Coverage of the 2013 Flashback Weekend concludes…
Don and Bunny Urban and I found ourselves some seats in the room designated for Flashback Weekend’s annual costume contest. Per the custom at Flashback, it would be hosted by Svengoolie who always adds his own brand of humor to enhance the entire event. Soon we were rejoined by Bill and Joan Yingst and sat together in a row that could have been marked, “Reserved for Sven’s Goolies.”
While waiting for the show to begin, we saw all the contestants lined up against a wall preparing for their turn to march. Since I never seem to have much luck photographing a dark stage from an audience vantage point, I decided this was a golden opportunity to take pictures of everyone up close before things even started. And the nominees are…
Svengoolie entered the scene and the contest was soon underway! There were lots of different costumes but one thing remained the same; Sven was hilarious and seemed to always have the perfect one-liners; even when faced with contestants who were non responsive.
The Big Winner was the one I’d been cheering for form the start. It was my friend, “The Pumpkinman” (not sure if he wants me revealing his personal identity so I won’t), who does a public access horror host show called “Fright Night Theater” in Indiana! Clad in his Chuck Jarmon (another friend of The Daves) mask, Pumpkinman has been seen at numerous events (including the last Horrorhound Weekend in March) and walks around in a costume that’s gotta be uncomfortable at times. Regardless, I’ve never heard him complain as he’s always there to please conventioneers while his dutiful wife, Angelica, stands nearby.
Knowing the winner personally was a particularly good thing as I got to see exactly what was included their prize gift bag (something I’ve always wanted to know). Let’s take a closer look…
As Svengoolie and his crew left (I was so enamored with the contents of that bag I missed getting to say “Goodbye”) I met up with another Chicago horror institution, Kitty Zombie. This guy’s hysterical and, in my opinion, one of the funniest physical comedians around. Kitty gave everyone a big laugh simply by trying to pick up a dollar bill off the stage…getting more and more frustrated by each failed attempt. Where was my video camera when I needed it?!
The Yingst’s wanted to return to Wizard Con and, having achieved my Flashback goals, I decided to join them…even though that meant missing the Zombie Pin-up Contest that was next…
Joan had Bill take pictures for me (which were already posted HERE). Afterwards we walked down the street to eat dinner at Giordanos. We had a great time and it was nightfall by the time we’d finished. We trudged back down the street (my legs hurt for like a week after this with all the standing and walking) to the parking garage. Bill and I were tripping all over the place with the gravel and small walkways while Joan glided by in heels. I said goodbye while telling them I looked forward to seeing them at the next Svengoolie appearance.
It would be the last time I would see her alive.
Joan’s tenure in my life, though relatively short, made a strong impact. I wrote a tribute to her (which you can read HERE) which took the entire day in lieu of the numerous crying breaks necessary to get through it. Since that time, I’d be reminded of many more things that should have been included but weren’t.
I asked Bill if he minded me publishing these posts and he said it was fine and what Joan would have wanted. I was glad because, in all honesty, I’m still having trouble letting go and somehow these posts made it feel like she was still here. It was only recently I finally had the strength necessary to take her name off of my cell phone. I guess there was a part of me that hoped I’d wake up to the chime of her texting. “Oh that Bill! It’s all just a big misunderstanding. Dave, I’m fine!”
But of course that never happened.
As much as I complained about having to do another summer horror convention, there are none that I am more grateful for attending than this one. It gave me one last day to see Joan, and one I’ll often remember.
These Flashback posts dedicated to the memory of Joan Yingst.