Haply I Think On Thee (Beauty and the Beast convention)

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Name: Haply I Think On Thee (Beauty and the Beast convention)
Dates: July 9-11, 2010
Location: San Diego, CA
Type: fan con with guests from the show
Focus: Beauty and the Beast
Founder: JoAnn Baca
Founding Date:
URL: website & mailing list
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BB 2010 Covention logo600S.jpg

Haply I Think On Thee was a Beauty and the Beast (TV) convention that was held in 2010 in San Diego, CA. It was subtitled "Invitation to a Dream".

The convention also published charity zine under the same name, Haply I Think On Thee (Beauty and the Beast zine).

A flyer calls it the 22nd con, which is incorrect. The annual con two years later is also titled the 22nd con, so there is possibly some confusion going one.

Part of a Series

This con was part of an organized series of annual national Beauty and the Beast fan gatherings held in North America.


Hamilton made an extremely rare fan-run convention appearance at this con.


  • Cory Danziger, along with his Dad Max
  • Linda Hamilton!
  • Lee Holdridge
  • Judy Shimizu-Moreland
  • Jamie Murray


Welcome! Preparations are underway for the 22nd annual Beauty and the Beast Convention in San Diego, California. This site will be our home, our hub of information, so come by often to see what's new! Please explore the site, become familiar with the con charity and how you can participate because your con team will be calling on you for support! Most of all we hope you enjoy the site and are as excited as we are for the coming convention. We can't wait to see you all again! [1]

A Unique Video Premier

"I'm In Love with Catherine Chandler"

Several years ago a couple of fans found a demo tape from an obscure Australian band (The Bengal Tigers) on Ebay that had [a 1989] song on it called "I'm In Love with Catherine Chandler." A music video out of it was created and made its debut at the convention. [2]

The video WAS here, but is now, sadly, offline.



It takes dedicated (and somewhat crazy!) fans to put together a Beauty and the Beast convention. All of this year's con team have past experience running the con and hope that this year's is better than ever! Let's meet the team:

JoAnn Baca: Con Chair

Lori Hicks: Registration and Accounting

Suze Howe: Talent & Costume Show, Webmaster

Shelia Keith: Con Virgin Wrangler

Pat King: Guest Wrangler and "Manuel Labore"

Cathy Moran: Conzine

Sandy Shelton: Set-up and Decorations Advisor

Sandy Tew: Art Room/Auction, Logo Design, Centerpieces [3]

Con Helpers & Angels

The con is far too big a job for the con team to tackle alone. There is a crack bunch of helpers who will be lending their expertise and assistance to help make the con a success. Also, there are the con "angels" who have generously donated items and money to support the con and/or the convention charity. Thank you all! Con Helpers:

Larry Baca: Dealer's Room

Rosie Badgett: Guest Coordinator

Angela Burns: Totebag, Zine

Deb Fowler: Auctioneer

Amy Hazzard: Guest Coordinator

Rebecca Marcus: Banquet Placecards & Goodies

Chesapeake Helpers Society of Beauty and the Beast: Summerfest Candles

Con Angels: Ann Hewitt, Marilyn Howard, Suze Howe, Shelia Keith, J'Ecris, Pat King, Helene Kram, Judy Loyd,

Rebecca Marcus, Pat Meerleveld, Karen Mitchell, Sally Newman, Bruce Perry, Cindy Riddles, Rosemarie Salvatore, Jeanne Saunders, Sandy Shelton, Maricarmen Smith, Sobi, Linda Sobolewski, Joan Stephens, Jan Sutter, Pat Thomas, and Linda Wong [4]

Con Reports


When our shuttle pulled into the hotel, we saw a bunch (about 15 to 20) BATB people walking down the sidewalk and we were all yelling and waving, like a bunch of crazed star struck fans! As I got off the shuttle, I was immediately engulfed in a flurry of hugs, “My name is (fill in the blank), who are you? I’m so GLAD to finally meet you!” It was absolutely unreal, the instant feeling of coming home!

After checking into our room, we quickly put our luggage in the room and went back downstairs for the wine and cheese party. Here was a room full of “strangers” who were not strangers at all! I kept recognizing people whose pictures I had seen, and hearing names that I recognized from chat, fanfics, and the lists. I was almost crying, I was so happy to see everyone! (OK, I confess, I WAS crying!) Then, going into Old Town for dinner, we kept running into all these people with BATB t-shirts! Hugs again!

On Thursday, we peeked into the Dealer’s room and there were rows upon rows of boxes of fanfics, tunnel clothes actually for sale, and LOTS of other “stuff”! I felt like Mouse would have felt in a warehouse full of treasures. I was calling a friend who was not able to come to the con to tell her about all the fanfic zines (more than 25 boxes!) when JoAnn had to “wrangle” us virgins out of the room! Oops, sorry, JoAnn, got carried away!

The bus tour and harbor cruise was fun, even the overcast weather did not dampen our spirits. We got to know our new “family” better! The open air “Taming of the Shrew” at the Old Globe Theater was fabulous, and funny.

Then . . . the actual start of the con on Friday morning! Words cannot describe the awe I felt while going through boxes and boxes of fanfic zines, seeing all the creative necklaces, earrings, pins, bookmarks, boxes, ornaments, statues, busts, prints, etc. that were made by other fans. I would go into the Dealer’s room, then to the Art room, back to the Dealer’s room, bouncing off the walls with excitement. Every time I went into the Dealer’s room (at least 5 times over the three days) I bought something I had overlooked before, even the at the Last Chance Dealer’s Room opening.

Then the deflowering of the Con-virgins! Well, this is exactly what happened: (---censored---------censored---------censored------) and then, when we thought it couldn’t get any better (or worse) they ( -------censored---------censored---------censored------) ! It was an experience I will never forget!

Everyone in their renaissance costumes and evening finery was like actually being a part of Masques. The talent show was a hoot! All the funny songs and skits! The Elvis Act was priceless. And I talked Vicky into singing “I’ll Stay”. Thank you so much for that, dear Vicky! That was a highlight of the con for me!

The con guests: Cory Danziger was just so adorable, and Judy Shimizu-Moreland was a doll! She stayed for most of the con and was so friendly! She really was one of us! And it was so great to meet Lee Holdridge and his wife. We could tell they really enjoyed the auction and banquet. Lee was almost rolling on the floor when Deb was giving her auction spiel. Lee and Vicky performing our theme song, “The First Time I Loved Forever” was unforgettable. And it was so great to meet Tamara Thompson, the designer of my “Catherine necklace”, who was not really a guest, but a fellow con-goer like the rest of us.

And our “surprise guest”: Linda Hamilton! What a fantastic treat! To actually see her and get a hug and kiss from her was just . . . well, words just cannot express how I felt! I was walking 5 feet above ground for hours! She was so friendly, she would talk to everyone for many minutes, and we were not sure she would have enough time to sign autographs for everyone; then, she stayed for part of the auction, and even donated some personal items and gave JoAnn a check for the Monarch School! Wonderful! Then when she read Father’s speech at the opening ceremony of the banquet . . . Oh my, the tears are starting again!

The days did not end with the scheduled con activities! Every night there were pajama parties going on! Eating cookies, nuts, crackers and talking to Lyn in Australia on Skype while lounging with 12 others one night, then reading “Sleepless in Providence” and “Plait” the next night, and then a Margarita, cheese, and sausage party while watching Candlelight Creation videos another night!

On Sunday afternoon, the whole room was in tears (or maybe it was just me and that’s all I could see) when everyone stood in a circle with us (ex)virgins in the center, and we were invited to “Join the circle”. (Oh, here I go again – pass the tissues!)

[...] [5]


As soon as we all dumped our stuff in the room, we ran right back down and met everyone at the wine and cheese taste. How can you describe meeting people who you've never met, yet you KNOW them?! So many memories: Passing the Raggedy Vinny doll around the group, putting faces with names and promptly forgetting them and having to ask again! I never even felt the earthquake, probably because we were all still bouncing. Going out to dinner and spotting people in BatB shirts and Catherine necklaces on the sidewalk, and just running up to them asking who they are and hugging them! I barely slept that first night even though I'd been awake since 3am - too excited and keyed up! It was worse than being a kid at Christmas!

The next morning my roomies and I pounced on the dealers room like vultures not even waiting for the body to die. There was more treasure in the dealer’s room than in "Fever" and we became nearly catatonic with excitement. JoAnne wandered in after a while and shooed us out of there like a gentle shepherd herding cats - we didn't know we weren't allowed in there yet! We really didn't! We were innocent virgins! How could we know the ways of this wondrous world???

Then the city tour and harbor tour and Shakespeare in Balboa Park. Not even my motion sickness could dampen those! Meeting more people I loved and admired. Then the con on Friday - the deflowering of the virgins and the Tribute to Chan... Cory and Bubba... Trying on Mouse's jacket and Vincent's vest! Then Judy and Linda.... Vicky standing between Krista and me, asking us at least 4 times if we were kidding that it was really Linda Hamilton standing 2 meters in front of her - - as if we'd prank her with something like that?!?!?! I found it hard to look at Linda for much of her interview because the expression on Vicky's face was so much better! It was great meeting Linda and getting her autograph and a picture with her, but that wouldn't have been one tenth the thrill and precious memory that it is for me if it weren't for experiencing it all with my friends.

The costume parade and the talent show - I told myself when I first planned on going to the con that I was going to do everything and go everywhere and experience it all to its very fullest - what if it was the only con I ever got to go to, after all? No way was I going to have one single regret for not doing something! And so, OMG I actually got up and sang something! Badly, I know, but with great enthusiasm! I left my safe places and I’m glad I did! Now I can say: Been there! Done that! Not gonna need to do it again! EVER! ROFL!

Then there was the banquet and charity auction! Pictures with everyone in the Ren gear! Vicky singing with Lee - not a dry eye in the house! Linda was still hanging out, and she stopped by our table just to chat - and apparently, to play with Vicky’s hair! The auction itself! I'd heard that Deb was a hoot as the auctioneer but no description beforehand could have done her justice! Watching Lee Holdridge reduced to tears of laughter as Deb proclaimed we could grow our own Lee Holdrige in a petri dish - and the dozen shades of red Deb turned when it dawned on her that he was right there! The lady-like belly bumps for bids over 'two-fitty'! Bidding on Sleepless in Providence and actually winning it! Reading zines in our jammies, sighing and crying and laughing til it hurt. Carole's lovely voice lulling us with JoAnne's perfectly chosen words... then covering her face in shock and mortification, "Father?!!!!!!!!!!!!" It took a long while to recover from that one! You had to be there....

A table full of us spontaneously breaking into song at random intervals while beading bracelets... decapitated piñata heads in the closet... (I wonder what the maids thought of that!)... hearing stories of people on missions from god... tunnel fairies leaving anonymous surprises left and right... we still don’t know who some of those tunnel fairies were.... the pipes singing about the antics in other rooms.... skyping Lyn in Australia... Nat’s radiant smile and Sandy’s staggering blue eyes… zombies in pajamas walking to the lobby for coffee each morning… trying not to laugh so loudly in the hallways and failing miserably… talking on the phone and webcam at the same time… Michelle and I tying for the very worst Beast Bingo card for about a dozen calls...

The carousel! Being where they filmed one of my favorite eps! Recognizing the horses and calliope! Kathleen busted me crying with happiness and I wasn't the least bit embarrassed! The girl working there had to shoo me out again... I'm sensing a theme... Lunch at Edie's table.... Stiff Vinny at the tunnel... The tunnel!!!! Gross and messy and wet and spider webs in my hair and it was GREAT! A pic of the mad fanfic writer... leaving and reading our messages... voices echoing down the darkness... trying to get the darned cameras to focus on something - what do you mean cameras need light???

Dinner at Krista's - watching eps IN PERSON! Chatting without typing - What a concept! But we all still applauded at the end, and I swear I could see the little skype hearts circling our heads as the eps started! Our littlest fan and budding photographer... such a joy! Lemon snap cookies - the exotic local cuisine!! Then crawling into Krista's trunk with Cyndi to avoid another outrageously overpriced cab fare - who'd've thunk we'd try reenacting that scene from "The Watcher" with such hysterical results?! Have I ever laughed so hard? Has there ever been such polite luggage? It is a memory that I’ll treasure forever, and one that will never fail to make me laugh out loud. How could it not? It was a magical evening spent with women I love like sisters. And Rob. :-)

The zoo - we were all just big kids again rooting for baby flamingos trying to get onto shore and watching polar bears mugging for the camera. We lost a purse but honest people kept it safe til we got back for it. I overcame my fear of heights and enjoyed the ride on the skytram! Horseback riding through bamboo groves and along the beach, watching the sun sink into the Pacific... Janet's horse arguing with mine - then kicking him! But I kept my seat both times! How funny we all walked when we finally got off those horses! My saddle was still sore days later.

Finally, trying to pack all our stuff into suitcases and hoping they wouldn't weigh too much. Not wanting to go to sleep that night because no one wanted it to end... Lingering at the airport, hanging out with Cyndi and Lisa, not wanting to say goodbye…

You know, I went to a couple of Star Trek conventions back when I was in college, but those were just about seeing the TV stars. Believe me when I tell you that had there been no Cory, no Judy and no Linda, the joy and the fun and the love would have been identical. Those who have called this a family reunion are spot-on! I would never go to a BatB con looking for stars and autographs - I’ll go for the friends who are now family, for the Bond that we really do share, for the laughter of people who understand each other’s OPness without exception or explanation, for the hugs from people who really know how to hug! That’s what means the most to me about that week.

[...] [6]


Jamie Murray, a previously unannounced con guest, (at the con with his indulgent wife Jo, a sweetheart who didn’t mind scores of women hugging her husband!) continued a long-standing con tradition of reading a Top Ten list. We acknowledged fans from B&B clubs active around the country, then our con virgins were into introduced by our virgin wrangler Shelia K. [Of course, the initiation rites are a closely guarded secret…!]

A tribute to Sandy “Chan” Shelton followed – a memorial video was shown, and we read a list of other fans and cast members who had passed away, then we recreated the Mirror Pool ceremony from “Ashes, Ashes” – the hotel was kind enough to allow us to burn our notes to our lost loved ones in the patio, using a hibachi. It was a cathartic moment, a time for tears and memories.

After that sadness, we needed something…or someone…to perk us up, and luckily enough, Cory was next on the schedule! He gave us a spirited Q&A session, his infectious enthusiasm soon having us all laughing. We gave him a con tee shirt that said on the back: I Was a Guest at the Con and All I Got Was This Shirt!

We broke for lunch and ate a New York Deli-style buffet out on the patio; those who were participating in the afternoon and evening programs rehearsed in the main ballroom. The Art Room opened at lunchtime – it included art displays, the costume display, costumes to try on, and a memorial to Chan.

We reconvened after lunch for an intriguing panel led by Rachel (Nightrose) discussing the similarities between B&B and Gargoyles; she had prepared an extensive PowerPoint presentation and clearly put a lot of time and effort into her panel. Cory held court in the back of the main ballroom for an informal autograph session, and Lisa L., a con virgin, began raising funds for the charity by offering massages in a little alcove in the back of the ballroom, as well. [By the end of the con her massages were so popular she had people on a waiting list!]

Lisa G. held a panel in which she described the process she goes through to transform into “Vincent face” – always a fascinating thing to watch! Then it was time for a Future Conventions panel, during which some tidbits about the upcoming conventions in Australia and London were teased, and Deb F. rolled out the news that the 2011 U.S. B&B convention would be held in New Orleans! [Woo-HOO!]

Tunnelmom was kind enough to create clips of B&B characters wearing certain costumes which were used to introduce fans wearing those same costumes (loaned to the con by various individuals and fan clubs who preserve them for fandom) during a Costume Fashion Show. It was a lot of fun to see the costumes on real bodies – so much nicer than looking at them draped on hangers. Vicky C. and Rosemarie S. came onstage first, Vicky wearing Catherine’s “pre-attack” burgundy velvet gown and wool coat from the Pilot, Rosemarie wearing the mended coat and carrying the now-very-fragile mended gown. Jackie S. rocked Catherine’s red dress from “Dark Spirit,” Bruce P. used a cane to bring Father to life wearing Father’s long coat, Lisa G. wore a complete Vincent outfit (Vincent’s frilly shirt and Winterfest vest and his “thigh-high” boot-pants), our own “Mini” Mouse wore Mouse’s jacket, Pat K. demonstrated how a red gown became strapless for “Seige” while wearing Catherine’s voluminous red/purple coat from that episode, a brave Stace sported Vincent’s blue sweater, a quilted grey vest and a pair of Vincent’s slacks…with a hidden “surprise” that collapsed the crowd into laughter when he went “fly fishing” and pulled out a “cod” which he tossed into the audience, Kathleen S. looked angelic wearing Catherine’s ethereal dress from “Remember Love;” Cory was a great sport, participating in the fashion show by wearing Vincent’s gorgeous bathrobe, then Lisa G. was back for the finale wearing Vincent’s cloak.

Judy L. and Karen Q. then started a spirited round of Beast Bingo (we ran out of playing cards – who knew we’d need more than 50?!), and before we knew it, it was time for our buffet dinner – a fiesta-themed meal (which I personally thought was the best meal of the weekend). Bubba was hanging out in the patio wearing his sombrero. [He appeared in different places throughout the weekend.]

After dinner we held the traditional Costume Walk and then the fan Talent Show, which featured several wonderful and a couple of hilarious entries. Highlights included Vicky’s song (Suze H. had arms of steel, holding two microphones steady during Vicky’s performance!), Suze’s own gorgeous song, Laura G.’s raucous Scottish drinking song, Kathleen’s spontaneous bawdy ditty (“The only song I know!” she insisted), and other terrific performances.

After a short break, we held a Game and Video Night. We broke out fantastic piñatas of Paracelsus (complete with mask and filled with “gold” coins), Lena and Lisa (courtesy of Laura). While Paracelsus folded like a cheap suit pretty quickly, those girls proved pretty tough. They survived hard swing after hard swing, straight shots to the head and body, and wouldn’t crack under pressure. Finally a little assistance was provided and they crumbled. [One became headless, and I understand her head is now residing in one fan’s closet at home!] A lot of aggression was released during the game, and we raised some money for the charity, so it was all good!

The “Pin the Dangly Bit” game followed. Since so many fans were in the room, we limited the game to the con virgins in attendance. They were deft, but one clear winner emerged…and received a lollipop shaped like a…well…let’s say the “game piece” and the lollipop looked alike! Thanks to Lisa H. for donating that little treasure! To bring us back into a proper B&B mood, the last event of the evening was a showing of a certain video, which never fails to induce sighs and cheers.

And the long first day of the con ended on that romantic note!


Breakfast on the patio started our day, and a 3S discussion panel proved so interesting that after its elapsed time, several fans adjourned to the hotel lobby to continue their discussion.

Jamie continued the tradition, here expanded to include yet another Top Ten list. Then Tamara T. held a panel to discuss how she came to make Catherine’s crystal necklace for our show. Daria brought loads of beads and such with which fans could make their own bracelets, followed by J’Ecris showing us napkin-folding techniques. [She and her crew also created special paper roses to help decorate the banquet tables for Sunday’s brunch.]

I’ll admit to being a little fuzzy on the exact details of Saturday morning and afternoon, since I had a lot on my mind! We had several guests arriving on Saturday, and we didn’t know with specificity when each was arriving, just a general timeframe. Amy H. had coordinated an appearance at the con by Linda Hamilton, and all we knew was that she was driving down “in the morning,” but her exact arrival time was unknown. The same was true for Judy Shimizu-Moreland. So while activities were ongoing in the ballroom, several of us were awaiting arrivals.

At some point during the late morning, a pizza lunch buffet was served. I think I had some salad. But who knows – my head was swimming with what was to come!

Judy and her adorable hubby Keith arrived mid-day. Traffic coming down from L.A. was especially bad, Judy reported, with lots of stop-and-go, and since Linda was driving a longer distance from a similar direction, Judy believed she’d be later than anticipated. [We were shifting the con schedule slightly to accommodate the arrivals of guests, and I’m sure some fans wondered if we’d forgotten what we were supposed to be doing, but actually, we were kind of flying by the seat of our pants mid-day Saturday!]

Judy is very shy about appearing before a large crowd, and had some trepidation about being the sole focus of a Q&A, so we promised her we’d have her on stage for just 15 minutes. While she took a few minutes to relax in the Art Room after that tense drive, she and Keith discussed which stories of her time on B&B she might tell.

Jana H. was in the Art Room while Judy was in there. Now, before Judy arrived, Jana and I had spoken about the concept of fans who didn’t respect boundaries, and our discussion included an idea we thought would be the height of crassness: somebody pushing a paper and pen into a bathroom stall for an artist to sign. Yes, we both agreed, that would REALLY be nutty! Well…when Judy was in the room, she began to talk about the odd fan encounters she’d had…and mentioned that one fan had followed her into the bathroom and tried to hand her a paper to autograph while she was in a stall! Jana and I cracked up, since we’d just pulled that scenario out of the air in our own conversation as the craziest idea we could come up with! But…apparently it HAS happened, and to Judy!

Judy did a very engaging Q&A session, and admitted afterwards that she actually enjoyed herself! But she much prefers chatting with fans informally, so I think she was relieved the Q&A was behind her! She spent a lot of time circulating among the fans in the ballroom, doing an autograph session, and generally being “one of the gang” after that.

A little insight I gathered at the con: Keith, Judy’s husband, took me aside to tell me that he’s heard Judy on the phone talking with other B&B cast members, and he wanted us fans to know that the way the cast speaks to us in public is the same way they speak ABOUT us in private – the cast members are genuinely fond of and grateful to the fans for their support and love over the years. He didn’t have to say anything, but that he chose to tell me that meant a lot, and it’s worth passing along. Not only is this fandom very special, but so are the cast and crew of our show! Keith also commented (as did Cory’s Dad, and later, Lee Holdridge’s wife) how warm and loving the fans are, and what a terrific vibe of joy and happiness pervaded the convention. They all were very moved by how open-hearted and welcoming everyone was to them.

OK, so…early Saturday afternoon…Amy, Larry and I waited with butterflies in our stomachs for Linda’s arrival.

I’m sure that early on, when I laid down the rules for how to treat our con guests, fans must have been looking at me like I had two heads – what was all the fuss? Why insist we not follow guests to their rooms or not ask too-personal questions, why was the con team passing out hospital bracelets for an autograph session…has JoAnn completely lost it?! Well, once Linda showed up, I figured the fans would understand why we got suddenly draconian about things!

Linda arrived (with one of her best friends), and even though they had been caught in that bad traffic Judy had told us about, she got straight to the point: she asked what we would like her to do! She indicated a good friend had been operated on the day before and she needed to return to L.A. that evening (originally she’d hoped to spend the night and not leave until late Sunday morning), so we quickly worked out a way for her to greet all the fans and have time for one-on-ones while still enabling her to leave by 5 p.m. or so. [Now you know why we asked fans to limit their conversations with Linda and only ask for one autograph – some of us had seen Linda with fans before and knew she loved to chat, but we also knew we had 99 fans who wanted to get a moment, an autograph and a photo with Linda…and we only had a short timeframe in which to do it!]

We had the fans sitting captive in the ballroom for a while as Linda freshened up and then…I got to say the words I truly NEVER thought to hear said at a B&B convention, let alone by me: “Ladies and gentlemen, Ms. Linda Hamilton!”

I cannot express just how grateful we are to Linda for wanting to visit us and spend time with us. As everyone can tell by looking at the con videos, she is warm, gracious, kind, funny, endearingly lacking in “movie star” ego…just a classy lady all around. And let’s not forget to add “generous” to her qualities!

After a half-hour Q&A, we adjourned to the Art Room, which had been turned into Autograph Central, and we escorted fans in a few at a time for their one-on-one time with Ms. Hamilton. I think, when you look at the videos, you’ll see that this is how Linda most likes to spend her time – meeting and chatting with individual fans.

She doesn’t like to be rushed (who does?!), but we were getting desperate as time passed and the clock was inching toward the time she needed to leave, and we still had dozens of fans waiting to meet her. Well, Linda took a smoke break, and then she came back, and at some point she made the decision that she’d stay later than she’d planned. We breathed a huge sigh of relief, as we knew then that everyone would get to meet her in person. By the way, for those wondering how the decision was made on the order in which fans met Linda, it was as democratic as I could make it – con team first (so we could move in and out as a group and get back to our jobs), then the Adopt-A-Guest fans, then fans in the general order in which they’d registered for the con (those who registered in New Orleans last year in the first groups, followed by those who registered prior to January 2010, with the last group made up of those who registered just a few months prior to the con).

During Linda’s autograph session, Beast Bingo was going on in the main ballroom, followed by a Kazoo U. presentation by the Chesapeake Helpers, and I believe the massage table was open, as well. [Again, forgive me for not being 100% sure on the timing of all of this Saturday afternoon stuff – my mind was a blur from all that was going on!]

Linda had agreed to do a brief interview on film for Jana and Neal H., and they squeezed that in after the autograph session.

Lee Holdridge and his wife arrived at about 5 p.m. (his wife has a radio show in L.A. on Saturday afternoons, so they drove down after her show). They arrived just at the late afternoon break; the break allowed fans to relax a little from the day’s activities and dress for the banquet. This proved perfect timing, as Mr. Holdridge and Vicky had the ballroom to themselves to practice their banquet duet. [Unfortunately, due to his incredibly busy schedule, Mr. Holdridge wasn’t able to spend more than the evening with us, so we couldn’t plan a Q&A, however his presence was notable for the huge gift he gave us at the banquet!]

The con team set up the banquet centerpieces and placed con candles at each place setting. Rebecca M. and her crew set up the place cards. Again, due to wonderful volunteers, we were finished much sooner than I’d thought possible.

There was time for photos to be taken in the patio before the banquet. We opened the doors to the banquet at 7 p.m. A number of fans had taken the invitation to “Party Like It’s 1599” seriously, and wore their Renaissance finery – there were some truly magnificent costumes. Linda had told us she didn’t feel she was dressed appropriately to join us for the banquet, but we asked her if she’d read Father’s Winterfest speech as part of our traditional candle-lighting ceremony pre-banquet. She did a wonderful job reading it for us. The con committee was so busy lighting candles at all the tables that we didn’t realize Linda was standing without one – when she saw us all raise our candles high, she just raised her microphone!

Linda left to relax for a while after being “on” non-stop since she arrived, and promised to return in time for the auction.

As our banquet meal was winding down, it was time for our banquet entertainment. Lee Holdridge, Emmy-winning composer, stepped onto the stage to accompany our own Vicky in a truly special presentation. I know I wasn’t the only one with tears in my eyes listening to him play the Beauty and the Beast theme he wrote, and hearing Vicky sing the words to “The First Time I Loved Forever.” It was a magical moment! [During rehearsal, Mr. Holdridge kept saying he wanted to turn down the microphone on his keyboard, because everyone wanted to hear Vicky – this is what a humble man he is about his accomplishments, and how generous he is about sharing the stage and that special moment with a fan.]

We then played two brand-new music videos created especially for the convention to conclude our banquet entertainment. SandyX’s video was a lushly romantic piece focused on our favorite couple’s use of the word “everything,” and Tunnelmom’s was an adorably silly take on a rock song from an Australian band called “I’m In Love With Catherine Chandler” – both were well received and the perfect ending to our banquet.

Linda re-entered the ballroom just after the “Catherine Chandler” video ended, and I swear she watched it from outside the ballroom because when I asked her if she’d like to see it, she just gave me a beaming smile and moved on to giving the fans a look at the items she’d donated to help raise funds for the con charity. She told us one of the reasons she’d decided to come to the con was because the charity was one that resonated with her. She gave us the background on the pair of her jeans she was donating, as well as her well-loved carpetbag and a piece of framed art of her backyard. And she also told us she was writing a check for $1,000 to the charity! Linda had already stayed far longer than she’d planned and really needed to return to L.A., so she left soon after, and the fans gave her a standing ovation as she left us. I cannot thank Amy H. enough for all her hard work in coordinating Linda’s appearance; if not for her, we would have had no guests at the convention. And although our “family reunion” still would have been wonderful, it was so much more special due to the presence of Linda, Lee, Cory, Judy and Jamie.

The charity auction was run by our incredible auctioneer Deb, who out-did herself this year, referring to her DNA analysis countless times (she IS a nurse, so knows about these things!), but after she riffed on growing a Lee Holdridge clone in a petri dish, she realized Mr. Holdridge was still in the room, laughing hysterically! It was fun watching Deb turn purple right before our eyes! He truly was NOT insulted, but rather quite impressed by the lengths to which Deb would go to get higher bids! His wife told me later they’d both had a wonderful time, and that it was the first time Lee had ever watched one of our auctions.

The charity auction was filled with a variety of items donated by a number of fans – in addition to Linda’s items, we had a B&B crew jacket autographed by Linda, a rare music book containing sheet music from the show (which Mr. Holdridge autographed for the winner), a “Vincent’s Window” stained glass piece, and a tee shirt autographed by Beah Richards (“Narcissa”), among other items, as well as several original costume pieces: a pair of Vincent’s slacks, one of Vincent’s quilted vests, and a Vincent sweater with a crotch snap attached. All told, the items raised several thousand dollars for the convention charity.

And with the conclusion of the auction, the long second day of the convention ended.

I’ve learned if food isn’t offered when the con starts…you CAN give a con and nobody will come! We started things off at 8:30 with a stamping workshop led by Karen Q., but only a handful of fans managed to straggle in on time. Karen was gracious enough to extend her workshop so that late arrivers got a chance to participate. We heard the third set of Top Ten from Jamie, and we played several trivia games…and I concluded we just need to declare Vicky the winner of ALL trivia games and not let her play anymore, so others can win! That girl is amazing….

At 11:00, the Steel Monarchs, the steel drum band made up of teens attending Monarch School, gave us a spirited calypso-flavored start to our Sunday Brunch. The teacher who accompanied them, Mr. Hutchinson, was very moved by the response the fans had to his kids. He told us that often when they play at events they are treated as background music and nobody pays any attention to them, but our conventioneers were enthusiastic in their applause and effusive in their praise, and he was grateful to us for giving the kids so much attention. Our Sunday Brunch program continued, with Suze and Vicky singing for us, followed by the playing of one of my all-time favorite music videos, “Lullaby,” created by Deb F.

Judy Shimizu-Moreland joined us in the morning and held an informal autograph session for fans.

After a short break, the Art Auction started. We had some extra special items in the auction, including the only collaboration between Chan and Jamie, and the first new piece of B&B art Jamie has created in several years – both went for sizeable sums, and deservedly so. Many other wonderful pieces were auctioned, including original artwork and prints by several fandom artists.

Another round of Beast Bingo followed, and drawings were held for the gorgeous baskets Judy had made.

Too soon, it was time for Closing Ceremonies…although one fan objected strongly to the term “closing,” so we said we’d “adjourn” instead! I began to thank all the many, many fans who had contributed their time, labor, talents, money, memorabilia, ideas and enthusiasm to creating this convention. My con team interrupted to give me some incredible gifts, including one I’m sure many fans coveted – a nice warm “Vincent” blanket (which I now snuggle up with every night – sorry Catherine…and Larry!). I can’t thank those who contributed to those gifts enough – I was moved to tears (and am again now that I’m thinking of it!).

So, after I got control of my emotions and finished my thank-yous, we passed the candle to the next U.S. convention chair and to the Wintercandlemakers for the next Winterfest Online. Then we invited the con virgins to a ceremony first held last year in New Orleans, but which I hope becomes a new con tradition – welcoming the virgins to join our circle, as Father did with Catherine at her first Winterfest.

The convention ended at about 4:00 p.m. just as it had started, amid hugs and happy tears.

Again, thanks to many volunteers, we were all packed up – every room – barely an hour after the con ended.

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