JoAnn's Con Chair Report - B&B con, San Diego CA 2010

As the post-con sale winds down, Sobi has asked me to write a con report from the perspective of the con chairperson. I don’t recall reading anything like that before, so…here goes!





     After a nearly two-year process of planning the convention, we arrived at the con hotel on the Wednesday before the con. Hugs were the first item on the agenda (anytime, that’s the first item on the agenda!).
     It was cool-ish and overcast most of the day, and I apologized to the fans I saw for the non-typical San Diego weather. However, most fans had traveled from places where the heat and humidity were at record-shattering highs, so San Diego’s cooler-than-normal temperature was a welcome relief!
     That evening the con team got the “stuff” for the tote bags stuffed, the banquet favors filled with candy, and we went over every hour of every day of the con together so we all were certain who was doing what when.


     Thursday pre-con, we were up early to see off those who were taking the City/Harbor Tour. I met the tour guide Harry Bair (I know, what parent would DO that to a child?!) and we went over the tour plan, and Carol B. brought the snack packs and distributed them. I wish I could have gone along, but this was actually the most labor-intensive day of the con week, so…I waved goodbye instead!
     We had staged everything to go to the con in the garage at home (about 80 boxes of everything from Dealers Room merchandise to table decorations). Larry loaded up a truck and got to the hotel mid-morning. Soon the con team had unloaded everything and began setting up.
     This was my one bad day at the con – and it turned out not to be so bad! But it was the day I was most worried about –all those boxes, so much to set up, how were we going to get it all done without staying up into the wee hours of the morning? [If you saw me that day, running around like a crazy woman, with a rictus smile plastered on my face, stressed to the max, you probably wondered just what the heck you were in for!] But many volunteers materialized (thanks to each of them!!) and before I would have believed it, the Dealers Room was organized, hours ahead of schedule. That allowed us ample time to finish the rest of our set-up in time for early registration.
     The hotel offered a free wine and cheese reception in the late afternoon, and our early registration followed on its heels. Stiff Vinnie and Bubba made their first appearances at the con, Bubba in a stylish sombrero, wearing a black armband in honor of his Mama Chan.
     Early registration proved a big success. So many fans got their registration materials early, only 18 were left for “regular” registration on Friday morning!
     Early registration was done like trick-or-treat – we handed each fan a tote bag, and then they walked down the line, getting a conzine, a Ziploc filled with tote bag “stuffing” (the con schedule, maps, fans, pencils, a little notebook, a B&B wipe-off board, “love sprinkles,” and other little goodies), a Chan print, and pre-ordered tee shirts. It was a time for lots of hugs and squeals of recognition, and afterwards my facial muscles hurt from smiling so much! This was when I really began to relax and enjoy the con, and that enjoyment deepened and expanded from this point on.
     Right after early registration, the group going to see “The Taming of the Shrew” was shuttled to the Old Globe. Reports were that the play was good! [We had a little issue with the hotel shuttle driver forgetting to get to the pick-up point on time after the play, but hopefully nobody was too distressed over having to wait for him.]
     Our wonderful guest Cory Danziger, along with his Dad Max, arrived in the evening, and I got an inkling our first guest was going to be a big hit – what a sweetheart Cory is! He radiated enthusiasm and happiness about being at our convention. His Dad mentioned how glad he was that we’d invited Cory to the con, as his son had been working especially hard of late, and the con was the perfect reason to step away for a few days.
     I was able to sleep soundly the night before the con, which I wouldn’t have believed was possible, but now that we were set up I knew that only ONE thing at a time could go wrong from here on out!


     Armed with my “con bible” (Motto: No spontaneous moment is unscripted!) and with the superb con team beside me, we went down to set up for registration and get in on the breakfast buffet. I met with our helpers for the Dealers Room, neither of whom had ever experienced a convention before (Rachel and Susie). [They did a wonderful job, even keeping the Dealers Room open for more hours than scheduled, and they both reported they had a great time doing it!]
At 9:15 we turned the lights down in the main ballroom and the convention began with Daria S. reading Sue Glasgow’s wonderful short story “The Storyteller.”
     After taking care of some housekeeping matters (where the bathrooms were, how the room’s temperature controls worked, etc.), Jamie Murray, a previously unannounced con guest, (at the con with his indulgent wife Jo, a sweetheart who didn’t mind scores of women hugging her husband!) continued a long-standing con tradition of reading a Top Ten list. We acknowledged fans from B&B clubs active around the country, then our con virgins were into introduced by our virgin wrangler Shelia K. [Of course, the initiation rites are a closely guarded secret…!]
     A tribute to Sandy “Chan” Shelton followed – a memorial video was shown, and we read a list of other fans and cast members who had passed away, then we recreated the Mirror Pool ceremony from “Ashes, Ashes” – the hotel was kind enough to allow us to burn our notes to our lost loved ones in the patio, using a hibachi. It was a cathartic moment, a time for tears and memories.
     After that sadness, we needed something…or someone…to perk us up, and luckily enough, Cory was next on the schedule! He gave us a spirited Q&A session, his infectious enthusiasm soon having us all laughing. We gave him a con tee shirt that said on the back: I Was a Guest at the Con and All I Got Was This Shirt!
     We broke for lunch and ate a New York Deli-style buffet out on the patio; those who were participating in the afternoon and evening programs rehearsed in the main ballroom. The Art Room opened at lunchtime – it included art displays, the costume display, costumes to try on, and a memorial to Chan.
     We reconvened after lunch for an intriguing panel led by Rachel (Nightrose) discussing the similarities between B&B and Gargoyles; she had prepared an extensive PowerPoint presentation and clearly put a lot of time and effort into her panel. Cory was held court in the back of the main ballroom for an informal autograph session, and Lisa L., a con virgin, began raising funds for the charity by offering massages in a little alcove in the back of the ballroom, as well. [By the end of the con her massages were so popular she had people on a waiting list!]
     Lisa G. held a panel in which she described the process she goes through to transform into “Vincent face” – always a fascinating thing to watch! Then it was time for a Future Conventions panel, during which some tidbits about the upcoming conventions in Australia and London were teased, and Deb F. rolled out the news that the 2011 U.S. B&B convention would be held in New Orleans! [Woo-HOO!]
     Tunnelmom was kind enough to create clips of B&B characters wearing certain costumes which were used to introduce fans wearing those same costumes (loaned to the con by various individuals and fan clubs who preserve them for fandom) during a Costume Fashion Show. It was a lot of fun to see the costumes on real bodies – so much nicer than looking at them draped on hangers. Vicky C. and Rosemarie S. came onstage first, Vicky wearing Catherine’s “pre-attack” burgundy velvet gown and wool coat from the Pilot, Rosemarie wearing the mended coat and carrying the now-very-fragile mended gown. Jackie S. rocked Catherine’s red dress from “Dark Spirit,” Bruce P. used a cane to bring Father to life wearing Father’s long coat, Lisa G. wore a complete Vincent outfit (Vincent’s frilly shirt and Winterfest vest and his “thigh-high” boot-pants), our own “Mini” Mouse wore Mouse’s jacket, Pat K. demonstrated how a red gown became strapless for “Seige” while wearing Catherine’s voluminous red/purple coat from that episode, a brave Stace sported Vincent’s blue sweater, a quilted grey vest and a pair of Vincent’s slacks…with a hidden “surprise” that collapsed the crowd into laughter when he went “fly fishing” and pulled out a “cod” which he tossed into the audience, Kathleen S. looked angelic wearing Catherine’s ethereal dress from “Remember Love;” Cory was a great sport, participating in the fashion show by wearing Vincent’s gorgeous bathrobe, then Lisa G. was back for the finale wearing Vincent’s cloak.
     Judy L. and Karen Q. then started a spirited round of Beast Bingo (we ran out of playing cards – who knew we’d need more than 50?!), and before we knew it, it was time for our buffet dinner – a fiesta-themed meal (which I personally thought was the best meal of the weekend). Bubba was hanging out in the patio wearing his sombrero. [He appeared in different places throughout the weekend.]
     After dinner we held the traditional Costume Walk and then the fan Talent Show, which featured several wonderful and a couple of hilarious entries. Highlights included Vicky’s song (Suze H. had arms of steel, holding two microphones steady during Vicky’s performance!), Suze’s own gorgeous song, Laura G.’s raucous Scottish drinking song, Kathleen’s spontaneous bawdy ditty (“The only song I know!” she insisted), and other terrific performances.
     After a short break, we held a Game and Video Night. We broke out fantastic piñatas of Paracelsus (complete with mask and filled with “gold” coins), Lena and Lisa (courtesy of Laura). While Paracelsus folded like a cheap suit pretty quickly, those girls proved pretty tough. They survived hard swing after hard swing, straight shots to the head and body, and wouldn’t crack under pressure. Finally a little assistance was provided and they crumbled. [One became headless, and I understand her head is now residing in one fan’s closet at home!] A lot of aggression was released during the game, and we raised some money for the charity, so it was all good!
     The “Pin the Dangly Bit” game followed. Since so many fans were in the room, we limited the game to the con virgins in attendance. They were deft, but one clear winner emerged…and received a lollipop shaped like a…well…let’s say the “game piece” and the lollipop looked alike! Thanks to Lisa H. for donating that little treasure!
To bring us back into a proper B&B mood, the last event of the evening was a showing of a certain video, which never fails to induce sighs and cheers.
     And the long first day of the con ended on that romantic note!


     Breakfast on the patio started our day, and a 3S discussion panel proved so interesting that after its elapsed time, several fans adjourned to the hotel lobby to continue their discussion.
     Jamie continued the tradition, here expanded to include yet another Top Ten list. Then Tamara T. held a panel to discuss how she came to make Catherine’s crystal necklace for our show. Daria brought loads of beads and such with which fans could make their own bracelets, followed by J’Ecris showing us napkin-folding techniques. [She and her crew also created special paper roses to help decorate the banquet tables for Sunday’s brunch.]
     I’ll admit to being a little fuzzy on the exact details of Saturday morning and afternoon, since I had a lot on my mind! We had several guests arriving on Saturday, and we didn’t know with specificity when each was arriving, just a general timeframe. Amy H. had coordinated an appearance at the con by Linda Hamilton, and all we knew was that she was driving down “in the morning,” but her exact arrival time was unknown. The same was true for Judy Shimizu-Moreland. So while activities were ongoing in the ballroom, several of us were awaiting arrivals.
     At some point during the late morning, a pizza lunch buffet was served. I think I had some salad. But who knows – my head was swimming with what was to come!
     Judy and her adorable hubby Keith arrived mid-day. Traffic coming down from L.A. was especially bad, Judy reported, with lots of stop-and-go, and since Linda was driving a longer distance from a similar direction, Judy believed she’d be later than anticipated. [We were shifting the con schedule slightly to accommodate the arrivals of guests, and I’m sure some fans wondered if we’d forgotten what we were supposed to be doing, but actually, we were kind of flying by the seat of our pants mid-day Saturday!]
     Judy is very shy about appearing before a large crowd, and had some trepidation about being the sole focus of a Q&A, so we promised her we’d have her on stage for just 15 minutes. While she took a few minutes to relax in the Art Room after that tense drive, she and Keith discussed which stories of her time on B&B she might tell.
     Jana H. was in the Art Room while Judy was in there. Now, before Judy arrived, Jana and I had spoken about the concept of fans who didn’t respect boundaries, and our discussion included an idea we thought would be the height of crassness: somebody pushing a paper and pen into a bathroom stall for an artist to sign. Yes, we both agreed, that would REALLY be nutty! Well…when Judy was in the room, she began to talk about the odd fan encounters she’d had…and mentioned that one fan had followed her into the bathroom and tried to hand her a paper to autograph while she was in a stall! Jana and I cracked up, since we’d just pulled that scenario out of the air in our own conversation as the craziest idea we could come up with! But…apparently it HAS happened, and to Judy!
     Judy did a very engaging Q&A session, and admitted afterwards that she actually enjoyed herself! But she much prefers chatting with fans informally, so I think she was relieved the Q&A was behind her! She spent a lot of time circulating among the fans in the ballroom, doing an autograph session, and generally being “one of the gang” after that.
     A little insight I gathered at the con: Keith, Judy’s husband, took me aside to tell me that he’s heard Judy on the phone talking with other B&B cast members, and he wanted us fans to know that the way the cast speaks to us in public is the same way they speak ABOUT us in private – the cast members are genuinely fond of and grateful to the fans for their support and love over the years. He didn’t have to say anything, but that he chose to tell me that meant a lot, and it’s worth passing along. Not only is this fandom very special, but so are the cast and crew of our show! Keith also commented (as did Cory’s Dad, and later, Lee Holdridge’s wife) how warm and loving the fans are, and what a terrific vibe of joy and happiness pervaded the convention. They all were very moved by how open-hearted and welcoming everyone was to them.
     OK, so…early Saturday afternoon…Amy, Larry and I waited with butterflies in our stomachs for Linda’s arrival.
I’m sure that early on, when I laid down the rules for how to treat our con guests, fans must have been looking at me like I had two heads – what was all the fuss? Why insist we not follow guests to their rooms or not ask too-personal questions, why was the con team passing out hospital bracelets for an autograph session…has JoAnn completely lost it?! Well, once Linda showed up, I figured the fans would understand why we got suddenly draconian about things!
Linda arrived (with one of her best friends), and even though they had been caught in that bad traffic Judy had told us about, she got straight to the point: she asked what we would like her to do! She indicated a good friend had been operated on the day before and she needed to return to L.A. that evening (originally she’d hoped to spend the night and not leave until late Sunday morning), so we quickly worked out a way for her to greet all the fans and have time for one-on-ones while still enabling her to leave by 5 p.m. or so. [Now you know why we asked fans to limit their conversations with Linda and only ask for one autograph – some of us had seen Linda with fans before and knew she loved to chat, but we also knew we had 99 fans who wanted to get a moment, an autograph and a photo with Linda…and we only had a short timeframe in which to do it!]
     We had the fans sitting captive in the ballroom for a while as Linda freshened up and then…I got to say the words I truly NEVER thought to hear said at a B&B convention, let alone by me: “Ladies and gentlemen, Ms. Linda Hamilton!”
I cannot express just how grateful we are to Linda for wanting to visit us and spend time with us. As everyone can tell by looking at the con videos, she is warm, gracious, kind, funny, endearingly lacking in “movie star” ego…just a classy lady all around. And let’s not forget to add “generous” to her qualities!
     After a half-hour Q&A, we adjourned to the Art Room, which had been turned into Autograph Central, and we escorted fans in a few at a time for their one-on-one time with Ms. Hamilton. I think, when you look at the videos, you’ll see that this is how Linda most likes to spend her time – meeting and chatting with individual fans.
     She doesn’t like to be rushed (who does?!), but we were getting desperate as time passed and the clock was inching toward the time she needed to leave, and we still had dozens of fans waiting to meet her. Well, Linda took a smoke break, and then she came back, and at some point she made the decision that she’d stay later than she’d planned. We breathed a huge sigh of relief, as we knew then that everyone would get to meet her in person.
By the way, for those wondering how the decision was made on the order in which fans met Linda, it was as democratic as I could make it – con team first (so we could move in and out as a group and get back to our jobs), then the Adopt-A-Guest fans, then fans in the general order in which they’d registered for the con (those who registered in New Orleans last year in the first groups, followed by those who registered prior to January 2010, with the last group made up of those who registered just a few months prior to the con).
     During Linda’s autograph session, Beast Bingo was going on in the main ballroom, followed by a Kazoo U. presentation by the Chesapeake Helpers, and I believe the massage table was open, as well. [Again, forgive me for not being 100% sure on the timing of all of this Saturday afternoon stuff – my mind was a blur from all that was going on!]
Linda had agreed to do a brief interview on film for Jana and Neal H., and they squeezed that in after the autograph session.
     Lee Holdridge and his wife arrived at about 5 p.m. (his wife has a radio show in L.A. on Saturday afternoons, so they drove down after her show). They arrived just at the late afternoon break; the break allowed fans to relax a little from the day’s activities and dress for the banquet. This proved perfect timing, as Mr. Holdridge and Vicky had the ballroom to themselves to practice their banquet duet. [Unfortunately, due to his incredibly busy schedule, Mr. Holdridge wasn’t able to spend more than the evening with us, so we couldn’t plan a Q&A, however his presence was notable for the huge gift he gave us at the banquet!]
     The con team set up the banquet centerpieces and placed con candles at each place setting. Rebecca M. and her crew set up the place cards. Again, due to wonderful volunteers, we were finished much sooner than I’d thought possible.
     There was time for photos to be taken in the patio before the banquet. We opened the doors to the banquet at 7 p.m. A number of fans had taken the invitation to “Party Like It’s 1599” seriously, and wore their Renaissance finery – there were some truly magnificent costumes. Linda had told us she didn’t feel she was dressed appropriately to join us for the banquet, but we asked her if she’d read Father’s Winterfest speech as part of our traditional candle-lighting ceremony pre-banquet. She did a wonderful job reading it for us. The con committee was so busy lighting candles at all the tables that we didn’t realize Linda was standing without one – when she saw us all raise our candles high, she just raised her microphone!
     Linda left to relax for a while after being “on” non-stop since she arrived, and promised to return in time for the auction.
     As our banquet meal was winding down, it was time for our banquet entertainment. Lee Holdridge, Emmy-winning composer, stepped onto the stage to accompany our own Vicky in a truly special presentation. I know I wasn’t the only one with tears in my eyes listening to him play the Beauty and the Beast theme he wrote, and hearing Vicky sing the words to “The First Time I Loved Forever.” It was a magical moment! [During rehearsal, Mr. Holdridge kept saying he wanted to turn down the microphone on his keyboard, because everyone wanted to hear Vicky – this is what a humble man he is about his accomplishments, and how generous he is about sharing the stage and that special moment with a fan.]
     We then played two brand-new music videos created especially for the convention to conclude our banquet entertainment. SandyX’s video was a lushly romantic piece focused on our favorite couple’s use of the word “everything,” and Tunnelmom’s was an adorably silly take on a rock song from an Australian band called “I’m In Love With Catherine Chandler” – both were well received and the perfect ending to our banquet.
     Linda re-entered the ballroom just after the “Catherine Chandler” video ended, and I swear she watched it from outside the ballroom because when I asked her if she’d like to see it, she just gave me a beaming smile and moved on to giving the fans a look at the items she’d donated to help raise funds for the con charity. She told us one of the reasons she’d decided to come to the con was because the charity was one that resonated with her. She gave us the background on the pair of her jeans she was donating, as well as her well-loved carpetbag and a piece of framed art of her backyard. And she also told us she was writing a check for $1,000 to the charity!
     Linda had already stayed far longer than she’d planned and really needed to return to L.A., so she left soon after, and the fans gave her a standing ovation as she left us. I cannot thank Amy H. enough for all her hard work in coordinating Linda’s appearance; if not for her, we would have had no guests at the convention. And although our “family reunion” still would have been wonderful, it was so much more special due to the presence of Linda, Lee, Cory, Judy and Jamie.
     The charity auction was run by our incredible auctioneer Deb, who out-did herself this year, referring to her DNA analysis countless times (she IS a nurse, so knows about these things!), but after she riffed on growing a Lee Holdridge clone in a petri dish, she realized Mr. Holdridge was still in the room, laughing hysterically! It was fun watching Deb turn purple right before our eyes! He truly was NOT insulted, but rather quite impressed by the lengths to which Deb would go to get higher bids! His wife told me later they’d both had a wonderful time, and that it was the first time Lee had ever watched one of our auctions.
     The charity auction was filled with a variety of items donated by a number of fans – in addition to Linda’s items, we had a B&B crew jacket autographed by Linda, a rare music book containing sheet music from the show (which Mr. Holdridge autographed for the winner), a “Vincent’s Window” stained glass piece, and a tee shirt autographed by Beah Richards (“Narcissa”), among other items, as well as several original costume pieces: a pair of Vincent’s slacks, one of Vincent’s quilted vests, and a Vincent sweater with a crotch snap attached. All told, the items raised several thousand dollars for the convention charity.
     And with the conclusion of the auction, the long second day of the convention ended.


     I’ve learned if food isn’t offered when the con starts…you CAN give a con and nobody will come! We started things off at 8:30 with a stamping workshop led by Karen Q., but only a handful of fans managed to straggle in on time. Karen was gracious enough to extend her workshop so that late arrivers got a chance to participate. We heard the third set of Top Ten from Jamie, and we played several trivia games…and I concluded we just need to declare Vicky the winner of ALL trivia games and not let her play anymore, so others can win! That girl is amazing….
     At 11:00, the Steel Monarchs, the steel drum band made up of teens attending Monarch School, gave us a spirited calypso-flavored start to our Sunday Brunch. The teacher who accompanied them, Mr. Hutchinson, was very moved by the response the fans had to his kids. He told us that often when they play at events they are treated as background music and nobody pays any attention to them, but our conventioneers were enthusiastic in their applause and effusive in their praise, and he was grateful to us for giving the kids so much attention.
     Our Sunday Brunch program continued, with Suze and Vicky singing for us, followed by the playing of one of my all-time favorite music videos, “Lullaby,” created by Deb F.
     Judy Shimizu-Moreland joined us in the morning and held an informal autograph session for fans.
     After a short break, the Art Auction started. We had some extra special items in the auction, including the only collaboration between Chan and Jamie, and the first new piece of B&B art Jamie has created in several years – both went for sizeable sums, and deservedly so. Many other wonderful pieces were auctioned, including original artwork and prints by several fandom artists.
     Another round of Beast Bingo followed, and drawings were held for the gorgeous baskets Judy had made.
     Too soon, it was time for Closing Ceremonies…although one fan objected strongly to the term “closing,” so we said we’d “adjourn” instead! I began to thank all the many, many fans who had contributed their time, labor, talents, money, memorabilia, ideas and enthusiasm to creating this convention. My con team interrupted to give me some incredible gifts, including one I’m sure many fans coveted – a nice warm “Vincent” blanket (which I now snuggle up with every night – sorry Catherine…and Larry!). I can’t thank those who contributed to those gifts enough – I was moved to tears (and am again now that I’m thinking of it!).
     So, after I got control of my emotions and finished my thank-yous, we passed the candle to the next U.S. convention chair and to the Wintercandlemakers for the next Winterfest Online. Then we invited the con virgins to a ceremony first held last year in New Orleans, but which I hope becomes a new con tradition – welcoming the virgins to join our circle, as Father did with Catherine at her first Winterfest.
     The convention ended at about 4:00 p.m. just as it had started, amid hugs and happy tears.
     Again, thanks to many volunteers, we were all packed up – every room – barely an hour after the con ended.


     Monday finally dawned sunny, and we had a more typical Southern California day to offer the fans! About 40 of us left early in the morning for Griffith Park, watching music videos along the way. Our driver got a bit lost, but we finally pulled into the parking lot near the carousel at about 11:30. We had brought Stiff Vincent with us, and he featured in many photographs on and near the carousel. Rosemary, the lady who runs the carousel, had put up a sign welcoming us B&B fans, and there was also a sign acknowledging our donation last year which helped restore the historic carousel (all the new horsehair tails with ribbons on them were purchased thanks to B&B fans’ donations!).
     Carol, a San Diego fan and owner of a catering company, provided our picnic lunch, which a number of fans ate while sitting at “Catherine and Edie’s table” in the visitors’ center complex.
     We followed Stiff Vincent down the hill to visit the “Central Park tunnel entrance,” which several fans explored far in (see Stace’s con report), and which was “decorated” inside by virtue of purposely brought Sharpies! We fans always leave our mark! Many photos were taken there, as well.
     We left at 2:30 for the two-hour drive back to the hotel, tired but happy.


     Tuesday was the San Diego Zoo add-on day, and 45 of us hopped on the bus for our day at the Zoo. We split into small groups upon entry, so everyone had a slightly different experience, but hopefully everyone had fun!
     I was wearing a B&B tee shirt, and a lady near the panda exhibit pointed at my shirt and said, “I loved that show!” Then with an earnest face, she added, “He loved her so much!” I don’t what I enjoyed better – seeing the pandas, or that woman’s reaction to my shirt!
     After we’d had loads of fun (I particularly loved watching the polar bears in their pool), we got back on the bus at about 2:30, and once the bus unloaded us at the hotel…my job as con chair was officially DONE!


     I had a wonderful time at the convention – even though I was supposedly “in charge,” in truth the con team made my job very easy. My deepest thanks to them: Larry, Suze, Deb F., Sandy2, Cathy M., Shelia, Lori, Pat K., and MarJ. Also, my undying gratitude to those who contributed so much to making the con a success – I can’t possibly name them all, but I especially want to thank Amy, Judy L., Karen Q., J’Ecris, Nightrose, Lisa G., Lisa L., Lisa H., Linda B., Rosie B., Peggy G., CHSBB, Carol B., Laura G., Rebecca M., Krista R., Blanche C., Marilyn H., SandyX, TM, Elaine M., Tamara T., among so many others (including all those who contributed to the conzine), and Susie, Rachel & Marissa who handled the Dealers Room. And always, thank you to my special angel Chan, who sat on my shoulder guiding me in the months leading up to the con – I miss her every day.
     Yes, it was a lot of work, but it was a LOT of fun, as well. I have apologized to friends for often only being able to engage in drive-by huggings rather than nice long chats, but overall, I had a great time, slept well each night, and enjoyed every moment!
     I know the mood of the con attendees was infectious – many hotel staffers as well as all the guests commented to me how happy and warm and loving the convention environment was. I guess we couldn’t help but give out that vibe, since we were so glad to have so much of our Tunnel family together in one place for a time.
     For me, a San Diego con was something I’d dreamed of doing for several years, and actually bringing it to fruition was really a dream come true!