While I'm now stuck in the middle of nowhere, in the nether end of the 20th Century, I was very active in an organization called the Society for Creative Anachronism, or SCA for short. The SCA is an association that teaches by doing about the Middle Ages through the Renaissance, or essentially any period from about the 5th Century to 1600 CE (AD). Members dress up in armour and hit each other with "swords," write and recite poetry, do needle work, sing and play songs, shoot archery with old-style bows, dance, brew, ride horses, etc. They do just about anything they did in the "good old days" of hundreds of years ago, with the exception of dying in mass numbers from the Black Plague. While members might become lords and ladies, barons and baronesses, or even kings and queens, in real life they might be teachers, district attorneys, mechanics, federal investigators, clerks, computer programmers, journalists, or McDonald's trainees. The organization is built on mutual respect and trust, and is also a lot of fun (I love the weekend-long camp-out "wars," which sometimes last more than a week). You can learn more about the SCA at www.sca.org.
My persona name in the SCA varied somewhat, but my official name is Eldwin Nightowl, an SCA lord. I'll describe Eldwin in more detail later. But for now, know that Eldwin was born in 1562 in England and, after fleeing his homeland, did a variety of services ranging from dishwasher to cook's helper to sword and knife seller to bard (poet, song-writer, singer) to marshal in training to archer to drummer for belly dancers to historian to chronicler to deputy seneschal (something like local vice president). Eldwin was primarily found in the SCA Barony of Dreiburgen in the Kingdom of Caid, which at that time included Southern California, the Las Vegas area of Nevada, Hawaii and New Zealand. But I understand the boundaries have changed, as happens with kingdoms. (Caid lost New Zealand).