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» Sunday, February 26, 2017Anachrocon and the Creeping Crud
James was feeling very tired last night and during the night had coughed a bit. He told me he was considering not coming today, just letting me go alone. But I knew he had been looking forward to today, with the "What If..." panel and "Race to the Moon." So I let him sleep later and did everything I could: packed lunch and snacks into the backpacks, got the phones, loaded the power chair onto the lift (only took me two tries to get it on the ramp!), so all he had to do was bundle up, drive, have breakfast, and sit in panels.
So that's what we did, meeting Clay and Maggi for the breakfast bar and fueling up for the morning. I asked for the check almost immediately when we ordered so we could leave in time for the "Media Revolution and Evolution" panel at ten. We were still a bit late because I refused to bolt my food, but it was as great fun as I had hoped. The description of this one was "Rod Serling, Norman Lear, TW3, Telstar, 1963, 1968...how the 1960s change us and changed the media." It was a wonderful participatory panel with people calling out the names of local children's television hosts, or if they remembered JFK's assassination, or Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and the Republican/Democratic conventions in 1968 ("The whole world is watching"). One gentleman said he knew what all of these things were except...what was TW3? I knew even because it was on after my bedtime, because my parents watched the show, and also another series mentioned, East Side, West Side with George C. Scott and Cicely Tyson. And Mel mentioned something from the 1950s that was still stupid today: the wiping of most of the innovative anthology series like Philco Playhouse, Playhouse 90, and all the other live drama that was at least kinescoped. We also talked about Desilu being a pioneer of the 3-camera system still used for sitcoms today.
Next year we need to do this panel again and have it for two hours. :-)
Here we had a free hour, so we bought next year's memberships, did another walk around the Dealer's Room, and finally stood talking to Caran and John who were running the Atlanta Radio Theatre table, later joined by Oreta who had bought herself a nifty leather belt with pouches on each side. She had wanted to buy the pouches separately, but they didn't sell them that way.
Next it was time for "What If..." If Lincoln had not been shot. Or Kennedy. Or if the South won. If the Nazis won. If Hitler didn't survive World War I. Many books are built on these alternate histories (Harry Turtledove has made his career on it). On television we have Man in the High Castle or older series like Amerika. If Hitler didn't show up, might there have been someone worse?
There is a full solar eclipse happening this August and the path of totality crosses the United States diagonally. Our next panel was about how and where to watch the eclipse. It will be about 97 percent here, and, thankfully, it's not during rush hour. I hope they announce it on the news or every dipwit driver in Atlanta will be going berserk. Interestingly, all we would have to do to see full coverage is drive up to Dillard. They passed maps around and one of the panelists even handed out sun-safe eclipse paper glasses. The lenses are opaque inside. I've never seen anything like this that will blot out a nasty fluorescent light, but these do. Must save them. Remember the last eclipse: the neatest thing to do is view it under a tree. The light that comes through the trees is all crescent-shaped.
James was not only coughing now, but sneezing as well, so we were glad we were on the final panel, the much awaited "Race to the Moon." The panel had been planning to do a little history, based on the slides they had with them, but it was pretty apparent that everyone in the room had either witnesses or was well-read on the moon landing because we went off on tangents (that were at least not talking about Land of the Lost) about the corrosive fuel the Soviets used, and other behind-the-scenes chat.
And then it was time to head for home. I'd bagged chicken and wild rice soup from Publix a few days earlier and we had that, nice and hot on James' throat for supper.