They started letting the outside folks in through the side, so I went in after the first group in the back, and edged toward the front. The whole room was back-to-back round tables. It was utterly amazing how many there were, and I wondered how on earth people would be able to move once they got settled. Front tables were taped off and numerous seats filled up fast. I saw no one but Julie that I knew, and she seemed to have a full table anyway. Flashing on my original prediction that I'd pay a mint to sit alone and eat 2000 miles from home, I sought out a place to sit. I wound up in the front-middle of the room, more-or-less; about as close to anything as I could get anyway. So I sat with a couple at table 33.
There were a few things passed around as bonus extras, like calendars, I believe. When most people had eaten or at least been served, and da Man had arrived, tributes began. Dark Shadows Folk gave little speeches to honor Jonathan Frid.
Katherine Leigh Scott started things off, I think. I played more with my camera. Mostly just looking through it and fiddling with buttons, though. Telephoto in candlelight isn't really conducive to sharp shots, but some photographs turned out better than others.
Then Marie Wallace added some nice things. Jonathan had quite a turn-out, indeed. Finally picked out someone else I could (somewhat) recognize, from my viewpoint. This is Mark, Jonathan's webmaster du jour. And finally they gave John a chance to respond to all that gushing. There was also a nifty video tribute and other bonuses. Enjoyed the video...
Before and after much of this, Jonathan was apparently back in a corner signing his fingers off. Table-groups were led one-by-one to line up over on the far left side of the stage area to get JF's autograph. Bobbi and others were herding people into the right spots as other things kept going. Here's a Dark Shadows person whose name and job I managed to miss (sorry!). But part of the kudos-giving gang for Jonathan.
Door prizes were awarded. Fun was had. But our table was about one-third into the room and not near being called up for signings, and it was getting pretty late. I could see that either Jonathan was capable of far greater endurance than I would have dreamed, or that very soon a lot of people were going to be disappointed. This aspect was not planned out well. I could see DSF '93 coming back to haunt me, where I went through the entire con and didn't see JF, and waited in the autograph line for hours only to have him throw in the pen a few people before I got up to bat. So to speak.
But Bobbi came by and said "TABLE 33!" Our time to line up. Well, well, maybe I'd get to say howdy at the con after all. So we gathered our things and got into the autograph line to the side, getting ready for our minute with the big guy. We stood, and stood, and stood some more. I wished I hadn't taken my bookbag...had my drawing junk in it so it was heavy. Got around the corner and noted that most of the people I Did know had tables up here, including my roomies. Sigh. I chatted with one or two while in line. Waited some more. Memorabilia stuff was being auctioned off, I think, on stage. About at the point I could finally see JF, I noticed some bad signs; namely a tired nervousness, then a pause where JF called in his aides for a huddle, and then Jim heading towards the mike. Uh oh, this is it. I'm about 2-3 people from the autograph table...
And yep, Jim announced that sadly JF had to call it quits for the night. Dang. Not at all a surprise to me, though it did hit a lot of others unhappily. So, um, now what, we in line wondered...was he going to finish the line or announce something more or what? We waited around awkwardly. Then it came that if autographs were needed, he'd do them later and mail them back (arrangements would be made) or he'd try to do some more in the morning before heading back to Canada. That was it. We stood about a little more, if only because it was a bit difficult to back out until others did, and then most headed out the banquet room, in dribs and drabs.