Ken's Dinner 2

15 August 2009

I would have given just about anything for the weather today to have been like the weather we had here the first three or four weekends of faire. But, instead, I’m afraid it was eighty-something degrees and so humid it dripped water from the sky. Ugh. Not the weather my husband enjoys. It was a t-shirt and shorts for him, and much of his day was spent sitting in front of a fan. But, we were at least in the same state, and although we didn’t walk around the faire, I did get to see quite a bit of him throughout the day.

At the end of the day, we all changed clothes and a party of eight climbed the stairs to Ken’s upper room for his private dinner and wine party. Oh . . . my . . . goodness. What a lovely evening we had. Food prepared specifically for the event—ordered by Ken, and catered by John Myers; Wine carefully chosen by Ken, based on his expertise, and the amazing company of a group of friends-become-family. Brilliant!

My photo is of this wonderful man that is my neighbour here at Bristol–pictured here, quintessentially surrounded by wine bottles, glasses and gourmet quality food. Although his Excalibur Leather, and Pendragon Costumes of which I am proud to be the manager for 16 years now, sometimes compete for a patron’s dollar, those times are rare. Instead, we have the perfect combined ability to dress a customer from head to toe. Being neighbours has worked out so much better than either of us could ever have hoped. And in the process, a fabulous friendship has blossomed and grown.

Ken Wilson is a much-respected crafter and merchant at Renaissance festivals around the country. As a thirty-plus-year veteran, I consider him a mentor of sorts. I look to him for his unique perspectives and I learn from him with every conversation. From simple lessons about buying wine to the art of schmoozing, he has enriched mine and Kyle’s lives over the years we have built our friendship. He is as interesting and complex as the wine he chooses to serve, and I am indeed blessed to count him among my friends.