Relaxing for a bit alone before I check out and ultimately begin my journey home after a wonderful Oz Con/Winkie Con 51. New friendships were formed, online ones improved by meeting them in person, and old friendships strengthened.
So many people were just so wonderful this weekend as we celebrated many anniversaries in the Oz fandom, from Baum's "The Scarecrow of Oz" to Disney's "Return to Oz" to Broadway's "The Wiz" to Gregory Maguire's "Wicked."
Big thanks to Freddy Fogarty and John L. Bell and everyone who worked their butts off to make sure everyone had a delightful time. Your efforts were, as far as I could tell, very much appreciated and fruitful.
It was wonderful to meet Emma Ridley, Justin Case and Paul Maslansky, three people who helped bring one of the more iconic (via emergence through cult classic status) Oz films to life, as well as Craig Miller, who helped promote it, and Kevin Kidney, who helped ensure some treasures were not lost forever.
A big vote of confidence for my old friends Karyl Carlson and Eric P Gjovaag as they attempt to create another delightful convention in Portland, Oregon next year. I believe in you guys!
As I said last night, this convention really is like an annual family reunion (except you actually want to see these people), and each year, leaving seems to get a little more unwelcome, even though you know sticking around would just pin you with an unwieldy charge from the hotel...
I'm writing this from my bed in my room as I slowly get dressed in the clothes I'll have to wear for about two days as I make my way back home via Greyhound.
Thank you, everyone who joined us this year, and for everyone else, I heartily recommend joining us in Portland next year.
We did a live con recap podcast with several guest voices and also have audience commentary to supplement the next episode of Movies of Oz. Perhaps I'll add some photos to the former post.