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TAFF wrap

Fan Fund Winners in 2013
Fan fund winners attending the TAFF party on Saturday: In the rear row are John D. Berry, Suzle, Victor Gonzalez, and myself. In the front are Ulrika O'Brien, Jerry Kaufman, Velma deSelby-Bowen, and Jim Mowatt. Local fan fund winners unable to attend: Wally Weber, Janice Murray, and Stu Shiffman.

Seattle did a pretty good job of keeping TAFF delegate Jim Mowatt hopping on his visit. On Thursday we had a pubmeet at the Burgundian in the Tangletown neighborhood. This was partly an exploratory expedition to see if the Burgundian would be a good place for our regular monthly pubmeet, and the answer turns out to be probably not. It's far too loud, although probably quieter on a Sunday. But on Thursday it was surprisingly busy, with one other large party other than our own, which I think topped out at thirteen people. Because of the noise you couldn't hear anybody except the person right next to you, so I mostly talked with Jerry and Ulrika, which was a perfectly fine way to spend my time. Jim got tips on his upcoming visit to New Orleans from Paul Carpentier, and before the pubmeet he told me tales of how he actually became a dodgy media fan after he got into general fandom, rather than the other way around.

On Friday Ulrika and Mary Kay Kare took Jim to a fair on Whidbey Island, where he got to see various prize farm animals. That evening I tried to take him to the Elysian, but we couldn't find any parking, not even in a paid lot. So we diverted to the Big Time (which was going to be the second stop anyway) and then to the Hilltop Ale House. It was great to get a further chance to talk to Jim solo, and amongst other things I learned that he has a son from a previous marriage, which I'd never heard about.

On Saturday Ulrika and Hal took Jim to various sights in Seattle and then handed him off to Jerry and Suzle, who took him out to Snoqualmie Falls in the foothills of the mountains. Even out there they couldn't see Mt Rainier, so Jim never did see it, alas. In the evening it was the party at our house, and I was happy to see quite a few people who hadn't met Jim yet. There was plenty of great beer brought by the assembled horde, and the usual yatter was amply provided as well. We did the traditional fan fund winner photo op, which is always fun. Jerry and Suzle wondered if they were the only TAFF-DUFF couple, and now I can't remember if we thought of any others. Around 2am it was down to five people, and I broke out the bottle of Black Tokyo Horizon -- a collaboration between BrewDog, Mikkeler, and Nogne -- that the Fishlifters gave to me a couple or so years back and that I'd been waiting for the proper moment to open. It was divine. Then it was time to catch a few hours sleep before I drove Jim to the airport at 6am.

It was great to spend time with Jim again a decade after I met him on my own TAFF trip in 2003. What goes around comes around, as they say. I learned quite a bit more about him this time around, and I promise not to repeat some of it. I do hope somebody will take him up on his desire to run the newszine at Eastercon sometime. The boy has some great ideas!

Happy trails, Jim. I look forward to reading your trip report.


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