We spent this past weekend in Chicagoland, at Windycon, as we did in 2008 and 2009 (Also see these posts). Our old friend Frank Hayes was Music GOH and Christian Ready was Toastmaster, so we had been looking forward to this. We were not disappointed.
At opening ceremonies Frank sang a version of “When I was a lad” about himself, including a line that went something like “… and I’ve been filking for 100000 years (base 2).”
Christian gave three presentations on Astronomy. The first was on the Solar System, the second on stars, and the last on galaxies and cosmology. I went to the first two, but the third one was after our departure on Sunday. Near the end of his talk on stars he held up his wedding ring and deadpanned: “Jeri gave this to me when we were married. I know she loves me, because the only place to get the material for it is a supernova.”
I also went to a panel on new consumer gadgets and another on the future of publishing. Frank was on both, and they were both good.
The dealers’ room was larger than that at Convergence. Since the convention was smaller it was much less crowded and hence far more comfortable (During peak hours at Convergence you would have to repeal the Pauli Exclusion Principle to get more people into the Dealers’ Room). Despite that, it again had more book dealers and far more books than you see at the Minnesota cons.
Frank gave a concert (and showed Frank Hayes disease) at 4 PM on Saturday. Two of our friends from the old days in Chicago, RH and DH, had just arrived with some of their family and joined us in the audience. In addition to several of his own songs he sang Pat Clinton’s “House of Atreus.” He concluded with “Spring Break.”
We went out with RH, DH, and family, Frank, acmespaceship and e_m_b to a glorious dinner at the Lombard branch of Greek Islands, which was in easy walking distnace from the hotel. It was very much like the original location on Halsted Street, which I first went to with RH and DH back in 1975.
Frank has not written many songs lately. Over dinner he quoted Chicago folksinger Larry Rand: “Being an itinerant musician is the best job in the world when you are 25. It is the worst job in the world when you are 35.” He also said Pat Clinton (see above) was his boss for several years. Apparently Pat has totally dropped out of the music world. Alas, Frank did not have any leads on where I could get get a recording of “House of Atreus.”
Saturday evening we went to the art auction. Bob Passovoy was chief auctioneer, as he as been for as long as I can remember. We came home with three items. Relatively few items from the art show went to auction this year, which was disappointing. Bob’s auctions are great theater. We had a nice talk with Anne Passovoy after the auction.