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JON DECLES


Jon DeCles (1941- ) is Diane Paxson's husband.

I recently had an email from Jon and he has kindly let me pass on this information regarding what he's been up to lately and his involvement with the St. Cutbbert's Guild:
I write as Jon DeCles and appear on the stage and in films as Jon DeCles. I worked for the Renaissance Pleasure Faire for a long time (as Jon DeCles) and after various jobs was assigned that of putting together a continuing parade organization. I did my homework and together with Rona Elliott (who I am told was later featured on the Today show on television) we established St. Cutbbert's Guild, which, as you say, produced parades and pageants for the Northern California Renaissance Pleasure Faire.

I wrote the songs to open and close the Faire in hopes of minimalizing some of the conflicts that were current between entertainers and crew, and it seemed to work pretty well. (I sitll own the copyrights on the songs. I never write for hire, though I do act and organize for hire.) The following spring I established St. Audrey's Guild to do the same thing at the Southern California Renaissance Pleasure Faire. Both were in working order when I left the employ of the Faire. (The Patterson Family retains the right to use the songs at their pleasure.)

I had been writing and publishing as Jon DeCles for a long time before the establishment of the Society for Creative Anachronism. When Diana invented the SCA by holding the First Tournament in her back yard she took the name Diana Listmaker because everyone kidded her about her habit of making meticulous lists; and because she kept the lists of the fighters that day. At that first tournament I was one of the judges. Later I chose to fight under the name of 'The Red Baron." Folks didn't take themselves so seriously in those days. It was the College of Heralds, years later, which insisted on attaching my working name to my SCA persona, without my permission and much against my will.

My sister, Marion Zimmer Bradley, had been writng an astrology column and ghost editing Syble Leek's Astrology Magazine under the name of "Lady Elfrida," for some time, and chose to use that name in the SCA. I am not sure when she appended the "Greenwalls" to it, but she did not move into her house, Greenwalls, until she returned to California after several years of exile on Long Island, New York, paying off debts.

None of the names we used in the SCA had anything to do with our participation in the Rennaisance Pleasure Faire, though in the early days of both organizations there was a certain amount of crossover in terms of the people who did the work. In the end, the Faire was Theater and the SCA was a Recreational Club, much closer to Science Fiction Fandom in its makeup than it was to Theater. Mostly we all tried to keep our lives separate from our pastimes, but at times that became difficult.

Don't take anything you read in the divers histories of the SCA with less than a kilo of salt. Most of the people writing those histories were not there, and despite the fact that it has only been about thirty years since the founding, the mythology has grown and the disimformation has grown even faster. In one very scholarly article I saw recently it was set out that the First Twelth Night took place in Milpitas. --I don't believe any of us had ever visited Milpitas until Good Old Bonouer moved there with the mailing list, years down the line. I've been writing in other fields more profitably for some time now, but I have a collection of science fantasy short stories coming out, maybe next year. I had hoped to be part of the crew for the new Thieves World, but I didn't make the cut. A reissue of my novel "The Paticolored Unicorn" has been in the works for about three years now, to be followed by the sequel, "StormWars!" I hope this helps. I know how hard it is to get information about various things, even in the age of the Net. Thank you for noticing my small participation in your subject matter.

More info: http://home.pon.net/rhinoceroslodge/
A grainy image: http://www.wsfa.org/journal/j96/4/

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Last Revised: November 2005.