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Adventures in Con-Going: The Sequel
Shore Leave 20 - 1998
by Tracey Rich, Jeysie and Lynn

Friday Afternoon: The Gathering

Our story begins early Friday afternoon, when Liz and Harrison stopped at my house en route from Massachusetts to Baltimore. It was a beautiful day, but a major thunderstorm with pea-sized hail started while we were having lunch. After lunch, Liz and Harrison headed for Baltimore. I went to pick up my friend Suzanne for the drive. Carla and Alan were going separately. We were all going to thet at the hotel around 7PM.

The weather was uncooperative, and so was the traffic. There were a number of accidents, traffic lights out, etc., etc., as we drove down to Baltimore. We didn't get to the hotel until after 6PM. We checked in and contacted Lynn (who was already there, with her father). By 7PM, Suzanne and I met Lynn and her father in the lobby. Liz, Harrison, Carla and Alan were nowhere to be found. We waited until almost 8PM, when Liz and Harrison showed up. "How did you beat us here?" they asked. "Um... we've been here for almost two hours." Of course, Carla and Alan hadn't arrived yet, so we went to dinner without them. This proved to be an ongoing theme.

The hotel was pretty stuffy that night. Apparently, the air conditioning compressor had taken two lightning hits earlier in the evening, and as one person put it "two strikes and you're out." They fixed the problem by morning, and for the rest of the convention, the place felt like a meat freezer.

Friday Evening: The Fun Begins

After dinner, we caught up with Carla and Alan, who had also experienced traffic problems. We went down to a Meet the Pros event, and Peter was there, but he had a long line waiting for autographs, so I didn't bother him. Suzanne, of course, has no such discretion. "Hi Peter!" she cried out from the doorway. "Uh... hi." Peter replied. Rosy Ianni Dorfner was also there (the woman for whom Rosie was named). I had met her last year, and reintroduced myself, but she didn't have a clue who I was. Ah, fame is fleeting... Suzanne's friend Chad wanted an autograph from Peter, and then we were going to go to a party. Lynn wasn't in the mood for a party, Liz and Harrison wanted to check into their hotel before midnight, and Carla and Alan wanted some time alone, so our little crew broke up for the evening.

After Chad got his autograph, we headed for the party... and bumped into Bill Mumy on the way! Bill admired Chad's Space Ghost T-shirt, claiming that Space Ghost was one of the high points of his career. Bill asked where Peter was, so we directed him. As Bill walked away, Chad decided that he needed Bill to sign his Babylon 5 trading cards. He went back to his room to get them, then we went back to Meet the Pros.

By this point, the room had pretty much cleared out, but Bill and Peter were still there. I reintroduced myself to Peter (I had met him at Shore Leave last year) and introduced myself to Bill, noting that I was a Space Cases fan, and that we had a number of people from the SC newsgroup at the convention. Bill was really excited about this; you could see his eyes light up at the mention of the series. It's clearly still near and dear to his heart. Bill mentioned that Kristian has a new TV series, something about a ranch, which will be filming in Vancouver.

At one point, a woman came into the room with a stuffed panda that belonged to her nephew, and the bear jokes were flying (for those who don't know: the bear in Who Goes Where was part of an ongoing prank war between Peter and Babylon 5 creator JMS). Peter said something about wanting an airlock so he could space the bear. "No! I've got it!" Peter cried out gleefully. He got down on the floor and held the bear like a football ready to be punted. Bill immediately caught on. He stood up and got into kicking position. Chad got a picture of this. If we can get a copy of it, we'll put it online.

We checked out Chad's party, but it wasn't great, so we went back to our room and went to sleep around 1:30 AM.

Too Early Saturday Morning: The Fire Alarm

At 2AM, I heard a loud noise in the hall. "What's that?" I asked Suzanne. "Sounds like an alarm clock." "Actually, it sounds more like a fire alarm..." Yes, it was indeed a fire alarm. We looked around the halls, but nobody seemed to be vacating the building. We called the front desk, and they told us it was nothing to be worried about. They would send somebody around to knock on doors if we needed to evacuate. We called Carla and Alan to tell them everything was OK. "What alarm?" Alan asked groggily.

Meanwhile, Lynn and her Dad decided to leave the building. Neither of them had been asleep, but Lynn's Dad had already changed into his pajamas, and insisted on getting dressed before going.

A fair number of other people were outside, too. After a few minutes, a fire truck pulled up. (The alarm must've automatically called them, because although a few firemen got out of the truck, they were met by some hotel people, and never actually entered the building.) Lynn's Dad, being Dad, had naturally taken his digital camera with him, and so Lynn told him to take a picture of the truck.

After he had taken a couple, a woman who was standing there warned him that he should put the camera away, because one of the hotel people's reaction to someone else taking pictures had been to rip the film out of his camera. Lynn thanked her; Lynn's Dad, again being Dad, argued with her that they didn't have any right to do that. Lynn was sure they didn't, but... Anyway, they didn't notice, and they said it was safe to go back to our rooms.

See Dad’s digital picture of the fire truck at

This report continues to Saturday...