...After a late start, we met Squeaky and TD in The Media Room (B102 and the coffee was cold; what's up with that? Dudes, the New Media operate on caffeine. Interestingly, so did the Old Media when it was at its best. I'm just sayin'). They are exactly who you think they are, possibly more fun, though poor TD is bravely soldiering on after facing down travel tummy and tequila. I predict Sunday will dawn a happier day for him. Squeaks is a treat, happy as a kid in a candy store -- imagine if your first big gun show was The NRA National Convention and you had a Media pass! (Multipass?) We also exchanged well-mets with Keyboard and a .45 and then 'twas on to the Main Floor. (Ooops, wrong URL for the latter. Fixed now)
NRA puts on a hella convention. Srsly. Heap plenty bigname outfits in the main hall, nicely set up. Nice folks runnin' 'em. Kewl swag, too -- pins, buttons, T-shirts packed in the shape of a 1911 from a well-known Canadian firm* (so of course I tucked mine in a back pocket). Colt's got some pretty, pretty, functional 1911s, not as many as I'd like to see, and S&W had about a zillion handguns, all shiny-nice. Held a bullpup FN battlerifle-y device, interesting but, ummm, I'm a country gal and they're too newfangled to suit me. Saw, between various booths, a veritable rainbow of AR-15 and kin. Saw yet again a Whitney Wolverine, a .22 plinker that looks like a sci-fi film prop...and which has been just that, so if you've got maybe Martians in your garden? Might be the ticket. Longingly fondled marvelous jewelry-like (jewelry with bite!) NAA custom-shop and stock sidearms and lusted after the pocketable Ruger offering...all in five very much too short hours. Met a master of firearms restoration, Douglas Turnbull, in person, immediately after seeing many examples of his work as close as can be; amazingly, he looks just like an ordinary person. He's not ordinary. He's got The Hands and there were 90-year old 1911s and 100+ year old rifles there to show it, as they did not just look new, they gave every indication of being out-of-the-box brand new and could not possibly be. Time machine? Perhaps. Transcendent skill? Bet on it.
Tam finds my trip prep entirely overdone (multiple maps, water, munchies, et White Knight cetera) and pointed out in the morning, reasonably enough, that the Expo Center is right off the interstate we would be taking all the way from Indy. True and yet I managed a wrong turn at the last second. Whatever you've heard, Tamara K is actually a fount of saintly patience. And snark.
Oddest sign: at the Exposition Center, some bent mind had carefully applied a sticker to cover the "C" of "Baby Changing Station." Ew.
Note to Convention Attendees: Rule Three! If not for me, then do it for Col. Cooper. Sigh.
After the exhibit hall closed at 6, we had a huge moment of panic when we discovered signs posted at the door to media room saying it had closed at 5:00 p.m. Don't recall havin' heard anything about that earlier and, of course, there were two laptops and various other needful things behind the oh so very locked door. Chance favored us in the form of a high-up Security D00d just happening by with his keys in hand and we were soon on our way to a nice chat and quiet dinner with TD and Squeaky (none of us were especially up to The Banquet and my formal is just too big to put in the car and a couple of decades out of date) and then, sadly, had to pass up a chance to meet more bloggers; it was going ten, they were planning on 11:00 p.m. and I was fadin' fast. Four hours hours behind the wheel Friday, another two and a huge lot of walking both days had already about done for my knee. (Grrrr).
It was a good thing we left when we did; back in Indy, our exit was, wholly without warning until almost too late, closed (hey?!) and I ended up going miles out of the way through a bad neighborhood, including about five blocks directly away from home. Any sleepier and we'd've spent the night wandering, Diogenes' maiden aunts with a headlight.
Tam hopes to return Sunday, likely in the Zed Drei urban recon vehicle. I'd like to but I've other responsibilities.
It was a wonderful time. Looking forward to next year!
* See, I'd mention Para-Ordinance but then I'd have to nod in due course to Kimber. In any just and/or sane world, I could not possibly talk about either of them without having given props to Springfield and from there it just snowballs. Para's salesman was as helpful as can be and spent considerable time with us, which I do appreciate.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
6 months ago