By: THL Sophia the Orange with Lady Mica du Darregonne
How did Pennsic come to be? From the toil of many people, naturally, but legends like Pennsic are born when uncertain times, rocky terrain, and the desperate need for a decent event site create the demand for a hero.
This is a story of a hero and the part of his legacy that is Pennsic. Set the Way Back Machine for 1976 when Pennsic 5, hosted by the East was to be held in a soccer field over a long weekend. After deeming it would be unsuitable two weeks before War they found an alternate site. After two disastrous Wars, then Duke Andrew of Seldomrest was dreading the next Pennsic. Andrew called upon a trusted friend of his to explore a rumored resource in the backwater of Pennsylvania. That friend was then called Count Dagan du Darregonne.
At this time, Count Dagan was in his prime. He was 24 years old; recently Knighted, finished a successful reign as King of a young Middle Kingdom, and enjoyed the support of his friends, household, and kingdom. He was forging new ground as the SCA began its second decade, and opportunities to bring together SCA members from across the country were key steps to stabilizing the SCA as an organization. Duke Andrew asked now-Prince Dagan to find an event site where the SCA could thrive.
When Prince Dagan arrived at Cooper’s Lake Campground in Slippery Rock, PA, the family that owned the campground was about to sell the land! Dagan, however, saw the great possibilities partnership would mean for both the SCA and the Cooper family. He was able to convince the Coopers to try partnering with the SCA by renting their facility as the site for Pennsic. He negotiated and managed a deal between the Coopers and the Pennsic event staff that allowed Pennsic 6 to rent Coopers Lake Campground. This and the following Pennsics helped the Coopers Lake Campground sustain itself and become a viable business. The partnership lives on to this day supporting the Cooper family, the surrounding communities, and the SCA.
Duke Dagan du Darregonne, KSCA, OP, passed away from this world on October 27, 2014 from complications brought on by cancer. He is survived by his wife, Lady Mica du Darregonne, daughter Lady Margaret, son Richard, friend and former wife Countess Catherine Meirionnydd, and an extensive household of squires, protégés, and beloved friends under the name House Red Winged Lion. This proud household invites all Pennsic attendees to a special memorial evening on Tuesday August 4th, starting at 7:30pm, on the battlefield where TRM Midrealm will hold a special Royal Court to honor the premier Duke of the Midrealm and his legacy.
Take a moment to thank Duke Dagan for his dedicated service so many years ago that established a foundation so solid that it enabled our Brigadoon to grow to the expanse it is today. If you can’t attend the memorial court on Tuesday night, dedicate an hour of your volunteer service time in Dagan’s name. Pitch in to help where you can, volunteer for Pennsic Staff, and raise a glass of whiskey for him. Dagan would have appreciated it.