Last night, I drive up to Madison to catch the after-hours action for the ACD Games Day, a small trade show run by the #2 distributor in the adventure gaming industry. I would have gone up during the day, but with the kids in school my schedule wouldn’t permit it—not without a lot of juggling. So, it’s a quick evening for me instead.
At about 7:30 PM, I enter the Tornado Room, just spitting distance from the capitol dome, and find the crew. John Kovalic set the dinner up, and he’s invited a great group of guys. This includes Bill Bodden, Steve Wieck (of White Wolf), John Zinser (of AEG), Ross Jepson (of Steve Jackson Games), Sean Lashgari (of Hidden City Games), Aldo Ghiozzi (of Impressions), a couple of guys from PSI (Todd, whose last name escapes me, and another I never get introduced to), and one other at the far end of the table who I’m forgetting. (It’s hard getting old.) Jason Blair (of Human Head Studios) is also supposed to join us but goes MIA.
After a fine dinner spent catching up with great friends, we take off and rendezvous at the Middleton Marriott, home of the convention. This used to be where Capital City Distributors, now ten years gone, held its last few trade shows, and a serious case of déjà vu smacks me when I walk in. Still, the memories are good ones and bring a smile to my face.
At the bar, I run into Marcelo Figueroa (now with Playroom Entertainment), Brad McWilliams (of ACD), and two of my favorite games retailers: Joann Gain of Jester’s Playhouse and Bob Moses of Chimera Hobby. We chat for a while, then Marcelo and I head over to the banquet hall to see the band.
I never catch the name of the band, but Larry Roznai (of Mayfair Games) plays a thumping bass for the crew. Later he tells me that the band started way back in high school, but they took a hiatus of more than a decade before getting back together in the1985. They play well and have a ball. I don’t recall ever seeing Larry smile so much.
I wander up to the hospitality suite later and catch up with Phil Lacefield (of Paizo). On the way up, I also run into ACD’s head honcho Rich Kummer, and his lovely girlfriend Sarah, and thank them for hosting the event.
Around midnight, with still an hour’s drive back home ahead of me, it’s time to leave. (I have to get up around 6 AM to get the kids ready for school.) I make my good-byes in both the suite and the traditional, private poker game that seems to spring up at every convention these days, then hit the road. I make it to bed around 1:30 AM, happy to have seen so many friends for one last time this year.
As an aside, I hope I don’t bore too many of you with these con diaries. While I think it’s fun to draw back the curtain and let you see what I do when I attend these events, they’re as much for me as anyone else. Over the years, these events tend to blur together, and it’s fun for me to write them down to help me remember them.