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Jan and Peter in a shot taken by Stan Kirsch!

Jan and Stan

By Jan Lopreste


     My first convention was Syndicon 1997.


     At that time I was not yet on-line and had never visited any of the websites, forums or discussion lists that existed so I basically knew no one in the realm of fandom. I had NO idea what to expect and I felt quite alone!  Since I had no experience, I made the offer of "Use me as you see fit. I am yours for the weekend".


     Word of caution.....be very careful about making such an offer to a convention organizer! Trust me, she WILL take you up on it! ( I know, because I have!!)


     The first real exposure for me came when Peter Wingfield arrived at Con-Ops. I had gone to the suite to get a snack for my son. I realized that Peter was in the suite when I noticed someone beside me at the snack bar. It was Peter, getting a snack for himself as well!  I tried really hard not to spill the pop as I poured a glass for myself, and then offered some to him.  He opted for a bottled water instead. Now, I have never been one to go "ga-ga" around someone famous, so I simply smiled at him and moved on. I

took my son to the "living room" area, where we sat to have his snack.


     Within moments, PW was there asking if he could join us. I said something like "Please do." and smiled again. I knew that he would need a few moments

of quiet time and I didn't want to disturb him but neither did I want to appear disinterested in him!


     I started up a conversation about something

silly like the weather, mentioning that I was very happy he had arrived safely to the hotel. He smiled and said thanks. My son (who had been paying

no attention) turned to ask me a question. I told him to take notice of who mommy was talking with.


     "Do you know who this is?" I asked him. Nick (who was 5 at the time) looked at Peter, then looked at me as if I was insane, and said in a rather condescending and totally non-plussed voice "Yeah, Mom...that's Methos!  Geeze....didn't you know?"


     I was mortified at what I saw as Nick's rudeness, but Peter  was laughing! He chimed in with "Yeah, Mom.....I'm Methos! Didn't you know that?"


    I apologized, but he totally waved it off, telling me

not to worry about it.


    "Kids....they keep you humble" he said.


     This was my first taste of what a truly lovely man Peter Wingfield is!


Saturday Morning


     On Friday night I was given a Staff badge and I was assigned to help with the autograph lines on Saturday morning.  My mission was to see to it that the dealers, Staff other guests got their autographs without disruption to their own events and routines.


     Ok, no problem, I thought. Could someone just

tell me how?   The director didn't care and said that however I wanted to work it was fine. Just coordinate with security and let the dealers know and it was my baby.


     Oh boy! What had I gotten myself into?


     When the security team finally arrived, I knew that we would be starting shortly. Since I was "official", I walked up to the leader of the security team and introduced myself, telling him what it was that I was supposed to be doing. He nodded his head, said that was fine, but that I needed to "tell them". He then gave a sweeping backwards motion with his arm. I followed the direction of the sweep, and my eyes immediately fell upon Adrian Paul, who had SHORT hair, was some 50 pounds lighter than he had looked on screen, and was sporting a mustache and goatee. - " - Whimper - "


      I turned back to the security guard and asked if he wanted to present me or introduce me or anything, and he picked up my staff badge hanging on a cord around my neck and said, simply,




     Right. Fine. Now, folks, you have to remember that I was a huge fan and this was my first-ever exposure to any of this!  Still, not wanting to embarrass myself or anyone else, I knew that I needed to be professional in my approach, and so I steadied myself and headed over to speak to Adrian.


     I dried my palm on my pant leg and prayed that my hand wasn't actually as cold as it felt and walked up to him. He was engaged in conversation with one of the liasons, so I politely waited my turn to be acknowledged.


     When he turned to me, his eyes and his smile were dazzling. To say that his gaze is mesmerizing is an understatement. I stuck out my hand, introduced myself and thanked him for coming. He shook my hand warmly, and looked directly at me as I told him what I was to be doing. He was very responsive. Then, the mom in me got brave and I went out on a limb, because I had seen another need that I felt should be addressed. I mentioned the folks in line with small

children, and before I could even finish my thought he grinned and said,


    "Oh, yeah....right! Yeah, please! You bring the little ones to me, ok? You'll make that happen?"


     His satin-chocolate accent washed over me and it was all I could do not to stammer but I was pleased to say yes, that I would make that happen! He thanked me, (excuse me, HE thanked ME?) and said he needed

to get to work now. I was very glad that he hadn't seemed to notice how jittery I was, or if he did, that he was kind enough and understanding enough

not to mention it. This was the first of several occasions that I had to see Adrian throughout my very first con, but I guess you will just have to wait

until NEXT time to hear about the rest.


     Nasty, aren't I?


    Watch for site updates, and visit again real soon! 

Liz Gracen First Convention Adrian Moments AP Poster Moment


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