I havenít been to San Francisco in several years, but it is a cool town and I was looking forward to coming to visit again. Got to the airport, the plane was there Ė always a good thing. We boarded and the first inkling that I was about to embark on the airplane journey from hell came over the PA. The Captain told the passengers to hurry up and sit down or we would miss our window in Atlanta. That did not sound good.
So we took off and got to Atlanta and they told us we were on final approach - for forty minutes. You descend on final, and we kept going around and around and around at the same high altitude.
So when we finally landed, my connecting flight to San Francisco was long gone and there was a five hour wait for the next one and they could not confirm both of us until the plane left. We did make it onto the plane and finally arrived in San Francisco in the early evening. Then the airport shuttle brought down us down Powell Street. Now thatís a hill! We had decided to come in a day early precisely in case something like this happened.
David was supposed to arrive at 10:30 on Friday and called me at 8:45 AM to say his plane was late. Would I hold down the table until he could finally get there? I promised I would. So we rolled everything over to the hall and began setting up Davidís table. He promised he would call me when he was five minutes out, so I could go up to street level and give him his badge.
There were a few celebs already in the area. We went over to say hello to Malachi Throne Ė guest star in three Voyage episodes: Magnus Beam, The Enemies and Return of Blackbeard. I was first aware of him as an actor in It Takes a Thief. He played Al Mundyís handler, Noah Bain. He was always in the creditsÖ with the line: "Look Al, Iím not asking you to spy, Iím asking you to steal!" Ö never forget it.
Throne was so nice and still has his very distinctive bass voice. His wife was with him Ė a very sweet lady and they were wonderful across the hall neighbors the entire show. We would wave at each other. Malachi was gracious and pleased we knew him and his many roles. I shared some food and parking garage information with him. He was like David, always there early.
I recognized Michelle Scarabelli when she walked in and set up. We were mostly in a Star Trek row, with the Peanuts people. Erin Gray (Buck Rogers/Silver Spoons) was next to us. One of her actors, Gary Graham, had to cancel, and another one (Tony Todd) got all fouled up by the airlines, so he never came.
We now knew David would not make the opening, but it was slow that first hour. A few folks promised to come back and they did. FINALLY my cell went off Ė it was David. He was circling the block and I needed to get up to the street pronto.
I went up and was looking out for a car to pull in. I finally spotted David ambling in on foot, carrying his black backpack and a gray zip case of pictures. I ran over, gave him big hug hello, put his badge on and took the gray portfolio of pictures. David looked fabulous in black pants, white shirt, charcoal pullover sweater and his orange scarf, topped by his black leather jacket.
We came down into the hall and there was a very long line for giveaways for the new Watchmen movie. David wanted to know what that was about. So I told him. He started to sell almost before after he got settled. We had set out his pens and his scratch paper, Purell, his water and snacks. He let me make him tea at 4 PM.
The first person I recognized at the table was Michelle Ellett. She came in with her daughter, Tabitha, and she and David had a nice chat. They wandered off to enjoy the con and then came back to say good-bye. Iím hoping Michelle will share a report with us.
David sold a lot of different photos this time and had a really nice afternoon talking to his fans. We sold books, lobby cards and DVDs until about 4:30 PM. We released John to walk around and see what else was at the con. David and I talked about my various books in general and what I had been doing with The Fly at Fifty in particular.
Saturday started out good, with lots of sales. Helen showed up first, then Marianne came with all four of her kids. Davidís brother in law, Robert Mori, came by with his wife and their two boys. We sold really well for the first four hours and then the con became total gridlock and it was very hard to move around until about 4 pm when it finally eased.
I had a really good time talking about the Fly book with the people who bought it. One fan wanted a picture of David with Vincent Price, so I sold her a book with the picture of the two of them.
Sunday was a lot less crowded. It had started to rain and the weather was on its way to really messing up departures from SF airport the next two days. My personal favorite interaction was when David was asked if he was half Armenian by a fan. David said no, he was all Armenian. He asked the guy who he was half from. His mother. David told him to tell her (an Armenian phrase) from him. It was the first time I had ever heard David speak Armenian.