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Reunion Con
Los Angeles, California
Riley's Report.......

August 24, 2001

I was excited, but I wasn't. Relaxed since I'd just spent 3 days in San Diego at
the beaches and zoo. The drive up to LA seemed to take forever! We left at 6
am, so I could get to the airport to meet Lee's (Leepeace1) plane.

Of course, her plane gets in early and we arrive just in time. Lee grabbed my
hand and held on, I could feel her heart beating so fast. I began to get excited
we were going to see Adrian!!!

Confusion at the hotel about our rooms, but then dear Elaine
( saved the day. We'd met at the Denver Con last year,
so it was nice to see a familiar face. We stored our luggage in her room until
ours was ready. Elaine and her daughter had arrived Thursday. Then off to
Register. We all got goodie on the programming, a fantastic
Highlander backpack (courtesy of Bill Panzer and the Highlander store), our
ID tags, a Highlander brochure that described all the participants with great
color pictures and a new Tracker picture.My T-shirt and Gala ticket were there
too. Now it all felt real!!!!

Then, we were off to find Julia who was arriving from Louisville, KY. We'd never
met, and the only description I had was tall, redhead in her Matrix outfit. Oh
God….amidst all these seemed impossible. But, as we headed to
the check-in desk, there she was! Just as she'd described, It was the long
coat that did it. Then we heard the Kentucky drawl in her voice…yep, it was
her. We were all talking at once in our excitement..this was Julia's first Con
and let me tell you, she had the luck of the Irish. She won two (2) autograph
lottery tickets…one for Adrian and one for Jim Byrnes. Lucky woman.

Since the Con promoters knew that there was no way all of us could get
lucky enough to get an autograph, they set up a lottery system. You each got
two (2) tickets and were to put them in the box for the actor you wanted an
autograph from. If you wanted more tickets, you could purchase them at $2.00
each. I know some people spent $40 or more buying extra tickets…and some
were lucky enough to get to be one of the 100 selected. One lady got in on 4
different sessions, 2 just for Adrian.

We got Julia registered and finally got our rooms. Even though she was lucky
in the autograph lottery, she drew the short straw and got the chair to sleep in.
So, there was some justice. It was a nice huge chair with ottoman, so don't
feel too badly.

Lee, myself, Julia and Elaine had lunch in the hotel restaurant. Fabulous
fish buffet where we picked on the waiter and devoured the food like starving
women. Then it was off to discover what was there to see. The dealer rooms
were packed, the PEACE table especially. People buying up copies of past
PEACE magazine issues, jewelry, shirts, photos, posters. Money flying
everywhere. Of course, I had to dig out my wallet too….and not just once.

There were lots of things scheduled for we fans to do, but it seemed not
enough time to do it all. You just had to pick and choose what was most
important. Some of those who came in Thursday were kept busy by
taking a tour of LA. They even got to see PEACE offices and……the house
where Adrian used to live!! Made me wish I'd gone in a day early.

After changing clothes, off I went at 3:30 to spend “An Hour With…Stan
Kirsch.” Dragging what seemed like the heaviest cameras in the world
and loaded with disks and film, I was ready. I found my seat in anticipation.
I must say, that having a Reserved Seat was nice, but, seemed so far
away… clear off on the right side, but on the inside aisle. Many people
grumbled about the fact that General Seating got better seats, unless
you were right up front. Didn't seem fair somehow.

The room lit up with camera flashes and there he was! Stan was adorable
as always, full of energy and bouncing around. I was so busy watching
him, I barely paid attention to the questions. I do know that some people
wrote them all down and I'm sure they'll appear on the Web complete with
answers in the near future. I was too busy trying to get pictures. Security
was much looser this time, and they even allowed you a bit more time to
crawl down the center aisle to get close up pictures. Still, if you stayed
too long, they'd come after you. I got pretty good at crouching and
waddling up to the front. The floor was slick and if you worked it just right
you could sort of slide on your knees a bit closer to the stage. I know we
must have looked like inhuman creatures creeping up there.

The nice thing was, that there were empty seats closer to the stage and
if no one showed up, the security would allow you to hop over and fill
them up. It was a mad dash for those better seats! Next came a screening
of “Band of Brothers” and a commentary by James Horan. I was
exhausted by my picture taking, so skipped this event and wandered
around the hotel meeting other fans.
At 5:30 I headed back to the Grand Ballroom for a treat. Readings from
“An Evening at Joe's” where Jim Byrnes, Anthony De Longis, Ken Gord,
Stan Kirsch, Gillian Horvath, Donna Lettow and F. Braun McAsh each read
a portion of the stories. It was so much fun. Poor Stan had a hard time
keeping a straight face. The audience harassed him. All the stars were
joking around and obviously having a great time. The stage was a bit dark,
so the atmosphere made is seem as if you were actually at Joe's.
Afterwards Stan held an autograph session.

Later that evening Gillian Horvath and Donna Lettow gave fans a look behind
the scenes at how Highlander went from script to screen and then answered
questions in their Q & A session. By 9:30 we were all tired, but made it to
the Sword Choreography Demo with Anthony De Longis and F. Braun McAsh.
Well worth waiting for. Those two are fantastic. It's incredible to think of all the
long hours put in to make one short sword fight. They showed clips of them
practicing long into the night and then staged a demo for us. One of the
funniest moments was them talking about how they were staging this fight
under a streetlight and how it must have looked to the neighbors who'd
probably had no idea what these grown men with swords were doing. Both
men were friendly and you could tell they worked well together. Of course,
we were all expecting Adrian to pop in for a little fun, but alas, he didn't.

Wandering the halls near the Ballroom, we ran into Bob Chapin holding court
with other fans. He tirelessly chatted with everyone. Some fans even had
“The Hunted” shirts. Bob's new production. For more info, check out  Bob told us he was there for some filming for it. Tired and
almost too excited to sleep, we headed for the hotel room, eagerly
anticipating the next day when we'd get to see Adrian.

August 25, 2001

Up very early on Saturday, could not wait until programming started. At 10:00
off to the Ballroom again for “The Pen vs. The Sword” with Gillian, F. Braun
and Anthony. They are in the process of filming a new TV series called
“MythQuest” and showed us clips of one episode which both Anthony and
F. Braun appeared in. Anthony played Lancelot and F. Braun was of course,
the "evil” guy who kidnaps Queen Guinivere. Much discussion took place
about how they filmed the sequences and sword fights. Telling us all the
behind the scenes secrets. It was fun and it's nice to know they'll be back
on screen soon.
I stayed glued to my seat, anxiously awaiting the next session….an Hour with
Adrian Paul!!! The Ballroom filled quickly, almost no empty seats. Cameras at
ready, we all waited. Suddenly a hush filled the room, then screams and yells.
Adrian was on stage!!!

Dressed in a light colored shirt and cream pants, there he was. It took a while
for the commotion to die down. He paced, he sat, he just filled the room with
his presence. People were scrambling to get pictures and the room was
flooded with flash, like a strobe light. At this Con I must say the lighting was
much better and not so dark, which made taking pictures better. For an hour,
we listened in awe as Adrian answered questions from the audience. Sincere
in each answer, he was patient and thoughtful. After a while I forgot about
pictures and just filled my soul with looking at him. All of us had huge grins
plastered on our faces and we must have looked like a room full of Cheshire
Cats to him.

He talked about "Tracker" and shared several funny anecdotes. One, which
had us all drooling in anticipation was about filming in his underwear.
Underwear!!!!! Apparently when he is dropped onto Earth to begin his tracking,
he comes pretty much in nothing but his undies. Adrian told us they were
filming in a field and that traffic was going by. He was laughing as he wondered
what the drivers thought seeing a mostly naked man standing in a field. I
know if there had been any Adrian Paul fans in that line of cars..they surely
would have made a detour!

NimNam (Naomi) expressed her sentiments about problems lots of us are
experiencing with Adrian's web site on Celebrity Blvd.and  Adrian shared
that within a few weeks a new site will be online!

Afterwards, Adrian held an autograph session, and those of us unlucky
ones who did not have a ticket, wandered past those in line with envy on our
faces. Sigh. I went to the Silent Auction room and got close up looks at
some of the clothes that Adrian and the other cast wore in the movie
Endgame. I held the sword slashed sweater he wore in that great fight
scene….I touched the coat he wore in the opening scenes, as well as the
one Christopher Lambert wore. It was heaven and about as close as I'll ever get.

One thing that was so great, was running into the celebrities in the elevator
(4 times with F. Braun myself!) and in the hallways. All were gracious and
friendly, willing to let you take a picture or get an autograph. Bob Chapin held
court near the Ballroom almost all weekend! F. Braun too. Tracy Scroggins
came up to the elevators as we stood there and Lee was the brave one asking
for a picture. One person actually, physically, ran into Adrian scaring everyone.
She about knocked him over, but you can read her story as soon as she
submits it. She also got a cheek smack from Stan in the elevator!! Liz
wandered up with her friend, and guard, but took the elevator by themselves.

At 1:30 I headed to the Ballroom for "Stories from the Set" with Nadia
Cameron-Blakey, Anthony De Longis, Ocean Hellman, James Horan, Tracy
Scroggins, Bruce Young and a urprise guest...Richard Lynch. He's been in
hundreds of movies ("Blind Faith") and such a familiar face. They all had tales
to tell but most of the stories centered on the bad weather they all incurred
while filming during their careers. Ocean told a hilarious tale about one
film where they were in the water and it was snowing. Most of us know that
film crews use potato flakes to make fake snow and this time, because the
actors were wet, the flakes began to do what they are intended to do. Make
mashed potatoes!!! So they were all covered in potatoes and had to be
scraped off.

After laughing myself silly, it was off to find lunch. At 3:30 Jim Byrnes, David
Abramowitz, Liz Gracen, Donna Lettow and Peter Wingfield gathered to
discuss "Another Moral Dilemma: Ethical Issues in Highlander." A short clip
was shown for each actor. Little clips of Jim telling everyone he  was a
Watcher and would "not get involved." The audience was hysterical, for as
we all know...he does! Peter too got his share of ribbing as he repeatedly
professes his morality and Liz's clips were mostly of her doing what she does
best...get in trouble. It was entertaining and fun to see them pick on each other.

The Auction, what most of us were now waiting for started about 4:30. The
Ballroom filled one wanted to miss this. Scripts, posters, a sword and
collectibles were up for grabs. The bidding was fierce. Adrian was at his peak.
The ultimate fun was when a Necklace, Earring and bracelet set was set up
for bids. Liz got the idea that Adrian should model them. On goes the
necklace (he was so gracious about this too!), then one earring in his pierced
ear. He made a comment about only having the one ear pierced and Liz was
having a hard time trying to find a place to put the other earring. Then the
bracelet. Adrian's wrist was too big and the audience was busy suggesting
place to put it! He strutted around and all he needed was a purse and shoes
to compete the ensemble. Talk about funny!

After the auction, Julie, Elaine and I went outside for a breather. As we are
standing there, Peter W. comes up with his security. That Kentucky drawl
of Julia's rang out."Hello, good lookin." Peter stopped, and chatted with us!
My knees were knocking so hard, my mind blank, I didn't even think about
asking for a picture. OK, smack me now!

Then it was off to get ready for the Gala. Everyone dressed in their finest.
Some in costumes of serving wenches, some even wore jeans. It was a
"Gala" affair. Darkened room, candles on the tables, chandeliers glittering.
First on stage were the ladies who put together Reunion who thanked all
the volunteers and the hundreds who helped set up the Con.

Then  James Horan, dressed in a black velvet long coat with silver buttons,
pantaloon pants, lace up boots, looking every bit like a pirate came onstage.
He sang his renditions of quite a few songs which were well received by the
audience. Then, through a side door we see Jim Byrnes being escorted in.
He took the stage and the place went wild. After tuning up, the blues rang
out, his husky voice enrapturing us. Meanwhile, the stars started coming
in to be seated at  tables near the stage. Anthony De Longis and his
partner got up and did a great slow dance, then others started filtering to
the dance floor.

Suddenly, a hush went through the crowd and Adrian was sneaking
in through a side door. Wearing a light colored shirt, black vest
and black pants he was magnificent. The audience was quiet and necks
craned to see him. Soon though, the dance floor was packed as everyone
got into the spirit and danced their hearts out.

When we registered, we were all asked to respect the privacy of the stars
and most of us did so. Yet, there were some avid fans who were rude
enough to intrude upon them at the Gala. One at a time, they approached
the table to speak with Adrian, it was horrid. All of us at our table felt such
sympathy for him and the rest of the cast. While we all feel as if we know
them, watching the tapes over and over, following their careers, they do
deserve their privacy too. Of course, security was tight and most were
turned away, but still.. it put a pall on the event. (I'll get off my soapbox

Jim took what seemed like 5 encores or one wanted him to
leave the stage, but sadly the night came to an end. With dreamy eyes,
still excited, fans gathered in the lobby, bar and hallways to talk about
their wonderful evening.

As for me, tired, exhausted I decided to leave the next morning and
missed the Sunday programming. Perhaps someone else will tell us
those tales.

Peace.... Riley

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