When I was a tyke, I wanted a sword and a horse. I carved "Zorro" into the footboard of my bed while I was supposed to be taking a nap [a time during which I suppose my mother rested — I spent the time coloring the windowshades, jumping on the bed, etc.]. Since I was about four, and leaning over from the top, and carving upside down with the non-existent point of my Captain Kangaroo-approved "round-edge scissors", I thought I did a pretty good job, though my "R"s were backwards.
It wasn't until college that I was able to finally take a fencing class at Ol' Mizzou. Renata Maiorino was the instructor in the Physical Education department [which Mizzou no longer has one of — I wonder what the jocks major in now?] I learned some basic form, then joined the fencing club. This was our motto and T-shirt: "Coeur et Acier"– Heart and Steel.
My future wife fenced for a while, and was better than I. She has really good eye-hand coordination. You should see her at "Whack-a-Mole"; she never misses. She's pretty good at "Dance-Dance-Revolution", too. However, I like to make hard work out of everything, and I made her hate it, and she quit. [If you're interested in a mint condition, antique lady's fencing jacket, let me know.] So, no fencing partner, so no fencing. Nuts.
I could never get my son, Tom, interested when he was at home, but he is enjoying a fencing club in college now. He's using my antique equipment, but you can see that he pretty well wore out my gauntlet. Of course, it was somewhat worn already, and 34 years old. They just don't make 'em like they used to.
My nephew Joe is working on the Renaissance-man thing and wanted to try some fencing. This picture is from Tom giving him a lesson. There are no pictures of me with heaving chest and strained groin muscles, but I was there. Swashbuckling lives on.