"Mission of Friendship" Trip

Mistress Tatiana Marana Melville of the Kingdom of Northshield reports on a recent trip to the Barony of Seleone in Gulfport, Mississippi to drop off donated items to those who lost SCA gear during Hurricane Katrina.

Mistress Tatiana writes:

Mission of Friendship Trip

On June 8th Zelda, TE Alice and Price and myself started out on our trip to Gulfport Mississippi. Oh by the way Zelda is the truck. Zelda returned us home on Sunday June 11th, tired but safe. We only got lost once and that was not Zelda's fault. Mississippi looks like a long way on a map and yep we can definitely verify that it is indeed a very long way, especially in a short period of time. We drove 42 out of 81 hours but it is one of the most fulfilling trips I have ever taken.

This trip was to take goods down to the Barony of Seleone in Gulfport Mississippi. We packed Zelda, a Silverado with a cap, very full. We would have had trouble fitting even a few toothpicks in there when we had finished. We took SCA garb, modern clothes, notions, armor, and anything else anyone gave to us that could be of use.

We would like to thank everyone who donated items for us to take down or money towards the expenses for this trip. We had donations from people from all over, most were SCA folks but some were not. We would also like to pass on the heartfelt thanks from the people from the Barony of Seleone. We did not get to meet too many of them but those who we did meet asked us to pass on their sincerest thanks.

While we were there we were given a tour of the Gulf coast. It was just amazing to see the destruction and it has been 10 months. What we saw was only about 10-20% of what was there after Katrina hit. TV can show you a lot but being there in person sends chills down your spine. Baron Thaddeus gave us the tour and he pointed out where houses had been of members of their group - there is absolutely nothing there now. A good portion of the members lost pretty well everything, along with their houses. Thaddeus told us a story about a salvage operation for one of their members. It was not to save personal items, likely they were all gone since she was right on the coast, but to save some bricks from her original house, that had been in her family for years, so that she can incorporate them into her new house in some manner. Thaddeus took us to his old house - he has moved quite a distance from the coast now- and the house is just a shell of bricks and studs on the inside He was a few miles from the coast but on a waterway which was almost just as bad as being on the coast when the surge came through. One of the members worked in one of the floating casinos on the coast. He has no job now since the casino was totally destroyed. There were quite a number of floating casinos and now there are none - one ended up on the hotel across the street having been tossed there by the hurricane. They are rebuilding and new ones could be open in about September. The stories of how they all adapted and survived the storm had me in awe.

These people are some of the friendliest, giving, happy, courageous and strong people that I have met. I don't tell this story to gain them pity since they do not want nor need it. I wanted to share their story of courage and strength with everyone I know so we don't forget what happened and to remind everyone that they, and those in their area, are still in need of help if you have the ability to give it. Their strength with what they had had to live through and are still living through humbles me. At one time the thought of loosing my entire home and its contents was an inconceivable notion but does not seem so farfetched now that I have met people who have lived through it. It makes me so grateful for what I have and makes me want to give help where I can.

I am running the Griffin and Dragon food tavern at Border Skirmish on June 23-25th. Part of the proceeds will be going towards paying for this trip, I will also take some of it and send down a few more packages to them. I am looking for notions like thread, cording, elastic, stitch rippers, scissors, pins, buttons - etc. Any sewing notions. Oh and don't forget that trim drawer that you have - you know the one where put all the trim that you buy it because it is pretty but really don't know what you are going to do with it. I'm going to clean mine out. They appreciated everything that was brought down but I saw eyes light up when they saw trim. I could also fit smaller items like belts (since I can curl them up) snoods, or hair sticks. You can drop these items off at my home if you are from this area or bring them to Border Skirmish, WW or Pennsic and give them to me.

Alice, Price and myself have many more stories from our trip. Ask and we will gladly share.

Take Care,

Tatiana

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Mistress Tatiana Marana Melville
Barony of Caer Anterth Mawr
Shadewes Company