Thursday, March 3, 2016

Gary Con: Pre-Con Festivities

As I do each year, I made half-hour trip to Lake Geneva to pick up my badge. Once again, I drove through the rolling, snow-covered hills of southeastern Wisconsin's Kettle Moraine, this time to a new destination: The Grand Geneva Resort. In previous years, Gary Con had taken place at The Geneva Ridge Resort, but it seems that this convention is moving up in the world. Long ago, Grand Geneva had been a Playboy Club where two of the original Gen Cons took place, now it is Lake Geneva's largest resort.

Always a welcome sight!

After navigating the palatial resort grounds, I picked up my badge and took a quick walk around the facilities to get my bearings. I was used to the Ridge, but Grand Geneva truly dwarfs the former in both size and style. I shudder to think what the rooms cost per night, even with convention rates.

The Menzer Kitchen. A homey place.
Afterward, it was off to Sharon, WI for the annual party at Frank Mentzer's lovely house. Frank and his wife Debbie were, as ever, gracious hosts and everyone who came was treated to all manner of baked goodies from their well-appointed kitchen. I ran into many familiar faces and more than a few new ones graced the gathering. Frank treated us to an exhibition of his classic TSR wargaming materials, including vintage copies of Chainmail, Boot Hill, and an impressive number of the ill-fated "Warriors of Mars" game.

Frank at his desk, that used be be one of Gary's desks.
Around 10, my belly full of Italian beef and homemade Red Box cake, I said my farewells, hoped into the car and drove back to Muskego to grab some sleep before the big day.
I got one of the claws.

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