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THE CONVENTION 10/4-5/97




BRET RUDNICK:





My conveyance to Valley Forge, Boston skyline in the distance.


[01] There was something genetic in my initial fear of Valley Forge. Maybe it was because I was raised in England, or maybe I had seen NOTHING BUT TROUBLE one too many times, but Valley Forge loomed large in the trepidation department.



Philadelphia, look out below!.


[02] Any fears or worries I may have had were completely unfounded.

[03] In contrast to the New York City convention (09-29-97), which was my first Creation-run convention, things could not have gone better at Valley Forge. My perception in New York was that things were not as well organized as they might have been, but that was *not* my experience at Valley Forge.



Nice to see we got billing over the huge piano sale. Was it the sale or the pianos that were huge? We never found out.




The hotel and site looked something like a fugitive from "Tracy Island" of THUNDERBIRDS fame.




Some crazed fans were sighted at Dick Clark's American Bandstand restaurant. Not pictured -- Greg, from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Authority, whose acquaintance we made *twice* that evening!


[04] Creation and those who worked for them at Valley Forge deserve special credit. The lines flowed smoothly, information was readily available, and events started on time and were staggered so one could take a break during some of the "less important" events. Vendors were well placed in a large hall that people could easily walk around the middle of, and there was food and drink nearby. (I was told after the fact it was also available in New York on a different floor, but I did not know about that then and the information dissemination did not seem as well organized in New York as in Valley Forge.) Restroom facilities were plentiful and adequate, as were phones. There were several large tables with chairs in the foyer, which greatly assisted in letting fans meet and chat with one another. Every time I had contact with convention personnel, they were helpful, friendly, and courteous. Whether this is the same experience others had or not I cannot say, but I sure hope so, because aside from WarriorCon, this was the best con I have experienced to date. All you Creation folks, please take a bow!



The front door.




Originally, the letters read "Xena/Hercules", but some vandal scrambled the letters in "Hercules" a bit!




Let's play a little game, shall we? It's called "Where's Sharon?" Hint -- white sneakers.




A Xena look-alike that looks as if she could have stepped right off the page!


[05] Extra special credit goes to the "vacationing" Sharon Delaney, who did an absolutely fabulous job with event organizing and participation. I do not know what Creation pays her, but it is not enough. This woman is worth the gross national product of several small nations. She does the work of several small nations too.

[06] There are special write-ups separately for Robert Trebor, Hudson Leick, Ted Raimi, and Renee O'Connor, so I shall use this space just to say a few more words in general. Although the Valley Forge Convention Centre was a bit run down and could use a remodel, the space seemed adequate to the event. There were a lot of people there, but I didn't feel hemmed in or claustrophobic.. I came and went freely throughout both days, and even the long line to get into the convention on Saturday and Sunday moved quickly and efficiently.

[07] I didn't stick around much for the videos and such, because I had seen these before. Instead I used that time to schmooze and perform necessary functions. I got to meet several Xenites here I'd only corresponded with before, and I also got to chat with people I had met or seen at previous conventions. It was as intimate an atmosphere as you could have with between 1,000 and 2,000 other attendees present.

[08] There was something for everyone, oldsters and young-uns. There was the excitement of Renee's first convention appearance, Hudson (who is just pretty darned exciting), Ted Raimi (would the audience "be nice"?) and the ever popular and entertaining Robert Trebor.

[09] There were audience participation events too, like the "stump the panel" competition, as well as a "sound-alike" competition and a costume contest.

[10] All in all, it was a weekend that went very quickly. Alas, I must miss San Francisco, but I can't wait until Burbank! Onwards!



ANGELA LESA WHEATON:



[11] I was SO EXCITED to hear that Renee would FINALLY be doing a Con and when I heard that it'd be on MY coast, I HAD to be there!!! I was LUCKY enough to get a front row seat and couldn't wait for the day to arrive!!! I took pretty good notes during the Con, and hope that you'll enjoy reading this report!!! I might have missed some things due to my EXCITEMENT, so please bear with me.



Angela Wheaton (right) with a costume contest winner (photo courtesy Angela Wheaton).


[12] If you were there, you might have seen me. I am a redhead and wore a gray T-shirt that I bought at a comic book store. It had Xena and Gabrielle on the front and Callisto on the back. I also wore my ROC Fan Club badge that says ALWheaties and felt somewhat like a celebrity myself when Retti recognized my name while waiting in line. One of the BIGGEST highlights was meeting Renee's mom!!! Sandra Wilson (a.k.a. MommaROC) is one of the nicest people I've met!!! I also was excited to meet Sharon Delany (Creation)!!! We were able to talk for a little while prior to the Con It was SO GREAT to be able to talk to her face to face after so Many E-mails!!! I was also able to meet some other Xenites for the first time: Sal-Fan, Bret Rudnick, Beth, Lunacy and the main highlight was my good friend Sandra (Kansas)!!! We've been E-mail pals for at least a year, so it was GREAT to finally meet!!!



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