I arrived Friday by train to the Washington DC area for a very fun filled weekend. Again I was not at all disappointed, in fact, I was very pleased with everything.
Friday night we started out with the opening ceremonies and the concert by the Rogues, an American band playing mainly bagpipes and drums, but with an organist as accompaniment. Excellent Scottish music that they played. They got some people up dancing including doing some Scottish dancing. But before the band even got to play, the con organizers auctioned off a reserved seat of someone who could not make it. I was the highest bid so I ended up with a front row seat for the weekend. The first group of people started to get Peter's autograph since he was scheduled to leave Sunday afternoon, I think to go right back to Spain for continued filming of his new television series, Queen of Swords. I wish him all the luck, since if this takes off, it will be another American series that we will have him in and get to see some of our favorite actors. Wouldn't that be great, being able to see Peter and Valentine in another American series with Anthony DeLongis doing the choreography and even having a part in the show. Friday night late we had bedtime stories with Donna and Gillian and they read from "Stories from Joe's Bar" We were all laughing because they each wrote a POV from Methos and Alexa from the beginning of the trip that they took at the end of "Timeless".
Saturday, I only saw some of the stuff, but what I did see was so much fun and we really enjoyed ourselves. In the morning I took a Beginners Sword Class again which was in preparation for Sunday afternoon's Intermediate Sword Class. The next thing I really remember is the charity auction, especially how the Guest of Honors got the donated items to very high bids. Stan Kirsch and Elizabeth Gracen even kissed some of their stuff (with lipstick provided by Elizabeth) so that they really went for some really good prices. The Cabbage dolls that were auctioned of that were redone to look like, Joe Dawson, Bronze Age Methos, Richie, Duncan MacLeod, each brought in a really good bid. But nothing got as high as a limited edition t-shirt (staff and crew only received it from Adrian) that had the added words "Worn by Peter" which went for $1,400. In addition, some of the things were also rare, like one of the few stills taken of James Horan and Adrian Paul doing the scene in Band of Brothers near the end when Grayson thought he had Mac, but Mac pulled of the final moves. This was James Horan's own copy of the production still which not only did he donate but also custom autographed for me. There were many things donated by the stars, fans, and the production people which really helped to raise approximately $18,000 for the three charities. This was such a successful auction. That night the Jim Byrnes Band played for what was my sixth concert of his. (One was just him doing an acoustical concert). They again rocked the house, but what do you expect, this is Jim Byrnes that we are talking about. Such a good bluesman.
Sunday we had a lot of panels occurring. But my favorite thing was the Intermediate Sword Class with Robert Chapin. Unfortunately I missed his and F. Braun McAsh's sword demo but I have seen Anthony and Bob do theirs and also have seen F. Braun do some of his stuff when I was at Sword Spectacular Weekend. So this was not as much of a loss to me as to some people. But I did pick up on the tail end of some stuff while waiting for the next event to start. But back to the class, Bob had us immediately pair up with a partner and put together a five move fight. We practiced and practiced and changed it as the instructors gave us tips until we basically had it down pat, considering the time restraints and you usually practice at least an hour per second of fight sequence. But then each pair did it in front of the rest of the class and "The Bob" and his three assistants (Sword Fighters from the local area) made sure you did okay and even again offered tips as a group on what you could do differently. Then we were put into a big circle and you had to block a head cut without using the exact same move anyone else has used. Mine was a block, and then a roundhouse kick. Martial arts to the rescue since almost all the moves were already taken. Then we paired back up with our partner and added five more moves to the routine and from there you practiced some more until again we seemed to be fine, at which time you showed the whole class again the whole routine. Both times my partner and I were the first ones to show everyone. They showed us a different move for the end and what do I see in a panel of clips from the show, but the exact move they just showed me to use for the ending kill in my and my partner's sequence. But that just made me understand exactly why they said to use that one. It looked much, much more effective. Bob, I swear I will start taking classes once I am out in San Francisco. I loved the classes so much that I already am planning to take them on a regular basis and have talked to Bob on the weekend about where to go. Thanks Bob.
Sunday afternoon we, of course, had a small luncheon with about ten people per table and it looked like there were fifteen tables. Bob started a food fight and either he was asked to leave or requested that he behave but all the rest of the room knew is that he and his table got up and walked out of the luncheon. But it was almost the end of the luncheon already so it really did not matter as we were basically done. But everyone seemed to have a good time and I know that my table had a lot of fun talking to the guest at our table, James Horan. Not all of the tables had a guest star at their table, but as a whole group we had a lot of fun, and even with the food fight it was enjoyable to have so many people having lunch together. Sunday night started out with Legacy: the Game, similar to Jeopardy but no answer question, but question answer. I have to say that this turned out really, really good and really tested Donna, Braun and Ginjer's knowledge of the show, history, quotes out of the show and other aspects of it from all six seasons. F. Braun McAsh won the final question since he knew that Bronze was made up of Copper and Tin. They awarded him with a donation being made in his name to his favorite charity. Very nice idea and I suspect Braun is happy with that. Next we had a Concert by James Horan. Man can he sing. He has a very beautiful voice and did the show tunes so well. He did not remember all of them but we helped him out on the few. Someone should get the man to make a CD of his voice. After James's concert, they then had more stories but I did not stay for this. A lot of people went all over the hotel at this point. Some stayed for the bedtime stories and some did not.
Monday morning was the final two things that were done. First was the outtakes from the series that Donna and Gillian brought and described for everyone. They even showed the readings for the character of Kronos which I did not stay for it the end since I did see it before and knew that when they pulled away from Valentine for a minute to show his name, that when you came back to him, no more Valentine, there was Kronos. It really did show how talented Valentine is. Second was a panel with Gillian and F. Braun McAsh which discussed sword work on the set and how it is placed into the script for Braun to know what type of stuff he has to do. For example Gillian said that they would put in the script Sword fight, Methos and Keane equally matched, some description of how the outcome should be, like the ending of Methos and Keane in Forgive us Our Trespass, Methos is about to take Keane's head when Duncan comes in. But you really did get to see what they did. Then onto closing ceremony. Like normal they thanked everyone including the fans who came, the volunteers who helped them out, the different staff groups.
One thing that I can compliment the staff on was making sure to try to get everyone who wanted an autograph one. I was able to get quite a few in my "Highlander: The Complete Watcher's Guide" which I am trying to get everyone to sign. This weekend gave me many of the people I needed, including Elizabeth who has not been to the last two cruises so I was finally able to get hers.
I am writing this now on the train going home on Tuesday. A lot of people stayed until today and some are even staying later and doing some sightseeing and other stuff. We had people from across the world, England, Australia, Canada, and the United States that I know of myself. Sorry if I missed any countries.