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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 03:08 pm
by hansolobiker
For those who are not aware, back in 2015, an idea surfaced to have an event in North America that would bridge the empty space between NADWCON's as at that time there were no plans afoot to hold another Convention across the pond. Following the attendance of many DW fans at Sasquan-the World Science Fiction Convention in Spokane,Washington in 2015 the turtle moved. So here is a short serialisation of what transpired. Part one is below with more to follow.

NWDWW-The Story so far
In the beginning

Endubyadeedubyadubya-The New World DiscWorld Weekend, was an idea that surfaced in the minds of myself and Carol (Phalarope) whilst we were driving along Highway2 from Spokane, Washington to Seattle, on the day after The World Science Fiction convention Sasquan, closed in 2015. We, along with numerous others, had been somewhat annoyed at a statement made during one of the DiscWorld panels, that ‘there would be no more North American DiscWorld conventions’-NADWCON. To say that those present were somewhat taken aback by this was noticeable. Whilst the people concerned had been instrumental in organising previous NADWCON, we were all pretty sure that they did not have any right to make such a sweeping statement. There were others who could and would take up that particular baton. We have always been of the opinion that it was the fans that made the Con and not the organisers or the guests. Get a group of DiscWorld fans together and you had an event, irrespective of anything else. True, not having the presence of The Founder-Sir Terry-was a downer with some people but surely that was not the sole reason that many fans attended? Meeting up with friends old and new was the draw too! ‘If you organise it, they will come’ to misquote Field of Dreams.

So, driving through the smoke tinged air surrounding Spokane (it was in the middle of the worst wildfire season ever!) we batted a number of ideas around. If there were to be another NADWCON then the soonest an event could probably take place would be 2017 (biennial events in odd numbered years with 2015 being the missing year). At the time, there was no guarantee that this would happen so we wondered if we the fans could do something to fill a need for contact between big events. I had for 10 years or so, been the organiser of a local group in the North of England-The Northern Institute of the AMDSF- which met 4/5 times a year in the town of Skipton in North Yorkshire. Not a lot of people, 12-15 at most-who met up on Sunday lunchtime to talk and eat and drink and quiz and hold a raffle. Perhaps something along similar lines could work in North America? In Skipton, we had people turn up from across the North of England which wasn’t difficult to do as distances are quite short. Knowing who some of the fans were, who would likely turn up to an event in North America and the greater distances involved, we understood that holding this type of meet-up would necessitate a whole weekend to make it worthwhile. Don’t try to make it too complicated. We would need somewhere to stay and a room to hold the event. Close to amenities so we could get out and enjoy the local eateries, wineries, drinkeries etc. Quizzes and prizes, games too as they went down well at the Con, storytelling perhaps. Attendance by invitation only at first so we could control the numbers. We tossed around a number of possible names for the event and wanting to make it as inclusive sounding as possible, decided that the New World Disc World Weekend or Endubyadeedubyadubya fit the bill nicely! The first event to be held in 2016 if possible. Seemed like a good idea but would it work in reality? We kept coming up with these ideas along Highway2 and so by the time we reached our digs in Seattle, a germ of an idea had been planted. I thought that it would be a local event, somewhere in the North Eastern part of the US for starters and left it with Carol to think about and put feelers out, to see who might be interested.

I got back home to Leeds a few days later and once the jetlag had worn off contacted Carol to see if she had had anymore thoughts. It seemed that a number of the usual suspects we had thought might like the idea, did and tentatively there were ten or a dozen fans who would attend if a suitable venue and date could be found. We needed someone to step up and be the organiser, so Carol was going to spread the word and I settled down to see what happened.

Within a month, lots had transpired. We had a volunteer to organise a venue (Steve Taylor) and enough people interested to make it worthwhile. It had been proposed that we announce the event more widely on the Discworld Emporium forum etc. but the consensus seemed to be that keeping the event ‘invitation only’ would enable it to be controlled better. As it happened, there was an announcement from a group planning the next NADWCON which would be happening in 2017 so as there was that in the pipeline, it was felt that continuing as planned was the better way to go.

By Christmas 2015, we had a venue sorted at Toftrees Golf Resort in State College, Pennsylvania, a place I had never heard of! We even had the backing of His Excellency Mr Sir Pat Harkin, who had indicated that he would be in attendance so I gave in and formally became a delegate. A decision had been made and the inaugural NWDWW would take place in State College on the 9th to 12th June 2016!


PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 04:47 pm
by hansolobiker

And so it came to pass that on Thursday 8th June, I was waiting at my hotel near Detroit Metro Airport having arrived from a few days spent in Madison, Wisconsin, which you may remember was the venue for NADWCON 11. One of our group, Susanne, lived nearby and as she was driving down to State College, she had offered me a lift. We set off early around 7.30 am and headed south and east, passing Toledo, Cleveland, Youngstown and Punxsutawney!, though Phil was out that day.Somewhere around 500 odd Kilometres( 300 miles). We eventually arrived at the Toftrees resort in State College about 1.30pm so not a bad trip at all, including a stop for a sausage sandwich plus around a dozen u-turns before finding the entrance! The facilities looked okay with a two storey hotel building linked to the bar/dining room and a separate wing with meeting rooms. It appeared that we, The Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon night, would be sharing the place with a couple of wedding parties and end of termers from Penn State so it might be a raucous weekend!

We knew that Pat and Carol had arrived before us so after unpacking and freshening up we set off to meet up with them. They had been hanging out at the Berkey Creamery- an ice cream parlour on the Penn State Campus but as we walked out to the carpark, they were walking back in. We had a quorum already! Carol and Susanne were in adjoining rooms and they had a balcony, so we adjourned there and chilled for a while. Steve and his wife Lizzie would be popping over later that afternoon and the other members would trickle in later that day and Friday.

Steve had arranged for those that had arrived on Thursday to go downtown for a meal at Otto’s Bar and Restaurant, so later that evening, nine of us headed there to carouse, imbibe and generally wassail to our hearts content. I think I remember it being very entertaining with decent food and a selection of in house brewed craft beers including a couple of decent pale ales.Mmmm! And so to sleep.

And on to Friday.At noon precisely( well almost) the official gathering began. Big surprise when we received a video from Rob Wilkins saying hello and good luck to everyone with an insert from Stephen Briggs as well. Rob, kindly provided a copy of the Memorial Book as raffle prize( won by Patty Panek). That excitement over we continued as we would at a regional meeting with quizzes and games. As members of the Northern Institute, myself and Pat Harkin were in attendance to keep things sensible!! *

*for a given value of sensible…cue hysterical laughter from Carol (phalarope).

It is at this point that we must pay tribute to our dear friend Nonny Mouse( Karen) who departed from this plane of existence when she was consumed by beings from another dimension( Cthulhu Flux )…. But was resurrected moments later only to explode several times during a round of Exploding Kittens. Things certainly go with a bang when Nonny is around. Quiz topics covered General Knowledge, Terry’s books, and the War of the American Rebellion (in keeping with our shared history). One forfeit, for finishing in last place, was gamely undertaken by newbie Laura, whereupon she read out a Hansolobiker version of ‘Where’s My Cow’, to the assembled company. Taking a break from gaming Pat regaled the assembly with many tales, not least was a recap of the Trojan Duck story, for which he received a ‘special’ memento.

Keeping the numbers down also meant it was easy for us all to get out and about for lunch and dinner at a variety of establishments, as being Penn State Uni territory there are lots of good places to eat and drink. Otto’s, Barrel 21, Hog father’s and many more came in useful. A bespoke Sausage Supper was catered by Hog’s Galore, aka Offler’s Café, on Saturday evening. Susanne (Catch-Up) and Carol had colluded to obtain adjoining rooms, which allowed the socializing to continue into the late hours after the official meeting room had closed.

Images may be found here -
The raffle raised 180 dollars. Winner Patty was given the choice of charity to support and selected RICE, and the money will be passed on in memory of Sir Terry.
We were especially pleased to hear from those in the know that there will be a 2017 NADWCON with venue and dates to be announced shortly.
This was never meant to be any more than a group of friends and likeminded fans getting together to have a good time but it may very well turn out to be a regular event held in the even years between Nadwcons if they continue. Annapolis anybody?


PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 04:48 pm
by Nonny Mouse


PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:39 am
by hansolobiker
Part the third

From the comments posted following the event, it was deemed a great success and indications were that a second event might very well take place in 2018, probably in Annapolis, Maryland-Carol’s home state. There was the small matter of the fourth NADWCON to be held in New Orleans in August 2017.
There was a strong indication from the Con that the NWDWWII would indeed take place in Annapolis and that a few more friends might be persuaded to come for some fun. So following New Orleans, wheels began to turn.
By Christmas 2017 we had a venue and positive reaction from everyone invited so it was a go. The Hampton Inn and Suites would be our temporary home, a couple of miles from Downtown Annapolis so travel arrangements could now be made.
I had planned to visit Toronto and Baltimore before heading for the do and felt like a broiled lobster by the time I arrived in said Baltimore, due to the high temperatures in Canada-35C for most of my time there. Carol had arranged to meet me off the Light Rail near to BWI Airport and thus I was duly picked up and transported to Annapolis, arriving there early afternoon on the Thursday. As check-in was 3pm I was able to leave my bags with the Harkins who along with a couple of Pagels had been in Annapolis for a few days. A surprise lunch had been arranged by the said Pagels and good food and conversation was the first order of the weekend. We then adjourned to the hotel patio for more chat and liquid refreshment and were joined soon after by the Paneks. Looking for interesting places to visit, we found that a large games store was within a short drive and so much refreshed we headed there to see if inspiration for gaming occurred. It was a good choice as there were hundreds of games available, including the DW Witches game! Back to the hotel for a rest and to await the arrival of more attendees and then a trip into Annapolis for food at the Joss Café and Sushi Bar on Main Street, where our Carol is a known face! Being the location of the United States Naval College, Annapolis is a busy place especially in summer and we had a 20 minute wait for a table for I think 10 of us. We managed to confuse our waiter no end but a jolly meal was enjoyed by all before we swept across the road to the Annapolis Ice Cream Parlour for dessert. Two scoop waffle cone with blueberry and raspberry if you must know. And so to bed.
The Hampton Inn served a basic breakfast buffet which filled the void and readied us for the festivities ahead. I went back to the room to collect a selection of sweets-hard candy- from my local shop in Leeds which Carol had asked me to bring over, and headed back down to the meeting room set aside for our use. Most people had arrived by now and they trickled in over the next hour and NWDWWII-endubyadeedubyadubyaeyeye- was up and running.
I now know more fully, why the recent events down in Wincanton, have earned the soubriquet’Gathering of the Loonies’! More especially over in the USof A, as the distances people travel to do silly but emotionally satisfying stuff( Silly,Trivial,Universally Fun Filled) makes the events mind-blowingly hilarious! Everyone is different and brings a unique sense of fun ,intelligence, humour, organisation, silliness and camaraderie to the event. The Gathering had begun.

Following a general mooch around to sort out who was sitting where and with whom and with which games, our erstwhile host, Miss Carol(Phalarope) welcomed everyone to the venue.As always, the first item on the agenda was the exceptionally easy quiz!!!!! This was taken from an earlier Northern Institute quiz no 42, appropriately named Life. The Universe and Everything. Sample questions-The frilled shark has the longest gestation period of all animals-how long?—Which planet has moons called Oberon,Titania and Miranda?---Which event in New Orleans begins on The Feast of the Epiphany?( answers at the end).
I won’t embarrass the winners or losers by naming names,!Prizes were awarded-a set of RAF 100 stamps and the jolliness continued.
Games were played, talk was talked and general conviviality flowed. Time for lunch! Cars were filled and we headed off to Chuys(pronounced, I believe Chewies!) the Tex-Mex chain just around the corner. It was raining and we got slightly damp running to the entrance but were royally served with fantastic selections from the menu-I had fried fish Tacos-yum! Then on to more fun and frolics back at the hotel before it was time to get ready for our evening jaunt into Annapolis for more food.It was back to the Joss Café and Sushi Bar as we had had a fantastic meal there on Friday. More fun confusing the serving staff and eventually over to the Ice Cream parlour to finish off-then back to the hotel for a get together in Carol’s room for a late night nightcap.
Saturday dawned bright and sunny and humid! It followed the previous day’s agenda but we finished gaming early afternoon as we were heading across to the Philips Wharf environmental centre for our Crab Fest. I travelled with Carol to pick up three huge boxes of steamed crabs to take over to the shed on Tighman Island, about an hour’s drive away. Steve and Lizzie Taylor were providing sausages (ina bun) and we had a selection of beverages, vegetables etc to make the party go with a swing.Once we had all settled into the waterside venue, Carol gave us a crash course in crab knapping with specially commemorative crab hammers for all. That was a sight to see, twenty mad Discworld fans, pulling, tearing and smashing those poor blue crabs into smaller and smaller pieces to get at the succulent meat inside. The Blue Moon helped everything to go down nicely. Once sated, we encouraged Pat Harking to tell those who hadn’t heard it-and those who had-the incredible true story of……. The Trojan Duck! A tale so mind blowingly improbable but nevertheless true that much hilarity echoed across the water. It gets better every time Pat tells it! And so back to the hotel where we gathered in carol’s suite for evening drinks and chatter although some decided a visit to the rum bar was a suitable alternative.
Sunday we wound down as everyone packed up and headed off their separate ways and ponder on the possibility of another meet up, somewhere hot and dry perhaps? Anyone for Tucson?

Quiz answers-42 months---Uranus----Carnival/Mardi Gras