Episode 130 Poofy pants and Murderhobos with Adam Franti

Episode 130 Poofy pants and Murderhobos with Adam Franti

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Adam Franti is a member of the Meyer Freifechter Guild and an organiser of the Midwest Historical Fencing League. He also started the Lansing Longsword Guild in the summer of 2017, which focuses on Meyer’s longsword. And he is a fellow podcaster, host of a show called Murderhobos, which covers chivalry, duelling and warfare.

We talk about 19th century American military history, and then hop back in time to 16th century Germany. Adam is something of an expert in Meyer’s dusack, and we find out what drew him in to this system. He tells us about the Fechtschule fencing competitions, duelling and warfare in Germany at that time. There are links and photos below to accompany the episode:

Adam’s workbook on Meyer’s fencing:



His dusack video series:



A couple of Adam’s historical lectures:



And a direct link to the Murderhobos podcast, with all the episodes we discussed, including Donald McBane and Götz von Berlichingen:



The blue uniform with the pickelhaube is the American dress uniform of the 1880s:

This is the British 1812 uniform:




Guy Windsor: I’m here today with Adam Franti, who is a member of the Meyer Freifechter Guild and an organiser of the Midwest Historical Fencing League. He also started the Lansing Longsword Guild in the summer of 2017, which focuses on Meyer’s longsword. And he is a fellow podcaster, host of a show called Murderhobos, which covers chivalry, duelling and warfare. So without further ado, Adam, welcome to the show.


Adam Franti: Hey, thanks for having me.


Guy Windsor: Well, it's very nice to meet you and nice to know that we have at least one friend in common.


Adam Franti: Yeah. Yeah.


Guy Windsor: So how do you know Heidi?


Adam Franti: Heidi is partners with Chris VanSlambrouk, who is right now the Hauptmann, and I think that is the official title, of the Meyer Freifechter Guild. He's one of the big organisers of the Freifechter Guild in the Midwest. And he and I have helped plan and put together and run the Madtown Fechtschule for the last several years in Madison, Wisconsin.


Guy Windsor: Oh, splendid. So you're in Madison at the moment?


Adam Franti: I'm in Lansing at the moment.


Guy Windsor: Lansing?


Adam Franti: Yes.


Guy Windsor: I know Lansing quite well.


Adam Franti: Yeah.


Guy Windsor: Because the International Swordfighting and Martial Arts Convention used to be held there every year. Did you ever go?


Adam Franti: No, I'd never did. I have a sort of a complicated like backstory with regard to HEMA, but by the time I moved up to Lansing, I think that that had become, what is it?


Guy Windsor: It became CombatCon. It started out in Lansing and then in 2006 it moved to Detroit because they lost access to the facility they were using in Lansing. And then they moved to two years in Detroit, maybe, then moved to Las Vegas and rebranded it as CombatCon.


Adam Franti: Yeah, I was completely unaware in 2010 or so, or by 2009 that anything like this existed. I had done modern fencing for a few years in college. So I was an epee fencer, and I wanted it to be rapier. But of course it wasn't. And I didn't know that anybody actually fence with rapiers outside of like the SCA and where I was in college, there was no SCA. And so I did that for a while. And then I saw the documentary Reclaiming the Blade in 2009 or so and then just googled “WMA clubs Michigan”, and saw that there was one that was actually literally run in my town. And you may have met him, the guy who ran it was named Josh Little. And he'd had a club, study group, whatever you want to call it for, for some time by then and was running what he called ars gladi out of a school. And I went there for a few months and then so that was like my introduction to it, like of course I wanted it to be rapier at the time. And so my introduction to longsword of was like, oh, this is cool. This is really like intricate and subtle, because I, of course, had the, the common idea that knights just stumbled around hacking and slashing.


Guy Windsor: It is a bizarre idea, where the hell does that idea come from? The notion that professional warriors, with loads of money, who had access to the sort of people who could build things like the cathedral in Siena, and could do this incredible metalwork and made these amazing swords and amazing suits of armour. The notion that they would just sort of stumble around and bash each other like drunken five year olds is just bizarre.


Adam Franti: Yeah. And it's so pervasive. I was a history major in my undergrad. I didn't concentrate on the medieval period or anything, but I actually specifically remember I had a class where we had to do a book review and I asked if I could do a book review on The Once and Future King. Beause I was like, this has some historical content. And I remember writing a big chunk of that paper about the scene with, I can't remember who the two knights are, but they're literally just stumbling around, crashing into each other, right? It's like played for laughs. And I remember writing this isn't realistic. Like the armour fit and it was customised and they'd be able to move and breathe. And so like I was aware of it at a certain sense, but I had never like tried it. So I tried it for the first time and was like this is really cool. And I did that for a few months. Then I got a job working on Mackinaw Island as a historical interpreter.


Guy Windsor: So what Mackinaw Island?


Adam Franti: Mackinaw Island is in Lake Huron. It was a fur trade post for the British, or for the French first and then the British and then the United States for all sorts of kind of political and economic reasons in the Great Lakes, but for relations with the Native Americans around the Great Lakes. And it was a military force that was first built, like there was a fort up there. It was first built in the 1680s by the French. And in the 1790s, the United States took over and they sort of finished the fort the British had been building. And it was a military post until the 1870s, and it was the headquarters of a national park for a while. So actually it's a state park now, but it was a national park for 20 years from, I think 1873 to 1893. And so I worked up there. It's basically like a sort of historic tourist site now.


Guy Windsor: So you would be in costume, wandering about, pretending to be a settler?


Adam Franti: Yeah, ] we were interpreters of soldiers that worked at the fort in the national park period. So we were in American uniforms.


Guy Windsor: So that's actually a paying job?


Adam Franti: Yes. Yep.


Guy Windsor: Wow. Only in America, only in America.


Adam Franti: I worked there from 2011 to 2015. And that was the anniversary of the, I guess anniversary is the right word, of the war of 1812. And Mackinaw was captured by the British in the War of 1812. And so from 2012 to 15, we did War of 1812 sort of re-enactment stuff as well. So that's when I got a lot of practise shooting muskets and reloading muskets.


Guy Windsor: I love muskets. So much fun.


Adam Franti: And so like in between when I stopped, in between working with Josh Little for the couple months I did, and then 2015 when I was going to grad school and I started fencing again, I was basically just doing nothing but black powder martial arts, I guess.


Guy Windsor: So when you were working on this island, they didn't also train you in period swordplay?


Adam Franti: No.


Guy Windsor: The soldiers would have known, a lot of the soldiers were carrying swords.


Adam Franti: Yeah. So the for the most part during the war it was a bit weird because they had just to jam as many people in there as they could, that they could still feed and everything. But most of the time the garrison was artillery troops and artillery troops were very commonly issued with swords of some kind. So whether or not they fenced, I don't know, the US army was really, really small and not terribly well organised and fencing was never really a big important part of at least American training. But, you know, it would have depended on officers, it would have depended on who was there and what they wanted to do. And sometimes, like getting your men to train with bayonet exercises or fencing or whatever was a way to keep them out of the saloons, which was a pretty big part of managing armies in the 19th century.


Guy Windsor: Yeah, absolutely. So you were drilling with muskets all day? Well, I mean, it takes a certain sort of person to want to dress up as an early 19th century soldier and march around for four years.


Adam Franti: Yeah, I loved it.


Guy Windsor: You are not alone. There are many people listening who absolutely love the living history side of things, wearing the clothes and we've had people on who do period cookery and making period clothing and you're amongst friends. There's no judgement here. You’re actually reminding me a bit of Milo Thurston, who was on a while ago who does a lot of the Napoleonic era re-enactments. Same sort of period. Waterloo was 1815, so the war of 1812 was just before. What is it like being a soldier in the early 19th century?


Adam Franti: Well, we're lucky in that most of the problems that you probably have to deal with as a soldier in the early 19th century are pretty firmly dealt with when you're working an eight hour day at a historic site. I don't have to worry about disease. I don't have to worry about like smallpox or catching a cold and dying. I get to go home to a warm bed every night. And so the biggest issues especially for soldiers in the war of 1812 was food and resupply. And we have records of men who are described as literally naked. And of course, they mean naked in that they have a patchy waist coat. Not that they're literally walking around without clothes, but like getting uniforms. Treating people who were sick was always a big thing. So when you don't have to worry about that it's a lot different and it's a lot more fun. But yeah, it's a wool uniform. So we're wearing the British uniform of about the mid war period. So we had wool trousers, a coat of wool, they called it a coatee and then a linen undershirt, a neck stock and a shako.


Guy Windsor: It must be pretty warm.


Adam Franti: It is. But wool is actually a lot more comfortable than I think people give it credit for. It breathes really well. And there was there's always a pretty nice breeze, we were up on like 100 feet up above the lake at the fort. And so we always had a pretty, pretty good breeze coming through. And if you stayed in the shade and were conscious of the breeze, it was perfectly comfortable, even on really hot days. I mean, you're always going to be hot if it's 90 degrees out, no matter what. And so, like, there's something to be said for the fact that wearing head to toe wool keeps the sun off of you for the most part. And that's a little bit more comfortable than I think people might expect. And I'm a big fan of wool. We could make this whole episode about me.


Guy Windsor: Well we’ve had knitters on the show. So by all means, your subject is wool: Go!


Adam Franti: Yeah. So well, you know, the wool can be a wide variety of different sorts of warp and weft. I don't know what the particular term is, but like you can make it very, very, very fine. Almost like gossamer, like very fine. You can make it really tightly fitted. So like when we look at like late 15th century wool hose that look like tights, they're literally skin tight.


Guy Windsor: I have a pair. And getting them on takes a little bit. Once they are on they are like skin.


Adam Franti: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And it's, it's, it's a miracle fabric and actually like things like Under Armour and modern performance fabric actually try to mimic the properties of wool in a microscopic way that shocks people when you say that because it wicks moisture, it's it dries really quickly.


Guy Windsor: It is naturally antibacterial thing. Sheep depend on it. And if it was subject to lots of bacterial infections, the sheep would die. So it has evolved to be naturally protective against bacteria.


Adam Franti: So my favourite thing was always the forts up at the top of a hill and you have to literally walk up like two hills to get into the main entrance of the fort. And there would be people who would like literally mopping their brow with sweat and they're wearing like a windbreaker or something. It's basically just plastic, right? And they're just sweating buckets. And they come up to me, they like look me up and down and say you must be hot. It's like, well, yeah, it's 95 degrees out. Of course I'm hot. But there's something ironic about somebody just literally wiping sweat from their face and then telling me that I'm hot.


Guy Windsor: So do you do any work with fabric yourself?


Adam Franti: I don't really. I'd like to. I don't know that I have the patience for it. Yeah, I'd like to. So my wife actually made me a 16th century outfit, so I've got like the Meyer choir style, like pluderhosen, and I've got a nice linen number.


Guy Windsor: I have a sneaking suspicion that the reason most people who do Meyer do Meyer is because they want this excuse to wear Pluderhosen and that's it.


Adam Franti: That might be a big part of it, but I have that, I wear it only for special occasions because it's like linen and wool and silk. So I don't want to ruin it by having people cut at it with a sword. But that's most of what I do. I'm not active as a reenactor. I think the closest thing that I have now is I play vintage baseball. That's actually the top hat up here.


Guy Windsor: Okay, I should point out to the listeners that there are three hats clearly visible on the wall behind Adam's head. And one of them is, yes, now, you say it is obviously a like early 20th century baseball cap.


Adam Franti: Yeah. Yeah. Unfortunately, I was not able to convince my baseball team members that wool is better than 60% rayon. So we have very, very, very hot uniforms. And every day I just say, I really wish this was wool and everybody this rolls their eyes.


Guy Windsor: Maybe if you have the gear, lend it to people. And when everyone's had to go in the wool they will realise how superior the old ways are to the new. Why would you wear plastic, for God’s sake?


Adam Franti: Right. But yeah, I don't really re-enact that much. I've got a musket and I have an 1880s rifle that I go shoot every now and again. But I'm not active as a re-enactor right now, unfortunately.


Guy Windsor: But after four years of living in a fort and re-enacting all day, every day, I think probably… I did cabinet making for four years and for a long time after that. It was five years. For a long time after that, I barely touched a chisel. I sort of got out of my system. Now I'm a massive woodworker again, and I make stuff all the time. I took quite a long break of it and it was when my wife was pregnant with my first child, I was like, I can't have my baby in one of these prison cots with those bars. So I made a cot for her, which has, instead of having bars, it’s got these plywood panel cut outs with like bunnies and trees and things and each end of the cot has a tree and the tree at one end of the cot is modelled after the tree at the end of the Getty manuscript of Fior di Battaglia.


Adam Franti: Of course.


Guy Windsor: You’ve got to have a Fiore reference in there somewhere.


Adam Franti: Right. Yeah.


Guy Windsor: But yeah, that kind of got me back into the woodworking thing, but that were maybe seven years where I didn't want to do very much just because I’d sort of done it. So you’re not re-enacting but you are very active in sort of historical martial arts stuff and we sort of mentioned Meyer already but I gather you are primarily a Meyerist.


Adam Franti: Mm hmm.


Guy Windsor: Okay. Why? Apart from pluderhosen.


Adam Franti: So when I started going to grad school, I went to grad school in Ypsilanti, Michigan, which is right next to Ann Arbor. And I looked up HEMA clubs again nearby because I wanted to get back into fencing. And Eastern Michigan, I don't think had a fencing club or they had and it was defunct or something, I don't know. So I looked up and I found a place called the Ann Arbor Sword Club. It's run by a couple guys named Dave Hornstra and Terry Gruber. And it's modern fencing for the most part, but it's literally just a sparring club. Once a week you come in, bring whatever you just fence, right? And it's a really chill atmosphere and it was really fun.


Guy Windsor: Just show up and fight.


Adam Franti: Yeah. And David and Terry are honestly, like, two of the best fencers I've ever fenced. They're superb fencers and they're really fun. And the atmosphere is just very chill and relaxed and welcoming. And so I started with a friend of mine just playing around with the longswords again. They had like an intro to HEMA class once a year and you go through that. And I was like, I vaguely remember some of this from years and years ago. And so we started playing around with it, and that was in 2015, which was around just when the first edition of Forgeng’s Meyer translation came out. So on top of that being pretty new and being accessible. Dave Hornstra is a close friend of Jeff Forgeng. Forgeng actually used to live in Michigan and the two of them were really close friends and like fenced all the time. So I had this sort of like connection through Dave to Forgeng and through Forgeng I was like, well, let's try this one out. And I think the moment I kind of got serious about Meyer was I went to an event and took a class on Meyer rapier with Rob Rutherford. And that was the first time I had seen someone move like the images, like the woodcuts looked. I had always sort of thought like that big turned out front foot. You're just going to like, break your knees. What are you doing? And then I saw Rob. Oh, it blew my mind. And so I went back and wouldn't shut up about it and started practising just the foot turning and hip dynamics and everything.


Guy Windsor: You’ve got to get it right, because if you don't get it right, you will fuck your knee. But if you do get it right, it's perfectly safe for the knee.


Adam Franti: Yeah, yeah. And that was that was the moment I was like, okay, this is the thing I'm going to do. I'm going to I'm going to concentrate on it.


Guy Windsor: Because you were seduced by the footwork, not the pluderhosen.


Adam Franti: It's a bit of both. And I mean, one of the big things at first too, was that like the woodcuts in Meyer are just are so beautiful. They're so elegant and they're so detailed and I could stare at them for hours. You can't see it, but I've got a big kind of cut out thing right on my wall just behind the monitor here. But yeah, and so that was part of it. And the other part of it was just like, it's sometimes fun to just play around with reading through the Stücke and just trying stuff out. It was pretty fun. But then like being able to connect it to like, okay, this is depicting some pretty serious and effective methods of movement and then being able to extrapolate that and the rest of the things and then I’ve more or less been reading it constantly and thinking about it all the time, ever since.


Guy Windsor: Fair enough. So you were seduced by the footwork. Honestly, I think for me it is the most interesting thing in Meyer is the mechanics. I don't do Meyer in any depth because I don't read German and I don't like depending on translations. But he has a lot of really interesting is going on and it’s really interesting to me particularly how the hip placement stuff and the foot placement stuff. It's different to what Viggiani was writing 20 years earlier, but it has a very similar purpose. To my mind that turned out front foot has a lot in common with Fiore’s stepping the foot out of the way. It basically opens up the space for the hips to turn to the side that the foot is going.


Adam Franti: Yeah, I agree. Yeah. So part of it too, was you mentioned languages. I took German in high school and a tiny bit in college, so I was pretty familiar. I could read a good chunk of it when I started just looking at the German. And then obviously since then I've done a lot more work and I've been working on my own about it and I can read German pretty comfortably and I made a translation for myself of Andre Paurenfeyndt who was an early 16th century writer who did some sword and Messer and staff sort of thing. And I recently translated Götz von Berlichingen’s autobiography.


Guy Windsor: Have you published that anywhere?


Adam Franti: No, the translation is complete, but I'm writing biography sections because part of the thing, part of the fun for me when I was translating it was like, okay, what is he talking about now? Because he would just mention these things back to back and sort of without really any reference to time. And so I was like what is this conflict that he's part of? And so I'd go and read about Ulrich von Württemberg for a while. And so I have these big chunks that are kind of setting the context of what he's talking about so that you can actually learn something rather than just be confused the whole time.


Guy Windsor: So you're producing, shall we say, a scholarly edition with a translation. Without putting too heavy emphasis on the word ‘scholarly’, it just means it takes a proper academic approach and interest. It doesn't mean it's impossible to read because it's so badly written.


Adam Franti: Right. Yeah.


Guy Windsor: I hope not. It might be. I’ve not seen your work. You might be the worst writer on the planet, but I doubt it.


Adam Franti: My professional background is literally a historical interpreter, like my job is to make history accessible to people who might not care about it because they're forced to be there on a family vacation. And so my professional background is pointed towards popular history, right? And so I have a lot of respect for that, and I have a respect for the role that fiction and podcasts and other kind of popular media play in people's perceptions of history and how they get into it. So the point is to make it accessible and easy to read. And even the translation that I did is trying to not necessarily modernise the language, but to make it readable in the same way that like if you can read the German and you can get your brain switched to the 16th century gear where it's like, okay, here's the start of the sentence. And then here's 14 unrelated clauses and here's the end of the sentence and you can kind of get your brain to click with that, like Götz is a really entertaining writer. He's funny and there's a lot of like subtle digs. He talks about the emperor a couple of times and relays some jokes and stuff. And it's really hard to get with a literal translation because it's just so patchy and then uninteresting.


Guy Windsor: Honestly, the strict definition of a literal translation is a word by word direct translation. Which doesn't take into account the phrases or the context. And they're completely useless. Honestly, they have no place in anything I don’t think because like in many cases a word in the target language can have like five different possible English translations, all of which mean different things. So yes, I'm glad you're actually writing it. So basically my feeling of the translation is the person, a modern person reading it now should feel the same way about it as a person who was a native speaker of the target of the original language in the time that it was written. It should be that clear, right? So if the original writer was a terrible writer and everything is very unclear, it's all right for the translation to be unclear because you're just you're reproducing that experience. So when will the book be done?


Adam Franti: It depends on how hard I work on it. Most of it's done. There are a couple of more complicated sort of context parts I have to write. Götz was involved in the German Peasants War. And so I'm trying to write something no longer than three or four pages long that covers what was going on with the German Peasants War, which is difficult because it's a pretty complicated conflict. And, you know, it's mostly just like I'm waiting until I'm satisfied with what I've done, and I'm my own harshest critic. So, you know, hopefully soon. But I'll be happy to send you a draft.


Guy Windsor: And when it's done and published, you should come back on the podcast and we can tell everybody about it.


Adam Franti: Sure.


Guy Windsor: That’s good because that's one of the hardest things. I think writing a book is hard. Editing it and producing it so it's actually publishable is just as hard. And then letting the people who would be interested in it if they knew about it, know about it, it's just as hard again. So, yes, I'm deeply sympathetic to the problem of someone writing in an obscure niche who very much needs to get in touch with the sort of people who might actually want to buy his book.


Adam Franti: Right. Right.


Guy Windsor: Okay. So going back to Meyer, which I'm sure you'll be thrilled to do and now, I mean you call your club the Lansing Longsword Guild. So are you focussing on the longsword stuff?


Adam Franti: Longsword is kind of our main and it's mostly because like longsword has the most visible presence in HEMA and the so called Longsword Guild, mostly because like Lansing Historical Fencers Guild or Lansing, you know, it's a little longer and just LLG is a nice kind of short.


Guy Windsor: Okay.


Adam Franti: We do most of I assume that most of the beginners come in are mostly interested in longsword. And my sort of basic beginners sort of curriculum thing is structured on the longsword, but I encourage people to play with everything and like everything within what Meyer teaches. So that's the dusack and rapier and dagger and pollarms. But also if they're interested in, say, you know, Fiore or if they're interested in later rapier or they're interested in military cutlass or whatever, I encourage them to play with it as well. Because I don't want to be a roadblock to somebody's interest. I want to be a benefactor. I want to be somebody who helps them.


Guy Windsor: Yeah, it's part of your job as the instructor to help them find the thing that's most interesting to them.


Adam Franti: Hmm.


Guy Windsor: Okay. There's an awful lot of guff that gets talked about Meyer’s longsword, and suffers from being a part of a larger system. And it's the part of the larger system that appears to be exclusively sportive, right? Because in 1570s Germany, people were not wandering around with longswords as sidearms and they weren't generally fighting duels with longswords. If they were civilians that were using rapiers like civilised people and more military minded people will be using dusacken, hoofing great big cutting swords.


Adam Franti: Maybe. Maybe. So we know that, like you're probably using a rapier in the mid-16th century for sure.


Guy Windsor: If you are any kind of civilised person, yes.


Adam Franti: Yeah, yeah. And the distinction between military people and civilians in places is very blurry. It's extremely blurry. And so we know that as early as the 1520s, people who lived in cities would probably be carrying rapiers as a sidearm, or at least something that we might call a rapier. And I don't really want to get into the whole rapier/sidesword thing.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. Long, pointy swords with a complex hilt.


Adam Franti: Yes. But there's also like, obviously art isn't photography, right? It doesn't actually necessarily depict reality, it depicts what people believe reality is in a weird way. So like, obviously there's a reason to depict people who live in cities carrying rapiers, but there's the same sense of where in order to show like this guy is a soldier, you give him a Katzbalger. Whether or not soldiers actually carry Katzbalgers at the time, it was something that people believed indicated that that's a soldier or that's a mercenary. That's a Landsknechte rather than a Swiss guy, because they continue showing Swiss mercenaries wearing longswords into the 17th century in art. So whether that's reflective of reality or whether that's just because that's the artistic tag that says this guy is Swiss is a complicated question. So most of the time, at least of the duels that I know of, most of the writers would say ‘sword’. And I think it's fair to assume that most of them are single handed cutting, thrusting swords like rapiers. But we also know that duels are meant to be fair. And there are there are duels I'm aware of where people actually went home to get their sword. Or they had to borrow somebody else's because they had to have the same weapon.


Guy Windsor: And they didn't happen to have a sword with them at the time.


Adam Franti: So I think it's possible that people were still fighting duelling with longswords. And I think it's possible that people marching on campaign or mustering in the militia might have carried a longsword, but we don't know. And I think the distinction that modern people make about sport versus quote unquote martial is also pretty blurry in a 16th century like Fechtschulen were serious business, they were they were meant to be this way to show off your martial virtue and your citizenship and your prowess.


Guy Windsor: Just define a Fechtschule for the listeners who might not be aware.


Adam Franti: Yeah. So a Fechtschule was a fencing festival I think is probably the best way to put it. It was either a private, it could be very private. And you just hire a fencing master to oversee this sort of fencing competition. Or it took place in massive public parades and as part of huge holidays. And so like things like the Nuremberg Fair, which was a huge yearly thing, probably would have had a Fechtschule and probably would have had a shooting fest and probably would have had these sort of martial games attached to them because they were they were important for the sense of like


Guy Windsor: An event.


Adam Franti: German citizenship, such as it was in the 16th century. So they were fencing competitions. They used blunt swords, but the idea was to score a bleeding wound on your opponent's head, and that would determine the winner of that particular bout, and the winner would earn two gulden, which was about a week and a half pay for like an average journeyman.


Guy Windsor: That's a significant chunk of cash.


Adam Franti: It is. It'd be like a few hundred bucks today. So nothing life changing, but a pretty fair amount. Like, certainly enough to buy drinks for everybody else at the end of the night. So they were taken pretty seriously. And we know that Meyer petitioned the city of Strasbourg to run at least three of them. So he would have been the Fechtmeister. He would have been the guy basically running the entire show. And it took some serious chops to convince the city council to let you do that. So he must have been able to demonstrate his skill with a sword, whether that was just like showing them a big book, like, look, I've written this manuscript, I must be really cool. Or whether it was because like he actually fenced a few people and they were like, this guy knows what he’s talking about we don't really know but we know that he did petition to run a few Fechtschulen and he did run a few Fechtschulen actually and they were pretty big huge events that drew people from all around.


Guy Windsor: Sounds like a very serious fencing competition.


Adam Franti: Yeah. And I mean, it still is the intent is to be non-lethal. But we do know that people died in them so commonly. And actually, there's a record of a guy who died at a Fechtschule in 1591 in Augsburg. And this was especially annoying because Augsburg had only just recently made Fechtschulen legal again because they had been too violent for too long and the city council was like, that's enough. And then like two years later they finally had a guy that’s like, okay, we're going to start them back up again. Someone immediately died. So we know that they could be very violent and the expectation was that people were risking themselves, they were risking their health and they were risking their lives to perform in this very particular way. But the idea was not to kill people. But that's the same as duelling. Duelling isn't necessarily about killing people either. It's about showing off. It's about proving your prowess and your virtue.


Guy Windsor: Well, yeah, your honour is established by the fact that you showed up.


Adam Franti: Yep. Yep. Right.


Guy Windsor: And it's a common misconception. Like knights kind of clanging into each other because they can’t walk in their armour, the idea was to duel to find a winner. That's true in a judicial duel but in a kind of 16/17 century duel of honour, it's somebody's honour has been impugned and honour is satisfied by them showing up and fighting. Just because one person happens to survive and the other one happens to die doesn't mean that the person who dies was therefore dishonourable or wrong.


Adam Franti: Right. Yeah. And, like, dying in a duel was proof that you were a man. It’s another one of those misconceptions, I think, that sort of bleeds into this idea that you're talking about with Meyer is just kind of, oh, well, he's just a sport guy.


Guy Windsor: Which, just let the record show, I have never said.


Adam Franti: Right. Yeah, but I think having a more nuanced understanding of what ‘sport’ means. I mean, this was this was at a time where it was fun to swing cats by the tail. There were fun and games that were pretty horrible to us now. The idea that it's like Meyer was just like this, this modern sports fencer guy who didn't care about armies or whatever. If anybody out there is listening and they are sceptical, I would just say find a copy of the 1570 and read the introduction and try to count the number of times he refers to soldiers and war because it's a lot. He literally says “fencing is warfare in miniature” and he talks about how if you understand fencing, you can apply it more broadly to warfare. And he talks about war more than Fiore does. Go and check. I promise you it's real. But we have this cartoon idea that like well you do Fiore when you want to learn the real killing stuff and you do Meyer if you want to just do sport. And the thing is too that if you read beyond the longsword, then instantly it's like thrusts and crushing testicles and breaking arms and like hurling people to the ground with force. And literally in the dusack section, he has a line that says “and don't forget to seize the unmentionables”. That's not sportive. That's not fun.


Guy Windsor: It might be fun for the person doing it.


Adam Franti: Yeah.


Guy Windsor: But yeah. So the thing is, if you're doing the rapier. It’s got lots of cuts too, but plenty of thrusting and you're doing the dusack which I've seen in the Swedish Royal Armoury Museum in Stockholm. Walls and walls of these dusacks, which are like a yard long, a two inch wide blade. And you swing at somebody with that, you're going to take that leg off. And that's how you got that sort of play. And the longsword stuff for the fecht school. But I don't think you're supposed to just do one or the other, I think you are supposed to do the whole lot. And obviously, if you find yourself in the sort of fight that you are supposed to have a rapier with, but you are holding a longsword instead, you can run it through their face just fine.


Adam Franti: Yeah. It's really easy. It's very clearly meant to be you, you read every section, and then you have the whole of the art. And even in terms of the philosophy that he teaches, he's got the five words, which is like the basis of all the German, at least the Liechtenauer-derived German fencing literature, so that's strong and weak and vor and nach and indes. And so Meyer wrote his own version of the Zettel, the poetic recitation. So he wrote his own and he's got the first part that's basically like, remember, this is very moral, city authorities, this is to teach the youth to not gamble and not drink, and not,


Guy Windsor: Go whoring.


Adam Franti: Yes. Right after that part, the very first thing he mentions is the five words. He gives the five words right away. So he's very clearly still he considers himself part of this long term German literature of fencing, right? So he’s got the five words. He has the four openings and the parts of sword and all that other stuff. And then he's got provoker, taker, hitter, which is a sort of like every single cut can be considered, either a cut to provoke your opponent, to parry your opponent, a taker, or to hit your opponent. He teaches dusack.


Guy Windsor: What was the middle one? Taker?


Adam Franti: Taker.


Guy Windsor: Taker, as in one who takes. So provoke, take, hit.


Adam Franti: Yep. And he says you can understand every action as one of those things. And then in rapier he teaches like the four types of fencers. So he's got sort of a temperament sort of thing and so every bit of this overall system that we know of is taught in different parts of the book. So like you can read just the longsword and you can come away, I think, as a fairly competent fencer. But if you read the longsword and the dusack, you'll be a better fencer even more, if you can internalise the philosophy. And if you read the longsword and the dusack and the rapier and the dagger and the wrestling and the polearms, you'll have a fuller sense of what he's trying to teach.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. I mean, one thing I do like about Meyer, is it is very obviously, I think, a complete martial art.


Adam Franti: Yeah.


Guy Windsor: Like Fiore. It has everything, except mounted combat.


Adam Franti: He apparently was working on that with the manuscript he was working on when he died, which we call the Rostock manuscript, I think actually had a section or a planned section that was supposed to be about mounted fencing. And the one we recently just found, we're calling the Valdenz manuscript has armoured fencing as well, so it has foot combat, tournament type stuff.


Guy Windsor: Yeah, that's it. Because Meyer isn't just one book, is it?


Adam Franti: No.


Guy Windsor: The one everybody thinks of is the 1570. And that honestly, is the only one I've ever really looked at.


Adam Franti: Yeah. And it's the most comprehensive. It's the longest. It's the densest. It's also the prettiest, in my opinion, which is obviously very important. But so when I started, there was the two kind of important works, where it’s the 1570 treatise, the printed treatise. That was what they were dating. The 1568, which was the Lund manuscript, which is in Lund, Switzerland? Sweden, I think. And that was a manuscript that he wrote for a specific nobleman. I can't recall the name off the top of my head.


Guy Windsor: That he wrote or had written?


Adam Franti: I don't know that he penned it himself. But it is his work pretty obviously.


Guy Windsor: One would normally get a professional calligrapher to write it.


Adam Franti: I mean, he certainly hired an artist to do the images, the painted images. And then we had the unfinished Rostock manuscript, which also has a whole bunch of pretty cool stuff in there. And then only last year, they found the Valdenz manuscript, which is dated pretty confidently to 1561. And it's another manuscript that he wrote specifically to a person to like a nobleman as like, here's the art of the sword. And that has, I think, almost everything that the 1570 has. So it's got longsword, duscak, rapier, rapier and dagger, dagger, and some foot combat stuff in armour and pike. So yeah, a lot of really cool stuff in that one.


Guy Windsor: So he's pretty thorough. If you're into 16th century stuff and you want to complete martial art, Meyer is probably the place to go. Especially if you read German.


Adam Franti: Yeah. Yeah.


Guy Windsor: Well, one of the abiding themes of this podcast is Guy wishing he could speak German because there's so much cool stuff written in German. I think you've pretty comfortably explained why Meyer. Because really, why not? And, yeah, they have cool trousers. This business of the dusack. I see practice dusacks a lot, which are about 18 to 24 inches long. This big. They are like a big bowie knife. Because that appears to be sort of the length that it is drawn to most of the time in the plates. My feeling is that the sword should be an awful lot bigger. What do you think?


Adam Franti: I agree. I think they're so I wrote an article for Mike Chidester and the Lekuchner print that HEMA Bookshelf did. And so I wrote an essay about the transition from Messer to dusack.


Guy Windsor: I really also to read that before we had this. But I again, Michael sent me that that book, or I bought it, I can't remember why, it was included in something. And it's one of the ones which is sort of sitting there in my to read pile because it's all about German stuff. And it keeps not quite making it to the top of the pile.


Adam Franti: I've got like Greg Mele’s two Fiore volumes, the real big ones and it's same thing like it's sitting there and it looks great on the bookshelf and I just haven't got around to it.


Guy Windsor: You’ve got to get that, it’s gorgeous.


Adam Franti: Yeah, I flipped through it. I've read part of it and it is really, really good. So part of I think what's going on in the artistic rendering of the dusack is that it was considered, by at least the 1570s, by maybe even the 1520s, because Paurenfeyndt uses the word Tessack in his Messer section, is that the Messer or the dusack are considered just the generic one handed sword. That's the sword that you learn to fence with. That's probably the one that kids are fencing with. And we know that there's records of private Fechtschulen that are run for rich kids like their dad throws them that are as young as six. And they're probably fencing with dusacks.


Guy Windsor: Not fencing to a bleeding head wound.


Adam Franti: Probably not a bleeding head wound. Because they did call them wet or dry. And wet is when you fenced blood and dry is when you don't. But we know that like little Georg Schurl won a Fechtschule when he was six and he beat a kid who was eight in order to do it. His dad threw the Fechschule so it could have easily just been.


Guy Windsor: But you can’t really argue with a bash in the head. I mean it's pretty obvious that someone's been hit in the head.


Adam Franti: Yeah. There's a sense that, that, that you learn the duscack because it's the generic one handed fencing tool. And then once you know how to do that, you can apply it to any weapon in one hand. And so we know Paurenfeyndt says this openly and so does Meyer. Like this is the weapon that you use to learn how to fence with a sword in one hand.


Guy Windsor: I mean, we like to make all these kind of fancy academic distinctions between a messer and a storte and a falchion. And they're all just machetes really. And yeah, my feeling would be to use them all the same way.


Adam Franti: Yeah. And I put a short, very short list of the various types of sword in one hand that were used in the 16th century in that essay that I wrote. I deliberately made it shorter, because if I were to list every single one, we'd be there for days. And it's like what is what is the distinction between a Katzbalger and a Messer? There's not really one. There's some hilt morphology, but.


Guy Windsor: An academic would say it's that very round figure eight cross guard thing. Basically you've got like an ordinary cross hilted sword and you’ve bent each quillan round to kind of touch the sword. And so you have this of circular thing instead of a straight one and that's fundamentally it, I think.


Adam Franti: Yeah. And I think like if you were to take somebody who's a competent dusack fencer and tell them they're going to fence a dusack bout and then you hand them a Katzbalger.


Guy Windsor: No difference.


Adam Franti: I think they'd be perfectly able to use it, perfectly fine.


Guy Windsor: If they couldn't, you'd have to really worry about how they train. It's a blade about ye long and there’s your opponent over there with something similar. I think degrees of hand protection do make a difference. If you have a simple cross guard, there are things you will not do that you will do if you have a basket hilt. So, like parrying close to the guard, for instance, like all the mediaeval parries, wherever a mediaeval parry described it is middle to middle always. Because you want your opponent's blade a solid foot, at least, away from your fingers. But when your fingers are enclosed in a steel basket, then maybe that rapier or a sciabola or whatever else, you could take the parry much closer to the hand. But other than that it's basically the same.


Adam Franti: I think it was the reflexive, this is what people train with this what people fence with. And it can be a stick. You just take a stick and whack at your friends with it. You do that nowadays. And the idea that kids wouldn't be doing that in a culture that's saturated with fencing and wrestling and the sort of martial sports as a way to express your manliness, is insane. Like, of course they'd be doing that.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. I mean, little kids would be swinging sticks around the way that kids get around making broom broom noises and pretending to steer.


Adam Franti: Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Guy Windsor: Okay. I'm not sure we can even do this on a podcast. But one thing I would really, really like to do. Maybe next time I'm over in Madison because I saw Chris and Heidi last time I was there, but we didn't actually get any Meyer stuff done. But I have my own ideas as to how that footwork stuff we were talking about earlier with the hip rotations and whatnot, how that works with a single handed sword.


Adam Franti: Yeah.


Guy Windsor: And to me, it feels almost sinfully nice. It's like when you connect it up just right the way the way I'm doing it, it may be not at all what Meyer intended, but you get this sort of, “I’m so going to fuck you up I won't even feel it.”


Adam Franti: Yeah I think dusack for me was what made a lot of this stuff click for the first time. I did that workshop with Rob Rutherford and that was about the rapier. And I decided arbitrarily, it's like, all right, I've been doing the like the Midwest tournament circuit and everything. And they had a bunch of just sword in one hand sort of mixed weapon type tournaments. And I was like, all right, I'm going to make Meyer rapier sort of my main thing, okay? When I do these other things. But obviously, in order to understand that, I should do the dusack first. And so I started reading the dusack and practising the dusack, and that was when like all of this kind of hip rotation cut stuff and people pick up a dusack and they treat it like a modern sabre, like a modern fencing sabre. And it's like if you can cut into a cut that somebody else is doing that's just from their wrists because it's such a small little light weapon and you're driving yours from your hip, you'll obliterate them. And you do it looking like you're moving slower than they are. There's something that's so satisfying about just like taking one big long like, cut from around your head and the distance is just perfect. You just crash through their parry and thrust in the face. And it's so sweet. And I don't want want to get you to rewrite everything you're doing. But I have a series of dusack videos that I actually did for the HFA, before the HFA went defunct that is my best representation of what I think it ought to look like.


Guy Windsor: Send me a link and we'll put it in the show notes.


Adam Franti: Yeah, will do.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. Excellent. Okay. All right. Now I do have to ask, what is a murder hobo?


Adam Franti: So murder hobo is it's an RPG term. It comes from like the DnD. And the idea is basically like if you got a bunch of people playing Dungeons and Dragons and the game is narrative. So it's unconstrained in a sense that like video games aren't. And one of the very common things that groups of DnD players will do is just like murder everybody. Like be they'll like, I want to go buy this potion from this guy. And it's like, well, that potion cost this much and you don't have that much money. You just take it anyway. Because what's stopping you? It's only the narrative that's constraining you. And so it's become a sort of a term that you label certain types of player with because Dungeons and Dragons is a kind of a game where, this is another way I know, Heidi, by the way, it's like we're both role playing people. So I hung out with her a lot at GenCon like a month ago. Dungeons and Dragons is a kind of a game that really the only meaningful way that you can interact with the world is through violence, because everything is based on how your character does violence. And that's just the way the game is built, right? And so it makes sense that like you have players who, when they're confronted with a narrative obstacle, just murder it rather than anything else. So it's obviously not everybody, but it's common enough that that the term murder hobo is applied to these characters who like are homeless. They're just wandering around.


Guy Windsor: So it's applied to the DnD character. It's not applied to the player?


Adam Franti: Half a dozen of one, 6 of the other, right? But it's a certain type of approach, I guess, to a style of game like Dungeons and Dragons.


Guy Windsor: Okay. Yeah. There's one slight problem with using it for your podcast though because when Heidi said you should maybe ask Adam onto your show. And I went, okay, I'll have a look. And I Googled your podcast. Some other bugger has got an RPG murder hobo podcast on whatever and I couldn't find yours until Heidi sent me the direct link. I will put a direct link to yours into the show notes. But what is the exact name of your show?


Adam Franti: It's Murderhobos. All one word.


Guy Windsor: Okay. And that's the whole name, just Murderhobos.


Adam Franti: Yeah.


Guy Windsor: Murderhobos with Adam Franti. Got to put the drama in. Obviously, I do my research, so I actually know the answer to half the questions that I ask on the show, but just pretend that I don’t. Tell us about your podcast, Adam. What's it about?


Adam Franti: So my podcast is about basically it's about masculinity and its violent expression through history. And so what I wanted to do was I was approached by a friend of mine who's another fencer whose name is Tony Williams, and he actually told me to tell you that he learnt how to do Fiore, because he's a Fiore guy, from your books.


Guy Windsor: You’re kidding? Aw, splendid. Excellent.


Adam Franti: So Tony actually approached me and asked if I wanted to do a podcast and I kind of always had wanted to, but I didn't want to do the editing. So this was sort of a match made in heaven where he was like, I'll do all your editing for you. And I was like, sweet, let's do it. And after talking a little bit,  I tried to convince him to let me do a War of 1812 podcast, but he said no.


Guy Windsor: That’s a very niche audience.


Adam Franti: Yeah. And so instead we were talking, you know, we started talking and the idea came up of, of concentrating on these figures that are adjacent to or ancillary to historical fencing like Donald McBane.


Guy Windsor: I love McBane.


Adam Franti: Yeah. And so the idea was we'd research these kind of things and really get at the root of what were the cultures they were engaging in, what was the meaning of all this stuff that they're doing. And this is very related to like my Master's research, which is about I studied the American militia in the War of 1812. And a lot of my research pointed out that they had a very different conception of what a soldier was and was supposed to be versus what a citizen is and is supposed to be. And like that sort of expression of citizenship was really, really important. And that's also connected to ideas about duelling in the early 19th century and ideas about just like being a good father and a good husband. And it's all twisted up in these very complicated ideas about masculinity. And that's really hard to talk about in a vacuum, right? Writing a book or doing a podcast is basically just like structures of masculinity through history. Is that same sort of dry academic writing we were talking about before.


Guy Windsor: You're not going to get many people listening to that.


Adam Franti: Right? And so what we decided to do was that we would sneak it in by hiding it in a package of interesting, violent men in history. So we talk about William Marshal and obviously we did Götz von Berlichingen.


Guy Windsor: Just for those who don’t know, who was William Marshal and why should we care?


Adam Franti: William Marshal was one of the most famous knights in history. He was a Norman knight in the late 12th and early 13th centuries.


Guy Windsor: See, you call him a Norman knight, but I think of him as English.


Adam Franti: Yeah, that's common.


Guy Windsor: He did most of his knightly in relation to England.


Adam Franti: Yeah, I mean, he was an Angevin. He was, he was part of the Angevin sort of dynasty empire, whatever you want to call it, as opposed to the Capetians. And so I say in my podcast, the distinction between English and French at the time is again blurry.


Guy Windsor: These French upstarts that come over a century or so before and sort of taken over the place.


Adam Franti: Right. So anyway, he was a knight, commonly considered English, now, who got famous as a young man because he was like unbelievably good at tournaments and he claimed on his deathbed or before his death to have captured 500 knights. So that's 500 ransoms, which was quite a bit of change. It’s a lot of money.


Guy Windsor: Because this is the sort of tournament where you take your opponents hostage. And then their family has to ransom them back.


Adam Franti: Yeah. Yeah.


Guy Windsor: That's a very different conception of tournaments to HEMA tournaments where you hit your opponent a few times and then they go away. I think we should bring that back, actually. HEMA tournaments would be a lot more interesting. Let's say I was fencing Jake Norwood in a tournament and the winner took the loser back to their house for, like a month where you can hang out and fence with each other. So this is a really good idea. Winner takes the loser back to their house. And then the loser’s family has to also pay for the flights to get them home again. That would be brilliant. That would be such a good way to do a tournament.


Adam Franti: Yeah. And also, I think, too, that sort of speaks to kind of an element of culture that is a little harder to understand, because modern people have this conception of tournaments in medieval warfare as this like absolutely brutal kill fest. Yeah. And it wasn't like that. People died in battles all the time, of course, and people died in tournaments all the time, too. But, like, this was an international peerage


Guy Windsor: It was the closest thing, I think, to reasonably modern times is how pilots interacted with each other in the First World War.


Adam Franti: Yeah. Yeah. They were very specifically basing their ideals on this perception of medieval knighthood.


Guy Windsor: A lot of this was single combat between pilots. And the thing is, when somebody gets shot down, they would get taken back to the pilots’ mess and looked after as a brother pilot. Because there's this sort of fraternity of aviation. Most famously Marshal Boucicaut who led the French vanguard at Agincourt, was captured and died about four or five years later still in England. Because the French crown couldn't afford his ransom. He wasn't locked in a dungeon somewhere. He was an honoured guest in somebody’s house. He just wasn't allowed to leave.


Adam Franti: Yeah. And so that kind of international brotherhood, that kind of peerage is a lot of sort of what I'm trying to sort of get at with the podcast. So would I talk about Götz von Berlichingen, of course, a 16th century knight who was a robber knight.


Guy Windsor: This is somebody I've never heard of. So just say his name really slowly.


Adam Franti: So Götz or Gottfried, Götz is just short for Gottfried, von Berlichingen.


Guy Windsor: Okay.


Adam Franti: And he was early 16th century knight. He was a robber knight. He called himself a poor knight. So poor as in without wealth rather than like bad at knighthood. But so he like learned from family members and uncles and whatnot about feud warfare. And you and I have beef. And so I'm going to capture all your peasants and I'm going to take your trade carts and I'm going to burn farmsteads and stuff like that until you apologise. And so that kind of like low simmering warfare was again, it was warfare, but also the goal is to capture your opponents and force them to negotiate with you rather than murder them. And of course, it looked very different if you lived in, say, Nuremberg, where all of your trade carts and your merchants and stuff are being captured by these bandits out in the hills. And you also have to pay enormous ransoms, too.


Guy Windsor: And it looks very different if you're not a knight and they just kill you.


Adam Franti: Yeah.


Guy Windsor: So this this really only applied to rich people. And I think one of the reasons why some of the armour is so fantastically spectacular, is because it’s this is a giant statement on the battlefield. Look, I'm worth a fuckton of cash. If you kill me, you get to keep the armour, yeah, but that's all you get. But if you capture me instead…


Adam Franti: Yeah, I think so too. So Götz is pretty famous because he wrote an autobiography in his eighties. He died when he was like 82, and he wrote an autobiography that was sort of a retrospective justification of his various feuds. And it's really interesting. And so one of the one of the things that he lost his right hand in 1504. He was like 22.


Guy Windsor: So he did most of this with just one hand.


Adam Franti: He had an iron hand. He had an iron prosthetic that was made for him. So he said basically from 1504 after he lost his arm to 1525 or so, this was at the end of the German Peasants War. He was basically captured and put in house arrest for 16 years or something like that. And then he was brought out of retirement by Charles V because he needed to like invade North Africa and France at the same time and needed dudes. And so he's like, Hey, Götz , you're popular. Round up a bunch of your boys, we’re going on an adventure and he did. And like Götz  talks about how he'd been in house arrest so long, he wasn't sure that he'd have the clout to recruit. And the instant that he let people know that he was out and recruiting again, he had like hundreds of people who were like flooding to him. And then almost all of them died of disease when they got to Austria. So the idea of the podcast was to look at guys like that, who are very stereotypically masculine and violent and participants in these duelling and feuding and warfare cultures and everything, and use them to break it down and to talk about in more detail about what all that means and why it's important and why it might be applicable to modern historical fencers.


Guy Windsor: Right. Do you know how he lost his hand?


Adam Franti: It was he a cannonball that was fired by a Nuremberger who was actually on his side. It was a friendly fire incident. Hit the panel of his sword. And it split the pommel in half, and it drove half of the pommel into his wrist.


Guy Windsor: Wow. That is detailed.


Adam Franti: He was actually at the time riding up and down in front of the siege lines of a city called Lanshut. Wanting people to come out and joust him. Like single combat. He was challenging these guys to come out and fight him and this Nuremberger fired. He was carrying a spear, we know that because he says that he looks down and he saw his hand hanging from a flap of skin and the spear was under his horse. So he was carrying a lance. And so I think that the cannonball either hit his scabbarded sword or a sword scabbardedon his horse. But anyway, that's just surmise. But yeah, half of the pommel splintered off.


Guy Windsor: That’s bad luch. But they were pretty good at amputations.


Adam Franti: Yes. he was treated, he was actually brought in to Lanshut, the city that he was helping to besiege and was in there when there was a sickness called the red dysentery that was sweeping through. And so a whole bunch of the defenders of that city died and Götz  got sick with it and survived.


Guy Windsor: After having has hand chopped off. Wow, that is one tough, tough, motherfucker. Not everyone survives having their hand chopped off in 1502. My God. So you've also had a discussion of Donald McBane, correct? Anyone else we should know about?


Adam Franti: So the first four episodes are out now. I think our sixth episode is coming out. I'm not sure when this podcast will release, but our next episode is coming out on.


Guy Windsor: I'm not sure either, mate. It’s a bit chaotic over here.


Adam Franti: But the very next episode is coming out on this Sunday, which is the September 18th, and that's about John Brown.


Guy Windsor: Oh, right. John Brown the chap who is the absolute nutter anti-slavery guy.


Adam Franti: Yeah.


Guy Windsor: Oh, I was reading about this just the other day. He tried to take the armoury at Springfield was it?


Adam Franti: It was Harpers Ferry. The second sort of half of this first season of episodes are going to be less about sword fighter guys and more about guns but like the first half or so we started with William Marshal. We did Götz von Berlichingen and we had the Duel of the Mignons, which was a French duel.


Guy Windsor: That's a fantastic story. Like 6 of them duelled and five of them died. Something like that.


Adam Franti: Yep. I think four died. One was really badly injured for the rest of his life. And then the fifth one, very lightly wounded.


Guy Windsor: Had a minor scratch.


Adam Franti: And then Donald McBane. And the last episode we just we had out a couple of weeks ago was Alexander Hamilton.


Guy Windsor: Okay. Because he duelled with a pistol, didn’t he?


Adam Franti: Yes. So we the way we're doing it is we have these biography episodes, and they are around an hour and a half, 2 hours long or so. And then every two weeks after that, we have a Q&A episode so listeners can send in questions, and me and Tony will respond to them after we stop by chat about it. And the idea is like, I'm at least in some definition, a professional historian. And I think history is and always has been collaborative. And I think there is a sense amongst consumers of history that there's like a big difference between academic history and history that people can feel and interact with and everything is there really isn't. I'm a big historiography theory nerd too. So I try to bring theory into it and discuss it because again, it's not scary. It's just another layer of interpretation.


Guy Windsor: I'm guessing that quite a few of the listeners right now are thinking, what is historiography?


Adam Franti: It is the easiest way to describe it is it's the conversation between historians about particular topics. So when I research, say John Brown, the historiography of John Brown has come to various conclusions because everybody who studies John Brown comes at it from a slightly different perspective. So with John Brown especially, like you mentioned there, there is this belief that he was insane, right? That he was a crazy person. And so people that are studying that idea are going to come away with slightly different conclusions and slightly different evidence.


Guy Windsor: He did at some point, either he did it himself or he was present when people got to literally chopped to pieces with sabres. He was cool with that.


Adam Franti: Yeah. It's the Pottawatomie massacre.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. He was happy about that.


Adam Franti: But the thing is, you'll have to listen to the episode to find out. He did this only a few years before the Civil War, when hundreds of thousands of people got shot to pieces on battlefields over the same question. So were all those people insane too? So it's a difficult question, and I do talk about this in the episode, the perspective that he did it because he was insane was something that was pushed by the sort of moderate Republicans of the time because they didn't want to look like they, as anti-slavery activists, in a not very intense sense they didn't want to be associated with somebody like John Brown who was literally willing to kill people to end slavery. And so the angle that he was insane and aberrant became very attractive because they didn't want to be painted with the same brush. And so whereas the Southerners were looking at it as like, well, no, no, he is an abolitionist. This is what all our abolitionists are like. This is what they want to do.


Guy Windsor: They want to come to your house and chop you up with sabres.


Adam Franti: Exactly. And so like that question actually becomes really important in the historiography because how you approach it and how you deal with it is an easy way to suss out the various kind of approaches. The answer that a historian will have to the question of whether John Brown was insane is going to say a lot about their methodology, their approach to the question and the sources that they use and the point they're trying to make.


Guy Windsor: Do you think he was insane?


Adam Franti: No, no. I think he was extremely and unusually committed to an ideal.


Guy Windsor: He was also very quirky in the way he raised his kids.


Adam Franti: Yeah. Oh, God. Yeah.


Guy Windsor: But then actually, that sort of quirkiness was not that uncommon back then.


Adam Franti: He was a product of the second Great Awakening, which was a big religious movement at the time. And when you compare what John Brown was saying to memoirs of Civil War soldiers, especially, people who fought on the federal side and especially the people who fought on the federal side, who were abolitionists before the war. He has a lot of similarities. And this was something that John Brown was not unusual in. The idea that he was willing to kill to answer the question about slavery.


Guy Windsor: Which actually I think is fair. I mean, if you see somebody has a slave and the best way to free that slave is to kill the person who has the slave. I think the person who's taken the slave to own another person has kind of sacrificed their right to be treated like a decent human being. If it is necessary to kill him, fair enoguh.


Adam Franti: Right. And ultimately, there's a lot of there's a lot of bullshit about the Civil War that's a product of a very particular historical theory called The Lost Cause that basically tries to minimise the role that slavery played in the Confederacy. And ultimately, the only the only answer to give to the Lost Causers is that the federal side, the Union, did not start the war to end slavery. That wasn't the issue. The issue was to restore the Union. And there were quite a few very prominent leaders of the federal side, like George McClellan, who wanted to do it without actually disrupting slavery at all. They didn't want to treat it. They didn't want to deal with it. It was a political question to deal with after the rebellion had ended. But the Confederacy was from day one, page one of everything that they ever wrote, was willing to kill to preserve the institution of slavery. That was what they seceded for and that was what they began the war for explicitly.


Guy Windsor: They said so themselves at the time.


Adam Franti: And there's just no other way to look at it.


Guy Windsor: So here's a question for you. There is no question that there is a romance to the Confederacy that enabled all sorts of songs and popular culture. When I was a kid I watched The Dukes of Hazzard on TV. And their car has the Confederate flag on its roof. And I had a model car and I’d go broom, broom, broom, broom, broom. There is no way in hell I would be playing with a car that had a swastika on it. But fundamentally, there isn't really much difference. So how did they manage to pull off this this sort of romantic disguise?


Adam Franti: Yeah. I mean, that's a really complicated question, but for the most part, a lot of it was early 20th century and late kind of 19th century ideas of American nationalism. So this wasn't something that happened immediately after the war. And a lot of pictures that you see of like Union and Confederate veterans like shaking hands at like parades and stuff were staged specifically to give the impression that this was an aberration of American unity.


Guy Windsor: The idea of the war was to preserve the union. And so you have to have some kind of rapprochement afterwards.


Adam Franti: Yeah. And so another person that I cover in my podcast, Teddy Roosevelt, actually talks about how his family had ancestors on both sides of the war. And he wrote himself like an autobiography of his childhood. And that's what he starts with, is basically I had ancestors on both sides of the war, obviously, like most of us did. And he's perpetuating this idea of national unity and it has this element of obscuring the horrific atrocity that was chattel slavery, right? But it served the interests of the American state. It served the interests of individual states within the American state. And it was it was a long process that was not just let happen. There was a lot of resistance to it as it was going on. But basically the late 19th century, the early 20th century, is where a lot of these Confederate statues that are being taken down now were initially put up on the like. And that goes into the 1920s and thirties of this recasting the war as, again, this aberration of national unity of something that that had causes that were more important than slavery. And so like leaning on thing, like taking things out of context and saying like, oh, look at this Union commander said this about slavery and like, oh, look there was racism in the north and stuff like that. That’s all true. But when you take it out of context and use it to serve this particular historical theory, it gives this impression that it wasn't about slavery, right? That it wasn't actually a war about preserving the institution of chattel slavery and whatnot. And it's something that obviously still has elements that are expressed in the culture today. And it's a really, really effective propaganda campaign. It was a terrifically effective propaganda campaign.


Guy Windsor: Yeah, because I listen to quite a lot of country music and Dixie. It's mint juleps and hard work and hand tooled leather saddles and all that sort of stuff. And the whole sort of millions of people enslaved to make it, basically to give you the leisure to sit on your porch and sip a mint julep as the sun goes down.


Adam Franti: Okay. So to round it back to historiography, right?


Guy Windsor: Please, yes. You're better at this podcasting thing that I am. I was going to go off on another track.


Adam Franti: So basically, you have the question, John Brown, question mark, giant question mark. And in order to ask effective questions and to give reasonably well-argued answers, you have to look at basically everything other historians have said about John Brown and compare them all together. And the product of all those historians talking about slightly different topics from different perspectives creates this conversation.


Guy Windsor: It’s the historical equivalent of a meta-analysis in science.


Adam Franti: Yeah, that's exactly what it is. It's like the literature review in other things. And so historiography doesn't have the answers. It's just the process of collaborative research and comparison research and things like that. So it's consultation with other historians about the same questions is basically what it is.


Guy Windsor: Fascinating. Now I have a couple of questions that I ask all my guests. Do you listen to the show?


Adam Franti: I do.


Guy Windsor: It’s very rare for one of my guests to listen to the show. Actually, I sent you the questions in advance, so you should know what's coming anyway. All right. Okay. So what is the best idea you haven't acted on?


Adam Franti: I've been requested several times to write a book about to dusack. Because I did the dusack videos and everything. And again, I started working with the dusack because I wanted to do rapier and I got sidetracked with it and I was like, this is actually really fascinating. And I was told by several other people, like no one is fencing with the dusack the way you are, like no one. And so like my friend James Riley told me to make the videos. And so I did that because he asked me to. And I've had other people ask me like, hey, when's your book about dusack coming out? As if it's been something that I've been working on and I haven't at all.


Guy Windsor: Okay, so why a book?


Adam Franti: I don't know, that's what people want, I think. I think working from books is a bit easier than videos. Yeah, I think. That's just me, though. I can't speak for everybody's brain, but the way my brain works, I can vibe with the written word which is probably why I'm a historian.


Guy Windsor: Fair enough. I produce books and courses for me from the production side of things, if I need to lay out a complete linear argument or complete picture of something, a book is the best way to do that. Or several books. Because often it doesn’t fit inside just one. But for teaching people to move, video is better.


Adam Franti: Yeah.


Guy Windsor: So actually, you might want to borrow my workbook approach where you've got the text but wherever you are discussing, what are you holding there?


Adam Franti: This is my beginner's course, basically.


Guy Windsor: Foundations of Fencing, OK.


Adam Franti: Yeah it's based on longsword.


Guy Windsor: Do you have links to videos of the actions in the text?


Adam Franti: I intend to. I don't have them yet because I haven't shot them.


Guy Windsor: Okay. That, to my mind, is the best of both worlds. So you get the whole this is the structure of the system. This is why we do it this way. This is how it all fits together, which the book is really good for. But you can also get the videos in there, which is, this is how it should look. This is how the movement works because people copy movies better to video then they can work it out.


Adam Franti: Yeah, yeah, I agree. And I mean, the way that that I work this, it's our beginner class. So the idea is that in within my club, the people who are at the same level, they're working on the same lesson, working together on class time, and then I'll come and give them an evaluation. If they have questions, I can show them. So like the first two or three lessons in there are basically just about body mechanics. It's about how to make a good cut and how a good cut is a good parry and how you make those with the strength of your whole body. And so the idea is they read it. And I was a college professor for some time. And I know that expecting that all of your students to have read the homework is not always true, but I expect it nonetheless. And then they go through and they work on it, and then I'll give them like a quick evaluation. They move on to the next lesson. The intention is that this is a book for my students, which is why I haven't really like promoted it too much. But it is available on Lulu and I don't have any problem with people using it.


Guy Windsor: Send me a link for the show notes. You are allowed to plug your books on my show. It's okay. It's part of the kind of podcasting covenant. When you come on somebody’s show, you're allowed to plug your shit.


Adam Franti: Yeah. I agree. I agree. And like, the intention is to have video versions of each lesson that are put up that people can go and look at. I just haven't got around to it yet. Global pandemic and everything, you know?


Guy Windsor: Yeah, totally. So you are thinking of putting together a dusack book.


Adam Franti: Yeah, it's an idea I've been munching on for a while. I'm not sure exactly how I want to approach it, because there are several methodological directions I could take. I could do something that's just Meyer's dusack. But the problem that I personally have is that, well, why would I need to write a book? The book is already there.


Guy Windsor: People ask me about smallsword stuff and I'm like, just read Angelo. It's all there. And it's even in English.


Adam Franti: You know, it's not perfect. And I think there's a lot that's more implied or things that we as the Meyer Freifechter Guild have inferred over the course of lots and lots of fencing and talking and whatnot that I think could it would be beneficial, I think, to have a book that's basically, like Rob Rutherford wrote his 16th Century Rapier book. That's basically a modern interpretive book of Meyer's rapier. And what I would probably do if I were doing it just on Meyer is that I would approach it in that I'm using Meyer’s specific dusack chapter, but I'm including all of the other stuff that's not in that chapter. So we've got all the all the basic fundamental philosophy and all of the other stuff that's in the rapier section or even the pollarm section or whatever. And if it's useful to understand what you're supposed to be doing in the first drill, I'll talk about it so that it's right there.


Guy Windsor: Yeah, it's like in my From Medieval Manuscript to Modern Practice book, which is just longsword plays from Fiore, but where you need to know a dagger play for what he's saying to make sense, I include the same translation, transcription, explanation, video, etc.. for the dagger play because you need to you need to see the whole book where necessary.


Adam Franti: Yep. It's hard to do unless you're a person like me who reads obsessively and reads very detailed stuff in historical context. And, you know, like I've done that work, so not everybody has to. It's one of the things that I try to instil in my students is it took it took us a long time to get to the point where like you can recognise a Meyerist by the way they move. And that wasn't true when I started.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. It wasn't true for the Fiore stuff for a very long time. It still isn't in a lot of cases.


Adam Franti: And getting to the point where a student can in their first few months get that is, man, I wish I had that when I started. So there might be a dusack book on the horizon sometime. I just have absolutely not started working on it yet. I've just thought about it.


Guy Windsor: All right. My last question. Somebody gives you $1,000,000 or a similar random amount of imaginary money to spend on improving historical martial arts worldwide. How would you spend it?


Adam Franti: So to improve the community generally, what I think I would try to do is set up some sort of system where clubs with an interest in it could access high quality wrestling instruction. And whether that's ringen, right? Like we get like a ringen expert or whatever to go round and teach or if it's literally just they get some time at a judo club and get to play around that.


Guy Windsor: Or Greco-Roman or any wrestling style.


Adam Franti: Anything, anything. And I think that there's so many things that are really difficult to click in your mind in the German philosophy, the five words and indes and all that sort of stuff. And I think that having even just like a couple of hours of good wrestling instruction will make you instantly feel what those mean. And then if you can feel what they mean when you're wrestling, you can apply it to the sword. And I think that would get us closer to the historical kind of athletic culture. Because everyone wrestled all the time.


Guy Windsor: The King of France and Henry VII wrestled at the Field of Cloth of Gold.


Adam Franti: Yeah. I think Meyer has this, it's actually it's dusack section he talks about how I don't approve of grappling with this weapon. And so people will take that obviously, this is because it's sport and it's because this is the Fechtschole and blah, blah, blah, blah. And I honestly think that what happened was Meyer hangs a shingle in Strasburg and says it's like fencing instruction and like these kids come up, they're 17 or 18 or whatever, and they pay him and he's trying to teach them how to fence. And all they do is use the block and then start wrestling. And he's like, knock it off, stop fucking wrestling. You’re trying to learn how to fence.


Guy Windsor: Yeah.


Adam Franti: But I think, I think honestly, having a better culture in HEMA of people with experience wrestling and they can apply that to their fencing I think would make us all better fencers for sure.


Guy Windsor: You know, if there was one thing that I wished I'd had access to when I was a young martial artist back in the day, it was wrestling.


Adam Franti: Yeah.


Guy Windsor: Yeah, yeah. I had fencing and that's super helpful, as you can imagine. But I've never been much of a wrestler and as a Fiore man, is a disgrace. I’m at that point where my skeleton does not tolerate wrestling. So right now I can enjoy locks and stuff, but I'm much more of a hitter by nature. But yes, a solid wrestling foundation would have done me the power of good when I was a lad. So I'm entirely in favour of your scheme. How would you go about setting it up if you had the money?


Adam Franti: I think I'd probably try to find like a good group of recommended wrestling instructors. And again, whether they're there guys, I can't remember his name, Tim something on the East Coast who's a really terrific ringen guy or just people who are good instructors who are judo guys or BJJ or whatever, what have you. But just like have them there as a sort of travelling group and I would like pay for their upkeep as they're travelling around or have almost like a scholarship fund for clubs to draw from, to pay for time. We have like a BJJ studio that is near to us.


Guy Windsor: There’s BJJ and judo everywhere.


Adam Franti: Yeah. And it's limited interest. It's limited expertise because I'm not comfortable teaching my guys anything beyond basic falling or some of the dagger clinches and stuff like that. When it comes to wrestling, I'm just not qualified. So when we want to do things at my club for wrestling, we have to like rent specific space and then we have to bring instructors over. I mean, we've got guys in Michigan, there’s a guy named Cameron Metcalf, who's in Grand Rapids, Michigan, who's a terrific wrestler. And we try to have him to come over and kind of help us out every now, now and again when we can. And it's just not often enough. And if we had the money and the time, we'd have him over every weekend, or we'd go over in a big group over to Grand Rapids and learn. And we would do a weekend long seminar or something like that.


Guy Windsor: Maybe you could set up a relationship with your local BJJ club.


Adam Franti: So yeah, we rent space from a place nearby every now and again. But the last time we did that was before the pandemic. So it's just been a while.


Guy Windsor: Maybe having some sort of fairly regular your guys go train there, and their guys come and train with you if they have an interest in swinging swords around or whatever. And, yeah, just that sort of collegial relationship with the local martial arts clubs might help.


Adam Franti: Yeah, yeah. But the idea would be to sort of help clubs kind of set that up, whatever the local conditions would be. But just to get some more wrestling out there.


Guy Windsor: Here’s my question. How do you get instructors who can't wrestle and don't want to wrestle because they don't like wrestling, because they like stabbing people with swords from far away, they don’t like wrestling because it's smelly and sweaty and disgusting. How do you get those people to get into the wrestling?


Adam Franti: Dagger, I think, is how I would do it. Dagger is what led me to get an interest in wrestling because I think I'm pretty good with the dagger, but I'm a terrible wrestler.


Guy Windsor: I don’t see who those two things are possible.


Adam Franti: Well, the thing is, when somebody gives you the right arm, I can work with that. I don't know how to how to get in there and take it. And that's what wrestling teaches. But if somebody's coming at me with a murderous attack, which is what I think the context of most dagger stuff is, so really trying to kill you.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. It's not a knife fight.


Adam Franti: If you get your cover, I can do an arm wrap. I can do a throw. I'm very comfortable with that just because it's like, oh, press elbow here, put the arm on the shoulder here, you know, throw the guy in his face. That's stuff it's easy, but it's getting in with somebody standing like this and being all like the way that, like, Fabian von Auerswald says, like, if somebody's just standing up straight, don't worry about them. But if somebody is, like, crouched low like this, you know that they're a wrestler. So you have to be careful. I just don't know how to make that stuff happen. I don't have a sense for it, I don't have a feeling for it. I don't have enough experience with it. And I wish I did. I was on the wrestling team for a single day in middle school. And if I had a time machine, I'd go back, grab my skinny self by the shoulders and say, stay. Keep doing it.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. One problem with wrestling clubs generally is that most wrestling styles have a specific starting point. Like judo, there's a particular start position and they wrestle from there and Greco-Roman, there's a specific starting position and then they wrestle from there and so on. And it can be difficult to kind of bridge that gap.


Adam Franti: Yeah. Yeah.


Guy Windsor: You know, how do you how do you how do you how do you get into where you want to go if you if the starting position is different?


Adam Franti: Mm hmm.


Guy Windsor: So maybe maybe a sort of broad curriculum of.


Adam Franti: Yeah.


Guy Windsor: Ring in and judo and BJJ and stuff like that. And then here's what we do, because we've got infinite money, right?


Adam Franti: Mm hmm. Yeah, right. Yeah.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. So we get we get a cohort of people who are interested in such things, and we train them up to sort of, you know, I guess, black belt sort of level. So not terribly solidly through the beginning. Schools, they know what they're doing. They can play with this stuff, but they don't have to do like world class races. Right. Judo, Greco-Roman, PJ, maybe the Russian Sambo stuff as well. I think once you got one, you pick up the others faster. So so you're talking about like ten years of each person's life and then. From that create a so called I was going to say generic, but I think comprehensive is better comprehensive wrestling system, which can they can then go out and teach to all historical martial arts people who aren't doing Rincon but need to add some wrestling to that to that chance.


Adam Franti: Yeah, yeah. That's, that's yeah. I would also I would also recommend everybody plays around with favourite one of his faults wrestling in the pit which is one of my favourite games. So the idea is, is you've got one guy who has to put his heel in like a small like divot. Yeah. And he can't move his, his foot off the divot. Right. And then the other person has to hop on one leg. Okay. And the idea is that you're teaching the guy with one leg, he's got the advantage of movement. He can approach in whatever way you want. Yes.


Guy Windsor: It.


Adam Franti: But he has no stability and the other guy has no movement but a lot of stability. And our SOL basically says like much art can be learnt from this. And it is funny to watch all the wrestling, all the rest. Yeah. So, yeah, wrestling.


Guy Windsor: Wrestling. Okay.


Adam Franti: Yeah. And it's I just I love that little phrase like, you know, we have the sense that everything's so serious, everything's so deadly and everything. And we've got this guy who's, like, teaching, you know, Austrian dukes how to wrestle, who says, like, do this because it's funny, right? Like, I.


Guy Windsor: I, you know, he's he's not a dick. Right? Right. And he sees can be can be supercilious sons of bitches. Yes, I.


Adam Franti: I'm actually quite you've.


Guy Windsor: Got them hopping around your south.


Adam Franti: Right. Oh. So I'm also pretty convinced that if you, if you look at the art of Fabian von our fault and you see who it's dedicated to and I can't remember the exact guy, he's again, some Austrian duke. But if you look at, at portraits of his patron that were painted at the time and then compare it to the artistic rendering of his opponent in many of the wrestling scenes, it's the same guy. Wow. Yeah, yeah. Like he's got the same beard and everything, the same facial features and everything. And I'm convinced that it's the same guy. And so, yeah, he's got this dude, like, bent over his leg and it's like, held upside down, like, and it's. It's funny. Way, way to piss.


Guy Windsor: Off your patron unless the patron has a really good sense of humour. Oh, I.


Adam Franti: I hope so. Yeah. And I mean, if not, what is, what's he going to do then. Turn him into a pretzel.


Guy Windsor: But he's, he's going to withdraw his patronage.


Adam Franti: Right.


Guy Windsor: I mean, you can't you can't just go around, you know, these days you can dedicate your book to anyone you like. I mean, I could. Yeah, we have a new king now. King Charles's idea for King. Yeah. Right. I could dedicate my next book to King Charles, and there's nothing he can do about it. I mean, technically, I suppose there are things that could be done for this thing, but in like 1500, if I dedicated my book to do. And so and I was living in his lands and he saw this book and he decided that he was not pleased. Well, firstly, if I did it without permission, he'd probably have all the books rounded up and destroyed, and he started jail. And if I did it with his to me, if I got his permission to dedicate my book to him, because it's if you dedicate your book to the person they are in effect was whosoever they are. Yeah. Let's go back. Not authorising, not supporting.


Adam Franti: Consenting to none of.


Guy Windsor: That they are endorsing. Yes, you are right. And and so this Duke fella pretty much must have endorsed the word.


Adam Franti: Yeah.


Guy Windsor: So I think I think maybe he and and this goes back to our nights and probably.


Adam Franti: Yeah.


Guy Windsor: Yeah. They just thought it was funny.


Adam Franti: Yeah.


Guy Windsor: Okay. So let's say you'll have a decent book out soon and you have a system for getting this talk about lost instructors. Probably best in wrestling. Excellent.


Adam Franti: I think if again, if we have unlimited money, I would probably also use some of that to go complete my Ph.D. because I only I.


Guy Windsor: Found this out because. Oh, no, sorry.


Adam Franti: I would spend it on a scholarship fund for interested masters students. Yes.


Guy Windsor: And then you go the point you need to run the fund, then? I do. Yeah.


Adam Franti: Exactly. We got this whole system figured out. We got to.


Guy Windsor: Say, well, so what's what's the. What's the best thing?


Adam Franti: I would probably. So I buy the topic I'd be studying is what I would call public masculinity. Right. So I probably do some sort of comparative study between something like duelling in the 19th century versus doing in the 16th century, or try to trace sort of the origins of like American duelling from, you know, whatever it would be. I'm not sure exactly what the topic would be, but it would basically be about public masculinity in some sense. So like my Masters is all about late 18th, early 19th century American politics, basically, and an American sort of masculine culture. So a lot of stuff about duels and the militia and citizenship and that kind of thing. So, yeah, that's. But I like I would probably do it more to aid my work than I would have when I started my master's degree. Right. So.


Guy Windsor: I have a good excuse to really study these these different cultures and maybe, maybe just just to give you a bit more that actually practise those styles. And yeah, I'm going to go off and study with various people.


Adam Franti: I would yeah. Like trying to do, try to set up all the cool stuff like Daniel Shark with. Oh yeah, yeah. I was actually listening to that episode just the other day, so I was gonna say.


Guy Windsor: Yeah, yeah, yeah, that, that man is obsessed with all that.


Adam Franti: Yeah, yeah is great. Yeah, I would if I had, if I had the money, I would have a nice set of 16th century armour for myself to I could wear with my poofy pants and it just, I'd never take it off. Yeah.


Guy Windsor: Well.


Adam Franti: I'd have to at some point, but only very grudgingly.


Guy Windsor: Well, thank you so much for joining me for that. And it's been great to you.


Adam Franti: Yeah, I had a lot of fun. Thanks for having me on.



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