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» Sunday, September 05, 2004Dragon*Con: Day 3
It should have been a sleep-in this morning, but I used the dry weather as an opportunity to do the monthly spraying of the foundation and around the doors. I found a parade of ants going the entire length of the driveway, which is over two car lengths long.
Our first panel was the "Babylon 5 Reunion," which was a small reunion as the only B5 guests were Jason Carter (manic as usual), Stephen Austin, and Peter Jurasik. (Richard Biggs has planned to do D*Con this year, before his untimely death. A fund had been set up at the con for his children.) The panel was quite funny--Jason recited some humorous poems he had written--and there was a hilarous segue in which Peter Woodward broke in the room to announce he hadn't been invited to the panel because of his previous panel, but he wanted to promote a cruise he was doing, and he raced through the room scattering flyers everywhere.
We remained in the room to see Harlan Ellison speak. I can't say I always agree with Harlan's politics, but he kept it to a minimum. Harlan is...well, Harlan. Acerbic, aggravating, annoying...and often amusing. I enjoy reading his essays even though I might not always see things the way he does. In this outing he told the long and convoluted tale about his almost fatal encounter with Frank Sinatra in a private Los Angeles club. From anyone but Harlan this would probably be exaggerated. But it's not.
James and I then wandered back over to the Exhibitors Hall, where I made my yearly McFarland Books purchase, Crump's The Christmas Encyclopedia. McFarland is a small press and their books are wonderful, but very pricy. I just missed the chance to grab their Halloween Encyclopedia and may go back and order it tomorrow at convention sale prices. They had a radio book I was interested in, too...oh, dear...
We took another stroll around the Dealer's Room, which is still hellishly hot. James got a pic of Kathy Garver and we said hello to Dee Wallace Stone and commented about her seating near June Lockhart (which I mentioned in a previous entry).
Tired, we attended a time travel panel, which was okay, and then the "Whither B5" panel in which we got very small news about the possible theatrical movie, The Memory of Shadows, which might be more about the Technomages and might continue the Crusade series. Oh, and that Crusade was being released on DVD on December 7.
We then had some time to kill before the ARTC presentation of Heinlein's "The Menace from Earth," so we walked back into Peachtree Center where a few restaurants were still open and each had a sugar-free Dilly Bar at Dairy Queen. These were quite good. I've been ingesting pita sandwiches, granola bars and fruit juice all weekend and wanted something a bit decadent!
Then we sat in on the "Celebrity What's My Line? panel in the main ballroom. This was sparsely attended and they only did two "lines," including the mystery guest, which turned out to be children's host/game show player Soupy Sales. Sales is appearing at the convention, even though it is pretty obvious he suffered a stroke at some point. It's a bit sad to see this gregarious smiling guy confined to a wheelchair with limited movement and a whisper of a voice, but he seemed to be enjoying himself. The other two celebrity guests were Kathy Garver and Beverly Washburn (you'll remember the latter from Old Yeller) and it turned into a Q&A with the three of them.
We had hoped to see a little of Dean Haglund's improv routine at 8:30, but the panel started late and we just wandered into the big ballroom where ARTC was setting up and sat down in relief. (Haglund was actually "waiting in the wings" at the back of our room and didn't go on until almost nine.) They had a wonderful crowd despite this being the night of the masquerade (held at the Civic Center for the second year in a row).
There were two presentations, another installment of Ron Butler's homage to 40s and 50s kids' space serials, "Rory Rammer, Space Marshal," which had Rory's youthful sidekick Skip Sagan being turned into a zombie puppet for a mad scientist, and "The Menace from Earth." This is my favorite Heinlein short story, about a teenage moon native who discovers her feelings for her slightly older future "partner" in spaceship design has a bit more meaning than just that of a working relationship when he is attracted by a fetching visitor, a blonde "groundhog" from Earth. Sarah Taylor, just the age to play the fifteen-year-old heroine Holly, made her lead debut (I believe) in the story, and got an overwhelming roar of approval from the crowd when the story was over and the cast was introduced.
Al Leonard and Brad Weege also received the Thomas E. Fuller Lifetime Achievement Award for their musicial contributions to ARTC.
At this point it was 11 p.m., and, as fun as the cabaret probably would have been, we had to head home to the "terror" who was probably crossing her legs at that point.