Ah, Shore Leave
I love Shore Leave. I’ve loved being here since Shore Leave 3 and here we are celebrating Shore Leave 30. The kids grew up here and Robbie has always considered the Hunt Valley Inn his home away from home.
This year it’s different. We missed last year’s show because of my father-in-law’s funeral and this year we’re missing Deb and Robbie. The people have been fabulous with cancer survivors coming to tell me their stories and offering experienced words of encouragement.
The con’s bone marrow drive netted over 80 donors which is great overall. On Saturday we auctioned off numerous items for the Tommy Fund, the people who have provided us with parking passes and help fund the fellows who practice pediatric oncology. Kevin Dilmore offered us five variant Uhura ornaments, autographed by the artist, and the only five currently in circulation. That netted us some $1200 which was rather nice.
All weekend long it was nice to play catch up with fellow colleagues such as Kevin, Dayton Ward, Amy Sisson, Dave Galanter, Allyn Gibson, Marco Palmieri and others. It was also great to see the Baltimore-based gang such as Howard and Susan Weinstein and all the Boogie Knights. On the other hand, the number of regulars not here for one reason or another has been surprising.
So, it felt normal and it felt a tad off. Both Kate and I noticed we were here and having fun but not fully engaged as we kept thinking about those not beside us.
My panels went well and I had fun playing emcee, auctioneer and masquerade judge so circulating in public was certainly a treat. Meet the Pros was odd in that rather than have us all clustered, we were spread in the hall and one of the meeting rooms so it felt lightly attended and diffuse. Still, the Borders that was selling our books had sold out of my Hellboy II novelization and had just two copies of The Essential Batman Encyclopedia left so that was gratifying.
Today will be more of the same starting with the annual Bob & Howie panel and ending with Mystery Trekkie Theater. I’m really looking forward to the opening skit even though it will put my lack of rhythm on display.
In all, it was fun and entertaining and tiring but still not feeling complete.