Atlanta, GA August 29 -
Well What can I say,
Dragoncon, as usual was a BLAST!
It started with a LONG 14
hour drive from IL to GA with the family. My mom lives in GA and wanted to
see her grandkids so I brought them down. Thursday we all went to the
aquarium and the children's discovery museum in Chattanooga TN. They LOVED
seeing all the fish and other animals there. And seeing my son walk into a
mirror was a funny highlight too!
Friday morning I got up early and headed down to Atlanta for the con.
Grandma had plans for the kids and Dragoncon is not the place for a 6 and 9
year old. I got to the hotel at about 6:45 am and hung around the lobby till
about 8 am when I woke TX338 and Kyle up to let me in the room that I was
sharing with them. Then headed right down to registration to pick up my con
badge. Once that was done it was time to check in at the 501st table and
start having fun.
I ran into many of the troopers I have known for years, and a lot on newer
ones. Many of them from my garrison were there. Mike T., Mike W., Cheri,
Kimmy, Andy, Gretchen and her better half, Andrew, Toby, Goat and Erica, The
VanB clan, Donovan, Kyle, Trent, Thomas, Kevin, just to name a few. Having
them there along with our new Temp tattoos, patches and new Midwest Garrison
"Got Armor" shirts made us stand out!
I made my way to the dealer rooms.. got upset at all the things I wanted but
couldn't afford to buy, then went to go talk to Ray Park (Darth Maul), Peter
Mayhew (Chewy), and Richard L. (Admiral Motti) for a bit. All of them were
as down to earth as always and I had nice long conversations with Peter
about his filming on EP 3 and Richard about topics from his days filming "A
new hope" to his times at cons with the 501st. Friday night I spent hanging
out with Natalie and a Trooper named SPAT and two of the "Trooper Groupies"
in the lobby of the Hyatt. Nat brought me a German garrison patch and
sticker, some German chocolate, and as she always does... brought her German
booze! She then insisted I drink with her which I reluctantly did. Remember
I DON'T DRINK. So needless to say I was a fun drunk. LOL
Saturday morning came and at 8am Donovan, Kyle and I got up and armored up
for the big Dragoncon Parade. We got there a tad late and filled in behind
the rest of the troopers when we met up with them. It was very cool.... well
it was cool to see. Even at 9 am it is warm in Atlanta in August! Seeing the
klingons was a treat as of late there has been a understanding between out
two empires and we are starting to work together to rule this planet!
Anyway, they had a few marching, a car done up as the bird of prey, and a
nice white hearse. And the ones on motor cycles were impressive! Great job
After the parade we did the usual Photo op stuff and mingled with the
patrons of the convention. TK585 and I did the Bevis and Butthead voices as
troopers for a while. That was fun as hell. I went to the "Walk of fame" and
met up with Billy Mummy and Angela Cartwright (Original Will and Penny
Robinson), Saw Spike from Buffy, but wasn't about to bay $30 for an
autograph and NO WAY IN HELL paying $50 to get a picture with him! The there
was Tom Wilson. AKA Biff from Back to the future. I walked past him in
armor, we looked at am walking buy so I stopped, looked at him and said
"What are you looking at BUTTHEAD!?" and got a huge smile and laugh from
While standing near the 501st table, I hear some guy say to the officer at
the desk "I don't know his last name, I just know his name is Tom and he is
TK118". So I say to the guy, I am TK118. This dude turns out to be a friend
from the Yahoo chat, Capt Han Solo! He was there with his son, daughter, his
daughter's friend. They were cute as can be. (see photos) We talked for a
while, Savannah tried on my helmet, and I gave her one of the Midwest
Garrison temporary tattoos and her arm.
Han, thanks for that favor man! I owe ya one! He was the first of a few
people from the yahoo chat I got to meet at Dragoncon. Sadly Lilo and Stitch
couldn't make it. That really bummed me out big time. I missed you guys!
at 5pm I went to Max Lagers to meet up with a friend from the Yahoo chat
room, Kittyanna. Sadly she never made it due to her grandfather passing
away. Sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Well at 6:30 pm I went to the room, got out of armor, took a shower and got
dressed for the 501st mixer. many of the 501st were there as well as Richard
(Motti) and Peter (Chewy). And Again Natalie was there and getting me in
trouble. This time she brought something called Absinth (I think that is
what it was called) but from what I have been told it is not available in
the states.. and for good reason. Well after a few of those.. Well I don't
know what happened after that. But I was told I was fun.
Sunday morn brought with it a HUGE HEAD ACH! Thanks Natalie! And at 9 am I
joined Kathy and Albin and others for the 501st Commanders Meeting. I do not
hold an office in our garrison, but I find it interesting and important to
be involved in these as they are the backbone of the club. Albin also said
he owed one to Natalie for getting him toasted as well. LOL
After the meeting (which I left early) I met up with Mike, Donovan, Kyle,
and Trent and we all took the train up the road to "Jocks and Jill's" for
brunch. Why? Well my friend Capt Han Solo is a co owner of the chain and he
invited us for bunch on the house! Thanks again man. You so rock! The food
was great, the company was as well. We will have to do this again sometime!
We got back and it was time to suit up again for the big 501st and Rebel
legion march and photo shoot. We all met in the Marriott lobby and marched
from the Marriot, to the mall, through the Hyatt the out to the steps of the
sun trust building where we took the photos. And as usual the sight of all
of us marching stopped most of the people at the con and the traffic on the
Sadly, one female trooper went down in the heat at the photo shoot. After
all It was in GA, in August, in the sun with a temp of 85 degrees and a
humidity of 90%. But she is OK so all is well. And every year one trooper
drops his helmet and breaks it.
One of the troopers I most enjoyed seeing again was my good friend Natalie
form Germany. And even if she got me drunk, called me a sissy without a cute
accent, then said I was too old and was her bitch..., I still loved seeing
her again. Good friends like that are rare. Thanks Nat for the great fun!
YOUR A BAD INFLUENCE ON ME! Hope I get to see you again before you head back
We had a great turn out of both Imperial and rebel forces and the usual mix
of other costumes. Many fantastic costumes were seen from others that were
not in our legions. The two that stick out in my mind are the Kid Catcher
from "Chitty Chitty bang bang" and the female Predator.
The new "Trooper Groupie"
gals were a blast! Bout time someone acknowledged the troopers for the studs
we really are! I hope this group catches on and spreads to the other
garrisons. But ... Cheri is and always will be the ORIGINAL "TrooperGroupie".
Thanks to Dave for some of