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a passionate repentance

Sir Koppel

Sir Koppel

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may God stand
I first heard about this guy from my first boyfriend. He (Sir Koppel) apparently received his knighthood in the Society for bravery. A group of SCA people were riding home in the subway after a meeting when there was a robbery attempt. Sir Koppel told the others to go..he would catch up with them, once he had delayed the robbers so that the others could go. They beat him badly. As near as I can determine, this happened in the seventies. I know that he received his SCA knighthood on 03/18/70.

Whether or not Sir Koppel actually did what the stories credit him doing, he has been a man of his word, grave, courteous, and kind. He has been in the Society since the earliest days and he's always shone to me as someone who truly and honestly lived what he believed.

Now I receive this email,forwarded by a friend:

I know there are many people out there who know or remember Baron Koppel fun
Baurieux, mka Ken Levinson, a Knight, Pelican, Heraldry God and an SCA
legend that has been around almost as long as the organization itself. For
the past few years, his activity has been mostly local in southern Trimaris,
but he's still been a solid support in the SCA.

Today he is in crisis. He is indigent, needs medical assistance, continues
to suffer from the depression that he has struggled with for years, and now
the Department of Children and Families has decided that the solution to his
problems is to force him out of his home and into a cramped Assisted Living
Facility, in a room for two little bigger than a cell, in a bad part of
town, where he would have a bed, some clothing and hardly anything else
because there would be no room to put it.

Worst of all, they have taken the keys to his house and car, and I learned
that there are plans to sell the house. What would happen to his personal
library, years of accumulated research, his SCA keepsakes and treasures? I
don't know, but I can picture them being thrown into a dumpster by ignorant
hands while he wastes away in what amounts to a prison, since he is not
permitted to leave unless he is under supervised care.

Mitch Silverman, a local attorney and former SCA member, will be looking
into the matter to see what he can do. But even if he is able to regain
Koppel's freedom, the original problem remains. Koppel got in this mess
because his expenses were more than his income. He let medical and dental
problems get worse because he couldn't afford the care. His housekeeping
skills are lacking (like so many of us, it seems). And while he would no
doubt resent the intrusion, he really needs someone to look after him.

I am asking anyone with ideas of how to help or where to find it to please
contact me, Hon. Lady Sanchia the Sly, mka Bev Kaufman, at 954-746-736, or
by emailing me at sanchia@gate.net. Also, could someone please cross-post
this to the Trimaris email list, since I'm not on it anymore.


Hon. Lady Sanchia the Sly
mka Bev Kaufman

When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best
in ourselves.

What can I do? How can I help this man? Not just to pay his bills, but to keep his house, keep his dignity and his independence. It's not so great a dividing line between he and I..I'm handicapped, I'm in a wheelchair, I'm surviving, but not by the hugest of margins, I'm not the world's greatest housekeeper. How long until I'm asked to go into an assisted care facility?

Let's be honest here. This is caring for him, yes. But it's also warehousing. If he's not out there creating a problem for people then he's not going to be noticed all that much. He'll fade away quietly. People won't notice, but there'll be a few grizzled old heads at the funeral. How many people will know or care that he kept strict kosher? That he is the kindest and most generous man in the world? That he was as gentle as he was kind? How many people are going to care that he knew a vast amount about Jewish history, or that he was very devout?

I know what those places are like, you're going to say. They're not so bad. People get three square meals a day there. They get shelter, they get medical care, they get the companionship of other people like themselves. How bad can that be?

I've been there too. I lived there for nine months. I was recuperating after an orthopedic surgery and my parents couldn't handle taking care of a teenager in a hip cast. I can't blame them now, but at the time it was like being in hell. You see, it's not whether or not you have three square meals a day. It's not whether or not you make friends with the other inmates. It's not even if you have a swimming pool to go to, or shuffleboard games, or what have you. There's nothing there to fight against. There's nothing there worth struggling for. Everything's been cut down to a manageable size. People *need* struggles. They get tired and they fall down but they have to have them or they stop being human beings and they just become human animals.

It's kind of like being in a play. People in the play are out there in the world. They're out there in front of the audience, they're flubbing their lines, they're doing their best against the glare of the lights, or they're getting upstaged by the chorus girl from up North, or what have you. People who are in institutions are in the green room. We have our lines, we can practice them, we can block out our scenes. In short, we can do everything that anyone who's on stage is doing, but it's not *real*. There's no risk. If we flub up our lines, oh, well. If we fall asleep, oh, well. So..why go on saying your lines? What does that matter? Who's watching? Who cares?

You have so much free time it smothers you. You don't dream about doing things, you dream about home. I used to use every trick in the book to get the latch to the sliding glass door in my room opened. The nurses would come and latch it again, but I'd find a way to unlatch it again. I never went out. I didn't need to. It was enough to know that I *could* do it if I wanted to. And since I could choose, I chose to stay.
  • An idea

    Would you mind if I posted a link to this entry in my LJ?

    It's a long shot, but some of the peace activists may have some ideas (unfortunately, they are mostly in England, so they wouldn't know any more attorneys than you or I).

    I do think the Softrat is right, and that you can best help him by starting a legal fund for him and making contacts to NY lawyers.

    BTW, your personal story says quite a lot about your own strength of character. Keep the faith.

    Estel,
    Banazir
    • Re: An idea

      Please, by all means, link it anywhere you like. Sir Koppel is someone I'd sincerely like to see remain in his house, maybe with someone as an attendant. I will talk to Beverly about the New York attorney, too.

      I had thought that perhaps I could also raise some money for his expenses via an auction. I have a number of semi-precious and precious gemstones I planned on using in my jewelry-making but if they'll bring some money in, I'd be happier auctioning them off. Maybe on E-bay. If you know anyone who'd be interested in them, please pass it on? Most of the gems are sunstones from India, a boulder opal, a fire agate, and a couple of green sapphires (both about a carat each).
      Thank you for the compliment. I consider praise from you high praise indeed, since you have always seemed to me to be the person who was kindest to everyone in TEUNC.
      • Re: An idea

        Please, by all means, link it anywhere you like.
        Done.
        Please feel free to watch that entry of my LJ for replies and to follow up here or there. I'll ask around, too, to see whether anyone local has ideas.

        Sir Koppel is someone I'd sincerely like to see remain in his house, maybe with someone as an attendant.
        Is he in Orlando, or somewhere thereaboats?

        I will talk to Beverly about the New York attorney, too.
        Sure - I'm sure you'll have heard from Denise and LC by Saturday, but if not, let me know and I'll memind them in caht or call them.

        I had thought that perhaps I could also raise some money for his expenses via an auction. I have a number of semi-precious and precious gemstones I planned on using in my jewelry-making but if they'll bring some money in, I'd be happier auctioning them off. Maybe on E-bay.
        Ooh, that's a good idea!
        If you have the materials on hand and can spare them, you might also try making the jewelry and auctioning that.

        If you know anyone who'd be interested in them, please pass it on? Most of the gems are sunstones from India, a boulder opal, a fire agate, and a couple of green sapphires (both about a carat each).
        Sure, I will check around.

        Thank you for the compliment. I consider praise from you high praise indeed, since you have always seemed to me to be the person who was kindest to everyone in TEUNC.
        Aaah! *hsulb*
        You are truly too kind... I can think of several TEUNCs off the top of my head who deserve that honor more than I - Graham, Tamf, MOM, Yoj, and not least of all yourself.

        But thanks for making my daynight - I don't mind admitting that I've never been called "freaking cool" before, either. :-)

        --
        Banazir
        • Re: An idea

          I just need to know LC's full name. Because I'm not all that familiar with real names yet.

          I definitely will look into making the jewelry..I'd just as soon sell the stones, though, since I don't really have the money to spend on more materials, and if the stones have some value as they are, I'd rather sell 'em.

          Denise I know from caht, but I am afraid to admit I forgot her posting-name.

          And you *are* freaking cool. You've just kept your light under a smial-basket
          • Re: An idea

            I just need to know LC's full name. Because I'm not all that familiar with real names yet. Denise I know from caht, but I am afraid to admit I forgot her posting-name.
            Lpease see "Gnames and Gnarliness" (just psotted to TEUNC).

            I definitely will look into making the jewelry..I'd just as soon sell the stones, though, since I don't really have the money to spend on more materials, and if the stones have some value as they are, I'd rather sell 'em.
            Sure, that's a fine idea IMO.
            Lpease memind me (caht, TEUNC) to ask around more if I haven't gotten bax to you within a weenk.
            Oh, and several of my LJ friends have psotted in response to my entry aboat Sir Koppel.

            And you *are* freaking cool.
            You've just kept your light under a smial-basket

            Wow, thanks.
            /me chects baskit and wonders why it's bloxing light when it should be nice and windowy

            --
            Banazir
            • Re: An idea

              thank you again. You rock! And I haven't heard yet from his friend, Beverly Kaufman (aka Lady Sanchia) but she might not be prompt with the email. I will check again tomorrow. I tried calling her, but the phone number given was off by a digit. I'll have to run a Google search on her.

  • a bit of pro bono info

    (Anonymous)
    Well, I don't have any great suggestions, but this is what I have so far.

    http://www.lawhelp.org/ - lists pro bono possibilities in various areas. This may be a little less than helpful if he's already got a lawyer taking the case on a pro bono basis.

    There's also the Legal Aid Society of New York - http://www.legal-aid.org/ - that helps poor people in New York City. I'm not sure that that's really appropriate, given that he's a Florida resident, but it might be a place to start. (Was he an NYC resident when this happened?)

    Also, as I read the description of him, I had to wonder - is he a member of a synagogue/shul? If he is, is there anything that *they* can offer? Any outreach programs, or whatever?

    Denise
    • Re: a bit of pro bono info

      Thank you, Denise, you've given me something to work with. You are awesome!!
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