What follows, in no particular order, are emails and newsgroup postings regarding our description of a spur of the moment visit to Scarborough Faire, the last weekend of the 2003 season. We were at Scarborough Faire for about 2 hours. Long enough to walk the grounds, see a show or two, watch a parade and have a little fun. And take a few photos.

After some Scarborough aficionados, apparently also known as playtrons, saw the Eyes on Texas web photos and comments, a heated newsgroup discussion began which provoked some very amusing emails.

After the reaction emails were added to the website, emails were received commenting that they were very amusing and asking to see more. And so below are many of the emails and newsgroup postings, in no particular order. Names have been removed, so you just get to read the words.

The emails and newsgroup postings are printed
here without being edited for spelling or grammar.
Some have been shortened.

A fresh complaint from a new email---"I do HATE that you refer to it as's very demeaning sounding. The term Scarby is the correct nickname for Scarborough Faire. To continue to call it Scarbo shows a lack of consideration."

Email (received March 20, 2008)

Hello, Durango-

I just had a glance at your post about Scarborough Faire. I've been involved with this faire for 26 years (most of that time in an official - aka employed - capacity). If you have questions, there are lots of us "old timers" that can answer most of your questions. Feel free. Please feel free, because the sarcasm directed at my "home away from home" is hurtful and disrespectful.

Many thanks-
Diamond of the Alehouse Pub
Scarborough Faire

We feel terrible about hurting and disrespecting the Diamond of the Alehouse Pub with our horrible sarcasm. Read on for another email we got this month from another Scarborough Faire aficionado. This one didn't feel hurt or disrespected though.

Email (received March 1, 2008)

I just found your website the other day and have been using it to fill in the space during downtime at work. I just got through reading through your send up of Scarborough Faire and, writing as a long time visitor to and fan of this particular faire, I thought it was freaking hilarious!! Make no mistake, I really do enjoy Scarborough Faire. I've been going, in costume no less, for years and I must confess that a good number of the things you wrote in that article were things that I have thought for years (Gee, I never knew that onion rings and fried macaroni on a stick were a part of English cuisine during the Renaissance).

I also got a kick out of some of the angry-ish emails you received as a result of putting that report out there. Makes me wonder if 'King of the Hill' and 'The Family Guy' got similar heated responses when they aired their own respective takes on Ren Faires?

Also, as a decade long resident of Fort Worth, I can't wait to plunge deeper into your observations of our "exciting" downtown area. ;)

Thanks for the laugh! :)


PS- I know you mentioned that the TX Renaissance Festival has invited you down to do a similar article on them, but there is a new faire just outside of Hillsboro you should check out. It's called Middlefaire. Started up a couple of years ago.

You are very welcome for the laugh. And I'm glad you weren't hurt or disrespected.


Since you and your website have become a subject of controversy I think it is only fair to invite you to join our newsgroup and possibly join in the discussion.

The following newsgroup postings were gleaned from the above referenced Yahoo newsgroup, ScarboroughFaireForever. Not all are reproduced here in their entirety. You can read all the postings by looking for subject headings such as Tempest in a Teacup, Website Controversy, Scarbie Pics, Not Mine...


By and large, I enjoy your site. I appreciate you coming out and taking the time to enjoy the sites and the sounds (but hopefully not the smells!) of the Renaissance. I certainly hope you will return again and again. But...

scar36.jpg (41743 bytes)Speaking for myself alone, your reference to my performer, Shannon Bradley (Queen Anne Boleyn), bearing a resemblance to Monica Lewinsky is offensive and a cheap joke. The performing company strives to make Scarborough Faire a family oriented venue and I feel that your comment denigrates our image and is insulting to Ms. Bradley, who is a person of sterling character.

I realize the First Amendment grants you the right to say whatever you please, but Ms. Bradley is a real human being with feelings. Though she could qualify as a public figure by virtue of her job with us and may expect both popular and unpopular press due to the nature of her position, she deserves some respect that you would (or rather, should) accord to a private person.

I don't expect you to change the reference. I'm fairly positive you will not. But I respectfully ask that you take it off your site out of simple decency and kindness. I ask this 1) because she is my performer and 2) because she is my friend and I don't want her feelings hurt. You may think this is a small and laughable issue, but if you were on the receiving end of this, how would it make you feel?

I invite you to come see us again and enjoy the entertainment. You are welcome to contact me anytime regarding the Festival and our performing company. We do hope to see you again.

Janna Casstevens

Performing Company Director
Scarborough Faire, the Renaissance Festival

Monica Lewinsky? The former President's girl friend? Someone compared her to a Queen? We are shocked. But why would it hurt anyone's feelings to be compared to Ms. Lewinsky? It's not like Ms. Lewinsky lost her head the way the ill-fated Ms. Boleyn did after being accused of adultery with her brother, three gentlemen of the privy chamber and a musician of the court, plus an accusation of conspiring with these men to kill the King. We expect to be hearing from Monica Lewinsky now, complaining about being compared to Anne Boleyn.

Note: In addition to being a stalwart defender of virtue, Janna Casstevens is Queen Margaret Tudor of Scotland.

photo of Janna Casstevens/Queen Margaret Tudor courtesy of Photography on the Run

...and then we received the following followup from Ms. Casstevens aka Queen Margaret....


Well, I knew the reference would stay up. Ms. Bradley was compared to Ms. Lewinsky. Not Ms. Lewinsky to Anne Boleyn. That's what got my dander up. Get it right, people. *sigh*

I'm done.
Janna Casstevens

No. The reference you refer to is no longer there. And the reference to which you refer said that the image of the person portraying Anne Boleyn resembled Ms. Lewinsky. In other words the person portraying Anne Boleyn looked like Ms. Lewinsky. Others agreed with that observation. That some might think the photo of the person portraying Anne Boleyn bore a likeness to Ms. Lewinsky seems a very trivial matter to excite ones dander, unless ones dander is easily excited.


Regarding that email you got from the Scarborough Company Director about that photo of the Queen---I don't understand how the Queen/Real Person could get her "feelings" hurt. In that Queen picture of yours that woman DOES look like Monica Lewinsky! If you had said...she LOOKS like Monica Lewinsky, she TALKS like Monica Lewinsky, she BEHAVES like Monica Lewinsky, she SMELLS like Monica Lewinsky, she WALKS like Monica Lewinsky, she EATS like Monica Lewinsky, she TASTES like Monica Lewinsky...and that you think SHE is MONICA LEWINSKY!... then, MAYBE, she might have rational reason to be insulted and hurt! I have been compared to the Wicked Witch of the East at times...I know it is not true! I know I am not the Wicked Witch of the East! I am not hurt or insulted!

You have been compared to the Wicked Witch of the East on more than one occasion and you believe this not to be an apt comparison? Do you take it as a complement? Is that why you aren't hurt or insulted? Is it your behavior or appearance or broom mode of transport that causes this constant comparison?


Dear "Bidder" Old Man,

I sincerely hope you, and any other potential patrons, don't feel unwelcome or put off at the thought of attending Scarborough, or any other faire, based on the fracas created by so many Rennies. Some of us apparently forget that we "are the Faire...and our purpose is to "help(s) people to entertain themselves; to really have fun; to make the best of what they have." (I'm quoting my Scarborough Faire training manual.)

I apologize on behalf of all those who expect you to do "homework" or "research" before spending your hard earned money at our faire; I certainly don't do research before heading out to Disney World or even Williamsburg. The faire is supposed to be an opportunity for patrons to escape "the hustle of modern life" and enjoy themselves. While it is perfectly acceptable for you to ask questions of vendors, cast, and playtrons at a faire, it isn't required. It's our job to "get everyone involved...(and not) let anyone leave the Faire without having been involved with someone in character." (training manual again)

You are correct that there are plenty of anachronisms in our 16th century English village. While many of the cast and playtrons research/create their characters with great historical accuracy and detail, others are more liberal or loose in their adaptation. I, myself, had wonderful (but hot) lycra/spandex/tummy-holding-inie fabric over my exposed mid-section. And I, and my man servant, greatly appreciated and enjoyed the icy, cold fruit smoothies during the scorching Memorial Day weekend. By the by, an honest-to-God 21st century Marine (or he may have been Army) was invited to our 16th century village to fire the final cannon during the final closing gate. Definitely anachronisms, definitely.

I can answer at least one of your questions though in regards to the belly dancers. The belly dancers at Belly Dance Treasures and around the Pecan Grove were a gift to King Henry VIII from The Sultan, Suliban the Magnificent. (Unsure of the spelling; belly dancers don't typically get sent to school you know.) The other answer is, most likely, belly dancers are a draw and bring in patrons and money. At least that's the reason we can be seen at many an October Fest, St. Patrick's Day parade, and other such events. Plus, we're just plain fun.

Thank you again for the great laugh. Please come visit Scarborough again and check out some of the other Texas faires. I realize, based on all the frenzied emailing, my invitation to faire may get me flayed and dipped in salt, but you're welcome none the less.

Fare Thee Well,
Badra (My belly dancer faire personna.)

Thank you for your input. I hope your words do not earn you whatever era appropriate punishment befits a belly dancer who does not express proper umbrage at an infidel's outrages.

Editor's Note: You will need to continue reading the Scarbo Input below to find out why Badra the Belly Dancer addressed us as a Bidder Old Man.....


Scarby Faire,or Scarbo, as you called it. Your article was pleasant and enjoyable to read, and the email replies were humorous as well. I did want to point out one thing, scar45.jpg (38836 bytes) When they could not tell the difference between pirates and a William Wallace Brigade, I saw a few solid color kilts in that picture, and my last recollection is they are Irish Kilts (actually members of the Clan M'Crack, an Irish Clan) if of solid color and not tartan, so the Scots getting all hot and bothered kind of confused me. The Irish ones in the group must of loved your article as much as I did.

We are fairly certain you must be mistaken regarding your shocking kilt revelation because it is well documented that much attention is paid to historical accuracy. The Scots and the Irish have such a long amicable history we suspect if the Scots are wearing the Irish Kilts of the Clan M'Crack, that it must be some sort of homage of deep respect being paid to their Irish brethren.

Newsgroup Posting

Well "Eyes on Texas" is obviously a "Texas monthly" ezine wanna beand courts the Texas Tourism industry. Not a bad market either,Bringing Customers to the merchants is a good thing. I guess it wasalso an interesting read because it combined Ren Faux Pax and theperspective of a patron who is now not a virgin anymore (See "How aPatron becomes a Playtron in your RenFolk manual), "Next year we willreturn, in period costume, for an update. We will likely not be a Manin Tights, more likely we will be one more Village Idiot"

Wow! Who knew? We're courting the Texas Tourism Industry! And being an obvious Texas Monthly wannabe. We are very flattered.

Return to Scarbo


About your visit to Scarborough Faire, I had a laugh or two reading the stupid comments people made, but better yet were your the end of this email there will be a surprise waiting for you.

queenm.jpg (60910 bytes)

The surprise was the above photo this correspondent from outside Texas attached to her email. We have crowned her Queen Myrtle of Lyndenshire...


I went to the web site. It's GREAT! I can't believe how "touchy" those people are. Do they think the only people that go there are historically aware of who is who and what is what? Don't they think just the common, average, person/idiot would go there just to enjoy the scenery and theatrics??? and possible not know a fearsome Knight from Sholo the Nubian?? or a Scottish Regiment, or Scottish scar45.jpg (38836 bytes) Fencible from a band of pirates in Scottish attire??? If I were a REAL lady of the court being mistaken for a gypsy, I might be offended, but some person from TEXAS trying to "look" like a lady of some court!!??!! And I noticed one of the participants... I can't remember what they called themselves... even called the "lady of the court" a gypsy... and she was IN that group! Do they really think everyone of them are 100% historically correct!!!??? Aren't they just doing this for FUN? You got some pretty funny responses. I love it. They are so serious.......I guess you do need to do more research before attending anything!

Well. Some of the Scarbo people are very passionate about their hobby. And may be a little touchy.

Newsgroup Posting

I noticed his shot at Star Trek fans I've meet people like him at science fiction, fantasy, animation conventions before. Because he can not understand people having fun doing something he does not understand he feel he must insult them. They're smalled minded little people more to be pitied than anything else. He will be a dried out bidder old man long before we stop enjoying life.

The above may be the most amusing of all. This earnest writer assumes we aren't already a 'bidder' old man.

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I love the update of Scarb Faire. The comments and your retorts are hilarious. I must go next year!

So? You're saying that our web description of Scarbo has caused you to want to attend? Who would have thought our inaccurate error ridden mean-spirited 'bidder' old man account would have such an affect....


While it may have been "Priate Adventure weekend" The Scottish Fencibles remained just that...The Scottish Fencibles...Not the "Priate Troupe that once were Scottish Fencibles".. scar45.jpg (38836 bytes) With the exception of possible 6 of the Fencibles, the rest of us (On an adverage day over 50 of us would march) are all "playtrons" marching because we are friends with each other, we're proud of Scotland and we have no need/desire to be tied to someone who died a couple hundred years prior to our faires period..

I would hope if you come out to Scarborough again, you would leave your additude at the gate and approch it with the same thought that most of us do...Lets have fun, & lets try to contribute to making it fun for everyone.. Remember, Playtrons pay to get in just like you did on your visit...

First we got the email above. And then below he posts the email on the Newsgroup...

Newsgroup Posting

I even got agrivated enough to e-mail this person about his inacuraceys... It was the comment below the fencibles pic that reall upset me...Saying that "Seeing as its pirate adventure weekend, its not hard to make that judgement blahblahblah" so I replyed with the following..

================================== While it may have been "Priate Adventure weekend" The Scottish Fencibles remained just that...The Scottish Fencibles...Not the "Priate Troupe that once were Scottish Fencibles".. With the exception of possible 6 of the Fencibles, the rest of us (On an adverage day over 50 of us would march) are all "playtrons" marching because we are friends with each other, we're proud of Scotland and we have no need/desire to be tied to someone who died a couple hundred years prior to our faires period..

I would hope if you come out to Scarborough again, you would leave your additude at the gate and approch it with the same thought that most of us do...Lets have fun, & lets try to contribute to making it fun for everyone.. Remember, Playtrons pay to get in just like you did on your visit...

The first email was replied to with the reply referenced in the next Newsgroup Posting...

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Newsgroup Posting

First, I've e-mailed Durango twice now, the first time I was exhausted and apparently misspelled many things in that e-mail... Oops ;-) Sadly though, he took this as a chance to call me a Primate (I had accsadently started typing priate instead of pirate... god only knows why) and I left it alone... It bothers me a little seeing on his page comments such as "It is not known if Robert is a McGregor or a McDonald or some other Mc" because I think it is very unfair to assume that just because someone is Scottish or associated with Scots that they are a Mc/Mac...

Also, my biggest problem with the entire thing was the (A) Monica comment at the top, and (B) mistaking SCOTS for PIRATES...I'm sorry, but its really hard to swallow that one... I'm sure there were Scottish Pirates, but "Don't know if these are Pirates or some sort of ragtag William Wallace brigade." was somewhat a slap in the face to a person who carries one of those pikes in the 90-110 degree weather...

Again just my two cents, not blasting on anyone, not even blasting on him, just feeling as though he was a little overly inconsiderate...

The above three items are by the same person. He was not called a primate. He was told that upon first quick reading the mind's eye turned his 'priate' typo into 'primate'.


That scarbie faire looked like it was really something, what I am not quite sure, but it was something. That one wench looked as if she could have carried her entire household around herself. Yep, I think I might really like to live in Texas. In company such as that I would no longer stand out. I'm planning my move to Texas. Let you know about my arrival time.

It sounds as if you are under the assumption we are operating some sort of moving service in addition to being a Texas Monthly Tourist guide wannabe...

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Just saw the pics on your site. Man I wish I could've gone this year.

Shocking. Another person not upset by the photos and commentary...

Newsgroup Posting

My opinion on this subject may not amount to a hill of beans but... here it is.

I love a dry and sarcastic wit. However, I do not see a lot of "wit" in the musings on the Durango site. Most of the comments I saw were too cutting and sardonic. Instead of using sarcasm to make ya laugh or think about something... his comments seem to be aimed intently at being cruel.

This seems to be even more evident after he added excerpts from comments sent to him. I've been on several of the Ren Lists since their inception and find a lot of us are very eloquent, especially about things that stir our passions. The quotes he chose and how he demeans them shows even more mean spiritedness. Out of the tons of mail that he received, those are the best or most significant quotes? Come on guys!

On the other hand... I'll agree that a lot of us are taking it way too seriously. He's a journalist. Whether he's experienced or novice doesn't enter into the equation really. He put up an (intentional to my reckoning) inflamumatory site. He chooses to use his harshness to draw out controversy and gess what... we fell right into it. Some of us flamed him, some of us tried to cajole him and some just asked a few questions. No matter what your reaction, you gave him attention. You checked his site. You told your friends about it. He wins! It's hack journalism at it's finest. This feeling is supported by the fact that he mentions that we should be grateful for the exposure he's given us.

There is the arguement that he represents the typical mundane who comes through the gate. Well.. I disagree. He is no more representative of the majority of mundanes than I am of the majority of wenches. I spend a heck of a lot of my day at faire playing with and talking to mundanes. Some get us.. some don't and some don't really want to.

What most of you don't seem to realize is that the whole article was never about us to start with. It was about him getting readers. We just ended up a means to an end. But since he's been so successful in this endeavor I suggest you hold onto your hats ladies and gentlemen. We've now flung our arms open wide. We've invited him to this group. We've invited him to the Red Lion. Places where we celebrate our passion if not obsession for faire and for each other. With the attention that he's given us without knowledge, what could he do to us /with/ knowledge?

Folks, come on... let's face it... we're an odd lot of people. Unlike most of the mundane world, we celebrate our oddity. Believe me, I am not leaving myself out of that grouping. Do I want someone with a sardonic bent playing paparazzi and tabloid journalist with my life and my passion? Hell no.

This is my opinion on the subject. Some will agree with me, some will not. That's one of the things about opinions, everyone is entitled to one. Now allowing this tabloid journalist to stress us out and to turn us against each other because we see his article differently is a shame. There has been a ton of text flying over this incident which by the way means he wins in the attention contest once again. Maybe it's time to kiss and make up and go back to planning the various gatherings that will keep us in touch with each other till faire season starts up again. I have a feeling that the issue with Durango is not over yet.. but will be soon enough in the grand scheme of things. And when he goes away... we'll be left with each other.

The above may be the second most amusing. We tried to count the number of erroneous assumptions, but gave up and counted spelling errors instead...spelling errors and one overarching irony....

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I never laughed so hard... I still can't believe all the chatter about the Scarbo Faire. I copied it off so I can read it over and over... whenever I need a laugh!!!! I thought it was something fun to attend on some weekend.... I didn't know it was supposed to be a history lesson. I have wanted to go to it for a long time.... now I REALLY want to go to next year. I have also wanted to go to the Medieval thing in Norman they have every year... but I had better do some homework before I go so I will know who is who......I truly do not believe you insulted anyone.... the "Playtrons" claim they were there to have fun but it doesn't look like many of them have a sense of humor...... Maybe they should wear name tags...or something around their necks or on their back so the 95% like us will be more informed instead of just enjoying ourselves. I will be sure to have my "mundane" tag around my neck... Or should I be insulted??? Me thinks so! I do know that I will NOT be going with you... I think they'll be LOOKING for you..... but I may be several steps BEHIND you......

I loved Myrtle of clever.... meaning no disrespect, of course!

It is incredible who they THINK you are... a magazine writer... one would be lucky to have you as such.... a tabloid journalist... well you do have a press pass... I think the person that called you a "bidder" old man has you pegged right! : Obviously, you are not the only.... village idiot. Your humor may be dry but I don't think you are too dried up.... yet! It is amazing they don't see you are just one of the mundane. It's funny how some of them actually do but still they are insulted.... and try to fling the insults back at cha!!!

I wonder what Scottish Pirates look like... how do they differ from Scottish Fencibles.... maybe it's the eye patch??? and this coming from a SCOT!!! Just a question.... I'm certainly not a history buff! Which was interesting... did you say you may not be "a buff' or... you may not be "buff" I can't remember. : )
One person had it right... "lets face it... we're an odd lot of people" Then she goes on to say let's celebrate our oddity... key word... oddity. They have certainly shown that! They say it themselves... very few people know anything about that time period!!! Why don't they say... Oh you silly "bidder" old man!!! We sure had fun.... sounds like you had fun too. Now I understand why everyone carried around swords and daggers back then.....(didn't they?) Thank heavens this wasn't truly true to the Renaissance period..... you would likely be dead by now....

I think you have certainly stirred up enough controversy to get MANY MORE PEOPLE to want to attend this Faire. ..... are you sure you are not in advertising? I think it's great... I love it ...keep fueling their flames...

(Please God... don't let there be any mistakes or mispellings.......)

Misspelling is spelled with 2 's's. Other than that your email seems to exhibit great taste and insight, with no 'bidder' for your buff question. Either of your phraseology choices works...


I think you gave a good "eye" on it, yeah. I was gonna try to identify the unnamed performer for you, but I couldn't place him. Might be someone new.

Well, right there at the faire (or another ren fest) -- or most of those boothies do have other outlets besides their faire booths. If you check the Scarby website and find the artisans link, many of them will have links to their own websites. Or you can find a pattern and hire a seamstress/costumer to custom make your garb. Warning: garb is *not* cheap. This is why our plan is to make our own.... yet I know we'll most likely never get around to it.

Not all of them are traveling. Many of the actors -are- local. I'm sure some number of the boothies are too. I just have no idea what those numbers would be. Most of the stage performers travel the circuit. The performers link on the SF site -- many have links and from there you can sometimes determine where they're actually located.

Too bad you went on the last weekend. Scarborough really needs multiple visits in order to really get it.

The above is a helpful Scarbie aficionado...

Newsgroup Posting

I have yet to say anything regarding this subject, but this is exactly what I felt when reading it. It was the manner in which the info read. Sarcastic humour, which I usually like, but this just rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe because at the end, he sounded so pleased and was looking forward to going next year in garb. That pleased ending didn't jive with what sounded likescar33.jpg (47873 bytes) someone thinking that everyone out there was a little strange. So, it made the sarcastic humour sound like insults. I was a bit confused. I don't really have a care whether he like it or didn't, or knows a pirate from a lady , it was the presentation that I didn't get. Although to be honest, I've spent the previous 8 years at faire in mundane clothes and I always knew the difference between Southern Belle Scarlett O'Haras and Renaissance Anne Boleyns and Elizabeths. Maybe it was the growing up in New Orleans...

Presentation? Sarcastic humor? Insults? Everyone was a little strange?

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I am glad you had a good time. Sure looked fun to me!!! Looked like it had more than wenches and men in tights.... looked like anything goes..... Did you eat meaty bones??? Was the food true to theme? It did look like a place that I could be comfortable in!!!!! I think I would feel right at home!

ISeems like the above emailer wasn't offput by the sarcastic humor, presentation or anything else...


Good God. How do those chicks stand to wear those hot costumes in 100 degree heat?

You'll have to go to Scarbo and ask them.


Being one of the performers at Scarborough that you repeatedly put down and insulted, I would like to say that I, personally, found your commentary to your photos amusing and ironic. I assume that's what you meant it to be, anyway. *chuckle*

Should you ever wish to return, and want someone to show you around and fill in all the details of what you're seeing from the point of view of a person who has been going to faires for over 20 years, I would happily volunteer to do so. At least then when you write your comments and people write back 'correcting' you on your own perceptions, you can tell them that you're quite aware of those facts, you were only being humourous.

I hope that you enjoyed your day at the faire! I know that we work very hard to find ways for everyone to enjoy their time there, no matter which aspect they may be going to faire to indulge in. Some like the shopping, some like the history, some like to go see swordfights, others like the music, and yet others simply like to go and watch people. No matter which appeals to you the most, I hope that you got everything out of it that you wanted.

Come back again!

A nice invite from a nice Scarbo Lady...

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Newsgroup Posting

Here's my dime's worth on the subject ---- Arguing with fool is like wrestling with a pig in the mud. It doesn't take long to realize the pig enjoys it..

This one was pretty funny, til you think about it. This person is basically saying that she sees nothing inherently unpleasant about mud wrestling a pig until it's realized the pig is enjoying it.


Just read with extreme laughter your update to the Scarb. Ren. Fest. Thanx once again for your insight and humor into all that is held dear by those "cast members" and "playtrons". Seemed that they don't agree with each other about as much as they didn't agree with you. How silly people can get, and how arrogant I agree with you on the Star Trek thing. The belly dancer group certainly would fit in that genre. And "playtron" could very well be their name. You have such a way with words.

It appears you too were not upset by the mean insulting sarcasm and wanton inaccuracies...

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I don't really have anything to say other than ...i liked your site before.

Hope to see you next year.

Oh stop. You're making us blush.

Newsgroup Posting

Most of the people who come through the gates come and go without ever asking about anything. They come, they take some photos, they enjoy the shows and shopping, and they go home. They spend a while telling friends about it, and then forget it til they see the ad the next year or get the photos back from the developer. Then they think "Yeah, that was fun, we should go again." or "It was all right, but I'd rather spend my money elsewhere."

I just think that it's asking an awful lot to expect everyone who comes to faire to react as strongly to it as the folks here have. That's all. I mean, I might have fun at an air show, or a rodeo, but I probably wouldn't ask a lot of questions about it either. *shrug* It's not my thing.

And if you don't like sarcasm, then I suppose you're justified in not enjoying his site. Personally, I enjoy that dry sort of humour, so I found it amusing indeed. But whether you like dry humour or not, the thing that I find most unsettling is that a number of people seem to have taken this as some sort of personal attack, and attacked back...thoughtlessly and harshly. That's really not the kind of reputation that Faire Folke, or Scarborough, needs to have. You know?

Another voice of reason. Not nearly as amusing as ones talking about pig wrestling or inflammatory words...

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OK you are just tooooo funny...

i sat here and laughed through your email.

I love faire and have been going since the early 80s when it first opened. Became cast last year. Had a great year both years. Faire is a place to go and just relax and leave my computer work behind. yep you got it ... computer geek in the real world.

I really do hope to see you at the Red Lion.

After the death threats, well actually it was something called Flogging Threats, it was deemed going to the Red Lion was too dangerous, despite offers of protection...

Newsgroup Posting

Huh...I'm actually in one of those pictures..the "cross-section of non-Royal" blah blah blah...I don't see any "Ladies" in that picture.

scar30.jpg (47588 bytes) Although I typically enjoy scathing wit, I don't appreciate uneducated sarcastic remarks. So..I actually came out of my lurking corner and asked him what his definitions of lady and wench are.

I await his scathing reply.

Educated sarcastic remarks are definitely better than uneducated sarcastic remarks...


Well.. that would be our Bishop and he's sprinkling Holy Water..and on hot Texas summer days it feels wonderful to be sprinkled..LOL. "Playtron" a person who dresses in garb, but pays admission to the faire. Not a cast member. "Mundanes" are the folks who pay admission, but don't dress up.I loved your Fredrick's of Scarborough reference.

We are pleased you read something you loved.

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Newsgroup Posting

Did anyone notice what the person wrote next to the picture of the Musketeeter and Spanish ladies in parade?scar33.jpg (47873 bytes)

"This looks to be a group of Southern Belles from the New Country visiting England with one Belle being carted about by her manservant."


Wow is an understatement...


I will tell you this though --- several people from Faire have seen your article and are not pleased with it. You have quite a few incorrect references and obviously didn't do your homework before writing. All our cast members and a lot of "playtrons" do a lot of work researching their garb and portraying their characters. They are historically accurate and scar36.jpg (41743 bytes) you mischaracterized many of them. And, come on, our King could be mistaken as the double of King Henry the VIII and you didn't even make one reference to that fact! We get people from Faires across the country visiting Scarb for that fact alone --- they all want to know how we were blessed with Henry the VIII's double and not one word about that! Please....

Article? Homework? Writing?

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Do you get this sort of reaction to the other things you've taken photos of and made comments about on your website? I can't remember the last time I saw so much ado about nothing. I saw your visit to Scarborough Faire soon after it showed up and I thought it was funny. I'd never heard of it before and it looked fun.

Yes, there have been reactions to other things, such as some Fort Worth natives didn't like seeing La Grave Field described accurately. Or the Fort Worth Rail Market. But those were both non-flattering descriptions, unlike the Scarborough Faire description which many thought to be quite flattering.

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The Durango writer was certainly very poorly informed on a great deal, however, ignorance is curable with a bit of education. Innaccurate press is dismaying at worst if it still creates interest in our faire, but bad press can keep people away and that's much worse. There isn't likely much of a readership to the Durango site, and having grown up in redneck Texas (aka towns with only about 200 people, where the whole county goes to one campus for grades k-12) I can understand his impressions and the audience to which he is writing. It also seems obvious that he likely isn't a professional journalist. Does this mean that I agree with what he presented? No, but I could see the hope that he might improve and learn. After all the first couple of years i went to Scarby as a mundane, I had no idea the cast was any bigger than the people on the board at chess match.

I love how much of a community we've built amongst ourselves, but if it makes us so insular that we forget there are people who don't understand us (yet), we deserve, now and then, to have our eyes yanked open much more rudely than Durango did. After all, as big a nerdy Star Wars fan as I am, I cannot fathom why people would dress up as Boba Fett to go see the new movie at the theater.

Actually Durango grew up on the West Coast, where decades ago history curriculums were changed from being Euro-centric, particularly at the college level.

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You makin fun o' how my folk talk? Joking, but yes the person who put that "article" (almost more of a photo essay, but either term gives it a bit too much credit) together did a rather poor job of information gathering. In fact, now that I think about it, some of those pics looked familiar enough that I'm not sure they were all his. Then again, when you've seen 4000 Scarby pics (or more, and no i won't go back and count) this season, alot of them might start looking similar.

Now we're being accused of plagiarizing photos...

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As I reader, I truly appreciate the background research and impromptu confirmation of facts in your piece. I especially like the ongoing confusing of roles by the actors who take great time in their preparation of their role. It is apparent that you acquainted yourself with historical costuming as well as general English/Scottish history knowledge. How else could one have mistaken a belly dancer for a lady of the court? Or the Scottish Regiment for a "troupe of pirates."?

As a participate and cast member, we greatly appreciate the ongoing distribution of inaccuracies that writings like yours continue to propagate.

Thank you for visiting our humble place and giving press to our quaint village but perhaps next time, you might wish to consider calling ahead and arranging a personal guide to help you with your facts.

Please feel free to visit next season with more "seasoned" eyes.

Seasoning ones eyes sounds painful...

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scar36.jpg (41743 bytes) I'm still taking offence to Shannon being referred to as a monica lewinsky lookalike, Shannon is damn gorgeous... and of all the comments that is the only one i cant forgive. (that and not recognising Richard as King Henry ... damn the similarity is freaky

These do seem to be unforgivable offenses, that Durango person is an uncouth lout. Flogging would be too good for him.

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Basically Scarby is the Renaissance period like we'd want it to be. Some places try for authenticity, like some clothing vendors, others just for play. Poetic license and all that..LOL If we REALLY had to live like they did way back then, none of us would survive..LOL They serve the more "normal" food fare so that the visitors don't feel too out of place.

Are you saying there weren't really Fairies with Wings in Merry Olde England?

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I think it was the intelligent lazyness added with his sarcastic remarks that bothered me. To go to all that work without doing even the most basic research on your subject is beyond me. You would think after seeing how little research goes into movies like U-571 and Pearl Harbor that that type of intelligent lazyness would no longer bother me but it does. Added that I have never thought sarcasism was a good replacement for humor and his whole site rubbed me the wrong way. You would think that if he enjoyed the faire so much he would have at least asked some people questions about what he was enjoying.

Intelligent laziness? We thought our forte was un-intelligent laziness...

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I can't believe those people getting so strident over this stuff! It's kind of sad really. I can't imagine being that thin-skinned and humorless. It must be an awful way to go through life. What happens with these people if something actually bad happens to them? How do they handle that?

It's only a small number who were strident and it seems much of that stridency was because they somehow thought this was some sort of news article in some sort of magazine written by some sort of journalist.

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"Don't know if these are Pirates or some sort of ragtag William Wallace brigade." I'm sorry, but as a Fencible (not mention, in the picture) I feel insulted...Obviously, the photographer is not a regular attendie.

Yes. It is obvious the photographer is not a regular attendee...


I just finished viewing your web site. It might be beneficial to at least have some of the characters correctly named --- the begger is Scratch not Stretch and the "fearsome knight" is not a knight but Shilo the Nubian.

Proper names would seem to be beneficial. It was nice of 'Sholo the Nubian' to correct the above misinformation.

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And our Nubian =-= referring him to a fearsome knight. He's fearsome but he would take offense at being referred to as a knight

We have heard from Sholo. He did not seem to be very offended.


Just something I noticed on your page covering your visit to Scarborough Faire this season... Gordy's character is named "Scratch", not "Stretch"

Spoken with a combo Brit/Tex accent 'Stretch' and 'Scratch' sound very alike. That's no excuse for such an egregious error though...

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I don't know what others posted to him but given his site and how mean spirited and sarcistic it is you would think he would have a tougher skin. After all you should be willing to recieve what you dish out if you like making sarcistic remarks about others you should be ready for them to make them about you. Was the comment directed at him any worst than the ones he directed at others? I don't like or enjoy people attacking others, his site seem to be based on attacking people he did not really know and belittleing them. Maybe he did not mean it to come across that way but that is the way it did come across to me.

Thin-skinned? What comments? Attacks? Belittling? Are we all looking at the same thing? Or is there a bizarro world version somewhere?


A village idiot? I dare say that I must agree with you. But we will accept you just the same. One is not shunned for their shortcomings. Why, one is pitied and excused for it's short-mindedness. So, please, come and join us. If needs be a guardian will be furnished to ensure that you do not hurt yourself. But keep heart, idiocy can be amended.

What if one doesn't want ones idiocy amended?

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The site is literarily giving me clear definition of "lol" and "rotflmaoapmp".... more in a minute when I can straighten up

So. You are a fan of idiocy, inaccuracy, mean-spiritedness, bad sarcasm and all that is evil in the world...we will pray for you.

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Thoughtlessly........I truly believe that a great deal of thought went into every remark made by every person on this issue, which ever "side" they were on. Harshly.........that would be a point of perspective and I can understand that one. Reputations of Faire Folk..................Now that would be an entire issue in and of itself that could prove to be controversial. And I see no way that this issue has any bearing on anyone's reputation. This is an expression of thoughts and feelings, of which we all have plenty. Airing differences and coming to understandings is what supposedly made this great country. Why should we be any less so?

You voices of reason are not amusing, but we feel obligated to give you space anyway, in the spirit of fairness and balance...

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Yes PLEASE! I agree... Let's all play nice now. :) I haven't been around lately and these posts are starting to scare me a bit! :) Not everyone will love, enjoy or even understand Faire the way we all do. :) Hugs!

The posts don't seem all that scary. But maybe they do belong in Screams, not Scarbo...

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I think the guy is an idiot. I sent him an E-mail about his site. I told him he had several references incorrect, i.e., Scratch's name, referring to Hilton as a knight. His response was we take it too seriously and we should be grateful for any publicity. He also said he was generous in his descriptions and he was changing them to insult everyone.

I decided he wasn't worth the time.

Actually she was told that her whining was making us think we needed to really give her something to whine about. Also, we believe this is the same 'lady' who identified Sholo as Shilo for us...

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Shaking head. It's hopeless, gang. He'll just keep on fueling the flames if we do. But my thought is, "This guy is supposed to be a professional writer?". Not for my magazine!!!

Yep, what he wrote was bad to begin with, and worse now. But chances are that most people will never see it...

Magazine? Professional writer? Doesn't one need to get paid to be a professional writer? Where's the money? This person is correct about one thing. According to the web stats the Scarbo file averaged about 200 visits per day last month. Many of those were likely Scarbo people.

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While I'm sure his comments were not ment in the way they were taken, I find it impossible to see how someone can mistake the scottish regiment for a group of pirates, or was "william wallace brigade", seeing at he died 200 years before the faire ;)

That is a shockingly incredible mistake to make. But didn't William Wallace die in 1305? 200 years before Scarborough Faire would have him dying in 1803.

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Hehe, funny and true. Of course, your average joe doesn't have any idea about the time spans we're talking about here anyway. The best sense of historical time most folks is that the Am. Rev was a little more than 200 years ago, musketeers were before that, the Middle Ages were a while before that, the Roman Empire was a long time earlier, and the Egyptian pyramid builders were sometime around then or before. See, I've essentially summed up what people remember from their childhood classes (not knocking our education system in this case, imperfect as it is; I actually came out of public school knowing a lot). A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, it often leads the one who has to believe he's much better informed than he actually is.

That is still no excuse not to know every nuance of 16th Century English history, even though during that same period some interesting things were going on in the Ottoman Empire, in the Mughal Empire in India, with the Ming Dynasty in China, with Siam being consolidated into a kingdom, with Aztecs and Mayans and let's not forget this was the heyday of the Spanish Armada.

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Ahem. The reporter unfortunatley collected erroneus data (Poor Scratch)...

"character named Stretch using his tongue to remove mud from sensitive areas. We'll see Stretch again later, being the Village Idiot."

"Though the sign says Royal Jerk, this is actually the Village Idiot, named Stretch. We saw Stretch earlier in the Mud Pit. When Stretch is not in the Mud Pit he sits at a busy intersection on a dusty road in the hot sun extracting quarters from Villagers."

scar13.jpg (44670 bytes)The reporter was also fairely brutal on The Mud Show and used it tout the ole Family Safe Show argument that Folks often like to give. (PG- 13, R, etc.) However I am not amazed to hear this type of subject. The same person making such observations often go "gaa-gaa" over... "Large numbers of Wenches in skimpy costumes barely containing heaving bosoms."

Seems like the same people who shun Bawdy Funne also pop their eyes out, and jerk their necks around to catch glimpses of eye candy.

Reporter? Eye candy? Fairly brutal on the Mud Show?As opposed to being unfairly brutal? Thanks. We pride ourselves on being fair.

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The Scottish Regiment will prolly go to war over this one... "Don't know if these are Pirates or some sort of ragtag William Wallace brigade."

The writer though had Disneyland's Pirates on his mind throughout the day and admittingly it was Pirate Weekend. They crew got that one right in the reporting on the event. I dunno, again the article was very interesing at it clearly represented someone you could hear ask just inside the gate, in non-BFA, "Haw do I get a beer?"

It would seem it does not take much to provoke these Scots to war...

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Everyone take about 10 minutes and just chill. The guy is a nice guy who loved faire and does really look forward to it next year.

You know, there are other sites out there with a few wrong answers and because we know the people who own the sites we don't go belligerent on them.

Chill. Afterall, We wouldn't expect a mundane to understand why all those geeks dress up at a Star Trek convention. (giggles knowing she is a geek that does that) SO he enjoyed faire and wants to get to know more of the story behind it. Has one person on this list ever invited him to JOIN the list? He would learn alot about each of you and learn more about faire.

You darn voices of reason are just too level-headed...

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The gentleman whose site started all of this isn't a history buff. He doesn't know a farthingale from a bustle, or a wench from a Duchess. So? 95% of the people through those gates don't either. Frances wears a french hood, hoops, and has gold on her clothing, and I STILL got called 'wench' an average of once or twice a day. Now, while Frances would take umbrage at that, and generally correct the offender at top, shrill volume (in a humourous way that had them laughing as well), Lys could care less. It's a trigger for a bit, nothing more. They aren't insulting me...they just don't know. But I'll bet you after Frances gets done, they'll not only know the difference, but they'll have been educated AND amused at the same time.

So he called some of the Ladies by the term 'Southern Belles'. Um...well, if you don't know anything about European Renaissance fashion, and all you know is what you've seen in the movies and so on here in the U.S. then you probably think that all women in hoops ARE southern belles. Scarlet O'Hara is a bit better known than Anne Boleyn, I'm afraid.

I think that saying that Master Durango was showing disrespect is insular and short-sighted. His site will encourage people to visit the faire, to see for themselves what it's like. Each of those people will walk away with their own impressions, just as each of us did the first time we ever went to faire. Getting people in the gates is what faire is about, I'm afraid...because without that 95%, we..the 5%...would have no faire to play in. And in the end, he did show respect, by saying that he enjoyed himself and he'll be coming back...possibly in garb. That's the highest compliment that anyone can give me, personally, as a performer, when they say that they had so much fun that they want to return and become a PART of things.

So I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on his motives and thoughts, but I would suggest that anyone who seeks to condemn him try talking to him first. Not insulting him, or sending scathing sarcastic remarks, but simply talking to him. Amazing what you can find out when you actually talk to someone.

We'll end this for now with the above, one more voice of reason...there is one amusing ironic erroneous point in the above though, that being that the 'person We'll end this for now with the above, one more voice of reason...there is one amusing ironic erroneous point in the above though, that being that the 'person who started this is not a history buff'. Well. He may not be a buff. But history was one of his majors...who started this is not a history buff'. Well. He may not be a buff. But history was one of his majors...
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