• The Order Of The Quarter

    By McKenzie Levi, Crusader Knight

    Disclaimer:  Do not attempt to do this.  I am a trained and unusually experienced public safety specialist, fighter, and performance artist.  I was a former resident and strip club manager in the French Quarter.  I am also wearing armor, carrying a sword, and protected by God. 

    As the disclaimer indicates, I am a former resident of the New Orleans French Quarter.  I lived at 516 Governor Nicholls Street in the top floor of a barely finished loft apartment while I was an actor and a manager at three infamous strip clubs in The Quarter.  For now, I’ll skip over my incredible experiences living there and pick up some years later in October 2023 when I visited New Orleans on a trip with two members of my Cleveland, Ohio based historical fencing club.  I dubbed the group the “Lake Erie Sword Lords” and set us up with an apartment in the Quarter, a practice with the New Orleans sword club, some video shoots, and an in-depth tour of the place.

                  As I toured them around the Quarter, I noticed more blight than usual.  There was now graffiti on some of the walls of closed down store fronts.  I hadn’t seen graffiti when I lived there and I was shocked that anyone would damage the preserved French Quarter buildings.  We walked along and I noticed more vagrancy than I had ever seen there.  I saw open hard drug use.  My friends saw just people as we walked down Bourbon Street but I saw that many of these people were prostitutes walking with their pimps.  At night, heavy bass from drug dealer’s cars shook the Creole townhouses as they crept down the quiet streets.  One night on Decatur St., I walked by a solemn circle of crying restaurant workers as an ambulance with flashing lights quietly pulled away.  Someone had died.

    Before I left town on that trip, I stopped at Rouses grocery store where outside I took interest in a 1920’s reenactor woman who was typing poems for tourists on her antique typewriter.  I paid for a poem and she wrote an inspirational one about my armor and me perhaps being there to save the sinful city. 

    When I returned back to my current domain on Lake Erie, I called the office of the New Orleans City Councilor in charge of the French Quarter.  I shared my observations with his assistant who apologized for the condition of the Quarter.  I briefly explained my background as a public safety personality in Ohio and Northern California and offered to come and perform some public safety rounds in there in the spring.  The assistant accepted my offer saying they would be glad for any assistance.

    In March 2024, I arrived in the French Quarter on my new public safety mission.  I checked into the Chateau Hotel and marveled at the courtyard.  My room was floor level and basic but large enough to accommodate all my armor.  I had driven from Ohio in full maille so after fastening on my sword, I immediately set out onto the streets of the Quarter.  My first destination was to be Verdi Marte, a small but well known grocery store and restaurant on Governor Nicholls and Royal St with a cheap atm.  I walked on Chartres Street and as I neared Governor Nicholls Street, I heard insane, demonic sounding screaming.  I gripped my sword in the sheathe and crouched into my stalk walk as I neared the screaming.  “Would I really be fighting a demon?” I wondered.  As I turned the corner, I saw the source of the wicked sounds which was just a person.  This person was bald and skinny like a little golem.  Every muscle of the golem person clenched as it screeched at a large group of tourists on a ghost tour.  “Get the fuck out of here!  Leave me alone!” it yelled at them.  I stood on the corner until it noticed me.  “YOU get the fuck out of here you gothic fuck!” it yelled at me.  I stood for a moment then casually walked a few paces away and out of it’s sight while still watching to make sure it wasn’t actually going to attack the tourists.  

    A few moments later, it was still screaming.  I had had enough so I walked to the spot directly across the street and boomed over.  “Why don’t you shut the fuck up?” 

    “Fuck you” it spat.  “Get the fuck out of here!”

    “You get the fuck out of here.” I spat back.  Another street person appeared in front of me.  He was a man about forty.

    “Hey what the fuck man?” he said.

    “What is that?” I asked back while motioning to the golem’s tantrum.

    “Aren’t you from around here man?  Everybody knows her.  She’s schizophrenic.”

    “Well it is unacceptable for her to be having a schizophrenic episode on the street in front of tourists.” I explained with authority. 

    “It has to be acceptable!” he stammered.

    “It is not acceptable.  If you’re going to be a character around here, you better be a good one.” I shouted over to the golem person as I walked away.

    “I’m not a fucking character.” the guy said.

    “No shit, junkie.” I said back as I walked past the gawking ghost tour group and to Verdi Marte.  There was no more screaming behind me.

    Inside Verdi Marte, I used the atm then asked the counter lady about the screaming bald person.  She responded that everyone knew “Becca” and many liked her but that she actually is a schizophrenic and acted out like that often down here.  I mentioned my encounter and how I felt bad now after confirming that she was mentally ill. 

    “What attracts her to this area?” I asked.

    “Ghosts maybe.” laughed the counter lady.

    “Well if she wants to be left alone, this is a bad place for it.  It’s like a stage out there.” I said.

    “I think she wants the attention.” said the lady. 

    I thanked her and left out of the old wooden, metal, and glass doors then walked back over to the spot where now Becca and the man were quietly sitting on the sidewalk.  I popped up from the street before they could notice me and threw a twenty dollar bill on the ground.  “Here’s some money.  I’m sorry about the way I spoke to you before.” I said quickly.  “Do you forgive me?” I asked.

    “Yes.” the man said eyeing the twenty.
    “Do you forgive me Becca?” I asked.  Becca would not look at me but nodded.

    “Thank you.  Have a good night.” I said as I walked away.  At the corner, I picked up a can of beer that I assumed Becca had emptied and threw it in the garbage can.

    I continued on, walking the streets of the Quarter with a new purpose.  I had always been coming here for fun but now my eyes professionally scanned the movements of the people around me looking for any trouble.  Lots of people asked me what I was doing and I responded that I was doing “Crusader public safety in the Quarter”.  I walked Bourbon, Royal, Chartres, Decatur, Canal, and even Frenchman Streets at the slow pace of a patrolman.  I’d stop at each corner and look around.  I took a couple breaks inside and on the patio of my favorite strip club where I used to work on Bourbon Street.  The girls who didn’t know me fawned over my armor.  I tipped each one a handfull of bills as they came up and tugged on my coif (maille hood).  One said she wanted to wear my armor on her naked body.  I tipped her a twenty.  A dancer who I used to date, saw me and scurried onto the elevator and stayed upstairs until I left.

    I walked the Quarter one more time then went to Verdi Marte for more money and a po boy and fries to eat back in my room.  On the way, I asked some vagrants laying on the outside of the Lalaurie mansion why they weren’t afraid of the spirits that supposedly curse anybody who touches the doorstep of the infamous ghost house.  “It’s the person that attracts the spirits.  We’re fine.” one vagrant said.

    In the morning, the Quarter streets were refreshed by the sun and dripping water from balcony flower boxes. Stepping out from my hotel, I could smell the spicey aroma of crawfish boils mixed with the soapy cleaner they use to wash the streets.  Tourists walked happily and the mules hauling carts clopped by me wearing my white surcoat and sparkling maille and nasal helm.  Every person nodded as though they knew why I was there.  A mule cart driver loudly informed his tour group that I was “French Quarter security” as they took photographs of me.  I walked to Jackson Square where I found an artist friend of mine painting a piece in his New Orleans street style.  I had seen him during each of my latest trips and always enjoyed a unique conversation and perspective from him.  Today I told him of my public safety project and he spoke about the elusive concept of “order” and suggested some of the things I might do on my mission.  “You could break up fights.” he suggested. 

    I walked to and down Bourbon Street which already had tourists milling about on the sidewalks and even some in the bars.  As I reached Canal Street, I noticed some kind of commotion a block away at Royal Street.  I could see people on the ground and then I noticed blood stained jeans.  I hadn’t heard the shots but I could tell someone had been shot before I arrived.  I got closer and could see an older man with a white mustache attending to a young guy on the ground.  Police SUVs and an ambulance pulled in as a crowd gathered.  A man on a mobility scooter with a microphone and speaker began to preach to the scene.  I stood next to him and he thanked me for being there with him.  I walked closer to the scene where a few police officers secured the area with tape.  The victim gave a thumbs up to onlookers as he was loaded and taken away in an ambulance.  Groups of tourists and locals in began to pile up on the sidewalk.  Since the police were busy, I directed the concerned passerbys around the investigation and offered a light explanation: “There was an accident.” 

    The mustached man who had been helping the victim had spoken to the police and was now standing alone, so I approached him and asked what had happened.  He said one group of teenagers in a car got into an argument with another group of teenagers standing on the corner and then the ones in the car got out with long guns and shot one guy in the legs as he ran away.  The mustached man had then helped the victim and used his own belt to apply a tourniquet.

    I thanked him and asked “Do you think it was random?” 

    He thought about it.  “No, because that gang of teenagers hangs out here everyday.”  he said.

    As we spoke, a news reporter and his camera man arrived next to us.  “You have to talk to the news.”  I said to the man with the mustache.  “The people should know what happened.”

    “I don’t know.” he wavered.

    “You saved that guy.” I said. 

    “I’m no hero.” the mustached man quickly snapped.

    “Well you did save him and he left here alive and awake because you helped him, so you are a hero.  But still, you need to tell the people what happened or they’ll just hear it was another shooting down here, you know.” I said.  “Will you do it?”

    “Yes.” He relented. 

    I informed the news reporter that the mustached man had been a witness and saved the young man’s life and that he was willing to do an interview.  The reporter was gracious and immediately began to interview the mustached man.  While the police investigated, I directed more tourists around the scene and calmed a few stunned passerbys. 

    “Is this a movie set?” Some would ask.

    “No, it’s your authentic New Orleans experience.” I jested to lighten the mood.

    A local man with a dress shirt, black slacks, and a backpack obviously on his way to work at some restaurant stopped and pulled his ear buds out.  “Oh man, what the hell.  There’s always something going down on this corner.” He complained.

    “Yeah, I’m working on it.” I said as I eyed up the group of teenagers lingering a few buildings away.

    “What happened?” he asked.  I told him what I had heard from the mustached man.  “Fucking teenagers.  It’s always teenagers.”  he said.  Still, the information seemed to settle him a bit before he walked on to work.  Another newscaster woman and her camera man arrived so I directed them to the mustached man for another interview.  More tourists flowed in and out of the scene.  I calmly explained what had happened and expressed that the young victim left the scene alive and conscious. 

    A couple of young female cops took pictures, collected the bullet casings, and poured sand over the blood on the sidewalk.  The uniformed officers then rolled up their tape and pulled off in their SUV’s as tourists, locals, adults, and children all returned to their regular walking route through the crime scene with some even obliviously walking through the bloody sand.  I talked to the mustached man some more about crime on that corner and gave him a twenty which he took stubbornly and said again:  “I’m no hero.”  I lingered there for another thirty minutes to show that this corner was being watched now. 

    As I walked back into the Quarter on Royal Street, I passed a couple Orleans County Sheriff’s Deputies who were outside the always troubled convenience store there.  When I reached the corner of Iberville Street, I noticed a small crowd gathered around two men fighting with one man on top of the other.  I darted towards the scene but then caught myself.  I was there to get involved but not too involved.  If I got physical, I’d have to go to court and maybe even jail.  I considered how I would at least have an enemy in the man I would have to restrain or hurt to stop the fight, so instead I ran back to the convenience store where the Sheriffs were.  “There’s a fight.  I need help.” I said to the Sheriff’s Deputy who saw me run up.  With him and another deputy in tow, I ran back to the fight.  “Hey, stop!” we yelled at the fighters.  The man on top jumped up and sprinted away up Iberville St. as he heard and felt our footsteps and shouts.  The Sheriff’s Deputy helped the wounded man to his feet.  His nose was bloody and as I looked down I noticed his bloody jeans and drops of blood on the brick sidewalk.  He said he was attacked because he wouldn’t give the other guy a cigarette.  The Sheriff asked him if he needed anything.

    “A sprite.” answered the injured man. 

    “I got it.  You can stay with him.” I said and I went around the corner to the convenience store.  I returned to the scene where the deputies were taking down the injured man’s information and I gave the guy his sprite.  “If you guys are all set,” I said to the Sheriff’s Deputies, “I’m going to walk on.”  They said they were so I did.

    I took a nap in my armor by the pool in the courtyard of my hotel then I walked back up to Canal and Royal Street where I saw the group of teenagers from earlier were posted back up in the spot where their friend had been shot earlier.  I walked towards them intending to ask them why they weren’t nervous about hanging out at this corner.  As soon as I walked towards them, they broke apart and hustled away.  I walked towards one who took off in a full sprint.  I considered that now I was in danger since I was hindering their ability to territorialize that block but at least they weren’t on the corner anymore. 

    That night I spent like the previous, walking the Quarter and checking the hot spots for any dangerous activity, even the corner at Royal and Canal.  I attempted to take my break inside my favorite strip club again but this time I was blocked from entering as the manager solemnly informed me that the dancer I used to date didn’t want me in there anymore.

    Instead, I walked to the Lower Decatur area where I stopped and talked with some New Orleans specific vagrants known as “Gutterpunks” that can always be found sitting on the ground there.  Like the other vagrants I encountered, they were surprised I was interacting with them.  “Nobody ever talks to us.”  said one with a skateboard who wanted a picture with me.  I gave one girl some weed which she immediately prepared in a rolling paper for them all. 

    I walked around the block where I passed two middle aged women suffering from the obscene drunkenness that regular people only experience in the French Quarter.  They giggled at my attire and asked if I would be their knight in shining armor as they stumbled across the street.

    “I am at your service.” I said.  The drunk ladies laughed again and I walked on, looping the block again.  When I came back around, one of the drunk ladies was laying on her back on the sidewalk.

    “Oh, it’s the knight!  Thank God.  Please help.” The standing one pleaded.  “Seriously.  I can’t get her up and we need to get into our hotel room.  Can you carry her?” She hesitated.  “I mean, is that a service you offer?”

    “Yes, I can help.” I said as I reached my hand down to her friend.

    “Knight guy, it’s you…” whirred the drunken woman on the ground.  “I can’t get up.”

    “I can’t get her up.” the friend panicked.

    “It’s ok.  Are you ready to get up?” I asked the one on the ground gently as she took my hand.

    “Yes knight man.  Pick me up.” she said.  I picked her up fairly easily then bore her weight as we entered the gate into the Provincial Hotel.  I carried her up a big flight, down a small flight, then up another small flight of stairs to their room overlooking another incredible courtyard.  The standing one pushed her drunk friend inside their room and handed me a fifty dollar bill.

    “No lady.  I am not doing this for money.” I explained as I tried to give it back.  She pushed it to my chest and insisted.  I insisted back that I would give it away which she said didn’t mind as long as I didn’t spend it on fentanyl.  I laughed.  The air sparkled with her intoxication as we stood outside on the balcony. 

    “I am a married woman with children...” she confessed.

    “And I am a good knight who shall bid you the same…  Good night lady.” I turned and quickly left down the small flight, up the small flight, then down the big flights of stairs.  The hotel concierge opened the gate with a button for me as I went back out onto the streets.

    It was late so back on Bourbon Street, things were quiet.  A young man, who was enamored with my attire and mission, spoke to me for nearly an hour as we walked and sat on a few stoops.  I didn’t mind since I was out and that’s where I needed to be.  God always puts me where I’m supposed to be.  Before retiring to my hotel, I stopped at Verdi Marte for food and another atm visit. 

                 The next day, I came upon some Sheriffs Deputies who were leaning on a metal barricade on Royal Street outside of Rouses grocery store where people gather to watch street musicians perform.  I conversed with the Deputies for a bit and one of them asked if I was the guy who stopped a stabbing the previous day.  I said no but he insisted it was a guy dressed as a knight.  “I helped break up a fight with your guys yesterday.” I said.

    “On Iberville.  Yeah, that guy got stabbed.” explained the officer.  I said that I had seen a lot of blood so that made sense.  I asked them what they planned to do with that corner at Royal and Canal Street.  He said there would be a satellite police station going in there and that they already had the Sheriffs on patrol on Royal Street from Noon to Midnight.  With that street under watch, I decided to focus my day patrols on Chartres and Bourbon Streets. 

    That day, patrol was easy with only one incident occurring on Bourbon Street at about 5 pm.  A drunk, shirtless, and muscular guy wandered back and forth across the street antagonizing anyone who would look at him.  He smacked a drink out of a man’s hand.  “Do something!” he shouted at him or anyone willing to fight.  I watched from a careful distance, close enough to intervene but outside of the man’s rage range.  No one would fight him so he continued on down Bourbon Street where he rammed into an older lady with a cane.  She held her cane up to keep him at bay.  I stepped in between her and the raging man, and lowered her cane down. 

    “No lady, you are brave but I will take care of this.”  I said as I ushered her the other way.  The raging man looked at me and steamed.  He turned around and continued to stomp down the street with his fists clenched while I continued to track him from about twenty paces away.  I tucked myself into the entrances of the buildings as he spun around to look for me.  “You looking at me!”  He shouted at another regular guy walking with a friend. 

    “No.”  said the guy.  The raging man’s attention was diverted as I now stepped out of an alcove. 

    “Fuck you.”  said the raging man as he stormed off.  I tracked him down Bourbon Street until he reached Canal Street and left the Quarter.  I walked back down Bourbon Street where a tourist stopped me.  “Were you ready to fight that guy?”  He asked with reverence.

    “Yeah, but I didn’t want to.  Did you see how big he was?  I just tracked him until he left the Quarter.”  I said. 

    “Bro, that’s awesome.  Thank you.” He responded. 

    That was the last violent encounter that occurred during the week of The Order Of The Quarter but I was far from done cleaning the place up and having a good time.

    I walked along and met a pretty climate change activist girl who was there with a group signing people up for something or another.  We talked about the Quarter and I told her about geoengineering and the chemtrails which were behind the extreme weather and visible in the sky that day. 

    A lady artist behind the Cathedral purred at me as I walked by.  I checked out her cemetery sketches which she had hung one the fence as she checked out my armor. 

    Later, I saw the mustached man who had saved the gun shot victim, sitting on a stoop on St. Peter Street.  He was drinking a beer and cat-calling pretty tourist women that walked by which made me laugh because it was old fashioned and light-hearted.  I reported to him about the police station going in at the corner of Royal and Canal which made him happy. 

    That night I went to sword practice with the local historical fencing club at their spot on the Marina in Bucktown.  Before I left the Quarter, I patrolled slowly through the streets with my Jeep and all was well.  At the Marina, the air was cold but the sword fighting was excellent. 

    I returned to the Quarter and went out to eat before starting my walking shift.  On my way, I noticed a young women holding a sign outside of Rouses asking for anything.  “How’s it going?”  I said casually as I leaned up next to her.  “I’m going out to eat at the Gumbo Shop over there.  Do you want me to bring you an order when I come back out?”  I asked her.  She nodded.  I went to dinner by myself where I was seated immediately at a tucked away table.  A young couple from New Jersey sat next to me and in spite of my brooding and private seat, couldn’t resist asking me about my attire and experiences in the Quarter.  The man marveled and the wife listened politely as I talked between bites of gumbo sopped bread. 

    When I went back outside, the woman with the sign was gone so I walked to lower Decatur where the gutterpunks hang out and gave the gumbo order to them.  I then went out my patrol walk through the Quarter until late.  That night, the Quarter was safe and the walk was easy.  Ethereal synthesizers and singing from a musician tickled the air and I thought about dying and walking through a heavenly version of The Quarter.   At the end of the night, I stopped at Verdi Marte again where I met the man whose music had been my soundtrack that night.  I complimented him on bringing some interesting style to the Quarter and asked him if I could use his music for my actual documentary soundtrack. 

     In the morning, I found a guy sitting on Decatur Street, holding a sign asking for anything and I hired him to shoot some interview footage of me.  After that, I walked to Jackson Square where I found my artist friend personalizing and numbering a painting of a mule cart he had just finished.  We talked about my experiences over the previous days and he offered me more advice and unique conversation.  It occurred to me that I had seen him many times, yet I did not own one of his paintings and that he too was a French Quarter personality who deserved my support.  I eyed another finished piece depicting a mule cart which was hanging on the iron fence directly in front of me.  I bought it, conversed for a while longer then said goodbye.  I went to the other side of the Cathedral where the lady artist who had been purring at me was set up and I purchased one of her cemetery drawings.  I took the items to my hotel then walked down to the lower Decatur neighborhood where I found vagrants lining the short block on Governor Nicholls between Decatur and French Market Place and stopped to visit them.  I recognized all of them from my previous interactions; the skateboard guy, the sign girl that left, even Becca.  I said hi to them and mentioned to the sign girl that I did bring her food but she was gone and her friends got to eat it.  I slipped another ten to Becca as she got up to drag herself somewhere else.  “I found this.  You can have it.” I said.

                 I saw an author turned vagrant I had known when I lived there.  I was thrilled to see him still alive.  We talked for a bit and I gave him a twenty.  “I can really do something with this.”  He said as he got off the ground.  (*I gave away a lot of twenties during the Order of the Quarter project.  The people of the Quarter had taught me to be generous with my tips when I lived and worked there.  In the Quarter, real money seems fake anyways and like some game it seemed to solve the problem of vagrants wasting away on the sidewalk, at least temporarily.) 

                 Shortly after that, another vagrant leaning on a mailbox asked me for money.  I couldn’t turn him down or give him less since I had helped those other people so I opened my pouch, dug out another twenty, and forked it over. 

    “I thought no one could hear me.  I’ve been asking all day and no one would look at me.  Thank you.” he said graciously.

    I walked down French Market Place where I noticed a mess of clothes littering the sidewalk.  In the middle of the mess sat a man with long hair and just a jacket over his lap.  He was flipping out about something.  As I walked by, he revealed that he was naked under the jacket.  “I have no clothes.” he spazzed. 

    “Yeah right.” I thought sarcastically since I could see clothes all over the sidewalk and I walked on. 

    “Someone stole my clothes.” he shouted after me.  I turned around and walked back and stood before him.

    “You have no clothes?” I asked as I assessed the mess more closely.  It was various pieces of women’s clothes.  He pointed to a dress hanging on the garbage can in front of him.

    “That’s a five x.”  He pointed to a shirt on the ground.  “That’s a four x.  These are all women’s dresses and there are no pants.” he panted. 

    “Ok.  I will bring you clothes but I only have medieval clothes.” I said.  “Will you wear them?”

    “Yes.  Please.” he responded.

    “I will be back in ten minutes.” I said.  I bounded across the few blocks to my hotel where I gathered a fresh pair of braies (medieval underpants) and a tunic (long shirt) from my luggage.  I rolled them up and carried them back to the naked man.  He took them politely and now spoke with the tone of any other clothed and sane person as he extended his hand and gave me his name.  “Perhaps we can talk when I’m having a better day.” he said as we shook hands. 

    “That sounds good.” I said.  When I went by his spot later, he and the mess of clothes were gone. 

    I walked back up to Royal and Canal St. where I checked on the gang people hanging on the corner.  When I appeared, they walked off again but this time more slowly.  I could tell they were getting sick of me popping up there.  I walked up the block to Bourbon Street where another vagrant called me over.  “I need a pair of pants.  I can’t say why but I need fresh pants please.” he begged from the ground.  I knew telling him that I just gave away a pair to another guy would do him no good so I told him I’d be back with some pants for him.  I had no more spare medieval clothes so I went into the stores on Canal Street until I found a pair of cheap sweatpants.  I delivered them back to him and he beamed with appreciation.  “Let me read your palm for free.” he offered. 

    “Divination?  No thanks.” I responded. 

    “Hold up your hand.” he said and I did for one second.  “I got it.” he gloated.  His eyes widened.  “But we need to talk about this later.”  But like many of the others I had helped, I didn’t see him again. 

    On my last night of patrolling, I took a couple breaks in a more seedy looking establishment on Bourbon Street since my old club still wouldn’t let me in.  The girls at the new club were sweet and one who knew I wanted to have an old fashioned strip club experience latched on to me and treated me like an atm, withdrawing handfuls of singles from me every few minutes until I had to use the club’s actual and overpriced atm.  Finally, she led me to the bartender to change my twenties to singles so I could throw them on her from the second floor while she danced on the pole.

    “I need fifty singles please.” I requested to the bartender.

    “He needs a hundred.” the stripper corrected me. 

    “I need a hundred.” I concurred. 

    I went upstairs and dropped the pile on her.  The money trickled all over her, the stage, and floor so that the hospitality worker had to use a broom to sweep it all up.  I tipped all the other girls “for dressing up” and the doorman for watching my sword. 

    In the morning, I visited the atm at Verdi Marte for what seemed like the hundredth time and bought a couple little Hubigs pies to take home to my Mom.  Then I performed one more walk of the Quarter.  The crowds already filled Jackson Square as I arrived there and saw the 1920’s reenactor woman typing poems while her boyfriend juggled knives for a crowd behind her.  I shared my appreciation for her impeccable outfit and dedication to being a personality in the Quarter.  She approved of my vigilantism. 

    I bought a silver ring made from a spoon by a pretty woman selling them at a table.  I said goodbye to the activist girl and made sure her trip was fun.  I exchanged numbers with a local man who told me that my mission had made the Quarter a little bit better and suggested I come back again soon. 

    The Order Of The Quarter will return.

    *Names were changed or deliberately omitted to protect their reputations.  These characters are all still down there.

    **Update:  All the “teenagers” involved in the shooting above were found to be adults in their mid twenties.  The victim is alive and the shooters were arrested one week after the incident. 

    Photos by Chuck Ellezay

    Painting by Stuart South

    drawing by Taylor Chartrand

    photo by Chuck Sees.  Ring by Maranda Davis.  


    Courtyard at the Chateau Hotel




The story of a modern Crusader

Chapter 1

Remember The Crusades

            “What about the Crusades?”  I regurgitated the phrase I had heard someone say before.  Images of armored men on horses slashing the bodies of the people they were riding through flashed through my head.

            “What about them?”  My girlfriend asked back.  We were in her car outside of the Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Lackawanna, New York.  She was a Catholic and had brought me there for Mass in an effort to convert me.  She knew I liked the Middle Ages and architecture and she hoped the Basilica, with its European Cathedral design, epic vaulting dome, and numerous carved stone angel statues would provide a gateway of interest for me.  “What do you know about the Crusades?”  she asked since I hadn’t answered her first question.

More vague images of red crosses on white shirts spattered with blood went through my mind but other than that I didn’t know anything about the Crusades.  I did not remember learning about them in school or seeing them depicted in any movie at that time but somehow I knew they were bad and I’d have the whole weight of civilized society on my side of the debate if I mentioned them.  “I don’t really know much about the Crusades.”  I admitted.  “But they killed people for Christianity.”  I affirmed. 

“You don’t know what you are talking about.”  she said. 

“I’ll learn about them.”  I said.  We parked and went into the Church.  I looked around the interior with the eyes of someone resisting conversion.  I decided the place was unnecessarily large and that the marble walls and floors were overly lavish.  I listened to the Mass and watched as the people said their prayers and songs in unison.  They were either phony or brainwashed, I surmised.

That Monday, I went to the library in between classes.  I was a junior at the University at Buffalo.  My girlfriend and I lived near downtown Buffalo and so I would commute to the school which was fifteen minutes away in Amherst.  My schedule was such that I’d have large blocks of time in between classes when I’d often go to the library to do homework in the little cubicles they had there.  However, now I was on a research mission to learn about the evils of the Crusades.  Like in most libraries, the computers that were connected to the internet were all occupied but the one attached to the catalog of books was empty.  I searched “Crusades”, wrote down the book numbers, then went up a few floors to the non-fiction and history section where I found the books.  I knelt and pulled one off the shelf which had a gold emblem on the cover depicting two groups of soldiers on horseback riding towards each other with lances and shields.  I glanced over the author’s name, Harold Lamb, and opened the book, determined to find the instances of blood being shed arbitrarily by ravenous Christian soldiers.  Instead I found myself being charmed by the words within.  The writing was fast paced and interesting.  The setting was, of course, medieval which endeared me instantly.  I flipped a few pages, looking for words of some evil deed.  I instead read lines about men “taking the cross”.  I flipped forward more to see words of medieval chroniclers intermixed with the narrative prose.  The chroniclers wrote with a tone that was both searingly realistic in discussing practicalities such as caring for horses and feeding armies of men but also exuberant to the point of exaggeration in describing the feats of military prowess of the Christians.  I flipped back and saw the copyright was 1930.  I figured the author may have been too old to know the Crusades were bad or that he was some type of Crusade apologist.  I noticed that this book was only an account of the first Crusade.  I picked another book that looked more modern calling itself the History of the Crusades from 1095 to 1284.  I began to flip through that one and found more glorification of the Crusades.  The men being glorified were characters with familiar names like Saint Louis and Richard the Lionheart.  I read an incredible account about Richard the Lionheart jumping off a boat with an ax and wading ashore to fight an entire army.  I took the books back to an open cubicle and read until it was time for my next class then I checked the books out of the library.  It wasn’t just the stories but the language and the words like  “Christendom” and “Pilgrimage” which piqued a new fervor in me.  The word “Crusade” itself seemed to twinkle like a piece of gold with a thousand years of dust being wiped off.  Still there were the heaviest words of religion; “God” and “Jesus Christ” which these men were invoking in the extraordinarily ambitious military endeavors.

I read through the first books in a few days in me and my girlfriend’s little apartment.  The place was decorated with some medieval touches that made me feel connected with the stories of knights and battles.  There were curtains around the bed and on the wall there was a sword I had bought from an antique store.  I finished the books then went back to the library to take more out.  I was becoming versed in the history of the Crusades but not as the antagonist as I had intended.  I quickly surpassed the distinction of an apologist and became a full on fan of the Crusades.  I even found the Pope’s initial call for the endeavor in 1095 to be quite reasonable based on the circumstances of the late 11th century.  My college friends commented to my girlfriend how I wasn’t the same anymore and that anytime they saw me, I was by myself reading a book about the Crusades.  I was a student so I considered this an extracurricular part of my education as I absorbed more stories of the iron men and saints adventuring and battling in the Holy Land of Christendom. 

(*This was in the 2000’s.  The internet was available but there were not video channels devoted to Crusade history and only a few websites with pictures.  You could use the internet to buy books which I did, filling my shelves with used copies of the old books I had been reading and some I couldn’t find in the library.) 

I was now enamored with the heroes and imagery of the Crusades.  The central force to their ambition and heroism was their faith in the Christian God and Jesus.  They fought and won with God’s help and for his glory.  With my limited knowledge of warfare, I assumed this to be unique, figuring that other wars were fought simply for territory or some other substantial gain.  With a focus on God from the outset of the endeavors, the acquisitions of land and cities by the Crusaders were done out of necessity and military strategy.  The initial Crusade was portrayed as an armed pilgrimage to Jerusalem with obstacles in the way, whether they be cities with high walls that need to be captured, wastelands to march across, mountains to climb, and unfamiliar enemies to fight.  Born out of the success of the first Crusade were even militant orders of monks devoted to fighting for God.  For these reasons I saw their mission as more pure than any others.  I was further stirred by the chivalric style in which they engaged in fighting.  The Crusaders participated in early medieval warfare at its peak.  Their armor was almost all maille, or metal rings woven together to create garments.  The mailled men used swords, maces, axes, spears, shields, horses, and incredible siege engines.  I wanted to be like these men. 

Chapter 2

Becoming The Crusader

 The first step for me to becoming a Crusader was to “take up the cross” as those men had done.  I had a little more than the simple knowledge and traditions of Christianity that most nondenominational Christian families in America have.  I also had an overly religious step mother which prompted me to leave behind the restrictions of the Christian faith for a more regular American life.  Otherwise my faith was little more than some twisted version of generic spirituality that might be espoused in late night conversations between know-it-all college students.  Now I felt that in order to acquire the faith of the Crusaders, I must become a Christian.  I looked at the denominations of Churches available to me but since the Crusades occurred before the Protestant reformation, I realized that they must have all been Catholic as it was the only church. 

The closest Catholic Church to my apartment was the St. Louis Church, named coincidentally or fatefully for the Crusader King of France.  Statues of St. Louis stood over the door outside and over the altar inside and in both depictions he was holding his sword.  The interior of the Church was adorned with ornately carved wood and marble which this time I viewed with reverence instead of criticism.  The medieval Christians had shown me that a man’s talents should be given to God and so now I decided that grand decor for a Church was appropriate.  I stayed for Mass and watched the people repeat the creeds and prayers but now I was envious that I didn’t know the words.  When they received the Communion, I found myself depressed that I couldn’t partake since I wasn’t a confirmed Catholic and in my mind, not a real Crusader.

I spoke to some of the Church members after Mass and explained my desire to become a Catholic.  They said that I would have to take part in a program called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) and that they did not offer that program at that particular church.  They referred me to another Catholic Church in the area called Blessed Sacrament as that one did offer the program, however the Church lacked the architectural wonder of St. Louis and service was plain so I continued going to St. Louis and exploring other Catholic Churches in the city. 

I also took up other medieval hobbies.  My job was as a construction worker so in my off time I began making small chests and other wood projects.  In the woods behind the construction company headquarters, I chopped fallen trees into square beams and practiced with throwing hand axes.  My girlfriend bought me another sword which I still didn’t know how to use but was certain I could if I needed to. 

After we graduated college, my girlfriend and I decided to move out of Buffalo to the more rural town of Fredonia since her parents lived there and the construction company I worked for was out that way.  I hadn’t finished my RCIA program at the Church in Buffalo so I joined the program again at the Catholic Church in Fredonia called St. John’s.  Each Sunday, after Mass, I’d attend a Bible study with the group leader, my assigned sponsors, and a few other converts.  I was honest in explaining that the Crusades were my inspiration for conversion.  They thought it was unusual but didn’t mind and within a year, I had gone through all the rites of passage until finally I was confirmed a Catholic and granted Communion on the Feast of Christ the King. 

A few months later, my girlfriend and I separated.  She had become a studious mechanical engineer designing elements for “space” exploration (I think space is a hoax) and I was still just a low paid, construction working, Crusader enthusiast.   My plans to build a castle house in the woods conflicted with hers for a normal house in the suburbs and truthfully, I had physically disconnected from her once my new Catholic faith revealed to me that our cohabitation situation was sinful and subsequently we emotionally disconnected too.  She later conveyed that my conversion to Catholicism bothered her since I attributed my inspiration to the Crusaders rather than her for her initiation and support.  I moved out with my swords and medieval collections and into my own apartment in the rural area of Orchard Park.  I kept an interest in medieval things and Crusades but as a single guy in my 20’s, my time was occupied with work, women, and alcoholic leisure.  I still swung my sword around and attended Church once in a while.  I even went back to the Our Lady Of Victory Basilica with my new Catholicism and appreciation.  Soon I was offered a job opportunity in Indiana as a construction manager and in Indiana it was more of the same.  I worked, dated women, played rugby, and drank alcohol.  I still thought about the Crusades sometimes and kept a medieval theme in my modern attire and decor.  I’d even still go to medieval fares. 

It was after the housing market crash when I lost my job and career as a construction manager that I began pursuing a career in entertainment.  Over the next few years, I moved through the entertainment industry, training and working as an actor and extra in Austin, New Orleans, and finally Hollywood until I gave up the pursuit and moved to the mountains of North California.  My medieval decor and book collection dwindled from city to city.  I even left my sword behind in New Orleans since I could only take a car load with me to Los Angeles. 

By the time I was in Northern California, I had just my clothes and nothing to show of the Crusader enthusiast I once was.  During my adventure in North California, I began following the news in which a militant faction of Islamics called ISIS (Islamic State), which was taking territory and terrorizing areas of the Middle East.  They had turned swathes of land into a theater of war.  The new group was strict to the old Islamic rules and glad to be the evil enemy of the Christian West.  I observed the social media accounts of the ISIS fighters as they publicly tortured and killed their captives.    This stirred the Crusader in me.  I began following their accounts and antagonizing them on the platform.  I thought I was witnessing my opportunity to become a real Crusader.  I began making plans to go to the Middle East and actually fight them.  I informed my family of my intentions to set up a base of operations in a Syrian city with an existing Crusader castle, where I could recruit and start doing missions against ISIS.

I moved first from California to Cleveland, Ohio where my mother lived.  My mom needed some help as her work schedule was brutal, her health was in peril while my sister and her daughter were also in need of regular assistance.  I decided I would do that partly since I figured Cleveland would make a good base for my international Crusade as I could enjoy a rent free situation that would enable me to travel out of the country.  In return for the place to stay and care for my pets while I was away, I would be renovating her home.  I had also established and spent time working on a bed and breakfast in New Orleans 7th Ward which doubled as a clandestine cannabis dispensary that was supplied by growers who I had met in North California.  I was awaiting for the financial fruits from my New Orleans partner to pay my way overseas.  In the meantime, I began training in combat in kickboxing in a gym setup by a Cleveland rugby coach in a barn behind his house.  I began parkour training at various spots around Cleveland and its suburbs.  I learned the techniques of climbing buildings and vaulting walls.  Next I sought to actually learn how to use a sword.  I called a local fencing school and asked the coach to teach me.  He agreed and soon I was in my own unofficial knight’s training working towards my personal Crusade.


New Orleans Dispensary Cafe


(New Orleans Dispensary Cafe)

I trained at the fencing school with a modern sport saber until I was proficient enough to spar with the modern fencers.  My first opponent was a twelve year old boy.  It was nearly impossible to imagine myself fighting as a knight in the scenario, especially after the boy, who had been training longer than me, struck me one time after another.  I kept training with the coach and sparring with the boy until I was better and able to spar with the adults.  The fashion and weapons of modern sport fencing still did not thrill me.  The coach suggested I order my first blunt sport combat sword, a basket hilt broadsword, which I did.   One of the other fencers mentioned I might like the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), an international medieval recreation group with a local chapter.

I had heard of the SCA years before when I encountered two of their members standing behind a table at a comic con in New Orleans.  The two men were both wearing real maille shirts and looked like authentic medieval warriors.  I was stunned as I gazed at their sleeves of interwoven rings.  They explained they were in the SCA and told me about a large event they attended in Pennsylvania with thousands of people living in a medieval encampment and participating in authentic battles.  Later, when I was back home in my French Quarter apartment, I watched videos of the event which showed men in full armor smashing each other on the battlefield.  It was awesome and I desired to go but being an actor living in New Orleans, the logistics of acquiring the armor and traveling to a medieval war event 2000 miles away were unreasonable.  Now years later however, I was living in Cleveland and I was in knight’s training and so I connected with the local SCA group by showing up at one of their events.  I brought my eight year old niece and because of that, we were treated cordially, given medieval long tunics to wear, and even invited to stay for the feast.  They shared with me their society customs which included creating a persona based on a historical time period.  Each person named themselves and built their attire, armor, and weapon kits based on what they had chosen.  I already knew what my persona was going to be, a Crusader from the Kingdom of Jerusalem. 

After that, I started to attend the weekly meetings for the local group which met in a recreation center.  The group members were gathered in various areas, some making clothes, some making music, others just visiting.  In the basement, I found the fighting.  People in full armor swung thick wooden clubs at one another, while others were fencing with steel swords while wearing only fencing masks and padded clothes.  I gravitated to the fencers since I had the fencing experience, a mask, and a sword I could use.  After a couple weeks of standing around and watching them, the fencers told me what else I needed to participate.  I needed a gambeson, which is a multi-layer quilted jacket.  I went to the fabric store and bought linen and padding.  I used a coat that fit me as a pattern and constructed the garment by the next meeting but I had made the mistake of making it too small and it was rejected by the safety marshall.  The next day, I bought more linen and more padding and sewed with the machine for hours, quilting the layers and attaching the heavy pieces together.  It fit and at the next meeting, the garment passed their test with just a light criticism for some hanging threads.  I ripped the loose strings off and got to fighting, first in the “rapier game” in which they use thin and flexible steel blades typically with complicated hilts such as were used in the late medieval and renaissance period.  I ordered my own “rapier” which had a simple cross hilt more befitting the style used during the Crusades but I opted for an exaggerated length of 43 inches for the blade since most of my opponents would be using traditional rapiers with more hand protection but shorter blades. 

Then I was back to researching the Crusades.  I had forgotten much of what I had learned during my studies in and after college.  The sinful lives I lived in those other cities had disconnected me from the Church but here again, I had the opportunity to become the Crusader.  With the internet operating in full, I searched and studied the outfits worn by Crusader Knights.  Now I had somewhere to wear it and the skills to make it.  I made the first piece which was a tunic that was really just a long shirt.  I wore it to a friend’s house party in Coventry over my black jeans and under a cardigan and nobody seemed to mind.  I figured they just assumed that I was being fashionable since I had lived in Hollywood.  I made a few more tunics that were mid thigh length.  I kept them fitted and cut a split in the center so I still had a modern masculine look wearing them over jeans.  For fighting and events I needed historical pants.  Crusaders however did not wear pants.  Men in the Crusading era wore a combination of braies, which are puffy calf-length underpants  and separate leggings called chausses which are attached to a belt at the waist like cowboy chaps or a garter belt and hose.  I cut up a pair of my jeans and used them as the liner for my new black chauses.  I  used some white muslin and a pattern I found online to make the braies.  With my gambeson, I was now fully outfitted in the soft kit of a Crusader.  I made another kit all in white then made a surcoat, a long top tunic that I had seen in a depiction called the “Liberator of Jerusalem.  My sister made me a cloak. 

Chapter 3

The Order Of The ARK

 My family and friends were less than supportive of my plan to go fight ISIS even though I specified that like many of the original Crusaders, my mission was only temporary and I would be back after I did some fighting.  My family members protested and even cried until finally I told them I would not seek a fight with ISIS.  The financing for my endeavor hadn’t come through yet either as my dispensary profits and principal had been spent by my business partner.  Still, I desired to go visit the Middle East and decided I would instead be traveling to Jordan in an effort to rediscover the famed Ark of the Covenant. 

 While I had been living in Hollywood, I had written a screenplay focussed on the story of Jesus and was exploring the potential of creating it as an animated feature.  My research brought me to a unique museum in the foothills of Hollywood.  A man named A. F. Futterer had set up the museum after he had embarked on multiple archaeological adventures in the Middle East including one in Jordan in the 1920’s where he sought the location of the famous Ark of the Covenant inside a cave on Mount Nebo.  His research showed that this location had been overlooked and though there were many tales of the Ark being removed from the area, that it was still there in the cave which the prophet Jeramiah placed it before the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in 70AD.  On the wall of the museum, next to a replica of the ark of itself, was a photo of Futterer being lowered down into a hole by men in Bedouin garb.  The museum guide explained that Bedouins had taken Futterer to the location in the 20’s and that he had found the cave and a walled up tunnel inside it.  He had however abandoned his mission to excavate the Ark after being asked to pay a large sum of money to the British government who was at the time in control of the land.  I mentioned my interest in re engaging in Futterer’s mission to the museum guide, who laughed and told me good luck. 

Now that I had researched the Crusades, I knew the participants were not just angry helms on horseback coming to kill but they were also pious relic hunters.  On the first Crusade, “the Lance of Longinus” or spear that pierced Christ’s side was discovered in Antioch and the remnants of the True Cross were discovered in Jerusalem.  By this method, I felt I could obtain my Crusader status without the violence.  I told everyone I was going on a cultural Crusade and with my alternative and less violent objective, the financing appeared and the pathway for my trip was open. 

I took flights to Amman, Jordan where I spent two days.  The air was heavy and dry but I enjoyed the atmosphere of the Middle Eastern city while I toured around the markets, restaurants, and archeological preservations.  I stayed in a hotel in the old part of the city and walked up to the ancient citadel where I did parkour on the ruins of the old temples and fortifications.  I booked a driver to take me to the city of Madaba which was the nearest to the mountain cave which contained the Ark.  My plan was to locate the cave entrance then come back and enter into the cave on Roshahanna one week later.  On the way from Amman to Madaba my driver took me to the Dead Sea so I could go swimming.  After that, I had him take me to Mount Nebo where I left him in the parking lot and went exploring. 

On top of Mount Nebo there was a Church dedicated to Moses.  The Church at this time was closed for renovations but was surrounded by a stone plaza with a fence where there were many tourists walking around and taking pictures of the valley which Moses had looked out upon before he died.  On the way inside the complex, we passed a security building with uniformed officers outside.  My research of Futterer and another later team of explorers looking for the cave and the ARK had provided  me with  the location which was on the East side of the mountain (looking toward Jerusalem), North of the serpentine cross, and one hundred meters from the Church.  There I should find a cave with a tunnel that would lead to another chamber in the interior of the mountain where the Ark should be found resting beneath its covering of animal skin.

First, I walked around the plaza like any other tourist.  I found the serpentine cross which was a large metal sculpture of a cross with a snake wrapped around it.  I waited for a break in tourist traffic then I jumped the fence separating the Church plaza from the mountain wilderness.  I tried not to kick up dust as I walked along the side of the mountain.  I noticed there were a few rural middle eastern houses, some with people outside, but I carried on looking for the cave entrance even though they saw me.  I saw a few wild dogs.  Suddenly, the task of finding a hole in this mountain became daunting.  The absurdity of my mission tempted me to abandon my plans as I visually scoured the mountainside that might or might not contain the entrance to the cave.  It had been nearly one hundred years since the photo had been taken of Futterer being lowered into the hole by Bedouin guides.  It may be filled or even caved in by now, I thought.  I panicked at the thought of my expedition turning out to be a glorified tourist vacation.  I wondered how I could have been so detrimentally hopeful that this plan would work that I would risk and spend all I had to come back with the same pictures and story of the regular tourists back on the Church plaza.  Still, I continued to scan the mountainside for a while trying not to look too strange to anyone who was watching me.  I pondered the insanity of my intentions of dragging the Ark out of the 100 meter tunnel to the exposure of the eyes and cameras of anyone in the area.  I had traveled all this way just to be ridiculous, I thought, and there was no way I was going to find a hole on the side of this huge mountain.  I stood there soaking in the situation until one of the wild dogs barked.  It barked again somewhere in the distance in front of me.  I figured it was crazy to follow the bark of the dog but I did it anyway since I didn’t have any better means of discovering the hole and I saw there was a pile of stones that looked like ruins in the distance.  As I neared the piles of stones, I saw that they were in fact ruins of some structure with part of an archway that was still intact.  I walked closer but before I reached the ruins, I stopped as there was a hole in the ground in front of me.  The hole was about two feet wide and had a large boulder jammed in it to block it up.  I knew immediately, this was it.  I had come all this way with a paper map, Bible descriptions, and clues from an old archaeologist and I had succeeded in finding the spot.  I was elated.  I took a picture then retreated back over the fence and to the parking lot where my driver was waiting without any concern.  I couldn’t tell him what I had found.  I could only try to contain my elation and gratitude to him on the thirty minute drive to Madaba.

I checked into my hotel called the Queen Ayola.  My room had a balcony that overlooked the main street of the city which had many of the restaurants and shops.  There was a steady flow of pedestrians who were mostly locals.  Some wore the old style of Muslim clothing with men in long thobes and women in full niqab while others wore more western pieces like jeans and shirts with the women still wearing a head wrap.  They gawked at me with my shoulder length hair as I stood on my balcony and walked the street to go out to eat.  The next day, I found the tour driver that occupied the hotel I was staying at.  There seemed to be one at each hotel since the tourist attractions in Jordan were all accessible within a few hours drive but also a few hours apart from one another.  At my request, he took me to southern Jordan to the location of the Crusader built castle of Karak.  It had been constructed in the 1100’s and was the famous location for a showdown between the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Muslim forces of Salahadin.  I wandered the interior and did parkour on the upper levels.  I looked out onto the planes and envisioned the armies gathered.

The next day I went to the ancient ruins of Jaresh at the suggestion of my driver since another guest at the hotel was going there and it was better for him and cheaper for me to do the touring with another person.  The other tourist was a young woman from Germany.  We rode in his little car for hours, passing sandy mountain after mountain that all looked the same until we reached the Jaresh, a ruined city sprawling for miles with huge cut stones, pillars, and monuments.   I parkoured all over them.  The next day we toured the Crusader castle at Aljoun and another castle at Aqaba which I also climbed.  On the way home, we stopped on the highway to see one of the refugee camps set up for Syrians escaping ISIS.  The German woman took a picture and the driver asked if we wanted to go in for a tour.  The German woman said yes and soon we were at the gates of the tent city and handing our passports to armed guards.  They escorted us out of the car and into the security building.  We were seated in an office where the driver spoke Arabic to a commander at a desk.  They demanded that we delete the photos from our phones as they had somehow seen the woman take them on the highway.  Otherwise we were to leave immediately.  The next few days, I stayed in Madaba.  I couldn’t afford to keep being driven for hours around the country and the small city had a lot to offer in archaeological interest so I toured the museums and Churches of the city known for its mosaic artwork.  In the evenings, I enjoyed the restaurants and hookah bars. 

The next Wednesday was Rosh Hashanah.  I felt it was appropriate to access the chamber on a holy day, just as I thought it was appropriate for me to carry the Ark since the base of my last name is Levi which must mean that I am of the Hebrew tribe tasked as priests of the ancient temple and who were the only ones allowed to carry the Ark and other holy items.  I had gone to a store in Madaba and purchased a full length thobe as many of the Muslim men and Bedouins I had seen were wearing.  I wore this as a disguise over my white linen tunic, braies, and chausses I had made for the occasion since ritually one must be in linen garments when entering the holy places.  I arranged with my driver to drop me off at the Church parking lot on Mount Nebo in the morning and return to pick me up at 3pm. 

I arrived at the mountain and as soon as no one was watching, I hopped the fence and walked alongside the mountain until I reached the hole I had discovered a week before.  I lifted out the boulder that was blocking it up and ducked my head down inside.  It was a cave and I could see some kind of carvings on the wall.  The floor was layered with trash that had been dropped in over the years.  I lowered myself down onto the trash.  The drop was deeper than I had anticipated and I was glad to have my parkour strength as my feet hit the ground.  I took out my flashlight and advanced down into the cave expecting to find a dark tunnel.  Instead I stopped immediately.  I realized that I was in a cave chamber with no other exit than the one I had come in.  The cave was too short to stand up in so I sat down and looked around at the little stone room I was in.  The panic I felt the week before when I couldn’t find the hole, set in again as I began to figure that I was in the wrong cave.  I didn’t have time to go looking for another cave and I’d surely be seen out there this time.  Once again, I couldn’t believe I had been so hopeful as to think I’d enter this cave and find a tunnel leading to the priceless relic.  Instead I was in a dark little room with some type of concrete mixture spread over all the walls and ceiling.  I looked closer at the plaster mix which had stones in it.  At a spot on the ceiling above me, I picked at a little stone which fell down with a piece of the old concrete.  I looked around again and wondered why this little cave would be coated in concrete mix.  My eyes focused on the back of the cave which reduced down to a near perfect four foot by four foot square.  It looked like a blocked up passageway.  I shot over to the back of the cave and began to pull at the concrete mix.  Some of it started to break off and beneath it I saw stone.  I picked up a rock nearby and began using that to chip away at the concrete. After I had cleared a small section of concrete, I confirmed that I was looking at a man made wall built with stone and mortar.  This was the entrance to the tunnel and someone had blocked it up.  I wondered if it was recent or if this was perhaps why the prophet Jeremiah’s companions couldn’t relocate the cave when they later tried to find it.  I set to work removing the concrete covering the tunnel wall.  I used various stones I could find in the cave as tools and chiseled it away exposing more stones and mortar.  I attempted to dig out the mortar and heaved large boulders at it and even kicked it to try to loosen up the masonry but I could not.  I assumed the pounding and scratching could be heard outside but I figured if I could just get one stone out, the rest would come out easy.  I imagined I’d be moving down the tunnel and discovering the Ark which should bring me fame instead of a trespassing charge.  Around midday, I took a break to eat some nuts and drink water I had brought with me.  While sitting there, I heard footsteps outside the cave.  I stayed silent as they came, waited, then left.  I went back to work trying to get through the wall.  I exposed all of the stones but I could not break through.  An alarm I set on my phone rang at 3pm and I emerged from the hole covered in dirt and dust.  I replaced the large boulder blocking up the hole and put my thobe disguise back on, then walked along the mountain back to the car.  I asked the driver to bring me back again the next day.



That evening, I visited the shops in Madaba to acquire a hammer and some thread to repair my braies which I had ripped while working in the cave.  In the morning, I packed my things and took my ride out to the mountain.  Again, I was dressed in my medieval linen clothes covered by my long black thobe with a tactical backpack containing a flashlight, hammer, rope, nuts, go pro camera, and linen hood.  I did the same as I had done the day prior, hopping the fence and traversing the mountain.  However, when I arrived at the hole I paused for a moment before bending down to take out the boulder.  I heard a shout and saw a uniformed police officer coming towards me.  He walked over to me standing at the hole.  “Were you here yesterday?”  He asked. 

“Yes.”  I said.
            “Come with me.”  He said.  As we entered back into the fenced area of the Church plaza through a gate, we were joined by four more armed officers who escorted me in my bizarre outfit past confused tourists to the security building just outside the Church grounds.  Inside the security station there were about a dozen other officers, all in an uproar about me, my look and attire, and what I had been doing in the cave the day before.  None of them spoke English.  Even the original officer that had found me at the hole only knew a few words.  They searched my bag, phone, and camera which had pictures of the inside of the cave.  I explained that I was merely praying in the cave and did not reveal what I was looking for.  They brought in a taxi driver who spoke English to read to me the police report they had filled out.  I had them make a few changes in order to soften the story for the authorities I assumed would be reading it shortly.  I was then loaded into a pickup truck and taken to the Madaba police station.  Three officers in regular clothes with handguns tucked into the waist of their jeans questioned me about everything again.  One attempted to put handcuffs on me but I refused and the other officers told him to back off.  They asked why I was in such strange clothing and why my hair was long like a female.  I said that they were my clothes and my hair and that I didn’t mean any harm.  They then gave me over to a soldier in blue and grey camouflage who loaded me into another pickup truck and took me to another facility to be processed in their legal system.  This is what I assume since I couldn’t understand the language at a conversational pace.  After that, the soldier and I got back into the truck and he then picked up three other soldiers and drove us all out into the desert until we reached an isolated compound surrounded by barbed wire fencing.  The soldiers were friendly to me and even offered me a sip from a jug of fruit punch they were all sharing.  I accepted and appreciated the cool drink.  A soldier inside the compound opened a huge metal gate and we went inside.  The place was a jail.  It was mostly quiet.  There were no other guards except the ones that brought me and the one that let us in.  The ones that brought me went into an office with an older man I assumed to be a type of magistrate while the other soldiers guarded me in the open air hallway outside.  A cat walked in and curled around my legs.  I smiled and the soldier shooed the cat away.  I was called into the office of the magistrate where the soldier who drove me and one of the plain clothed officers from Madaba were sitting with the magistrate who was dressed in sweat pants and a t-shirt since it was apparently a Muslim holiday.  My bag was open with the contents and my passport on the magistrate’s desk.  I sat down while the magistrate carefully observed me.  He asked me simple questions about my nationality, my religion, and my purpose in the country and that particular cave.  He asked about the hammer, rope, flashlight, and hood which I informed him were simply for safety since I was in the cave.  I maintained that I meant no harm and that I was only exploring and praying.  I explained that I respected all religions.  I said nothing of the Ark.  He asked me if I knew any Arabic.  I replied with a few words.  “Marhaba, shokran, aswaad, abyaad.” (Hello, thank you, black, white).  He looked at me for a while without any expression, then he looked at my passport.

“American.”  He said.  He put the passport on the table and paused for a while looking at my things and at me.  He then spoke something in Arabic which caused the soldier to leave the room.  He then picked up my passport and offered it to me.  “You are free to go.  We apologize for the situation.”  He said.  I quickly took my passport back. 

“How will I get back to Madaba?  We are in the desert.” I said.

“We will transport you.  Good day.”  He said while nodding to the plain clothes Madaba police officer.  I thanked him, then followed the Madaba officer out of the jail and into his car.  He drove me back to my hotel where I found my driver fretting in the lobby. 

“You are okay!  We were very worried since we did not know anything about you.”  He said.  I assured him that I was fine and paid him for his troubles. 

On my way out to dinner, I stopped in the lobby and talked to my driver again and requested that he take me to Petra the next day.  I figured I could use the three hour drive to contemplate my plan for continuing my mission on the mountain.  The driver said he was unable but that his son would take me and that the German woman would probably like to go too.  On the drive, I thought about recruiting a local young man to take me back to the mountain at night when I could use a sledge hammer to go through the wall in the cave but I considered the logistics too risky now that I was already on the radar of the local authorities.  We arrived at Petra and together all walked the winding path through the mountain to the “Treasury”.  I went bounding over the hills of the sprawling site.  We climbed the stairs to the “Temple” where there were some local young men who were climbing on it.  We watched with some other tourists as one of them climbed to the top then jumped from the roof of one part to the other.  The German woman and the driver’s son looked at me and shook their heads so I didn’t climb up and do the same.  On the ride home, I decided that I would not go out to Mount Nebo for the Ark again until I had the approval of the Jordan government.  For the feat I had planned, I should be meeting the King, not the warden. 

Back in Madaba I researched the process to receive approval from the Jordan Department of Antiquities in order to conduct an archaeological dig and when I got back to Cleveland, I began putting together the pieces of my plan.  In order to issue a permit, the Jordan Department of Antiquities required the backing of a cultural institution.  I tried the Cleveland Museum of Art and some local colleges but never got further than an initial phone call so I filed a Limited Liability Corporation as the institution devoted to the mission of excavating the Ark from Mount Nebo.  I named the company the Order of the Artifact Recovery Knights (Order of the ARK) and I drafted the archaeological plan.  I made a website (orderoftheark.org) and uploaded pictures and a video of me exposing the wall in the cave.  

Youtube address to 30 second video: 


 The requirements from the Jordan department of antiquities were that I have real archaeologists on my team with experience of at least three digs and published papers.  I sought some out from Universities and local museums and even sent the plan out to the president-elect but without any financial or institutional backing and being such a bizarre project, I couldn’t find anyone willing to sign on.  I told a few friends and family about my story but since I hadn’t found much but an old masonry wall blocking up what I suspected to be a tunnel, there wasn’t much interest.  I did call the Holy Land Exhibition museum to let the caretakers know that I had retraced Futterer’s footsteps and found the same cave and blocked up tunnel he had in the 1920’s. 



Chapter 4

Modern Medieval

Upon my return from the Middle East, I renovated my mother's house.  Her neighborhood was rapidly deteriorating and so we moved to a multifamily house with our own apartments in Lakewood, the suburb just west of Cleveland.  I also got back to medieval fencing with the SCA, where now I was participating in a rule set called “cut and thrust” which allowed me to use all the strikes with a steel longsword I had purchased.  I practiced on my opponents each week at the meetings and at an event that January, I was tested and authorized for competition and melee games.  I did both at the event while dressed in white gambeson, white padded chausses, and a long white surcoat.  I trained with the group for the spring and into the summer when I had my first opportunity to experience the Pennsic war.  It was the same event I had researched years ago after meeting the SCA members in New Orleans but now I was only two hours away and I was now a member of the organization that put it on.  With the rest of the local club members, I set to work making and acquiring everything I needed.  I designed and sewed my own tent which was a single ridge style made from black canvas.  I hewed ax marks into landscaping timbers and made mortis and tenon joint for the frame.  It was only five feet by seven feet but I made it seven feet tall so I could stand up in it.



I drove to Pennsylvania and from the highway, I could see the thousands of medieval style tents sprawling across the campground.  On the road to the campground, I could see “castle”, which was a wooden one sided fort with a gate and three short towers.  I pulled into the main gate area and saw everyone was wearing medieval garb.  I was already in my medieval garb too.  I had been wearing a tunic everyday now and so I just switched out my jeans for chausses and braies for the event.  Members of my local group had invited me to camp with them since almost everyone at this event stayed in household style camp groups.  Our camp had a huge hall tent with a full kitchen and a large shower with heated water and twenty other Pennsic veterans who were happy to show me around to all the parties that night.  After I put up my tent, we walked through the campgrounds and closed up merchant tents following waves of revelers headed towards the sound of drums.  We walked into the area known as “the bog” where throngs of people partied on the roadways and at multiple camps.  The alcohol flowed and gypsy looking women danced around fires while men slammed away on drums.  The atmosphere and the scenery were alluring, but I went back to my tent early so I could be rested for my first large melee battle the next day.

In the morning, I went and did parkour on the castle fort.  I climbed the walls from the outside and walked along the thin walls then went back to my camp and put on my gambeson, padded chausses, and surcoat for the 1 o’clock battle.  The battle was brutal but because of the heat rather than the fighting.  This was a huge rapier melee which amounted to two lines of hundreds of people facing off against each other across the field.  When struck, a fighter was out but could ‘resurrect’ or rejoin the melee by walking a fair distance and touching a hay bale.  As I repeatedly ran to resurrect, my chausses dragged me down and I wondered how anyone could have fought in such clothing, let alone armor.  I made it though the battle with more kills than resurrections then went back to my camp to eat then go out to the bog.  Each day of the Pennsic War was perfectly similar: battle, feast, party.  The following day, I entered into the tournaments including a longsword tournament where I was struck hard on the shoulder.  This was my excuse for needing armor and while walking through the marketplace, I spotted a maille vest shimmering on a wooden rack set on a table inside one of the tents.  It was made with 16 gauge steel butted rings and was only $50 dollars.  I paid $60 and carried it back to my camp, surprised at how heavy it was.  I put it on that night, over a double layer tunic and under a another tunic and wore it to a small party at a nearby camp. A young lady at the party commented about the rings that were visible by my neck.  “Are you wearing maille?”  she asked, at once seeming impressed, intrigued, and repulsed.  After the party, I went back to camp and laid in my tent while still wearing my maille.  It started to rain and I wondered if my homemade, canvas tent was going to keep out the water.  For a moment I was hopeful as the beads of rain bounced off the roof but then the water began to saturate through the fabric and drip onto me.  One of my campmates met me out in the rain and gave me a tarp.  I kept my maille on while I secured the tarp over the tent and staked it into the ground.  After I finished, I pulled the wet maille and soaking clothes off my head and went to bed.  In the morning, I put back on the maille and went to fight in another tournament with the protection and weight of the armor.  My legs were sore from the extra weight but for the feeling of fighting in armor, it was worth it even though no one could even see the vest underneath my surcoat.

I wore my medieval clothes home from the Pennsic War and after that, I decided to wear my medieval clothes everyday.  I switched out of jeans to braies and chausses.  I wore my maille vest every week for fight practice and every other opportunity I could.  I began making my own rings out of 16 gauge wire and started adding sleeves to the vest so it would show outside of my sleeveless surcoats.  I ordered a new maille coif which covered my head and shoulders like a hood.  The new coif was made with riveted rings where as the old rings were just wire butted together, these rings overlap and are pinned together as was done historically. 

A few months later, I went to Indianapolis for the wedding of my cousin.  I had formerly lived there and was a rugby player so I arrived a couple days early to reconnect with some old friends.  I went out to the rugby bar in my new knightly attire to the shock and comedy of my old teammates.  “Did you just pull your money out of a belt pouch?”  One shouted when I paid for my drink.  During the day, I went out parkouring through downtown Indianapolis.  The week of the wedding also happened to be the same as the 2016 Presidential election and as our family prepared for the wedding which was to take place downtown in the Indiana Statehouse, there were reports that a large protest was being set up to occur there at the same time.  A couple hours before the wedding, the protesters began to gather at the building.  My brother and I walked up to a group gathered by a man waving a flag which was split diagonal between black and red.

“Hey, what is that flag?”  I asked as the group gawked at me.

“Oh, it’s nothing man.”  said the guy holding it.

“You brought it here and are waiving it.  You don’t know what it stands for?”  I pressed him.

“It’s for, like, everything, man.”  He said nervously.

“State your heraldry!”  I commanded.

“Ok.  Ok.  It’s for global socialism.”  he admitted.

I looked around at the other protesters.  “Do you know you guys are gathering under the flag of global socialism?”

“We’re just here to protest Trump.”  said another protester.

“Well my family has a wedding here at the statehouse at 7 o’clock.  Can you move your protest to another location?”  I asked.

The man with the red and black flag laughed.  “No, we can’t move.”

“My family members booked this location months ago and you guys are going to ruin the occasion with your protest out here.  I’m requesting again that you all leave and find a new location to have your protest in.”

“We’re not leaving.”  the flag waver said.

“Then I’m coming into your protest.”  I said and walked away.

“Hey man, what’s your deal?”  he shouted at me.

I turned and kept walking backwards.  “You’ll see.  I said.

I got dressed for the wedding in my black soft kit with a flowing linen overcoat.  I opted to not wear my armor out of respect for the occasion.  As it got dark, I went back to the Statehouse where our wedding party gathered inside as the protesters gathered outside.  There were hundreds of them now and they shouted at the building throughout the ceremony even though no one else was inside but the wedding guests.  As the ceremony ended, the wedding guests removed themselves out the back door of the building.  I went to the front door where just outside the protesters were gathered in front of a speaker who stood at the top of the stairs.  I kicked open the door and stepped out.  I stood there for a moment in front of them all atop the stairs next to the speaker who stopped talking.  I walked down the stairs and into the crowd who were befuddled by my appearance from the building which was supposed to be closed and flowing black garb.  I casually walked down the stairs then weaved my way through the crowd which had an angry vibe.  I met back up with the wedding guests and escorted members of my family around the mess of protesters to the location of the reception down the street. 

During the wedding, I was jealous and inspired when I noticed one of my female cousins wearing a shimmering knee length dress that resembled maille so I went out to my car and then put on my armor and went back to the protest.  Now I weaved back through towards the stage.  I engaged with many protesters who did not like my appearance and I found it thrilling to oppose them.  I went back and forth between the wedding reception and the protest until at last I found the grounds outside the Statehouse filled with smoke and empty of protesters.  They had been pushed out by the police or went on a march or something so I cleaned up their signs and threw them in the trash then went back to the wedding which was wrapping up too.

Back in Cleveland, I returned my rental car and started running home from the rental car location in Cleveland Heights about three miles from my house.  I didn’t mind the run since there were plenty of obstacles to parkour on along the way.  As I neared my house, the last obstacle was a cinder block wall about twelve feet tall.  I did a “wall up” by running straight at the wall, jumping, kicking the wall and then grabbing the top first with one hand then another.  I threw up my leg then used the momentum to push my upper body above the wall.  I kicked one more time against the wall and swung my legs up underneath me and landed both feet on the wall.  I jumped down into a front yard and rolled through the grass then kept running the two more blocks to my street.  Before I reached my house, six police cars converged on me.  Each officer got out of their car aggressively.  “Someone called and reported a burglar jumping out of a second story window.”  one officer said.

 “I jumped off a wall but not out of a house.”  I said.  I further explained that I was doing parkour and that I lived in the house I pointed to and that I wouldn’t do it again.  The police left after my explanation but a few days later a local reporter was in my driveway asking to speak to me.  I came outside and offered to meet him at the wall and show him some of my moves on camera.  News Channel 5 ran an interesting piece on the “Man who can climb two story walls” with interview footage from me and the police officers.  It is still online.

I had become unhappy with the quality and constant repair of my butted ring mail, so I ordered a new mail hauberk with riveted steel rings, knee length with full sleeves.  When it arrived, it was waist length and barely fit around my chest.  I sent it back to the manufacturer who then sent me an oversized one made out of blackened aluminum.  Before I realized it was aluminum, I had begun snipping the rings in order to tailor it so I kept it and wore it to the weekly fencing practices. 

I kept training parkour as Cleveland has many worthwhile spots.  Each morning, after I’d take my sister and niece to work and school, I would drive my mother to her job downtown at the baseball stadium.  I’d drop her off then hit one of a few parkour spots I liked down there.  I’d often go to the Erie Street Cemetery since it was only a block away from the ballpark and had eight blocks of stone walls of varying height for me to wall up, run on, and jump off.  She’d work night games and I’d go down early, park, and run around downtown where I’d climb every wall I could, impressing and confusing any passerbys.  Some of the homeless people took note of my increasing presence.  “There he goes!”  one pointed as I sprinted by him and another guy, directly at a wall which I kicked on, pushed myself up on top and over almost in one seamless motion. 

One morning, I went to the cemetery where I found numerous gravestones that had been recently toppled.  The Erie Street Cemetery was old and by a previous owner’s posthumous direction, it had remained preserved as a full four city blocks.  The graves and stones dated from as early as the late 1700’s.  The sight of the toppled and smashed stones disgusted me.  The stones and their craftsmanship were irreplaceable.  I ran to Public Square to report the crime to a police officer since usually there was one in the square.  On my way, I noticed some of the heavy stone public garbage cans pushed on their sides.  I pushed them back up into place and went to the Public Square where I did find a police officer.  He told me to call in my complaint which I did after I got back to my car.  I also called the city department responsible for maintenance of the cemetery and talked to the department head who confessed that it had been occurring more often recently.  I told him I would see what I could do about it.

I figured the damage downtown was being caused by teenage boys.  The cemetery was gated at night and the surrounding walls were six feet tall at their lowest meaning the vandals would have to have the strength and ambition to get in.  The repetitive vandalism suggested that it was done out of malice and one-up-manship common amongst groups of misbehaving boys.  I had dealt with destructive young people before as the Watcher of Willow Creek in Northern California (book available) and I figured I could do it again here in Cleveland.  I was fairly certain I had seen these boys too, gathered often near Perk Plaza where there were numerous apartment buildings filled with newly immigrated Middle Easterners.

That evening, I stopped into a Mr. Hero restaurant.  While I waited for my waffle fries, I watched the television in their dining room as it played the news of a stabbing on the London Bridge.  I couldn’t allow this to happen in the city I was living in so I figured I’d start to make it better before it got worse.  The next day when I went downtown, I wore my armor and surcoat and went to the Free Stamp park where I picked up all the litter.  I walked to Perk Plaza where there is a small park.  I cleaned up all the litter in the park.  I cleaned up in front of the apartment buildings and in the alley behind them.  Two young Middle Eastern men stood at a car door talking but quickly dispersed as they saw me cleaning up trash.  I went to Public Square and cleaned there then to Playhouse square and cleaned there.  Along the way I picked up the litter on the sidewalks.  Then I cleaned the cemetery. 

I then did this most mornings and some evenings when the Indians would be playing and I’d have to pick up my Mom late.  I made acquaintances with a few street guys and members of the Cleveland Downtown Alliance, a city sponsored group tasked with doing the same thing I was doing.  I’d come down at night and hang out in Perk Plaza.  I’d watch the groups of young men as they gathered there and I’d follow them as they walked around downtown.  I’d use my parkour and tricks of appearance and disappearance to freak them out and I’d clean up litter in front of them to show them I was managing the place.  All together their vandalism stopped.  Still, some of the areas were unsafe and frequently dirty so I continued with daily patrols and cleanups of the parks downtown.  With concern for the parishioners, I also added the services at the two downtown Churches to my soft patrol route.  I’d stop first at the Old Stone Church in Public Square which had been the primary Church of my family in Cleveland and then St. Joseph’s which was the large Catholic Church where Mass began a half hour later which enabled me to check on both.  I’d walk through the Churches in my armor and white surcoat before the service to let the people know I was there and watching.  After a couple months of doing this, a police officer pulled me aside in the Catholic Church and asked me what I was doing.  I told him what I was tasked with and he said that parishioners had voiced concern over my presence and that they had security under control there.  Coincidentally, the Reverend at the Old Stone Church asked me why I always left before the service began there and asked that I stay for service and the coffee hour in the basement afterwards.  I stayed for the service at Old Stone and observed the unique group or worshippers there.  I felt at home since I had been coming to the Church since childhood with my Grandparents who were Deacons there and had even been interred there after they died.  I felt comfortable too since I saw some characters from the street worshiping alongside affluent looking people from the suburbs. 

One Saturday while I was patrolling downtown, families leaving academic graduations walked around the city.  An unruly group of Middle Eastern young men too were celebrating.  The group shouted in Arabic as they shoved each other through the families walking along Euclid Ave.  I watched for a moment from across the street as they made their way to 12th Street where all the apartment buildings are.  As they turned the corner, I was standing on the sidewalk in their way.  They parted around me with some holding others back from grabbing at me.  A grey sedan whipped down 12th St. blasting Arabic dance music.  The young men gave up their attention on me and followed after the car which pulled up onto the sidewalk.  Two more Arabic young men got out and left their doors open so the music echoed for blocks.  Another car pulled up and blocked the road with another Arab getting out and joining the young men shouting in the street.  Pedestrians at both ends stopped and wouldn’t go down the street.  I walked into the Statler Arms which is an apartment building and told the security guard what was going on in front of his door.  He said there was nothing he could do about it then looked back down at his monitors.  I laughed then walked back outside where the Muslims were still going wild in the street.  I looked at the scene and decided it was for me to deal with.  They laughed when they saw me again but stood shocked as I walked through them and to the car with the music playing.  I reached inside the empty car and turned the volume knob down.  When I turned around from out of the car three men were in my face.  “What are you doing man?”  The remaining dozen or so crowded around me.

“Keep that music down.”  I said.  I wove out of the group so my back wasn’t against the car.  “Get your car off the sidewalk.”  I shouted and pointed.  They tried to surround me.  “Don’t you fucking surround me.”  I spun around aggressively.  One guy tapped the guy with the car on the shoulder and indicated that they should go.  “Yeah, get your car out of here.”  I said.  The group was beginning to split. 

A calmer man of the group spoke up.  He was dressed up in pants with a button down shirt.  “We are just celebrating man.  We are graduating.” 

I looked around at them all.  Two of them appeared dressed up, the others were in street clothes.  “Who graduated?  You didn’t graduate.”  I said to one of them who was closing in next to me.  This stunned him and he looked down in shame.  I continued.  “I can see from your clothes you didn’t graduate.  Get out of here.”  He turned and walked away.  “You either.  Look at you.”  I said to the next one who reacted the same way.  There were now only a few left including the one dressed up.  I addressed him.  “No dance parties in the street.  This downtown is for everybody, not just you.”  I said.  Two more decided to walk away.  The car drove off the sidewalk and out of the scene.  The one dressed up apologized as he and the last two others walked across the street and into the apartment building. 

Two Cleveland cops stopped me while I was walking a few blocks away.  They wanted to know what had happened moments ago in the street.  I told them about the incident and how I handled it.  One officer seemed impressed while the other one, surely a leftist, accused me of potentially harassing muslim families.  I said “A couple of them may have been brothers but I wouldn’t call a gang of young men a family.  You make it sound like I was yelling at a woman pushing a baby in a stroller.”

“Were you?”  he asked.

“No.”  I said.  The other one was embarrassed and said I was free to go. 

Chapter 5 

The Order Of The City

Like anyone interested in anything, I felt my kit, although awesome, was in need of upgrading.  My sewing skills had improved and now I was wearing a different surcoat each day, always ispired by the historical examples I had seen in deptictions.  I still aspired to be covered in maille from head to toe.  I ordered a coif, or hood, made out of 18 gauge steel rings with round rivets.  I continued to fence with the SCA, now in all my maille.  At a local tournament, another fighter complimented me on my kit.  I beamed for a moment until he asked if it was aluminum and I had to confess that the coif was steel but the shirt was, embarrassingly, aluminum.  Relying on the convenience of modern internet shopping and shipping from overseas, I ordered some more maille, this time, I decided I’d be covered in full weight 16 gauge steel which I assumed would mimic the weight of iron worn by the medieval men.  I ordered first the maille chausses or leggings which together weighed 24 pounds.  I attached them to a weight belt and secured them with ties around my calves and feet.  I started wearing them with my aluminum shirt and steel coif which didn’t match so I ordered the steel hauberk to match the chausses.  When it came a month later, I heaved the heavily taped cardboard box from my porch up to my apartment.  “43 lbs”  the label stated.  I cut apart all the tape and got the plastic wrapped mass of metal out of the box.  I peeled away all the plastic while balancing the thing on my lap, and finally revealed the thousands of shining rings woven together in the knee length shirt with full sleeves and attached hood.  I slipped my arms through the rings then stood up and threw it over my head.  The weight slunk hard down onto my shoulders.  “No way did they wear this.” I thought just like I did when I put on my first maille vest.  I wore it downtown the next day.  Walking my normal route was brutal.  Squatting down to pick up trash was a true workout.  I frequently had to stop to sit and rest my shoulders by setting my elbows on my knees and hunching forward.  I attempted to run but the pain in my shoulders stopped me quickly.  I went to an eight foot high wall on 13th st. that I often climbed.  I ran at the wall and kicked up then grabbed at the top.  I hung there in the cat position struggling to lift myself up at all.  There was no way I could get on top of the wall with the extra weight.  In spite of the weight, I wore it everyday since my old aluminum shirt looked like a costume compared to my new matching set of maille.  I aquired the perfect Crusader great helm from a guy in my sword club who said it was too small for him and traded it to me for sewing him two gambesons and two surcoats.   

I kept going downtown most days and doing my soft patrol of the parks and sidewalks.  The weight of the armor got more manageable the more I wore it but dealing with the weight was, for a while, the primary issue.  Due to the weight, my parkour capabilities were limited but I could still perform small jumps and climb if I had a foothold.  I could barely run but the maille looked too good not to wear.  I was truly keeping in the tradition of the knights of the Kingdom Of Jerusalem who would surely wear their full kits when going anywhere in public.  Even though my shoulders burned from walking around in it, I hesitated to take it off when I got home because then I wouldn’t be wearing it anymore. 

While I was walking and picking up litter, not many people would approach me.  Most would glance from the side and pretend they didn’t see me but some people downtown were occasionally asking me why I was dressed like this and picking up litter.  I would explain that I was part of an order of knights.  Mimicking the Crusader era Order of the Hospital and Order of the Temple, I named mine “The Order of the City”.  I have found that even as an individual, it is more accepted if a name or title is given to the group or project.  This gives direction to the endeavor and legitimacy in the eyes of the public.  Truly, my downtown tasks felt like steps or degrees in my own society and I acted and talked as if there were more of me.  I advanced to the degree of carrying a sword after I aquired a new arming sword befitting my Crusader persona (Crusader era swords were single handed with a 28-36" blade, simple cross guard and disc pommel) and after I spoke to a police officer about it.  "Can I carry my blunt sword in a sheathe?"  I asked him.

"You can carry a gun."  The cop responded.  "So yeah as long as you don't pull it out."  From then on I carried my sword with me.

On the internet, I saw another group that was gaining legitimacy.  This was the first time I saw “Antifa” in action on videos.  I was appalled at their existence.  Their behavior was obnoxious and violent.  Their ideology was illogical and disingenuous.  Their physiques were of two main types; fat or ultra skinny.  They all wore their knock-off version of black paramilitary clothes.  In the videos, I saw them amassed in cities on the West coast where they were engaging in violent protests, riots, and gang assaulting people with their hands and weapons.  Their violent actions were confusing when taking into account their pathetic physiques and low IQ’s.  I couldn’t believe that these people thought that they were tough.  I had fought and competed against actual dangerous men so I couldn’t stand the thought of these politically motivated miscreants doing damage, attacking people, or even having gatherings in the parks and public spaces of Cleveland that I had been protecting.  I was further appalled at the media’s helpful and positive portrayal of the group and their misdeeds.  I did an internet search for Cleveland Antifa and found that there was an active chapter in the area.  Their social media pages were filled with the same violent and communistic rhetoric as the factions on the West Coast.  I knew I needed to destroy the Cleveland chapter of Antifa and since the members would be cut from the same pathetic cloth as the ones which I had seen on video, I figured I could do it.  I had seen others who were gaining notoriety for fighting back against antifa in other cities and they weren't even wearing armor. 

One of the more recent posts on the Cleveland Antifa page called for an action on May 1 (2017), also known among communists and leftist activists as “May Day”.  I arrived at Willard Park on Lakeside avenue, colloquially named “Free Stamp Park” due to a giant modern art sculpture of an ink stamp with the word ‘FREE’ on it being plopped in the middle of the park.  There were surprisingly about 100 people at the event.  At least a dozen of them were obvious Antifa members as they wore “black bloc” attire which just means that they were wearing all black clothes and a mask so as to conceal their identity with the idea that they can engage in political violence anonymously.  Some of the antifa people wore goggles and had backpacks which I assumed were filled with weapons, medical supplies, and tools for destruction.  The leftist crowd gathered around somebody shouting nasty rhetoric into a megaphone.  The Antifa group was collected around a large banner a few of them were holding.  I walked over to one of the Antifa people holding the banner.  He was the largest of them all but fat.  “Hey, I came here to fight you Antifa people.  I don’t want you in these parks or in this city at all.  So give me your best fighter or I’ll even fight all of you if you want.”

“What?”  He said back stupidly.  A few of the other Antifa people closed in.  I repeated my intentions to them only louder so that everyone could hear me.  The megaphone speaker stopped.  All of the Antifa members collected in a group in front of me.  Though they outnumbered me by many, they looked at me with fear.  “None of you will fight?!”  I derided them.  None of them would make a move.  In an attempt to stop my derailment of their rally, the megaphone speaker insisted it was time for the group to go on a march.  “I’m going with you.”  I shouted at them.  This was the first time I followed along with a protest march.  I walked alongside, shouted insulting jokes, and kept going into the parade to mess with the Antifa people.  As they marched around downtown, I would follow along for a while, dart into the march, then cut through a side street and appear standing on a tall ledge whenever the marchers turned a corner.  I was ruining their day, and the Antifa people hated it. 

Following my appearance at May Day, the Antifa groups went online with photos of me and stories from the day.  They acted righteous and claimed I was a fascist and a white supremacist since I opposed them.  This is a stupid trick built into their name, since Antifa is short for “Anti-fascist” they can claim that anyone who is opposed to their wicked ideology is a fascist which, for some reason, has a subconscious negative connotation for most Americans.  In their posts, they espoused special concern to the community since I was dressed as a Crusader and violent.  Still, they couldn't figure out who I was so they just referred to me as "Chainmail Fascist".

Two weeks later, another leftist rally was planned for Public Square.  This one was called the “March for Science” and had a more mainstream tone.  There were nearly 500 people in the square.  I looked around and noticed one of the militant antifa members was operating a table where he was handing out communist literature from a group called RevCom who had just changed their name to Refuse Fascism.  I asked him what he was doing there and what he ideology was?  Like most communists, he was evasive in his response.  Coincidentally someone else had complained about him tabling at the event and a Cleveland Police officer approached him and told him to break down his setup.  I added to the order, telling him to leave and stay out of the parks downtown.  He scowled at me as he folded up his table and packed up his stuff.  I walked through the rally where I noticed a few others that were carrying professionally printed Refuse Facism signs on sticks.  I walked up to one Antifa type guy carrying one and took it out of his hands and snapped the stick then threw it on the ground.  He didn’t do anything.  I walked around a little more and saw another Refuse fascism sign that someone had left unattended so I broke the stake and put the thing in the garbage can.  Like some sort of mission, I went through the rest of the rally finding all the Refuse Fascim signs and trashing them.  The last one was held up by a young red haired woman.  “Are you going to try to take this from me?”  She asked defiantly. 

“No, keep your stupid sign that the communists printed out and gave to you.”  I said and walked away.  Over by the monument I saw the communist that was at the table earlier.  He looked erratic and angry.  He began talking to another Antifa looking girl and I overheard him complaining about the chainmail guy and saying he was going to kick his ass.  “I’m right here.”  I said, staring at him through the crowd from only about fifteen feet away.  “Do you want to fight me, you communist dirt bag?” I walked over to an empty garden area between some bushes.  “We can do it right here.”  He stared at me dumbly.  He wasn’t going to do anything.  “You people are pathetic.”

A little while later, the crowd dispersed.  While I cleaned up the square, a man from the Soldiers and Sailors monument approached me.  He told me that he had seen what I had been doing around the rally and when I had broken that one guy’s sign and that he appreciated what I was doing.

After that, I began following all the local communist, socialist, and antifa groups online and watching for new protest events.  I decided I would extend my public safety patrol program to include all protests downtown.  I would continue to act as an agent of safety and keep the communist groups from committing destruction or violence. 

I realized the subversive and poisonous ideology of the militant leftists could destroy the city, so I further vowed to shut these organizations down.  All I had to do was demoralize them enough to stop them from coming downtown for protests.  I recognized that part of the attraction for the antifa people is that their riotous actions were fun for them so I figured if I made them less fun, they’d be less inclined to come out thereby decreasing the chances of an organized faction developing.  I went to every protest that summer.  I frequently engaged in face to face confrontations with the more militant protesters and they backed down from me each time.  During one protest march, I kept the Refuse Fascism gang from disrupting a family festival in the square. 

One Saturday, I attended a fencing demonstration with the SCA.  After the demonstration I decided to stop downtown and pick up some litter, however when I arrived downtown, I found a large gay pride rally going on in Public Square.  It wasn’t long before I spotted the Refuse Fascism people who were handing out their literature and waving their signs.  I approached them and began verbally sparring with them as was my custom now.  One of their members was an older lady with a paper mache globe on a stick.  She was angered by what I was saying, and bolstered by the supportive crowd, she swung the globe on a stick at me and missed.  She then thrust the stick part of it at my stomach but I pushed the stick to the side which caused the other people in the group to claim I was attacking the woman.  They all closed in on me until suddenly I felt someone punch me in the side of the head.  I had seen this antifa tactic before which is a blind side attack while the target is engaged in a front facing confrontation.  I was embarrassed that I had become a victim of it but I was unphased by the strike since I was wearing my maille coif with a padded arming cap underneath.  I watched as my attacker scurried away immediately after punching me.  I followed the person who turned around as we got to a less populated area on the sidewalk.  “Stop following me.”  said the person with long hair that I could tell was a transexual.

“You just punched me in the head.”  I said.  ‘I just came to meet you and find out who you are.”  I even offered out my hand to shake.

“Leave me alone.” said the person.  I let the person scurry away again, then went and talked to the police who were at the event.  When the police went over to the scene, my attacker was long gone.  Later that night, the person posted photos of his hand that was all cut up from punching my maille as some kind of trophy.  Armed now with this person’s name, I showed up at the person’s work, talked to their boss, and then showed up at their house where their mom shouted at me until I left.  I filed a police report but the leftist city prosecutor refused to pursue charges with the excuse that although the person had admitted to attacking me on social media, that there were many people saying bad things about me on social media too.

These incidents garnished me some notoriety online and subsequently the attention of the local alternative publication Cleveland Scene magazine.  Like most people in Cleveland, I was familiar with the magazine as a free paper that showcased the music and entertainment in town.  Now however, the magazine had turned into a communist sympathizing rag and the writers were eager to prove their propaganda against the conservatives was justified by claiming that I was a racist, islamaphobic, white supremacist existing in their midst.  Their head writer had seen some of my story on the antifa pages and groups he followed.  They still didn’t know my identity but due to my attire, it was correctly theorized that I belonged to the SCA.  The Scene writer contacted the head of the local sca group I belonged to in order to get information about me.  Not wanting to involve the SCA at all, I messaged the writer directly and he arranged an interview with me.  I met him on the Soldiers and Sailors monument where he asked loaded questions and tried to get me to say something offensive.  I spoke with eloquence and sense, so he also decided to take the word of my local enemies in Antifa and Refuse Fascism who lied and embellished about me negatively.  The next month, the magazine published a five page article dubbing me “The Alt Knight”, a play on the term alt-right which is used to describe more radical and potentially militant members of the political right wing.  On the cover, he had a cartoonist depict me being punched.  The article was posted online where it generated controversy and continues to blemish my reputation but it solidified my public persona. 

The attention did not stop me.  I continued to go out to every protest that year.  I spent time online researching the individual leftist agitators.  I learned their names.  I paid specific attention to Refuse Fascism since they were the most active.  Their group was composed mostly of old communists agitators who had been working their agenda through protests for decades.  Whereas in the past, no one paid much attention to them, their rebranding as a anti-trump group garnished them casual support from regular people and occasionally some new members.  At each interaction, I’d be there to warn the regular passerbys and the ignorant new members about the group’s history as RevCom (Revolutionary Communists).  I’d explain that the leader of the organization was the founder of the Communist party in America.  I’d expose the old group members for the communist opportunists they were.  Some people would scoff as the Refuse Fascism protesters attempted to discount my information by calling me a white supremacist.  Sometime around September, they began posting about a planned action for November 4th which they assured would be the start of their communist revolution.  I was actually excited for the event since if they got destructive it meant I might have the freedom to get physical with these people.  I set to work spreading information and disinformation about the event in order to keep the numbers down.  The local news was informed that Antifa planned to hold ISIS style mock executions in Public Square.  I myself planned to interrupt whatever they were going to do.

On November 4th, I put on all my armor and a new surcoat I made just for the event.  When I arrived at Public Square, I found the Refuse Fascism group and a few of their affiliated antagonists gathered in the square.  I took a position on the Soldiers and Sailors monument where I began using my megaphone to disrupt the protest.  I immediately began mocking the people and the modestly attended event which they had dubbed the start of their revolution.  Once again, my presence was too much for the protesters so they opted to begin a march instead of dealing with me in the square.  I followed their march now armed with my own megaphone which echoed through the streets I had been cleaning for months, as I vocally opposed and exposed everything the communist agitators were doing.  The redheaded communist guy from the science march made it his mission to keep me away from the main body of the march.  I harassed him throughout the march by sneaking and by dashing around the group.  He attempted a typical move which was to walk in front of me and just stop so that I couldn’t proceed without physically engaging him.  Instead of pushing through him, he somehow was pulled backwards and to the ground.  Before he regained his footing, I had disappeared into the rest of the group leaving him to punch one of the Refuse Fascism signs his friend was holding next to him instead of me.

A videographer named Greg captured all the events of the day.  A week later, Greg showed up to film me at another rally that I was monitoring.  I was surprised when I found his videos online which not only included me, but showed me in a good light as opposed to the mainstream media who ignored me and the Scene magazine article which defamed me.   He dubbed me the "Based Crusader" in his videos.   I thanked him for doing the work and for presenting me in a positive way.  After that we became an informal team, working together to derail the protest scene and post funny videos about it online.  Since then, we both put together and posted hundreds of clips to various social media platforms that can be accessed now. 


Chapter 7

Campus Chaos

For the next year, I kept going to protests and Greg kept filming me.  The Cleveland protest scene had become pitiable.  Once in a while, new antifa types would show up but they’d quickly give up on creating a real antifa scene in Cleveland after they encountered me.  I’d berate their destructive ideology and hypocritical ways.  I’d research them individually online and learn their names and habits.  This left only the die hard old communists of Refuse Fascism to organize small actions in coordination with the plans of their parent group.  Their purpose was agitation and so in return I agitated them. 

 Greg and I attempted to connect with other conservative media personalities and companies but were consistently ignored or rejected.  We sent them our videos in every manner possible, messaging them directly, privately, and publicly but without any interest in return.  The media rejection was extremely frustrating.  I could comprehend why the mainstream and leftist alt media would reject me but others in the conservative vein were rising to heights of popularity and success after doing the same things Greg and I were doing.  We met one such personality at the Cleveland Women’s March in 2018.  Among the leftist women were two college aged ladies waving Trump flags.  In spite of being harassed, the two conservative young ladies laughed and persisted in shouting right wing slogans even as they were being surrounded.  I weaved through the mob and asked the blonde, curly haired woman if she needed help but she said she was fine.  Greg filmed her for a quick interview.  A few months later, I saw the same blonde woman all over the news since she had posed for college graduation photos with an AR-10 rifle strapped around her back as a response to her college’s rule forbidding students from carrying weapons on campus but allowing non-students to open carry.  She was instantly dubbed “the Kent State Gun Girl” and she was quickly propelled to fame when she subsequently started to go out to protests with a small production crew.  She was promoted on Fox News, Infowars, and even the local Cleveland media did interviews with her.  Utilizing her controversial fame, she organized an open carry event at her former college.  At its announcement, the ‘Kent State Open Carry Rally’ was met with opposition.  Antifa affiliates from around the state began posting about how they were going to show up and shut it down with violence. 

As the rally neared and the online rhetoric ramped up, I contacted the Kent police and informed them that I would be attending the rally in order to oppose the antifa groups who were coming.  I explained my background and my intentions which were, surprisingly, well received by the officer in charge.  He told me they'd see me there and keep an eye out for me.

It was not difficult to keep an eye out for me since I arrived on Kent State campus the morning of the event glimmering in my maille with a fresh white surcoat, huge shield, my great helm, and with Greg following me with a camera.  Hundreds of police were already present in different areas of the campus.  A small group of State Troopers followed me as though they were assigned to me.  We lingered in the main courtyard of campus called “the K” where leftists of all ages began to gather.  They were mostly college kids and not who I was watching out for.  The Gun Girl and her group gathered in the parking lot across from the K so Greg and I went over there, along the way encountering a couple old ladies from Cleveland Refuse Fascism and then an actual contingent of antifa all dressed in black bloc.  I verbally sparred with the antifa people then I walked over to meet the Gun Girl and mingled with the others in her party.  She informed me that she intended to lead the gun march around the campus and avoid the K so I devised a plan to distract the leftists on the K as long as I could.  When Greg and I arrived back at the K, the place was swarming as now dozens of militant antifa people in full black bloc and face coverings now joined with the college aged protesters creating a formidable mob.  I recognized some of them.  Uniformed police officers and armored riot cops encircled the K.  Members of the media were everywhere.  A local Cleveland reporter couldn’t ignore the commotion caused by my entrance on the K and the reporter reluctantly interviewed me.  I kept the attention of the mob in the square with stupid arguments until a reporter received word via walky-talky that the Gun march had begun.  The staticy announcement from the radiow echoed through the mob until they all turned and started running or hard walking in the direction of the gun marchers.  I went alongside the main body of the mob which had the most antifa in it and verbally harassed them as they jogged to catch up to the march.  They bolstered one another to ignore me as I demoralized and distracted them 

About a quarter mile ahead of the march, a few students, antifa, and a teacher were able to get in front of the march and lock arms until reinforcements arrived to form a deeper barrier of people.  When I arrived at the line, the march was stopped and riot police had already separated the two groups.  I joined the end of the police line and began harassing the antifa on the other side.  The police appreciated my presence though they seemed to be ignoring everything I did, including shield blocking a protester as he attempted to break through the line as they were making an arrest.  He was assisted by an antifa guy with a red banana over his face who created a direct confrontation with me by threatening to hit me with the Refuse Fascism sign he was holding.  Even with his bandana mask, I could tell who it was and as soon as he backed down, I followed him behind the antifa line and pulled his bandana down from his face revealing the red hair communist from Cleveland that I had encountered at the March for Science and the November 4th protest.  He raged at being revealed and ran at me but I put up my shield and he ran into it face first.  His comrades could barely stand to stand with him as Greg and I brutally mocked him until he slunk back to the line of locked armed lefties. 

Soon there was movement in the police line as they were ordered to initiate a charge using a modified wedge maneuver where groups of three push at points in the opposing line to break it up.  I noticed an antifa guy standing in front of me so I took the opportunity to shield blast him.  It felt incredible as I watched him disappear into the mob the police were dismantling.  I faded back and disappeared into the lines of police as they advanced.  The police charge fizzled out as they made arrests of a few combative students, and the antifa line formed again stopping the march.  I left the line to assess the rest of the situation and look out for any roving groups of militant antifa.  I soon noticed the police moving back.  I asked one of the officers what was going on.  He said they had a plan and they had been ordered to execute a controlled retreat.  I couldn’t believe that these police were being pushed back by the very people who I had been pushing around for a year and a half.  If if it was planned, it looked bad and the antifa side was elated.  I couldn’t bear to see ground being taken by the pathetic members of Refuse Fascism and Burning River Anarchist Collective who were in the front line of the mob walking the police backwards.  “No!”  I shouted as  I jumped in front of the police where I saw the line of leftists shouting as they moved forward.  I saw the old lady from Refuse fascism and the fat guy from Burning River Anarchist Collective and a shirtless, fat-bellied teacher, and then I saw the red hair commie stepping toward me hard.  I stepped at him and blasted back him with the shield.  The mob stopped advancing immediately and the stunned group insisted that the police arrest me.  The police let me trickle out through them as the mob screamed.  They did not arrest me and instead I was able to help a little more as the now brazen mob encircled the police.  One protester began fighting the police.  He was struck back, knocked out and was lying on the ground.  As officers attempted to attend to him a line of antifa black bloc began locking arms behind them and marching toward them.  The group of State Troopers that was watching me all day was still with me so when I saw this, I alerted them and we all stepped into the circle behind the police and in front of the advancing antifa line.  The Troopers kept the main body of protesters back but as one advanced hard to break our line, I stepped up front and smashed him back with my shield.  Like the others, he faded into oblivion as the mob now turned their anger towards me and shouted at the police they were fighting demanding they arrest me.  I disappeared through the police again then I set myself to one more task.  I had observed one of the college kids who had been a major agitator in many of the days' situations.  I noticed him again now as he was currently locked arms with the fat-bellied teacher and others who were all yelling at the police.  He was easy to see because of a white baseball hat he had on backwards.  I approached him from behind and knocked the cap forward off his head.  He spastically caught it causing him to release his arms from the line.  He then tried to run after me but was stopped by the protesters he was lined up with.  I was already long gone.  He rejoined his line but his enthusiasm was gone and he was done agitating for the day. 

Back in the parking lot, I said goodbye to the Gun girl and then thanked her via message after the event.  Later, she scolded me for my aggressive behavior towards the protesters even though during the march she had been threatened with a gun by an antifa member in black bloc and in danger many times.  I informed her that I was only going after people who were clearly adult antifa members in black bloc attire and that I knew most of them so she let it go.  I saw her again at the 2019 Women’s march when the organizers arranged to come into Old Stone Church for part of the protest.  By then she was making her own videos with her own crew and getting front page on infowars.  I invited her and her crew inside the Church where they filmed my outburst over Planned Parenthood setting up a table in the sanctuary and handing out condoms.

I expected a flood of conservative media attention after those two events.  Greg got a few more followers on his youtube account and Infowars contacted him thinking he was me and invited him on to one of their shows via webcam.  He did a kind of stand up routine but the host had expected the Crusader.  At first I was miffed at the mix up but still glad that Greg got to go on the show since it had been a dream of his.  In retrospect, I’m grateful we didn’t get mixed up with that group too much.  I had been trying to connect with them and did contact them after Greg's segment aired, but they never got back to me.  In fact, no one in the media asked to interview me about the Kent State Gun Walk or any of the other public incidents that I had been a part of.  Everyone except the Gun Girl and her producer husband would cut me out of their videos or ignore me all together.  I got used to it. 

    After the melee at the Kent State Open Carry Walk I was certain I would receive some invitation from someone for an interview.  I figured Infowars would finally be calling or at least the local media would want to ask me some questions.  Fox 8 ran footage of me in their opening segment yet made no reference to the knight in armor smashing someone with a shield in the video.  The reporter from Channel 19 had been forced to talk to me during a live stream before the walk began but never followed up on the later footage they captured of me shield smashing another black bloc antifa.  An infowars reporter deliberately mistook me for costumed “agit-prop” and their studio never followed up with me even though Greg and I sent them Greg’s videos.  Instead of an interview, I received a scolding from the Gun girl for bashing antifa.  Other people started doing similar things by going to protests with some blatantly ripping off my material.  A few wanna-be actors started posting their footage at protests and they were subsequently given shows on conservative networks and verification on social media.  I messaged them about working together but they ignored me and continued to pilfer material and ideas from the footage Greg and I released.

Regardless, I continued to go out and regulate at the Cleveland protests and Greg continued to come out and film it.  We still do it.  I document, edit, and release most of my adventures on video (See “CLE Protest 2020” Documentary, and the Black Knights Matter channels on whatever platform allows Greg to post there) and since then I’ve had many adventures as the Crusader.  This was however just an origin story and an explanation as to why always I dress in a Crusader kit. 

I sword fight five times a week and run a Historical Fencing Club that I started.  I’ve run for U.S. Congress twice and numerous other elected offices.  I go to City Council meetings and speak out on controversial topics.  I do construction.  I help my family.  I volunteer.  I still go to Church.  I make music and content about the Crusades.  I resist the new world order.  

I Crusade.