Helen's Dave-o-rama

Helenís DaveCon 2006 Trip Report

I. Before the Show

I decided to make it a quick trip this year. This was partly because I have some things going on that I had to get back for, and partly because a lot of the usual suspects would not be in town for long or would be missing completely. Traci was making a quick trip of it; we would barely see Brad; Karen was totally out of town; and those slackers Carl, Kathie, and Brady were not coming at all.

I flew down to NYC on Thursday June 15, attended the Thursday taping with the AFL crew, and left Friday morning. So this might be a shorter than usual trip report; we'll see how that works out.

[Editorís note: the report is ridiculously long for such a short trip, but the author refused to make cuts.]

Normally if I don't come in until the day of the taping I take the crack-of-dawn flight that departs before 6 a.m., which is a pain not only for the obvious reason of having to leave the house at 4 a.m., but also because it gets me to the hotel far too early to check in, with nothing to do and nowhere to go until it's time to meet up with everyone for lunch. So, when Traci told us we didn't have to line up at the Ed until 3:00 p.m., I decided to book a later flight, leaving Burlington at 9:30 a.m. and with an ETA at Laguardia around 11:00. Should be plenty of time, right? Well, Traci sent us an urgent e-mail on Tuesday to say that she had just been informed they were taping the show at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, not 5:30, meaning we had to line up for tickets between 1:30 and 2:00. That didn't leave me a lot of leeway for travel delays, but it was too late to change my plans.

Fortunately, everything was on time, and I got to the hotel around noon. Steve was in the lobby, checking his e-mail. Turns out Steve and his girlfriend Elizabeth, Keith Rose, Pat (not Pat Fleet, the other Pat), and I were all staying at the Best Western President. Anyway, I got checked in and walked two blocks to the TGIFriday's where we were meeting for lunch. Traci and lot of other old DaveCon friends were already there when I arrived, as well as DaveCon newbies Keith Rose and Tom Wolper. Katycren (also a newbie) arrived a little later, and I daresay she was more than a little overwhelmed by the whole thing, much as I was when I arrived for my first DaveCon. Kate was staying with her sister, who has lived in NYC for many years, but this was Kate's first trip up; apparently she needed the incentive of DaveCon to visit her sister. Nice! Kate, BTW, was carrying with her a totebag filled with packs of boiled peanuts for everyone. Thanks, Kate! Apparently it's a Southern thing; I'd never seen or heard of boiled peanuts. Bob/Nekk brought exquisite chocolate truffles to pass around. Thanks, Nekk!

Nick and Marilyn arrived just about the time we were all getting ready to leave. Apparently they pulled a Bill Lehecka, and went to the wrong TGIFriday's (one that no longer even exists). Cyber looks surprisingly good for a dead guy.

Brad met up with us right outside the TGIFriday's and walked up to the Ed with us. Naturally, there was a touching reunion between Brad and his brother Tom Cronin-Hill-Hall. Unfortunately, that's about all we saw of Brad this year. He was moving from New Jersey to North Carolina the next day, so he had to get home and help Julia-Louis pack.

We also met up with Donz on our way to the Ed. Donz was walking towards us, on the same side of the street, and walked right by us, oblivious, as we called out his name.

Next page: II. Showtime!