Continuing at Dragon*Con

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Saturday was an interesting day at the convention as Deb and I largely followed different paths. I tried to attend one panel, only to discover it had been moved to Monday so we wound up checking out the dealer’s rooms together for a bit.I managed to meet up with Brandie Tarvin, one of my fellow IAMTW colleagues, her fiancé Kendrick and Keith. We picked a local diner only to watch the table wait get longer and longer so by the time we were seated, Keith had to order his lunch to go which was also delivered after he left for his reading. We did get to know one another while waiting which was hectic but nice.I then had to escape before lunch was over to make a 3 p.m. meeting which finally occurred at 3:45. The meeting was fun and possibly may lead to some work which is never a bad thing.After that, I briefly hit Artists’ Alley once more until Deb and I met up for dinner which turned out to be the banquet. We weren’t supposed to go until we were gifted with tickets and then wound up at a table where I got to meet author Chelsea Quinn Yarboro and artist William Stout in addition to sharing the space with old pal Marc Lee and Peter and Kathleen David. The food was quite good and singer Tom Smith as the entertainment was a delight. There were a handful of awards, overseen by emcee Peter Jurasic and then Peter got up and delivered a humorous and heartfelt introduction to this year’s recipient of the Julie Award, named after the legendary Julius Schwartz. The award went to Leonard Nimoy, who was seated back to back from Deb. In fact, at Nimoy’s table was William Shatner and Kate Mulgrew so that was our brush with true celebrity this weekend. Nimoy’s comments were well-received and the evening ended nicely.Sunday began with a proper meal shared with Brandie, Kendrick, Keith and Deb so things began nicely. From there, we toured the Walk of Stars which is the large ballroom where all the celebrities, great and small sat to sell autographs and pictures. It was a pretty impressive collection of performers from all the genre series of the past decade or so. Beyond actors, there were the TAPS team from Ghosthunters and several wrestlers, including the Iron Sheik, who was the pivotal heel to bridge the gap from the WWE’s past, Bruno Sammartino, to its present era with Hulk Hogan. I also used the opportunity to reintroduce myself to Karen Allen, who I interviewed for Starlog 20 years ago.In fact, after a light lunch we sat in on Karen’s panel and were impressed by her candor, her well-considered and stated responses to questions and her brilliant smile. After that, we caught the Tribute to Forrest J. Ackerman which was a nice hour. Then we heard Tom Smith sing for a while before heading back to the hotel.Our evening was spent with the Davids, and a few dozen of their friends, during their annual rib and chicken dinner. I had a chance to catch up with George Perez and meet new friends. Once George and Peter headed down to emcee the masquerade, the rest of us settled in to watch from the room. Having master costumers like Kath and Marty Gear on hand offer instant opinions and critiques, it was like having the director’s commentary to a great film. There were many wonderful costumes, several marred by bad presentations, but we were overall very impressed.The wrap-up tomorrow.

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