Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Thoughts on Patri

Patri's memorial service was a few days ago; I've been mulling since. It was a fine affair: the Higgins Armory was a very appropriate site, and as I expected we had more people than could fit in the chairs there. It drove home just how many lives Patri touched, in how many different arenas -- the speakers ranged from work to SCA to civil war to historical dance to family, and he'd had a major impact on all of them.

My gut reaction was wanting to speak, but of course that was probably true of half the people there, and Barbara needed to be selective so that we didn't take ten hours. So here's what I was thinking at the time.

I often describe the SCA's concept of Peerage in terms of two broad concepts: Leadership, and Role Models. That is, a Peer is supposed to lead in some fashion (although the definition of "lead" can vary a lot), and is supposed to serve as an example of how to play the game.

Thinking about how I always thought of Patri, it was pretty much as the Peer's Peer. On the one hand, he exemplified a particular kind of stylish leadership. When you think about all the groups he started, within the SCA and without, it's really pretty amazing. The dance tradition that he started here back in 1976 is still going today, a remarkable run for a fairly distractable group. He was one of the main formative influences on Carolingia, helping to set an approach to the Society that is still largely followed now. He never demanded that people follow him -- he simply showed a good path, demonstrated why he thought it was right, and let them come along with him.

And heaven knows he was one of my role models. My personal style is quite different from his, and I can't imagine really trying to emulate him. Still, the lessons he taught stuck with me deeply. He was my example of Politeness, and how to be cordial without that ever shading into weakness. He taught how to take the art of Dance really, really seriously, while never losing sight of the fact that it's should be gloriously fun at the same time. And he was one of several people who illustrated the idea that you can and should stand on principle sometimes, and defend the right.

AFAIK, he is still the only person ever to receive all three Bestowed Peerages from the East Kingdom. It's hard to imagine anyone being more deserving of that singular honor...
Tags: diary, sca

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