I don’t have a photo for this post, though I’ll try to get one at some point. For those of you who don’t know, in one of my other lives, I am part of the Society for Creative Anachronism, a group that attempts to selectively recreate the Middle Ages and Renaissance. At the end of July every year, we hold a large event called the Pennsic War at Cooper’s Lake Campground in western Pennsylvania. I went off the grid for a while because I didn’t manage to get enough posts written before Pennsic, and then I came home with the beginnings of a sinus infection from vacation.
The event hasn’t always been at Cooper’s Lake, but it has been for longer than I’ve been alive (this year was Pennsic 41). Over the years, the event has grown and a lot of people in the SCA have gotten to know the Cooper family and their long-time employees. Last year, the patriarch of the family, Frank “Mack” Cooper passed away. In addition to the memorials following Frank Cooper’s death, there were also memorials held by people at Pennsic, and a number of people in the SCA sent their condolences to the family.
This year, the bridge that leads to the campground was being replaced, so we took a detour. As we were driving along the campground heading for the gate, we passed a tiny little church and churchyard, and my husband noticed a headstone that said “Cooper” on it. Right at the front of the churchyard, facing a portion of the campground that bears his name, sits the tombstone for Frank “Mack” Cooper. I like to think it means he is still watching over us every year as we make our pilgrimage to his land to feel the magic of Pennsic once more.