This last weekend, we were at this year’s Flashback Weekend show, the only convention in our home state that we set up at. As usual we had a great time, though it did seem there were more Halloween fans seeking autographs than interested in buying books. But no worries. Maybe someday they will see the value in continuing and expanding their horror education. I can only hope.
None the less, we still had fun there. One of those reasons is because of friends. Sure, as we’ve said before, we always get to see and hang out with our convention family that we see at these events. And sure, we could always just have a get together and hang out without having to go to a con, which we do several times throughout the year. I have to say though, these conventions aren’t just about seeing old friends, but it’s about meeting and making new friends. The funny thing is that most of my convention family are friends BECAUSE I met them at a con. And it seems that at each new show, we meet another person that becomes a new member to our demented and dysfunctional family. I don’t think we’d have it any other way either. (Above Photo Credit: Rachel Thieme)
During the afterhours part at any of these conventions, it is not a common thing to see a bunch of us horror nerds gathered around in the lobby or bar area, or anywhere there is a place to sit/stand (and lay down for some of us) and just talk movies. We’ve been known to do this until the wee hours of the mornings before, jumping from one movie to another, each of us giving our thoughts and opinion. Most of us usually go away from these with at least a couple of movies that we need to add to our To Watch List. Well, Saturday night, a bunch of us were doing just that, when a gentleman (wearing a kilt no less) walked by and ask if we were talking about movies and if he could join in the group. Of course, there is no exclusion here, since all horror fans are welcome to put in their two cents worth. We found out that he had flown all the way out here from San Francisco for this show. Before we knew it, it was well after 3am when we finally decided that getting a few hours of sleep before the show opened on Sunday might be a smart idea. (Above Photo Credit: Bryan Schuessler).
On Sunday, our new found friend, one Mr. Scott Bradley, stopped by our table and we continued some of our conversations from the night before. He noticed that I was selling a copy of Adam Rockoff’s The Horror of It All, which he had already purchased and read before coming to the show. Little did he know that a couple of the people that were in our little “discussion group” last night were the same ones mentioned in Rockoff’s book, which came as a big surprise to him when I told him. I’m pretty sure that this isn’t the last time we’re going to see Mr. Bradley at a show over here in the Midwest. I’m pretty sure we have infected him enough to where he’ll have to come back for treatment.
The real moral of this little tale is to show that it is conventions like Flashback, as well as the countless other ones out there, where it still is a place to meet and make new friends, and those friendships can last decades. So the next time you are at a show, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with someone standing in line with you, or while you’re both looking through the posters at one of the vendors. Who knows, this person could end up being a best friend.
It can happen. I know this for a fact.