It was a sunny Thursday morning when we entered the main entrance of the Freetown State Forest in Massachusetts. Aaron Cadieux, the director of The Bridgewater Triangle, was en route and shot me a text asking if I wanted coffee. It was a gracious gesture, especially considering he was already doing me a huge favor just by coming out to meet us. Fortunately, my pal Jason Schoolcraft had already supplied me with my daily caffeine requirement, thereby granting me the necessary endurance to combat the Massachusetts morning traffic and an alleged evil forest. As soon as I turned off the ignition, Jef Taylor was out of the car and checking out the map.
I wasn’t sure when I’d ever make it back to New England until the lure of the other Dave’s recent surprise birthday party (featured in my last post) unexpectedly made it this year. Sure, the timing could’ve been better but I was grateful for a chance to return; not just to see friends but also more of Massachusetts which has intrigued me since my first visit back in 2010. And how could it not? “The Old Colony State” is rich in American history with some of our country’s oldest and most sinister roots stretching just below the surface of its otherwise beautiful landscapes. It’s a State with the type of scenic countenance and coastal charms a Midwesterner like myself often pines for. Yet, despite its allure, Massachusetts unnerves me with a subtle creepiness I can feel if not adequately explain. I’m not sure why that is considering I grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago and am certainly not naïve to my own city’s spooky tales and violent past (nor present I might add). I guess for me visiting New England is like stepping into an old attic loaded with strange relics, musty memories, and a glimpse of an ominous history we grazed over in school. In keeping with that metaphor, Massachusetts is like the old, locked trunk sitting in its darkest corner. This year I decided to pull back some of the cobwebs and use the party as an opportunity to covertly visit and explore a series of sites in Massachusetts that are all part of its infamous Bridgewater Triangle. If you live outside of New England, you’ve probably never heard of it but, for many of the locals, it’s arguably more notorious than Salem itself.
Would you believe I spent the better part of last week hiding in New England? It all started back in December when my fellow Terror Dave’s amazing girlfriend, Melissa, unexpectedly reached out to me. For those who read our recent posts from Erie, Pennsylvania, you may recall the purpose of that get-together was to celebrate David Albaugh’s 50th birthday (albeit two months early) since I was unable to make it out to Rhode Island in May.
Or at least that’s what I thought back at the time.
Just two weeks after formalizing that trip, Melissa’s message arrived asking for my assistance in throwing him a surprise party. Tracking me down took a bit of work on her part as I was in the midst of a “90 days without Facebook Challenge” and it’s not like she could ask David for my email address, either. I was truly touched by her efforts as well as the kind words that came with them. “You’re the first person I want to talk to about this as you’re so incredibly special to him,” she wrote. “The way he talks about you is so heartwarming to me, and I seriously doubt he’d consider it a birthday party without you there.”
I was very grateful for her sharing that with me. Best friendships are a rare gift that can be a challenge to maintain even when you don’t live a thousand miles away from each other like we do. Melissa helped me see that despite the distance, we Terror Daves really have evolved into a family of sorts. Whoever this new woman was in David’s life, she gave me some much-needed clarity and I, in turn, would give her my full support. With the two co-conspirators officially aligned, it was time to see to it that David got the birthday celebration he deserved.
This book review entry is one in a long line of quality books put out by McFarland & Company, Inc. They specialize in genre books and if you can pay out the usually high retail prices, you will almost never be disappointed (in fact, I have only been disappointed to date once with this book).
My coverage of the 2017 Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) concludes with one of my favorite aspects it – the fans themselves! Special thanks to my daughter, Jade Fuentes, Leila Celio, and Rosana Celio Durcan for helping fill this post with as much cosplay as I could! And now, without further adieu…
As soon as I arrived for Day Two of the Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), I made a mad dash to the autograph section while dodging hundreds of attendees. National MeTV horror host, Svengoolie, was signing at Table #25 and, per his producer/assistant Jim Roche, I was to meet the crew just prior to his 11 am appearance. Seconds after reaching the spot, I got swept up by the host’s television crew who’d been right behind me. For the last five years, I’ve been one of the luckiest Svengoolie fans around. Despite his growing popularity and adding a bevy of celebrity admirers to his fan base each year, he and his talented team have always been very gracious to us Daves and allowing close access to many of his key appearances. I get to play Jimmy Olsen to his Superman while offering some assistance whenever needed. C2E2 is one of those “all hands on deck” type of events where this often comes into play. Svengoolie always commands a huge line of fans but, at this convention, it would continuously grow the entire weekend if given the chance. While his Director, Chris Faulkner, and assistant director, Kevin Reisberg, are out gathering footage for the show, Jim has the arduous task of maintaining the crowd without being distracted. So it’s the perfect trade-off, I offer an extra set of hands and, in turn, get front row coverage of the host. It probably also helps that I’m built like a bar bouncer and can offer an air of “protection” should things get rowdy though, thankfully, that’s never happened at any of the Svengoolie appearances I’ve ever attended (and, for the record, this one was #76).
My family and I can literally feel the energy of the Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) for a full month before it finally begins. The annual event sees fans from virtually all walks of geek-dom gather (and fill) the city’s enormous McCormick Place to celebrate their varying interests. Whether that may be STAR WARS, Dr. WHO, superheroes, Anime, horror, science fiction, Godzilla (or in my case, pretty much “all of the above”) you’re guaranteed to love this event! We’ve been attending for the last several years and each one is more enjoyable than the one before with 2017 no exception.