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My Adventures at Adventure Con! 6/1/2007 - 6/3/2007

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April 4, 2006
Posts: 1353

PostPosted:     Post subject: My Adventures at Adventure Con! 6/1/2007 - 6/3/2007
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I left work about 3 AM on Thursday night and made it into Knoxville about 7:30 AM after a couple of stops for supplies and fuel for the KISS Kruiser. I got checked into the hotel about 10 AM and just really zonked for the whole day.

I arrived very early on Friday morning at the Knoxville convention center, as I thought the convention started at 10. So I got there about 8 AM to stand in line to get my pre-paid membership. Unfortunately, once I got there, I found out registration wasn't going to open till 10, and the convention at 11. But, I said "The heck with it!", put on my earphones and listened to a Big Finish Sarah jane audio adventure. Unfortunately, I had to go cloaked the entire weekend.

I ened up being the first person to get my membership, but still had an hour to go to the opening, so decided to head back to my hotel a block away and eat an early lunch. As I came up the escalator, I saw Caroline and her friends approachign the escalotr. As she was the main reason I was there, and had had a crush on her for over thirty years, I was thrilled.My first thought on seeing hear was that, even though she is older, and a little heavier, she is still a beautiful woman. I said hello and she graciously stopped and talked to me for several minutes. I told her it was ironic that I had shared an elevator with her 20 years ago, and now an escalator. Then we both headed our separate ways.

Once I had scarfed down a couple of sandwiches, I headed back to the convention about thirty minutes later, and headed straight for her table. She had a wide array of photos available for purchase for autographing, and I quickly chose a great shot of her as Nomi in The Spy Who Loved Me in an orangey bikini and garter. She even gave me a small business card-sized autgraphed photo from The Golden Voyage of Sinbad for free, a limited edition of 250. We ended up standing chatting for about 45 minutes, as a few fans came and went. But, she never asked me to leave, and was just as incredibly nice as can be. Finally, after feeling like a 12 year old again, I wandered off to get some other autographs. Some of the celebrities I wanted to meet were not there yet, so I ended up with a lot of time to kill and kept wandering back other to Caroline's table, where we just chatted like two old friends several times, between her signing autographs.

On Saturday, I was once again, somehow, the first person through the door. I tracked down a few more autopgraphs, and then found there were still some folks not there yet, so again had time to kill. I ended up back at Caroline's table several times, continuing our conversations from the previous day. We probably spent another hour talking.

Sunday morning, I was heading over to the convention, and I realized Caroline was ahead of me, and carrying, with difficulty, a heavy backpack. I asked if she needed help, and she profusely thanked me. Once we got downstaris, she told me to come back when she got set up, and I agreed. When I came back, she told me to pick another photo for free for her to autograph. I told her it really wasn't necessary, as I truly enjoyed being able to help her, but she insisted, so I got a wonderful picture of her with Horst Janson from Captain Kronos. Again, I kept connecting with her throughout the day, and I ended up asking if she would need help getting her bag back to the hotel. She thanked me again and accepted my help. As she was packign up, she found some cool little fridge magnets with a pic of her from Starcrash and ended up handing me one of those and autographing it too.

Once we got back to the hotel, I knew she pretty much going straight up to her room to get her luggage and coming right back to get a cab. I told her I would be happy to wait in the lobby with the bag so she wouldn't have to go back upstairs with it for no good reason. She accepted. When she came back down, she told me what a wonderful , sweet person I was. While trying to get everything ready for getting on the plane, she ran across a large Ziploc bag of caramel corn someone had given her. Not being sure whether she could take it on the plane, she asked if I wanted it. I love caramel corn, so told her I would gratefully accept it. On impulse she decided to autograph the bag of caramel corn!!! As we were getting ready to carry her bags out to the cab, she gave me a huge hug. I blushed like a schoolboy.

So, all in all, I spent probably three hours with Caroline, got five autographs (and only paid for one), a hug, and the pleasure of meeting one of my teenage fantasy women and finding she was as sweet as she was beautiful. Now, I have only one I eat the caramel corn or save it as a one of a kind souvenir???

Now I am trying to get her on the guest list for Dragon Con, too!!!

One great thing about the convention was how supportive the city of Knoxville was of the con. The mayor of Knoxville actually came to the convention on Saturday morning and declared Saturday Star Wars day, renaming the famous Knoxvile Sunsphere the Death Spehre for the weekend. The convention got lots of news coverage.

Now Dragon Con is my favorite con, but I have to say, it was nice being at a con with only about as third as many people. ALL of the guests were nice and din't mind spending time talking to their fans. Oftentimes, they don't get much time to do that at Dragon Con due to the large crowds. I spent hours, for instance, talking to James Hampton (F-Troop, Slingblade) about his absolutely fascinating career in show business, and all fo the amazing people he has worked with from James Stewart to Vincent Price. I also got to talk to Gigi Edgley, Martin Klebba, and Ron Glass. Gigi is absolutely adorable and looks like a teenager. The person working with her said she gets carded everywhere they go. For you Farscape fans, she told me that she and Wayne Pygram were working on a new movie together, currently filming in Hawaii. I wish I knew the title. Ron Glass is every inch the gentleman and really appreciates his fans. Martin Klebba was actually doing his first convention signing autographs, and he and his manager were just wonderful, asking everyone who got Martin's autograph if they wanted to take a picture with him. He must have posed with a thousand people for free!

As to comic book artists and writers, there were too many to mention, but I do want to single out a couple I really enjoyed speakign to: Mark Sparacio and Joe Staton. Joe is a legend, of course, and created one of my favorite comic book characters, E-Man. Mark is one of the newer young guns, but he is a heck of a fun guy, and draws amazingly gorgeous women. He is the artist on the Overstreet cover this year, and also has art chores on (god, I hope I remember this right!) Lady Liberty, The Bronze Goddess of Freedom (whom I am told is unofficially Doc Savage's daughter. ). His artwork was so gorgeous I ened up buying five prints from him, and I NEVER buy artwork at cons cause I usually save my money for autographs and DVDs. John Romita Jr. was there and he pretty much had a huge line all weekend, so I never really got to even talk to him, but he did sit next to Mark on the first day and was joking back and forth with him while I was looking at Mark's stuff. He seemed very nice too. There were just tons of fascinating people to talk to.

They did their costume contest differently, and actually had a parade of the contestants throughout the convention center. That was lots of fun, and there were some excellent costumes. There was actually a Starship Troopers fan group there who had movie worn costumes and props, and those were really cool. Of course, there was also the Rebel Legion and Southeastern Browncoats, and maybe one or two other fans groups who had tables.

Though I did have an excellent time, there was one downside. Being in a convention center, there was really nothing to do in the evenings. I ended up spending most nights in my room or hanging out in the lobby of the hotel looking for people to talk to! On the plus side, almost all of the guests stayed at the Hilton where I was, and I saw most of them throughout the weekend. I was even sitting with Walter Koenig and his assistant Val on Sunday night while I was waiting for Caroline.

On Saturday night, there was a special screening of a film, not a genre film, that was made by Derek Maki, and that was cool. I was really impressed by the film. Derek is a horror fan and hopes this film, Instant Dads, will help him get financing to do some horror, but this was a drama. However; it has won Best Picture at two different film festivals and proves you don't have to have a huge budget to make a great movie. Derek was another very cool person to talk to about what it takes to make movie.

Things finally wound down on Sunday night about 6. I went back to the hotel, slept till about 2 AM, then checked out and headed back to Greenville about 3:30, getting home about 7:10 AM on Monday morning. All in all, it was a great weekend, and I look forward to next year. Great wind up to get me in the mood for Dragon Con!!!

a.k.a. Fringey, The Fringe Element
"A life lived without passion is a life not lived.
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