Gatecon 2005

by Colonel AJ Terrapin

For the bulk of the information regarding the con & the panels themselves? Go read someone else's journal for a better blow-by-blow, okay? Outside of a few things that interested me, I really don't remember a whole helluva lot about the panels. It comes from years of manning the camera and being more concerned with making a good recording for the annual DVDs. Selected highlights?

  • Getting ourselves lost trying to get to the hotel, since we hadn't written any directions and I swore I still remembered the directions despite never memorizing them.
  • Fearless Leader aka Jenn's introduction to Marguaritaville & Meadtown, where she got to talk about the Seahawks with Aaron Douglas before I could remember exactly who he was.
  • Seeing all of our friends & family again. Gatecon has been a family reunion for probably 4 or 5 of the past 6 years at this point. It's the highlight of my year every single year.
  • We got very interested in The Collector via endless panels the first couple of days and really can't wait until it finally starts showing here in the States.
  • Of course, I got to have my ogling over the pretty men and women. It was fabulous! This did include seeing Ellen in that lovely white Oma Desala dress. *happy swoon* What can I say? I've got a soft spot for sexy women.
  • Holy Christ on a crumpet! That wakeup call for Thursday morning was a KILLER! But I was a proper trooper and I went to the taping of CityTV's morning show.
  • Took time out in Bartini's to watch the "screenings" of Jason Schombing's Ungapatchked [hope I spelled that right!] and the beginning of his Method or Madness [wish that DVD hadn't been scratched, I was definitely intrigued]. Also got to see Jerry Rector's little 1 minute piece the name of which I've totally forgotten now

But the biggest memory of all? The Stuffy Guard Project Association presentation. This was our fifth anniversary and it was a really important thing to me. Which is why it sucked all the more that Fearless Leader aka Jenn wasn't there for it again this year! *whine* And to make it worse? Dan, our contact from BCCH, and Teryl weren't able to be there either…

Anyone who knows me knows how much I hate doing the presentations. That's always been Fearless Leader aka Jenn's job, you know? And yet, here I was doing the presentation solo for the second year in a row. This time without Fearless Leader aka Jenn, Dan, or Teryl being there. Auntie Kewz and Sekh were gracious enough to let me do the presentation during Sekh's Party 6. I'd been in contact with Dan, our contact at BCCH prior to the con. While he couldn't make it, he arranged to have 3 of the teen mentors/cancer survivors come in his place: Jared Brick, Aaron Gagan, and Shaun Evans. I admit that it took 2 drinks for me to be "calm" enough to do the presentation. This was our fifth anniversary, so it was important.

Before the party really got started, Kendal introduced me to Ellen Dubin. I'd been wanting to meet her, as Wolfpac had told me that she'd seen my hat the day before and was curious about it, that he'd explained what we were all about. So yeah, excited to meet her. So I mentioned this to Kendal, who happily trotted off to bring Ellen over. Have I mentioned how gorgeous she is? So I went to introduce myself and she instantly said, "Oh, I know who you are. You're famous!" Yeah, so not the thing to say to me when I'm all alone and nervous as hell about this presentation. Cue Kathryn with a drink to continue settling my poor nerves. The boys and I were seated at one of the reserved tables in front, with Paul and Jackie Brown from Legends Memorabilia. And then SP6 started with JR Bourne bringing along some of his friends for musical entertainment.

The presentation took place part way through the musical part of the evening. Auntie Kewz came out on stage with Grampa Goa'uld [as the Goddess B named him] wrapped around herself to introduce me. I don't deny having been nervous, but the drinks helped. After wheeling out the stuffies, I started telling the story of how we got started and what we've done. I mentioned that we were at 9000 stuffies, that our goal was 10,000 for our fifth anniversary. And then I brought the boys up to have their say. Jared had said he was going to tell his story, as well as what the stuffies mean to the kids in the hospital. Then Shaun told his and Aaron's story [or do I have that backwards?].

And I almost forgot the fact that there was a very sad moment for us this year, one of the main reasons I'd wished Fearless Leader aka Jenn was at the con. GeneralGeorge was retired this year. The poor old dear has simply been so loved over the years that he's no longer able to withstand the yearly visits to Vangroovy. He's been slowly falling apart at the seams, literally. So right before con, we found the big old teddy bear that was donated in years past and has been sitting in my closet. Her name is Georgia Ann. We kept the George part of the name. And the Ann part? To honour our dearly missed friend Peggy Ann. The woman was a mainstay of Gatecon and we felt this was the best say to honour her memory.

Is it redundant to say that there wasn't a dry eye in the place?

I don't honestly remember much of what I said anymore. I don't think either of us ever has after the various presentations. Liz bought me a drink afterward to continue helping me calm down. And eventually, I had to say goodbye to the boys, as they'd had to go home. We got pictures of the boys with the bears.

The next morning, I got to talk to Ellen and give her my business card. It appears she really wants to see Stuffy Guard continue and move to other venues. So we're in the process of working out a few details to that effect. A lot of the other actors were interested and had commented about possibly sending stuffies our way. Which would be totally kewl, but not expected, of course. Oh, and Aaron Douglas and Dan Payne did donate 4 stuffies between them.

And on Friday afternoon of the con, I was told that Paul Brown was looking for me. When I finally found him, he and I had a nice little chat about Stuffy Guard. He said he'd heard of us in the past, but didn't know exactly what we do. And then he said that he wanted to help us get the last 1000 stuffies to hit our goal of 10,000. Basically, he said he's going to do a special auction on the site to raise money to buy the last 1000 stuffies…and keep going.

To say that Gatecon means charity and a giving spirit is a huge understatement. I have been so blessed to know these people, to be able to share my charitable dream with them, to see how many people's lives are touched by all of our generosity. It's mindboggling…

I enjoyed myself. Missed Fearless Leader aka Jenn. Hated the bullshit politics that went on during the con. Completely supported the change of venue to the UK, especially since we've wanted to visit there for a long time. It was wonderful to see the family/old friends again...and to make new friends. Six years and I've never been sick of it. And you know what? There were a few bad apples, but the solidarity of the family we've made is what made it all worthwhile...

I'm sure things will come to me that I've forgotten, but this is a decent start…