think there was a short lived
>interim barrier called The Barrier Grief but I have no memory of what it
>looked like, just a name. Eventually, someone got brave and made the
>higher rope and flag system we use now. It has been through 3 or 4
>different sets, each one working a little better than the last.
>So to answer your question directly, it isn't. The field wasn't
>originally called The Eric out here. The Eric is the barrier between the
>populace and the Field of Honor. In the last few years the field has
>been called The Eric or The Lists Field. How the area around the field
>became known The Eric (Area), I can only chalk up to new blood not
>realizing that The Eric is mearly the barrier. I always laugh inside
>when people talk about being "on The Eric". I picture them perched on
>that rope trying to make it from one pole to the next. And "camping on
>The Eric" simply boggles my mind.
>Hope that answers your question,
>Patrice/West, who joined in ASII and remembers all this

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