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For I'm Bound for West Virginia With a Roadmap on My Knee Part 4A
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Part 4
The Reception 
A – People Watching and Other Adventures

The play now over, Pam, Deb, Deb’s son Jordan, henceforth to be known as Jood, and I waited a while to let the back of the theater empty a bit, then left our second row seats.  On the way out we made a stop in the Ladies to freshen makeup and generally put ourselves back together before heading on to the reception.

Pam, who seems to have a knack for attracting interesting experiences, attracts yet another when a lady approaches her, explaining that she’s a friend of the Selbys’ but cannot attend the reception.  She asks Pam to deliver something (I wasn’t clear what) to them at the reception, to which Pam agrees, and the three of us head to our cars.  As I had already played tourist and scoped out the location of the “Old Federal Building” I had them follow me there and we’d figure out the parking once there. Amusingly enough, we note that the van that Deb and her family rented in Ohio has NY plates, making us look like a caravan!

We arrive, park and go inside to meander a bit, chatting as we hadn’t been able to before the play started.  I feel myself starting to fade after the long day, so I get some coffee.  Some very good, thankfully VERY STRONG coffee! We meander and chat some more while nibbling on the nice array of appetizers and veggies.  Then there is suddenly a rush toward the doors.  If this were a ship it would have capsized from the sudden tilt.

We looked at each other then out at the vestibule, and determined that the Selbys, Susan Sullivan or all three had just arrived.  We were all cringing a bit at the fact that the crowd didn’t even seem to have let them get into the room and take a breath before descending!  After all, it’s not like they were going to evaporate if they were not spoken to/asked for autographs or photographs THAT SECOND!

We end up clustering near one of the columns, so I can lean on it and be able to stand and chat.  More general chitchat as we watched Dr. Selby and Miss Sullivan as they slowly progressed further and further into the room. Meanwhile, we continued to discuss possible ways for Pam to deliver the item to one or the other Selby.

Then, an impromptu photo op happens with DS and SS posing for photos together.  Suddenly disposable cameras appear from every direction, and Pam and Jood are off into the fray to try to get shots for all of us.  Jood is a big fellow, and tall enough to look David Selby in the eyes when they speak.  Useful characteristics in a situation like this!  Deb and I are both more people watchers, and now that I have to use a crutch to walk and balance when standing, a crush like that was definitely NOT high on my list
of things to do! 


We stayed where we were and watched the goings on, while we spoke about Dark Shadows (which she has seen some of but doesn’t have an in depth knowledge of).  I explained to her the peculiar way I had become so heavily involved in a show I had only seen sporadically since it’s first run  -- Timeshifting the show after catching it from the first episode by total fluke, then getting totally addicted after one particular episode, where Quentin Collins is caught in a position where he has to sacrifice his brother to save his own life --  and Falcon Crest (which I’m rusty on, since I have only recently seen seasons 2-4 again. Not having Soapnet, most of my memories are ones from its network run.) and she told me something of Jood’s working in the theater.  This conversation brought out a pattern which I started seeing in email correspondence with Pam, Deb and others, and later with other Falcon Crest fans I met at the end of the evening:  Far more of the Dark Shadows fans seem to have followed David Selby to Falcon Crest, and enjoy the show than the inverse is true.  Many of the FC people seem to have tried DS, but find that the show is not to their taste.  Others were not even aware that Dark Shadows still has a large fan following, not to mention how high the attendance figures at the Festivals still are.

 A few minutes later we saw Jood and Pam again, bearing cameras and with both missions accomplished.  Jood had also managed to get the program autographed for his mother by both stars.  We continued to stand and chat, all the time watching people and how they interacted with the actors, now starting to circulate separately, and visa versa.

After a time though, the trip took it’s toll (Pam had driven from KY the night before and stayed at Deb’s house -- gabbing most of the night, is my guess! -- then left with the rest of Deb’s family that AM to drive the 5 hours from OH to Martinsburg).  They decided it was time to leave while they were still awake enough to find the home of the family friend they were staying with.

I decided to stay, and wished them good night and a safe trip, then continued to meander, nibble on munchies, DRINK MORE COFFEE and most of all, people watch.


As the event progressed, things became a bit calmer.  At one point  Susan Sullivan was, for what I think was the first time, able to make it over to get something to eat and drink.  I waited a while, hovering and looking for a good moment, and for others to finish speaking to her, before I approached and congratulated her on the performance.  She seemed very nice, but I think a bit stunned by the crowd and the fan attention.  I’m not particularly good at the social chit chat thing, so after we exchanged a few words I moved along.


 I am used to attending events like this with a gaggle of friends I have known for years.  This time, though, no one from my area (either DS fans or media fans) was able to make it for this weekend, and the only three people there I knew had just left.  I knew there were Falcon Crest fans there and probably some Dark Shadows fans as well, but they wouldn’t have known me from the nearest lamppost. It was a weird feeling.


Then I happened to look up at a good moment and saw that David Selby was standing nearby, with only a couple of people he was speaking with. Looked like the best opportunity I would have to congratulate him on the performance, so I hovered on the sidelines, listening to the conversation until I would have a chance to speak with him.


My ears perked up when I heard him say the name “Dan Curtis”, and I realized he was talking about the “Return to Collinwood” radio play which I had seen performed at the Fest.




Part 4B: Selby Encounters of the Third Kind

article @2003 by JMW and may not be reprinted in any form without prior written permission

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