So, how exactly did a girl from California and a guy from Indiana meet at a North Carolina highway rest stop, and end up like this?
It all started with The Courtship of Princess Leia. Well, it did for me anyway. I had recently discovered the Star Wars movies, and when I spotted that novel while shopping, I HAD to have it. I read the entire book in one day, and then began hunting online for more things Star Wars. I came across a Star Wars writing group called the Jedi Order: Chu'unthor II, and joined the group in 1995. Members of the Chu Crew began traveling to meet in person from time to time, and in 1997 some of us decided to arrange a group gathering at Disney World. One of the sim's newest members decided to come along for that trip, and thus I met Scott on the drive to Florida.
A close friendship developed, and by the time the Chu Crew decided to take another trip to Disney World in 1998, Scott had moved to California. We got married on the beautiful shores of Lake Tahoe in 2001, and nobody was surprised to learn that our wedding party would be comprised of both family and Chu Crew members. It was their fault that we'd met, afterall!
The following year was Celebration II, and naturally the Chu Crew was in attendance. We decided to make costumes based on the characters we wrote about for the sim, and so Scott and I were introduced to the challenges and excitement of costuming at conventions.
By the time Celebration III arrived we were both thoroughly hooked on costuming, and Scott had joined the 501st Legion with his first Imperial costume, a biker scout. I joined the 501st the following year, and both of us joined the Rebel Legion not too long after that. The next thing we knew, we were traveling about the state and the country with our costumes, hosting multi-group events, and watching our yard get invaded by stormtroopers. Can life get any better than that?
These days we live on a 10 acre farm in California. Scott works for Stanislaus County, while I recently left 18 years of teaching to make costumes full time. The Chu Crew isn't active these days, but we still treasure the friendships we've made within the group. Our weekends are often spent building new costumes or wearing them to a variety of events with the 501st, the Rebel Legion, and Central Valley Costumers. Being a member of the costuming groups has given us a chance to meet fellow costumers and Star Wars enthusiasts from all over the world, and it has given us the opportunity to do many wonderful things. Scott has served as CO and GML of our garrison and was selected to march in the Rose Bowl Parade, while I had the honor of serving as DL of the Flagship Eclipse Detachment for five years. We've met many of the artists, actors and writers who have made Star Wars the continuing adventure that it is, and we've found a number of terrific friends within the costuming community. We've also learned a great deal about making costumes from scratch, and we're still learning more day by day. We spend each year looking forward to the next costume, the next event, and the next Star Wars Celebration. We're definitely planning to keep enjoying this hobby for many years to come!