The last original Cooper is gone

Betty Cooper, who with her husband Mack founded Cooper's Lake Campground and worked with the SCA to build Pennsic, has died at 96. Betty, Mack, and their son Dave were true friends of the SCA, dealing honorably and fairly and with a smile. They seemed to enjoy the SCA's wacky brand of unusual fun. We lost Dave a few years ago and Mack a few years before that, and now we have lost the last Cooper with that long history.

Cooper's Lake is a different place in recent years -- more corporate, less human. Nothing lasts forever and this is to be expected; heirs and successors who never saw their customers as anything other than another convention need to pay the bills. But I feel like we've lost not just another good person, not just a piece of SCA history, but also some of the values that made Pennsic what it once was -- a place of honor and friendship and camaraderie and experimentation and innovation.