First - thank you to Jan and the rest of the concom and Filk-track staff for making Duck an exceptional gathering of our particular micro-sub-genre.
Second - thank you especially to Megan who worked very hard on the sound tech all weekend. There were issues, but she was smart, diligent, and very kind throughout the entire thing. Megan rocks.
I got in on Thursday before the con. Picked up by Jan at O'Hare and taken back to her and Nick's house to drop my gear and join Talis and Dave in a pre-con rehearsal. One notable thing - I hadn't actually traveled by air for quite a while, and was therefore caught unexpected with the per-checked item fees. So I was a bit surprised when I realized that because I had chosen to bring my own guitars, it had cost me $160.00! My advice - borrow.
Many many thanks to Gundo and Jason of Toyboat who seem to have an unlimited supply of gear. Anything we needed, we could call them up and they'd not only have what we asked for, but also a choice between specific applications. It was like calling myself. :) I just wish I'd had a chance to play the bass banjo - but that's another story...
Okay - rehearsal. So I walk in the room seeing Talis and Dave, neither of whom I had seen in years, and rather than "Hello! How are you!" I am told by Talis "Hi. We're working on the Friday setlist, and are about half way through. We've changed the key to Am. Ready? Go..."
:) Anyone who has played in a band with Talis knows this is exactly how it goes, so I smiled, picked up the bass, and then we played for several hours. I'm glad we did, and it was great. After Talis retired to her chambers that afternoon, Dave and I had a chance to catch up, and I'm so glad we did. I really love that guy. :)
Thursday, the day of my arrival, also happened to be my 49th Birthday. Unbeknownst to me, Jan had invited people over for dinner in the evening, and it was all topped off with a birthday cake. It was a lovely surprise, and a great time.
I also want to mention here that before the con Jan had sent me an email query about what kinds of beer I liked and such. Also to my pleasant surprise I found that she had aquired EVERYTHING that I had mentioned. Which means the entire con got to enjoy Anchor Steam, Anchor Porter and a few Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout. It was just great. :) Has anyone else mentioned how great Jan is? Well, she really is all that and a bag of chips.
Friday was a lie in for all of us, and a bit of a late start, but we took the opportunity to rehearse a bit more in between packing up our things and making last minute arrangements for gear and stuff. But soon enough we were off to the hotel, and then the next adventure begins...