It is Tuesday, and finally I'm setting about catching up from all the past weekend's activities, stuff that went on and things that have gone down.
It's a wrap, or it was so on Sunday. Anime Ocean City was a big success, with two days, good crowds despite dodgy weather, and a good time had by all.
You probably saw a bunch of my pictures and quick videos, I didn't have time to do a lot of them, but...
Pixel Pop Maid Cafe is a thing; the Japanese Maid Cafe experience is brought to this nation, and also conventions and cruises. Really nice young ladies; my table is at their backs, so I got to hear everything! If you've ever been to a cafe like this, you would know.
Some more...I do not know who this girl is meant to be, but I saw a couple of them going about...very neat.
This lady was running a merch table with her tag team partner, and sported lovely costumes of varied sorts...
And if you don't know who this girl is by now...there were a few of her...
There were quite a few more, some really good outfits, and plenty for the costume contests.
How'd I do? Well, I made some sales. "Searching for Roy Buchanan" became a hot seller, getting some started on the Sweet Dreams Series.
The elevator pitch is working, I'll say that. People get intrigued and some are willing to take a chance. Very nice indeed.
The rain came back again; I drove down the Eastern Shore in a storm and out in another one. All I can say is, as long as the convention is done in the preseason before Summer Complaints swoop in, I'll do this event. Too many people is never good for me.
But anyway, a long ride back out, but I got across the Bay Bridge without issue, though driving in rain and fog over a bridge you can't see the end of is a bit odd.
Made it home, and in time to go back to work. One reason I'm writing this now, is that one of my colleagues has returned to the studio from health issues, and now I can hopefully catch up on work, on writing, and on too many other things.
The post-mortem, I at least made back my hotel room and then some. It's either that or the table fee, I guess. Thankfully, WiFi actually worked for my phone, but not my laptop.
Would you believe: $750 for a secure internet hookup by a company down there? Secured, over a grand?
I do not know who has the wherewithal to afford that and to make it back. There were a lot of dealers who are real-deal people, they just travel event to event, set up mini-stores, etc. They must do well at it, but I'm at a loss to know how.
If I retired and just did that, I could not do it. Unless I wanted to live in a van and sleep in Wal-Mart parking lots the rest of my life. Not quite ready for that step yet.
Anyway, so much more to get back to. But yes, good news: I'm at Barnes and Noble in Camp Hill, PA on June 3rd, a Saturday afternoon for a signing. First Friday in August, a talk at the Bosler Library in Carlisle, and later that month the Four State Con right up the street from me at the Farm Show Complex.
More to do...and then this...
I knew the time would soon come for Gordon Lightfoot. He passed Monday night in a Toronto hospital. No surprise, he was 84 had cancelled his tour and apparently suffered a bad fall which caused some injuries.
What can you say, that hasn't been? A career that began in the 50's, as a dancer on a country show, while making a name as a singer and musician. Friendships with the recently departed Ian Tyson and his wife Sylvia, Joni Mitchell, Ronnie Hawkins and others. Bob Dylan, Peter Paul & Mary, Johnny Cash, Tony Rice, Sarah McLachlan, Anne Murray and many more covered his songs, and his own career went on a ride that slowly, and while came down never crashed.
I grew up on his music. A voice, a meter and a style no one can copy. A real-deal schooling in music and composition, attention to detail, use of words in a way no one else could do, and the songs.
Everyone has a favorite, and he recorded over 400 of them. He almost never did covers, maybe three or four. I do not have more than half the catalog, plus some live versions. He grew with age, and while his voice faded, his spirit never did.
Lightfoot was also very willing to face his own issues. His drinking problem was one, but he also became aware that he was not always who people thought he was. He quit singing "For Lovin' Me" because of how sexist it was, and he spoke of that in a great documentary on himself. No problem with the music or the quality of the song, but the words.
He also changed the words to "If You Could Read My Mind," after one of his children pointed out how it could be heard. Unafraid to do what he felt was right.
Check it out:
Lightfoot influenced me to pick up a guitar, to write, and to try my own things. My old band covered "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" but did it the Tony Rice way, with a more acoustic arrangement. We did a couple others, "Baby Step Back" and "Too Many Clues in This Room."
All I can play is his music right now, but not in a sad way. I've enjoyed his music all the way; it shows up in "Live from the Cafe," in a very unique manner (spoiler alert), and also "Alberta Bound" is alluded to in "Call it Love," and at least one appears obliquely in "Shake Hands with the Devil."
The song "Drifters" also inspired an entire novel. Yes, it did. That one has never felt good enough to release, but maybe now I can re-examine it and try again.
Well, I covered the bases. RIP, Gordon, and thank you. Thanks, everyone at Anime Ocean City for your kindness and hospitality, thank you for those who have taken a chance on my writing, and I hope to hear back what you think.