A brief report on the wake held for Pavel Iosevich.
June 29, 2013
Washington County Fairgrounds
Shire-March of the Grimfells, Calontir
The site opened at noon, and I arrived with Sarra of Rockcliffe Manor soon thereafter. Rhianwen the Excellent One prepared a crock of gin and tonics while persons arrived, hugged, got into garb, and shared fingers full of aerosol cheese. Drx led us in a song or two first thing, to set the tone. The weather was warm and dry but rather windy. This made sitting under the pole barn comfortable but risky for anything you put down. Persons were writing their favorite Pavelisms on paper plates which were tied to an empty Bombay Sapphire gin bottle.
In the hall was a Memory Book which people could write things in. The few things I looked at usually were comments written directly to Pavel. I do not know whether the book is going to his widow Natalia or to his daughter Alex.
Alex had come up from Atlanta, GA. Out of the woodwork appeared a number of people including Crag and Alarba - Crag came back in garb and stayed longer. From someplace even further appeared Brom Blackhand. The long-distance travellers were Sheridan and his family. No, they didn't fly up from Lochac just for the occasion, but they sacrificed their last day in the US before going on to a new position in England, to be with their SCA family.
Maybe around 2pm there were some announcements about the planned activities. For fighters there was a bit of hold the field ending with a couple of rounds of Blood Of Heroes. The archery field was kept open all day in memory of Pavel's regular request that archery remain open at events because he never knew just when he would have a chance to come shoot. All day there was chatting and memories.
Late afternoon saw a few more arrivals, prominently Natalia and two of Pavel's Pack, Ampersand and Frappe. (Umlaut stayed home.). Rhiannon gathered everyone together for a group photo - there were perhaps 75 people on site by this point. While we all tried to hold still for the benefit of the timed exposure a wit suggested that every woman who had Not had sex with Pavel, should raise her hand. I must assume either the witticism was not heard by all or all feared the wrath of an annoyed photographer with a ruined shot, because no hands went up and I know for a certain fact that there were at least two ladies there who had not shared Pavel's bed.
Dinner was the usual Steak Thing with potluck for sides breads and desserts. Afterwards there was a drive-by shooting on the archery range, with Pavel's favorite spot (sprawled) on the hood of the truck left empty in a 'missing man' gesture in his honor. Kaz announced the shoot with, "'Yes, officer, there was a drive-by shooting; alcohol was a factor.' -- you want to be part of this story.". At this point I scrounged up a red solo cup, filled it with my third gin and tonic, scurried the truck, handed the Official Open Container to a bystander and announced, 'Hold my beer and watch this' (the Redneck's Last Words) while I managed to climb into the back of the pickup in a long dress. I must commend the archers who managed to shoot while I sat there waving the Open Container and squallering the chorus of 'Red Solo Cup' at the top of my lungs.
Before it got too dark a landing zone of air mattresses was created and sacrificial victim was told The Broccoli Joke. At oh-dark-thirty a fire was started in a barrel and stories and songs begun. A member of the Moonshadow unit spoke of how Pavel's training helped them create their own shieldwall. It is the Moonshadow custom to honorably retire their worn-out wooden scutums by consigning them to the flames. The gentleman brought out a 'board' that had seen hard and glorious service and laid it on the pyre. Crag Dugan ended his sharing of Pavel stories by laying on the symbolic pyre a piece of Pavel's Bed (which had exploded when it - and Pavel - were struck by lightning.) Immediately after this solemn gesture Brom Backhand took a draw knife to a certain green-painted piece of pine and began to offer everyone pieces of this last slat from Pavel's Bed by calling, "Get you relics here!". (I don't honestly know but I think this really was a piece of Pavel's Bed.)
There were a number of people who had not been able to be present; one of these was Finola O'Clary. She had requested that a particular song be sung that she associated with Pavel - The Masterbation Song. (During The Camp From HELL at Pennsic XV Finola had been camped immediately next to The Sunfly From HELL where Pavel held court. She heard that song an awful lot that week.) The song had been sung at her request. But Drx insisted that a phone call be made to SouthWind Hall, and so it was that I stood in the middle of a group of my dearest friends who were bellowing one of the dirtiest songs I know at my cheap cell phone while my 79-year old mother listened in Immediately upon ending Rhodi began "Non Nobis" and from hundreds of miles away Finola sang with her loved ones and wept.
That was it for me. Sarra and I headed out, stopping by the hall to pick up hot broccoli-filled egg rolls (a pair of which were put on ice and taken back to Finola.)