Fencers P - TThe people behind the mask
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I love running across old photos of fencers. It doesn’t matter who’s in them or what condition they’re in for me to be fascinated with the discovery and the challenge of putting names to faces.
At some point I will outgrown my available storage. It’s not in any way imminent, but down the road it will be something to deal with. Storage space wasn’t a consideration when I began to purchase relatively low cost university annuals on Ebay.
Driving around Southern California may not seem like much of a Holiday, especially when traveling alone, but a recent weekend outmatched all my expectations. The plan was to make four different stops in hopes of collecting fencing history.
In the woods of Southern Oregon off a dirt road and across a valley from the winding I-5 was a fencing salle d’armes built by Charlie Selberg in an old barn. It was stuffed to the rafters with fencing memorabilia dating back decades.
Typically, US National Foil Champions are reasonably well documented, particularly in their home town. That doesn’t seem to be the case with Alfred R. Snyder, 1944 US foil champion.
During an otherwise very pleasant Italian meal I shared with two-time, two-weapon National Champion and Olympian Sewall “Skip” Shurtz and Andy Shaw of the Museum of American Fencing, Andy mentioned that he’d come to appreciate, late in life, a difficult-to-like fencer who was once a teammate of Skip’s.