A Visit to the Renaissance Faire: A Long Ago Hilarious Pete Shaw Classic Column!

Knight in shining armorMy wonderful friend Pete Shaw wrote this hilarious column so many years ago and it has remained one of my favorites. He is such a talented writer and I miss having him write columns as he did when I started, and owned, the Alpenhorn newspaper. (I was its “birth mother” so to speak and it was centered, at that time, in Running Springs). Many wonderful memories.

The Renaissance Faire area was filled with brightly colored banners, booths, renaissance musical instruments played by brightly-attired musicians, jousting tournaments and so on and so on. It was fabulous. There were lots of demonstrations and colorful booths to enjoy and it was such fun. Having been to England three times I loved every second and wish they were still held in San Bernardino County.

Enjoy this wonderful, hilarious story. If you’re not laughing by the time you finish you should probably see your doctor (STAT).

“I went to the Renaissnace Faire last weekend and I must admit I was surprised by the theme of the event. My sketchy remembrance of the historical period is that the Renaissance actually began with the Crusades when the armies of Western Europe moved south and east across the continent and the Mediterranean to recapture the Holy Lands from the Moslem Turks. In the cause of their travels and battles the Europeans brought back new treasures; fabrics, foods, languages, mathematics and many other discoveries to the people of Europe.

The feudal system was breaking up and the rise of the entrepreneurs, where great wealth began to be concentrated, caused an explosion of new knowledge, politics, art and economics. The Italian cities of Florence, Genoa and Venice became fabulous cultural centers. Personalities like DaVinci and Michelangelo produced new discoveries and great works of art. Galileo challenged astronomical traditions. The Manor System declined and the establishment of the great cities of Europe took place.

Filled with anticipation of viewing reproductions of the great masters of the period, DaVinci’s prototype of a helicopter and scale models of the great cathedrals of Western Europe, I set out for Glen Helen Regional Park near Devore.

As I approached the festival I began to encounter costumed damsels in large numbers and sizes displaying wares not produced by brushes, canvases, brick or mortar, but by natural endowment or surgical alternatives. There were “architectural wonders” but only in the suspension of gravity-defying tissue masses.

The Mona Lisa’s inscrutable smile now has an obvious explanation……she knew she was coming to the end of her last posing session and would soon be unharnessed. The “Cross Your Heart” has been replaced by the “Medieval Suspension Project.” There were more deep furrows displayed in one Sunday at Glen Helen Regional Park than a poor serf could plow up in a month.

Yes, there are great monuments displayed at the Fair but if you are expecting Notre Dame, guess again.

The Renaissance is described as a historical period of rebirth and revival. Based on what I observed the scene is enough to revive the recently deceased.

About 6:30 p.m. for the past few weekends a blast of warm wind comes flowing out of the Cajon Pass. This human Santa Ana is produced by unbuckling and collectively exhaling as actors and guests get ready to face the everyday clothes of the 21st century.

If you plan to visit the Faire make sure you take along a pair of dark-lensed sunglasses and a bullet proof vest. Equipped with those items you won’t be accused of loitering and leering and any human collision may not result in a crushed sternum and/or a punctured lung.”





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