Creation - Valley Forge, PA 2001

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Valley Forge 2001
Page One
Pix of William Gregory Lee, Keith Hamilton Cobb and Marina Sirtis.
Page Two
Pix from Michael Hurst's Saturday night cabaret performance.
Page Three
Pix of Michael Hurst, Robert Duncan McNeill, and Hudson Leick.


Well, what a fun little trip THIS turned out to be! First off, let me state that it's the first time in...well, ever...that I left both my kids and hubby behind for more than a couple of hours at a stretch. This was more than a convention. This was MOMMY'S WEEKEND OUT!!!!

I stepped onto my plane on Friday afternoon without much ado, thankfully. Read quite a bit in the Terry Brooks book I'd brought with me, watched some movie (not impressive), and just relaxed. Never thought I'd think of an airplane ride as relaxing, but that's what not hauling around a diaper bag and carseat and stroller, etc. will do for ya I guess.

At the airport, I go down to baggage claim level, which is where I'm supposed to catch a ride to the hotel. As I'm coming down the escalator I see a limo driver holding up a sign that says "Leick". I was VERY tempted to stick around and see Hudson, but I was anxious to get to the hotel and meet some fellow fans. So, I opt to leave.

It was getting pretty darn cold by this time, and I hadn't really dressed for the weather. *shudder* After a few other stops by the shuttle, we come to the Radisson. HOORAY! I just know I'm going to be accosted by scads of amazons. Ummmm....nothing happened. :( Well, I mean, I did see a few Iolausians in the bar, but they were about to head upstairs for the night. Now, mind you, I'm not complaining. I'm thrilled I got to see these folks. And, truthfully, I was so wiped out from the plane ride that it was probably for the best that I didn't find a bunch of people milling about in the lobby. Soooo, I order a Philly cheese steak sandwich and take it up to my room. Call hubby and kids, eat my sandwich (yuuuuummmmm), and read a bit. It's hard to get to sleep because of the three hour time difference, but I manage to finally doze off. (Can I mention, as a little sidenote, that the cost of the room is irrelevant. ALL hotel room mattresses SUCK!)

Morning comes, mercifully. Slept horribly. But, today is the big day one of the con!!!! It's very hard to shower and bounce simultaneously, but I'm a very talented woman. LOL Wolf down the breakfast goodies I'd had delivered to my room, and head downstairs.

AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!! Soooo many people, and I know I'm gonna leave some out! But I saw, to name a few, Callisto/Red Princess, Moondog, Lil, Sargemom, Lyrical, the "original" Callisto ;), Cleya...the list goes on. Lots of hugs and squeals and "I can't breathe"s eminating from that lobby, lemme tell ya!

We decide to go to the convention center. There's still something like an hour before "showtime," so we figure there's no rush. OHMYGOSH!!!! The line, and I'm not kidding here, was snaked all through this huge level of the convention center. I wouldn't even hazard a guess as to the number of people in attendance, but let's just say I was impressed with the turnout.

Oh, I mustn't forget. During this weekend extravaganza, the convention center was also host to a Fly Fishing show and a Bead show. Yeah. We Herculeans, and Xenites, and Trekkers...we all just BLENDED right on in, huh? *snicker* At one point while standing in line by the stairs, I see two men coming down (obviously for the Fly Fishing show). I overhear this part of their conversation:

"Who are all these people?"
"Oh, they're all a bunch of Trekkie freaks."

After lots of waiting in line (special thanks to Cleya, who got out of her spot further ahead so I wouldn't be alone!), we finally did the ticket stub tearing and hand stamping. Then, we were herded into a room right by the ticket line. After a very crowded trip around the dealer room, we start to wonder where the heck the actual convention is. Turns out it's THE NEXT FLOOR DOWN! Of course, you don't find that out until you've parted ways with your money. :) They were giving out free posters from shows like Buffy and Charmed, so I picked up a couple. They also had comix type freebies that I nabbed. Hey, free is just the right price, dontcha know? I did spend some money getting pix for signing, as well as some nifty little badges to wear. Overall, I was very good!

Thankfully, the line to get into the actual convention area wasn't bad at all, and I got to my seat in record time. Pretty decent seat, I must say! I'll be skipping over the things I didn't care about, like the comic book stuff. I should mention, however, that the auction on Saturday was pretty...well, let's just say the merch was great but the auctioneer was over-talkative. Finally, people just started interrupting him with bids, shouting out $10!!! even if they weren't really interested, just so he'd get on with it. Sorry, sidenote. Hey, I found it amusing!

Okay, first guest up was William Gregory Lee. Now, I'd just seen him last month in Seattle, and he had appeared quite nervous and basically came out and said "I don't know what to say, so ask me questions." This appearance, he seemed much more relaxed. Many questions were related to his appearances on Xena: Warrior Princess as Virgil, son of Joxer. But there were also quite a few regarding his role of Zack on Dark Angel. Dark Angel is set in the future in Seattle, which looks pretty darn wrecked and bleak. Since he'd been in Seattle just last month, I asked him about the set of DA and joked that maybe it looks that way in the future because the "big" earthquake finally hit. He remembered me from last month and asked how my house and family fared. He asked "Did it just scare the stuffing out of you?" He is from West Virginia, but he doesn't really have an accent. I asked how he got away with that one, and he confessed he'd never really had an accent. But, Greg admitted, he got in trouble for calling a New Yorker "ma'am". Apparently what's taken for granted in the South is frowned upon in the Northern states. LOL Towards the end of his session, Keith Hamilton Cobb was being escorted behind the curtain. The crowd whooped and hollered, and Greg pouted and said something to the effect of "Well, I guess I'm done, now." Someone shouted "We love you, Greg," which he proceeded to have us shout louder and louder until he wasn't pouting anymore. I was even more impressed with his down-to-earth demeanor than the first time I saw him. I hope he has a long and successful career.

Next...Keith Hamilton Cobb. How we survived one gorgeous man followed by another is a mystery! Keith came out to a near deafening roar of the crowd. He pulled a folded piece of paper from his pocket and began reading. I later found out it was something that he'd written. It was just WONDERFUL! I hope someone, somewhere will put it online to share with the rest of the world. He joked about his size on the show, how they made him stop taking steroids and didn't allow him to pack the inflatable suit. But, the guy is not tiny! He has to be 6'4" or more. *deep breath* When they were putting up a mike, I rushed to it. I knew if I didn't I'd totally lose my nerve. I remembered him from his role of Noah Keefer on All My Children, and so have had a big crush on him for years. Sooooo, I admitted to my crush and asked for a hug. Now, you'll hear a lot of stuff about how the Creations fellow handled this poorly, and I agree. But, I don't want to really focus on that. I GOT A HUG FROM KEITH HAMILTON COBB!!! Who cares about the rest?!?! A high point of the Q & A was when Lil stepped up to the mike, notebook in hand. Before she could say a word, he said "I know you." He commented that she asks really hard questions. He knew Lil! Isn't that awesome!?!?! I was really thrilled for her. And the question was great, and his answer was great.

Okay, skipping ahead to Marina Sirtis. She, too, was in Seattle last month. My query to her was "who is the better kisser, Jonathan Frakes or Michael Dorn." Her first response was "Data", which the crowd loved. Then she admitted it was difficult to kiss Michael since they are best friends. There was also mention of trying to find Michael a woman, because she was tired of cooking for him. LOL I didn't take copious notes, so I know I'm missing a lot here. Plus the fact that I was, by this time, bone tired and starving.

After the con I met up with Moondog, Lil, Sargemom, Callisto and Lyrical for dinner. Have I mentioned that the Radisson in VF is expensive? Well, it is! But, the food was really good, too, so I won't complain. Although a little fridge in the room would have been nice for bottled water or juice or something.

Finally, it was time to go back down to the con area for Michael Hurst's cabaret. The line was pretty long, but it moved more smoothly than the earlier line had. There were a lot less people in attendance, I think, too. He recited lines from Shakespeare, which really blew me away. He sang "Short People" which was hilarious given his facial expressions at the time. When he sang "Lola" the place was lit up with purple glo-sticks. I am sorry I can't remember the name of the woman that gave me one of her extras, but if you're reading this...thank you! And during a callback to the stage, he sang "I'm A Believer" and dedicated it to his wife, which was sooooooo sweet!

After all of this, we headed to the hotel bar. I owed Lil a couple of drinks for the whole Keith/hug thing. :) Sargemom and I got a little giggly, and decided we'd had enough. Lil and Lyrical told us "party on floor 12", but we didn't find any sign of them, so we parted ways and turned in.

Sunday morning brought threats of a huge snowstorm. Several people cancelled their plans to attend completely, and quite a few rearranged flights. I decided to take my chances and leave on a 10am flight on Monday morning. I had breakfast in the hotel restaurant, where I met up with a fellow Xena fan. Callisto came along and joined us as we were finishing up, and we filled in our new friend on the last few eps of Buffy and Angel that she'd missed.

The line for the con seemed to move a bit smoother, probably because less people decided to come due to the weather predictions. I got an autographed pic of Majel Rodenberry, who'd had to cancel pretty close to con time. It was nice of her to provide autographed pix like that. :) Hit the dealer room again, but didn't really do anything. Since coming home I've found out that they had a DIFFERENT freebie poster featuring the whole Andromeda crew, and I didn't get one. DANGIT!

Due to the weather, they shifted a lot of the schedule around. Michael still came out first, and was very entertaining. He talked about a lot of things...directing eps of Xena, the possibility of a guest appearance on Andromeda (Kevin Sorbo wants him, but nothing official at this time), he's working on a film called "Love Mussel" with Kevin Smith appearing as himself. The plot sounds too funny! Something about the aphrodisiacle properties of the gooeyduck shellfish. It sounded much better when HE talked about it, I promise!

After getting Michael's autograph, I went out into the hall and actually ran into Robert Duncan McNeill as he was coming in. I'm so stupid, I asked "how's the weather out there?" Yeah, way to seize the moment, Zoni! DUH!

Robert was pretty cool onstage, I must say. I remember HIM from All My Children as well. I can't remember his character's name, but his girlfriend on the show was Lauren Holly. My question to him was something about "do you keep in touch with any of your former castmates from your AMC days?" He said he does speak with a few of them from time to time, and mentioned several names. Michael Knight (Tad Martin on AMC), and Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos on GH) were a few of the names he mentioned. I think he was impressed that anyone remembered him from that far back. He'd sprained his wrist while skiing in Aspen, and got sympathetic "aaawwwws" from the crowd when he held up his splinted hand.

Hudson Leick was last up for the day. She did not feel well, poor thing. But she was extremely entertaining nonetheless. She handed out pink carnations to those who came to the stage to get them, and pelted the audience with Hershey Hugs. She talked about her role on Xena: Warrior Princess as Callisto and what fun it was to have that experience. Right now there's not much waiting in the wings for her as I understood it. Eeeeewwww!!! I have to mention this, although I found it terribly gross. She had been given some gum by someone, and toward the end of the Q & A, some guy asked for it. And she took it out and handed it to him!!! Now, I ask you...what would anyone want with used gum, even if it was from a celebrity? I mean, is this guy a mad scientist who's going to use the DNA from her saliva to clone her? ICK!!!

She admitted that she doesn't really watch a lot of television, after which Robert came up and asked "Do you think Tom Paris is the sexiest man on television?" to which she replied "ummm, yes?" "That's what I thought you'd say," he retorted. Then, he said that someone wanted him to ask her if she and Xena were "together." "Together?" Hudson asked innocently. "Yeah, you know" Robert says, "together, together." "Come up here on stage." So, Robert goes on stage and they banter back and forth briefly about whether Callisto and Xena are an item when finally Hudson says, "You haven't seen my show, either, have you?" Head hanging, he answers "no." I wish I could do this little exchange justice, but it was sooooo funny!

While waiting in line for autographs, Cleya and I are standing next to each other and see Robert is leaving. He's trying to sign as many autographs on his way out as he can manage. Cleya asks if she can take his picture. He says, "Sure, but don't you want to be in it?" How cool is that?!?! So, he wraps his arm around her shoulder and she gets a cool pic. Me, being the goofball I am, say something to the effect of "Hey, I remembered you from all those years ago on AMC." He said, "yeah, you did, didn't you?" So I got a pic of us together in a big hug, too! Yeehaw! Got Hudson's autograph as well, but I didn't stick around for a hug. Still got her cold, though, darnit!

Dinner that night was tough. Not only was there the stress of having to say goodbye, but there was also the storm to worry about. Lots of people who would have otherwise stayed late had to cut out as soon as possible because they had a long drive ahead. Still, I'm grateful for the time we did get to share. And I hope to meet many more wonderful fans in the future.

I know I've left people and details out. But hey, I'm tired. LOL