Governing Body Report July/August 2010
Elvis has left Las Vegas!
Those of you who joined the SAFD within the last three years you may not be aware that the weapons stock of our organization has been in storage at our home city, Las Vegas. (A larger than life image of Elvis is printed on one of the road boxes.) With the consolidation to one workshop location, we needed to bring Elvis to North Carolina. Luckily, Fight Master Girard and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts have supplied the National Stage Combat Workshop with weapons over the last few years.
This year we needed all of the weapons on hand as the NSCW is bursting at the seams with students. The Teacher Certification Workshop, Advanced Actor-Combatant, Actor-Combatant and Introduction to Stage Combat Workshop will all be in full swing and the equipment was desperately needed on site this year at the UNCSA campus.
Rocky Mountain Representative Member and Advanced Actor-Combatant Benaiah Anderson and myself met up in Las Vegas on Monday, June 21 to load up a moving truck and transport the weapons across country from Las Vegas to Winston-Salem. Our first order of business was to meet long time NSCW On-site Coordinator (retired), Linda McCollum, at Terribles Casino and Hotel for breakfast.
During our meeting, a solemn transfer of the keys to the storage units took place. In addition to her dedicated service as NSCW On-site Coordinator, Linda was Editor-in-Chief of the FIGHT MASTER magazine and keeper of the SAFD library for many years. Along with the weapons, the library was also added to the truck for transport across country. The governing body extends its sincere thanks to her for all she has done for the SAFD.
The next order of business was loading of the truck in the desert sun. It was hot. The boxes were heavy, but the lure of the craps table made the work go quickly. Tuesday, June 22 (noon) our work in Vegas was concluded and Elvis was safe in the truck (I had also lost all the money my lovely wife had alloted me to gamble--I should have stopped when I was up).
It was now time for the long drive across country, down to the Hoover Dam and straight across Interstate 40 to Winston-Salem and the UNCSA campus. Did you know Homeland Security checks the contents of moving trucks crossing Hoover Dam? You get an odd smile when the armed agent finds out you have a truck full of swords.
Luckily, the drive across country was without incident and on Friday, June 25 Benaiah and I found ourselves in Winston-Salem where the new NSCW Coordinator, Mike Mahaffey, was anxiously awaiting the arrival of Elvis. We unloaded the truck. It was hot. A different type of hot akin to being wrapped in a wet blanket and having a fever. The boxes remained heavy.
A touching emotional moment was shared when I observed that Mike had all the SAFD tools in his possession for the upcoming National Stage Combat Workshop. Mike put a hand on Elvis, his head dropped a little and he let out a breath. What Elvis contained was the sum journey that many of us took as neophytes in the world of stage combat. These were the weapons we learned on under the expert tutelage of Fight Masters Boushey, Fredricksen, Martinez and so many of the rest of the College of Fight Masters.
The next few days were less than romantic and consisted of Benaiah and myself cleaning weapons and making the armory ready for the upcoming events. The desert was very good to the steel. Moreover, Benaiah has spent many years apprenticing under long time sword cutler Denny Graves, so all can rest assured that our stock was given a serious once over by a well trained eye in the art of making steel serviceable to our needs on stage as actors. For those of you new to the organization and the National Stage Combat Workshop, WELCOME! For you veterans, Elvis is back in the building!