The Company-of-Foote!

Sir Nicholas Worthington’s Company-of-Foote!

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Once again, the bug in wordpress’ save function forced us to publish…

at The Renaissance Pleasure Faire (North)
at Black Point Forest, Novato in Marin County, California

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Sir Nicholas Worthington’s Company-of-Foote RPFN ’83 at Black Point, Novato in Marin County, California

“Why then the world’s mine oyster, which I with sword will open.”
-Pistol (“The Merry Wives of Windsor” Act 2, scene ii by William Shakespeare)

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Worthington’s Company-of-Foote RPFN ’84

This Blog is about the magical Northern Renaissance Pleasure Faire at Black Point Forest, Novato, in Marin County, California, just north of San Francisco, in the early to late 1980’s, produced by The Living History Centre (LHC) and the College of Renaissance Delights).

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“Eat, Drynk & Be Merry!” at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire (North)

We have written about the Renaissance Faire before. You can read the previous Blogs “Phyllis Patterson RIP She Changed My Life” and “Return to the Paramount Ranch”, (and see pictures of) the old Southern Faire Site in Agoura.

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“Make Ye Way! Make Ye Way!”

In 1582, journeyman monger Eric Bacon left his home in Chipping-under-Oakwood and joined Nicholas Worthington’s Company-of-Foote mercenary soldiers. He went to Flanders to fight the Spanish and on his return to the Shire he faithfully served her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth for two more years (1583-84) as a Royal Guard and Chair Bearer during the Queen’s Progress through the annual Harvest Faire. “G-d Save The Queen!”

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Eric Bacon left Worthington’s Company-of-Foote honorably after the 1584 Harvest Faire. He joined The Fool’s Guild, became a follower of St. Stupid, and also “served” as the Lord Mayor’s Fool. For several years he was often seen walking the streets and wandering throughout the Shire after dark looking for trouble. He mysteriously vanished into the Woods of Holly in 1588, never to be seen again.

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In Spring of 1980 we were introduced to the fun of working at the annual Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Southern California by an older high school friend. In late summer of 1981, we began “carpool” commuting each weekend from Los Angeles to Marin County to visit and work at the Northern Renaissance Pleasure Faire at Black Point, Novato in Summer (and still working at the Southern Faire in Spring) as a street actor.

Costume Crew

In 1982, we were first hired as an hourly CREW employee by the Costume Department for a promotional fashion show at the Old Globe Theatre in West Hollywood. We worked for the CREW Costume Department and continued to perform as a street actor first with the Mongers, and then with the Company-of-Foote, at the Northern Faire until 1985 when we began working for the Security Department as well as Costumes.

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When we moved to Santa Cruz for college we commuted to both the Northern and Southern Faire (and also the Dickens’ Christmas Fair at the Fox Theatre in Oakland and Pier 45 in San Francisco) and we continued working for Living History Centre Security and Costume Departments until we graduated. We moved to Novato after college and worked the Northern Faire one more season in 1988, before moving back to Los Angeles to pursue a career in Hollywood. We continued to work Security at the Southern Renaissance Faire until 1994. We worked as a Walking Guard, Night Security, a Walking Lieutenant, Mobile Security (during the week on the Northern Lot in 1987), and then as Night Security and as the Front Gate Lieutenant after the Southern Faire moved from the Paramount Ranch in Agoura to Glen Helen Regional Park in Devore (San Bernadino), California in 1990.

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The Red Barn & Cardiac Hill – Blackpoint Forest, Novato

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Company-of-Foote Morning Muster and Drill at the “Front of Faire”

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The Elizabethan Cottage (Before) at the “Front of Faire”

Living History! Live Interactive Street Theatre! Hundreds of Costumed Performers!
The centerpiece of the the Northern Renaissance Faire was the daily parade, the “Queen’s Progress Through The Shire” to the Ben Johnson Stage for “The Queen Show” at 3pm each afternoon. Beginning at the Red Barn in the “Front of Faire”, Queen Elizabeth and her retainers would be joined by the Town Criers, the ER Band, the Nobles from the Royal Court, the Scots, the Irish, the Germans and the Guild of St. Cuthbert’s. Queen Elizabeth would be carried in “the Tudor Sedan” and guarded by the Company-of-Foote through the dense crowd to the stage. After the stage show, the Queen would continue with the parade to another destination within the Faire and/or return to the Red Barn staging area. On a few rare occasions we carried the Queen all the way through the Fairesite to “The End of The World” Alestand and back.

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Guardshack – Black Point Forest, Novato (Dario took this pic)

This was written for the original fb photo album a few years ago:
“RPFN early 80s – I’m not sure how it happened but I blame Pugsly. I’m marching in the parking lot at Blackpoint dressed in blue and carrying a pike wheeling to the left and right. It’s hot. It’s dusty. How did this happen to me at the Faire? So I marched with the company ’82-’84? I was a rear wheel on the Tudor Sedan for the hottest summer in history (actually two years). Rory and I both agreed that there’s no better workout at the Faire than carrying the Queen from the Red Barn to the End of The World and back in 100 degree heat! For my time with the Company-of-Foote, I must admit it was a great time with great people and lots of great fun (from what I can remember). So for those who were there, THANK YOU! For those who came later or missed the party, here are some pics I collected from others. And for those who are no longer with us, you are missed and remembered by your friend and comrades in arms.” – JoshWillTravel

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“Murph and the Magictones” The ER Band

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“Huzzah! Huzzah! The Queen!”

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The Art of Burlap Over “The Serpentine” (from above)

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“Long Live The Queen!”

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“Well met, Good Gentles! Well met!”

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“G-d Save the Queen!”

 

 

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Ben Johnson Stage from Alestand 3

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“The Golden Hind” at the Ben Johnson Stage

THE QUEEN SHOW!
(“Our Shire Welcomes The Queen” on the Ben Johnson Stage at Three O’the Clock!)

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Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth

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“Parade Rest!” Hurry Up, Then Wait.

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Big Shout Out To All The Water Bearers and Support People!

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

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Nicholas Worthington & the Landsknecte (colorful German mercenary soldiers)

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“End of the World” – Blackpoint Forest, Novato

Gone Too Soon! Our COF Friends who have gone on to “Sky-Faire” before us:
Auntie, Gleb Perfiloff, Charles Sanders, Thomas Willey, Robin Wadsworth RIP

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Many more of our dear Friends from the Renaissance Pleasure Faire have gone on to “Sky-Faire” too soon! We remember them all and there are too many to list here!

The “Neenster” wouldn’t be happy if we did a Blog about Northern Faire and didn’t include this amazing picture. It was taken at Monday Brunch on the lot while we were waiting for steak & eggs (as Reggie and Michael look on).

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“Neenster” RIP at Monday Brunch

And here’s a group pic of the Security CREW from “way back” (1985):

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Security CREW – Blackpoint Forest, Novato

Black Point is another place that is on the list of “Things That Aren’t There Anymore”, the land was sold and developed, and now there is another fine golf course and private community of multi-million dollar homes on the old Northern Faire Site.

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“Hay-Foote, Hay-Foote!”

NOTE: FULL DISCLOSURE! None of the pictures in this Blog post are mine! (Well, okay there are a couple…) They were ripped from the interweb over the years to remind us of the past and now have been used to illustrate our story. Not all of the pics are from the 1983-84 period, again they are used with “artistic license” to visually tell the tale. They are included for educational purposes only and not for commercial gain. BIG THANKS to all the photographers, if you want credit pm me. Also, as a member of the Costume CREW, these pictures are a part of my professional resumé as well as my personal history.

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Road Trip pt. 4 – Ashland, Oregon! Saturday in Lithia Park!

Lithia Park in Ashland, Oregon! This is (the unfinished) PART 4 of the Oregon Road Trip.

Saturday morning, after a great breakfast at The Breadboard, and it was a beautiful day. It was still early, so I drove to Lithia Park and parked the car in one of the upper parking lots.  After driving all night, I found a quiet place, took a little nap and then went for a long walk.

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Lithia Park

Lithia Park (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Lithia Park

Lithia Park – Ashland Creek (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Lithia Park

Lithia Park (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Lithia Park

Lithia Park – Ashland Creek (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Lithia Park - Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Lithia Park – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Autumn in Lithia Park (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Autumn in Lithia Park (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

I love Lithia Park! It was recently voted one of the Best Parks in the United States.

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Travel Answers: Yosemite!

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT YOSEMITE!

HOW MANY DAYS IN YOSEMITE VALLEY? 

It depends on how much of the park you want to explore or if you just want to see Yosemite Valley.Allow at least three days! You should add more days if you want to really see everything! It also depends on how active a hiker you are. There are great things to do and many day trips with varying degrees of difficulty you can experience in and around the park.

WHAT ARE “MUST SEE” SIGHTS AND THINGS TO DO? 

In Yosemite Valley, ride the Shuttlebus, walk the valley paths and bridges, raft or inner tube down the river, tour the valley in an open air tram, hike to Mirror Lake, picnic at Sentinel Beach Picnic Area, hike to the top of any of the waterfalls or around the rim of the valley or to the top of Half Dome, climb El Capitan. Visit Yosemite Village and see the Visitor Center and the Ansel Adams Gallery, shop at Curry Village and be sure to check out the Ahwahnee Hotel.

REMEMBER YOU ARE IN BEAR COUNTRY!

There are other areas to see within the park or just outside: Tuolumne Meadows, Mariposa Groveand the Giant Sequoia Redwood Trees, Wawona Point (and historic hotel), skiing at Yosemite’s Badger Pass in winter), Bass Lake, Oakhurst, and many others. You should allow 1-3 days or more for each area depending on how active a hiker/camper/skier/snowboarder you are.

If you want to experience the backcountry as a backpacker/camper you should plan 3-14 day trips. there are great areas in and around the park. I’ve been to the Tiltill Valley above Hetch Hetchy Loop and down the South Fork Merced River in the Sierra National Forest, both of which were excellent backpacking trips! Be sure to learn the necessary skills and the park rules and regulations before entering the wilderness.

You are also close to Lee Vining, Mammoth Mountain and Mono Lake State Preserve which are near the east entrance to the park.

See also John Muir Trail and the Yosemite Park website for more info.

MOSQUITOES? 

Yes, there are mosquitoes in Yosemite National Park! They primarily feed at dusk and dawn, but you should be prepared and use repellent all day and night if you have reactions. From the http://www.nps.gov website:

  • Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn, mainly during the summer. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants or consider staying indoors during these hours. Ticks cling to plants, waiting for a host (you) to walk by; walk down the middle of trails and avoid areas with high grass and leaf litter.
  • Use an effective insect repellent.
    Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 typically provide reasonably long-lasting protection against mosquitoes, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends repellents containing DEET or permethrin to repel ticks.

WHERE TO STAY?

Accommodations in the park range from tent and camp sites, RV sites, covered campsites, tent cabins, and hotel rooms. You need to make reservations for any of the concession vendors a long time in advance at nps.gov and there are lots of rules and regulations you need to be aware of before and during your visit.

In Yosemite Valley, the Ahwahnee Hotel is a luxury resort and the Yosemite Lodge at the Fallsis more of a family hotel/motel. Curry Village has tent cabins and some hotel/motel type rooms as well. There are a few campgrounds with covered camp sites, tent sites and rv sites if you want the full experience of “roughing it”.

The historic Wawona Hotel and Tuolumne Meadows Lodge (tent cabins and campsites only) are both inside the park concessionaires on the rim of the valley. Near Wawona there is the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia Redwood Trees and skiing in winter at Yosemite’s Badger Pass and Toulomne Meadows and Tenaya Lake are worth the trip when the roads are open and there is a grove of Giant Sequoias there as well.

There are a number of hotels, condos for rent, cabins and campgrounds just outside the park too.

CAMPING?

Do you have a reservation? Most of the campsites in Upper, Lower, and North Pines Campground for summer are “sold out” before May! If you don’t have reservations, you can try to get a campsite in the valley on the day you are there, or there’s “Backpacker’s Camp” (Camp 4) which is “first-come/first-served”.

From the National Park Service website:

“Yosemite National Park has 13 campgrounds, of which up to seven are on a reservation system. From April through September, reservations are essential and even the first-come first-served campgrounds often fill by noon from May through September.

CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS?

Reservations are required from about March 15 through November for Yosemite Valley’s car campgrounds and summer through fall for Hodgdon Meadow, Crane Flat, Wawona, and half of Tuolumne Meadows. Campground reservations are available in blocks of one month at a time, up to five months in advance, on the 15th of each month at 7 am Pacific time. Be aware that nearly all reservations for the months of May through September and for some other weekends are filled the first day they become available, usually within seconds or minutes after 7 am!”

Here is the link to the nps.gov site: www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/camping.htm

NOTE: Check and see if Housekeeping Camp in Yosemite Valley is still available! If you can’t get camping in the valley, there are campgrounds in the park on the rim (about an hour from the valley) and just outside the park as well. Camp Wawona is on the rim near the Wawona Hotel, Yosemite’s Badger Pass, Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and Glacier Point. Wawona is also close to Oakhurst which is a real town with markets, laundromats, restaurants, etc. Soquel Campground and Crane Flat Campground are farther away.

COOKING IN YOSEMITE PARK?

INFO FOR WAWONA (AND OTHER) CAMPGROUNDS?

From the NPS.gov website: “Each campsite contains a fire ring, picnic table, and food locker [33″(D)x45″(W)x18″(H)], and is near a bathroom with potable water and flushing toilets. You are required to store food properly in order to protect Yosemite’s bears.

In out-of-Valley campgrounds, fires are permitted at any time. Fires must always be attended and put out completely with water when not attended (do not let them smolder). Firewood collection (including pine cones and pine needles) is not permitted in Yosemite. We discourage visitors from bringing firewood from more than 50 miles away to prevent spread of forest pests. You can purchase firewood at stores near most campgrounds.

Camp wastewater must be disposed of in designated utility drains.”

The fire rings may have a grill, but you should plan on bringing EVERYTHING you want to have for cooking. There’s lots of information online about camping and camp cooking, so spend a little time researching “camp hacks” etc. so you’ll have some ideas.

Plan your meals, bring your ingredients and spices, if you’re car camping and you have room, bring the comforts you want. Keep it simple! Things you can cook in and with boiling water, things you can grill over a fire, things you can wrap in foil/cook in the fire, and things you don’t have to cook are best.

Remember to bring bottled WATER, cooking and eating utensils, can opener, corkscrew, trash bags and cleaning stuff that isn’t harmful to the environment!

HOW TO GET THERE?

If you’re flying in, you’re going to have to land in San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland or Los Angeles. Each has it positives and negatives, so base your decision on the cost of airfare and then determine the best mode of transport from your destination city.

Rent a car (get unlimited mileage plus insurance) or take Amtrak (train and bus combo) from Los Angeles or San Francisco/Oakland. The bus will take you right into Yosemite National Park and drop you atYosemite Lodge at the Falls and it’s both less expensive and cleaner than driving! www.amtrak.com/san-joaquin-train

The drive from Los Angeles is about 6 hours, and you’ll travel the 5 freeway to interstate 99 through Bakersfield, Fresno and the Central Valley to interstate 41 into Yosemite.

The drive from the Bay Area is about 4 and 1/2 hours (could be longer with traffic) on highway 580 through San Leandro and Livermore to highway 205 through Manteca to interstate 120 into Yosemite.

NOTE: If you’re driving in the Sierra Mountains in the Fall, be prepared for rain and snow at higher elevations, some roads may require tire chains (sometimes a problem with a rental vehicle).

There are also tour companies that have chartered buses that will take you into the park, or backpack/bus adventure travel companies like Green Tortoise from San Francisco that include more than just transport: www.greentortoise.com/adventures/yosemite-national-park-tour-3d.php

NOTE: If you’re going to take a chartered bus, make sure the company is CA state licensed and check their safety and consumer record before buying a ticket!

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05-JUN-13: The Sea is Calling. Answer it Royally.

The Sea is Calling. Answer it Royally.

Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, the Quantum of the Seas!

Royal Caribbean's newest ship the Quantum of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s newest ship the Quantum of the Seas

From the Royal Caribbean blog: http://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2013/06/04/royal-caribbean-puts-quantum-seas-cruises-sale-general-public

My previous blog post on the Quantum of the Seas: https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/introducing-royal-caribbeans-the-quantum-of-the-seas/

 

 

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26-MAY-13: Sometimes the best place to travel is your own backyard!

Sometimes the best place to travel is your own backyard!

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!

Chilling in the cement pond! - My Backyard (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Chilling in the cement pond! – My Backyard, San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, California  (copyright 2011 JoshWillTravel)

Another beautiful day in Los Angeles!  Perfect weather for a backyard BBQ!

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