It's that time again (Vol. 3 available from Bear Manor Media. Blatant plug and in-joke). Time for the latest Cincinnati OTR Con. This flyer arrived in the mail today. World famous Jack Benny impersonator Eddie Carroll had previously been announced as this year's Guest of Honor so it was no surprise. Familiar regular Bob Hastings, for whom I believe this will make 17 or 18 out of 23 years, is set to return along with the delightful Rosemary Rice and Esther Geddes, also veteran guests.
Therein lies my anxiety. For those who have been there, you know that this Cincinnati Con has a vibe like no other. It's a genuine community vibe, a family vibe! A significant portion of those attending return year after year and everybody knows everybody. The whole hotel is often taken over by ad hoc gatherings and everybody does lunch with everybody...including the celebrity guests! In fact, the Dealers' Room was sparse last year and rarely crowded. Most of the Con had spilled out into surrounding areas!
When Will Hutchins came a few years back, he was welcomed and treated as one of us. He embraced that and was as wonderful and down-to-earth as one could ask for, being perfectly happy to both enjoy the adulation and yet be treated like "just folks."
I don't know. I know Eddie Carroll has an excellent reputation and--big Jack Benny fan that I am--I am very much looking forward to seeing him (and I have no doubt friend Karen has already passed out at least once just thinking about it). That said--and maybe it's just me--I find myself worrying that the dynamics of the weekend might be different this year. At the same time, Ican't wait to find out. April 24th and 25th! Mark your calendars!