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Original Ballfest Newsletter Archives

October 7, 1997

Bremerton, Washington  

The First Ever Great Pacific Northwest MBallFest Happening and Historic Bear Marius Signing Event took place yesterday, beginning at about 11:10 AM, when our hostess, Crys, picked up my husband and me, and we all headed for the Seattle ferry, after first preserving Crys's arrival forever and all times on video tape!  

The Big M, already the group's official photographer, filmed the Introductions all around...and then everyone else seemed to arrive at once!  Sara, Sandra, Verlaine and Bernie - a total of eight - a fantastic 100% turnout!!!  We have chosen the name "The Ball and the Bear" group as our unofficial name at the present, since it sounds a bit like a Pub and we thought Michael might get a chuckle out of it besides!  Thank you Debbie for the suggestion!  

Crys had selected a busy, brightly lit, centrally located restaurant for our first Ballfest Luncheon ~ The Red Robin, on Seattle's famous waterfront for our first "official" local Ballfest.

After a *rather lengthy wait*, a suitable table by the windows became available.  Of course, as you can all imagine - while waiting, we just were all so excited and we spent the time on introductions, swapping stories, chatting, and just bubbling over with excitement...just knowing that this whole get-together thing was FINALLY happening.

We all ordered lunch, and then passed around books, albums, photos and things that folks had brought to share, including an almost exact duplicate of the album I had made for Karen lee Gay after our successful birthday/postcard campaign for her daughter Nicole in August of this year.  It included many photos and intros and letters and lots of info about Michael as well as lots of other stuff which will hopefully keep her reading forever, or nearly so!

Our trusty photographer was kept busy filming a video, and also taking a few snapshots for our own "Michael and Friends" photo album.

After lunch, we all wrote messages on a postcard, depicting a Seattle landmark, for our sister group in southern California, and it was mailed yesterday to Linda, from California...who will be hostessing the Southern California Holiday MBallFest and BBQ on November 30 of this year at her home in Los Angeles County ...to which all of you who might be in that area at that time are invited.  We are expecting a lovely turnout for that event as well.

We also all wrote Christmas messages to Michael on that charming little fellow, Bear Marius, who had arrived at my home quite early one morning late last week.  This event was also recorded on videotape.

We made some plans for future blasts to be held on a fairly regular monthly basis, rotating among our homes and featuring pot luck lunches, BBQ's in good weather, and a hot tub party at my place sometime next year, with other ideas being added as we think of them!!!  We will then be able to include Michael in an even bigger way...by showing his videos, and listening to his CD's and sharing Michael stories - especially the accounts and photos of the fall concerts, since we have at least one of our members attending several of them.

M, Crys and I caught the 3:40 PM ferry back to Bremerton...and so it was farewell until November to our little group.  Ballfest 2 will take place in November and will be hosted by our fellow list member, Debbie.

We all had a terrific time...it was wonderful meeting such a great group of folks who were brought together through our mutual love of Michael, but, as you might surmise...we find we share many other interests as well...the most obvious perhaps being our love of musical theatre, and of just plain having fun, and meeting new and interesting people.

Thanks to each and every one of you who attended...you made a dream come true for me!

It is our fond hope that some of you in other places will want to give some thought to doing something similar in your own homelands or home states.  We could then perhaps swap videos and photos of our Ballfests to be shown at future meetings, as well as postcards or greeting cards to be placed  in a BallFest Album to be enjoyed at future get-togethers.  

Love and Hugs...Jackie -  hoping  you will all find a pal to share a Michaelful Day with.  

This page is dedicated with love to my First Ballfest Buddy - Crys Ager - who was also my very first MB Fan friend, and who helped me get Ballfesting started in the first place!   We met first in our local laundromat, and Crys actually let me borrow a ton of her Michael things to enjoy until I could afford to buy my own!  Together we decided it might be fun to contact other Michael fans in the greater Seattle area, and perhaps we could all share our collections of Michael memorabilia, photos and memories, while promoting Michael, Ballfesting and friendships. A busy well-lit Seattle waterfront restaurant was chosen, Seattle people selected from Tricia's Roster were invited...and Ballfesting happened.  That was in the early summer of 1997...and on August 16, 2000, Merrill, Crys and I celebrated a belated third anniversary Ballfest Dinner!

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