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.
As my pre-birthday celebrating wound down it was obvious Dave still had some surprises in store for me. Once again, for our final stop, I had no idea where we were going or what to expect. Ever since I was a teen I have been fascinated by sideshows. Not so much by the human oddities but more so with the illusion and gaffs (something fake advertised as real, or “unreal”). Show me a real live lizard man (a person with scaly dry skin) and I will probably quickly move on but show me something like a feejee mermaid, something weird in a jar or a fur-bearing trout and I am there! Over the years I have even collected some various gaffs so this fascination of mine was definitely noticed by Dave which lead us to our final destination…Trundle Manor.
As my pre-birthday celebration continued I had no idea what to expect next. Dave has a real talent for scheduling vacations to emphasize the funnest places to visit ever. Once again Dave was totally secretive on the day’s destination and I truly had no idea where we were going. All I did know was that is was very cold out.
As we got to the location hints started to appear that apparently went right over my head. I honestly had no clue as to where we were going until Dave came right out and said “They’re coming to get you Barbara!” I knew exactly where we were going and was just so thrilled!