Renaissance, Texas: Fantasy and Murder at the World's Biggest RenFaire [5]

When Rennies don't play by King George's rules, he sends in the bulldozers.

“Renaissance, Texas” is a nine-part, serialized story I’m running exclusively in my newsletter. To read from the beginning with Post 1, click here.


In this clip, featured on the Texas Renaissance Festival’s own YouTube channel, King George holds court from the sprawling estate he built in Todd Mission. He calls the place Stargate Manor. Note the stained glass windows and walls made of jagged stacks of gray slate.

At around the 12 minute mark, King George explains how he rules with a firm hand - and, when needed, a bulldozer. He recalls the time when he heard a visitor wanted to return a $400 ring bought at the festival, only to be told by the vendor that he was not going to refund the money.

“I went down to the jeweler,” King George says, “and I says [sic], ‘the customer can bring back anything, anytime, anywhere, for whatever reason, it doesn’t matter, we give him his money back.”

When the jeweler refused to comply, George got on his radio and called for his helper, Shorty. “I say ‘Shorty,’” George recalls, “‘get the bulldozers and some dump trucks, and we’re gonna move this guy out of the festival.’” When the backhoes and bulldozers pulled up, the jeweler relented and returned the visitor’s cash. The rest of the vendors got the message from their King loud and clear, he says, “the other artists and craftsmen realized they got to abide by the rules.”

In the next post of “Renaissance, Texas:” The End of Easy Rider.