When I submitted my 2020 vacation requests back in December, I had all kinds of fun activities in the works. In addition to taking a week off in March for a Spring road trip that would never happen, I also took a chunk of July off for fan conventions. The idea was to attend G-FEST with my sons, Days of the Dead Indianapolis with my friend Jason, and see Svengoolie at Flashback Weekend here in Chicago. Unfortunately, this would not be the year for any of us to travel or partake in large gatherings. When the world shut down in March, I still hung on to the naive hope things would be back to normal by the summer but it was not to be the case. By the time July rolled around, the only event standing was Days of the Dead. Prior to all this, my friend, Jason had purchased his plane tickets from New England while generously getting us both VIP passes. Exactly a week before the event, and with their guests dropping like flies, I persuaded him to postpone his visit for Chicago in November (assuming things are better by then). Jason successfully switched his airfare and DOTD had no problem swapping tickets. They also offered folks who did make this show “half off” on their next one. This amiability, however, would not prevent them from getting roasted on social media by many who found them irresponsible for not just postponing this show in the first place. Undeterred, DOTD would remain steadfast as long as it was legal for them to do so. In a related story, the city of Atlanta shut down there next show in August just days before this one. I’m not sure why they went through with Indianapolis amidst all the controversy but I’m guessing it had something to do with whatever arrangement they had with the Marriott. Regardless, there was no question that this would be a crippled convention; hemorrhaging vendors and guests right up until their doors opened last Friday. For my part, I decided to honor my hotel reservation, follow all safety guidelines, purchase a regular weekend pass, and go by myself. I had the luxury of self-quarantining afterward since my kids would be with their mother and I was not due back to the office until August. Furthermore, I looked forward to pampering myself in a nice hotel while taking a little break from single parenthood and having worked my ass off throughout the shutdown. I make no apologies for my attendance and, at the risk of being judged, will now share that experience.
It was a muggy day here in Chicago when national horror host, Svengoolie, made his annual appearance at The Little Boots Rodeo in Elk Grove Village. Last year was my first visit to this event and, in regards to weather, was far worse with direct sunshine and even higher temps. At least today there was a breeze – though it’s worth noting that even if it had been hailing fireballs I’d probably still of shown up.
Conventions in the New England area are few and far between. Luckily though we do have one that comes back every year…ROCK AND SHOCK. Though small compared to conventions like HorrorHound Weekend, it still attracts the very best in horror and science fiction and is a guaranteed good time. Unfortunately, this year the Daves were unable to attend but thanks to their friend Brock Papineau, we are able to bring you a series of pictures to show you some of the great talent this convention draws!!! We want to thank Brock for these pics! ENJOY!
EXCERPT FROM SVENGOOLIE NEWSLETTER 7/29/11
Our “Photo of the Month” is actually an autographed picture this time, thanks to our pal Dave Fuentes of the “Terror from beyond the Daves” website that he does along with Dave Albaugh. Dave went to a convention, where he met David Naughton- star of “An American Werewolf in London” – and those “I’m a Pepper/You’re a Pepper” TV commercials from the 70s. He told David about the old commercial parody we did years ago at WFLD where I combined the soft drink commercial with his werewolf transformation from the movie. Mr. Naughton said he had indeed heard of me, and thought the parody idea was “genius” (oh, now, you’re making me blush!). He also signed the below autographed picture for me, indicating that he drinks Dr. Rabies, too! He also told Dave to give me his congratulations on our program going national!
It’s hard to imagine what my life would have been like had I not had the honor of growing up with Svengoolie. The “1970’s world” I was raised in was devoid of VCR/DVD’s and DVR cable. Consequently, watching monster movies at your own convenience was simply not the option that it is today. I suppose this is the “you kids don’t know how good you have it” story that my generation gets to tell in place of “having to walk six miles to school in the freezing cold.” All kidding aside, however, you really did have to be home at the right time to catch a rare showing of what interested you. During this era, many of us “scary movie” kids depended on our local horror hosts to reliably deliver those goods.