MileHiCon & Super Collector Show
Denver, CO - October 2007
David’s Milehicon Panel Saturday October 27, 2007
John and I had arranged to meet David at the
He came over to where our four carry on bags were piled across three chairs and could not believe we had hauled all that onto the plane. They were all regulation, so it looked like much more than it was.
We walked David out of the terminal to the train that went to baggage claim, so he could reclaim his show bag. He told us on the way that the LAX security lines had been very long, it taken him an hour and a half to clear and he thought he had hurt his back removing his shoes. Turned out he was right about his back.
We assured him we were going to straight to the hotel and he would be able to get off his feet and rest all his aches. We took him down to the train. John said we would know when it was arriving because they played music when it came to a stop. So, the train pulled in, played the jingle and we got on. John fussed at David to hold onto something and we were off. The music played, the train stopped and John started to get off – at the wrong station. So we got John back on, and I told John I could not take him anywhere, which amused the car’s other riders. John started to explain about the music again and when the departure music played, David did a little watusi by his pole, which only amused the car passengers further. I drew myself up, told David I could not take HIM anywhere and everyone else in the car smirked. The music played again as we (finally) we arrived at the main terminal. We were met by Matthew from the MilehiCon and collected David’s bag without any difficulty. David rode up front in the black minivan and it took about 40 minutes to get to the hotel.
Lyn was waiting (with supplies) in the lobby and held the door for David. We checked in. They were going to put me on the con “party” floor, but I managed to persuade them to move me up to David’s floor. We ended up on the same hall, which was very convenient.
David wanted to
leave all the show stuff with us, so after he unpacked
everything he needed out of his suitcase, he brought it down to
us and stayed about 20 minutes, explaining what he had brought
to sell and all the other things he had for us.
John had asked David to get him a particular Bond picture
signed at the
David brought me something else,
along with the new Voyage DVD and the Fly book chapter he had
edited. I had sent David three photos to
make prints from for the
I was flabbergasted. David grinned at me and asked if that was okay as a substitute. I really hugged him then. He also had some Live and Let Die shots signed by Roger. We told him they would sell and they did.
David was really beat from his LAX experience, so we let him go rest, after giving him some Orange Juice and water to take to his room. He said he would take some Excedrin and see us in the morning.
We got together at down stairs and started to sell. We had a few folks and then a lull. Then a few more. I finally figured out when to have David there (during the panel breaks) and we did better after that. He still had the occasional twinge from his back, but David persevered. He was kind and patient with everyone who wanted to meet him and had a great hour long Q & A at . More on that later. We sold until about and then packed up.
David promised to introduce The Fly screening at so we did that on the way out the door to dinner. We had the restaurant pretty much to ourselves as they were playing the third game of the World Series while we dined. Which David liked, when a restaurant gets too crowded, he can't hear us talking to him over the din.
I got a lovely hug and kiss good night and was told call him in the morning and wake him up. Which I did. David seemed better, until he rode up to the next show in a RAV 4 and aggravated his back again.
He hobbled into
the show and I immediately sent our driver to the drug store for
a heat wrap. David was dubious, but we put
it where he hurt and it helped him get through the day.
By lunch he was almost his old self again.
David still smiled and greeted folks all morning. What a
trouper he is.
Once everyone who wanted his autograph had gotten one, we packed him up and headed out to the airport. I didn't want him dragging a suitcase behind him with his tender back, so I went with him through check in and all the way to security. I received a wonderful kiss and hug goodbye and a promise to see a chiropractor first thing Monday. So I kissed him back and let him go. And I am pleased to report the chiropractor did a good job. I don't think I ever want to fly out of LAX.
Meeting David fulfilled a dream I've carried for over 45 years, and the wait was well worth it. I found him to be as charming, generous, kind and witty as others have reported. I was also glad to see he's maintained his excellent physical shape. I was also grateful that my sister, Carol, was there to share the event with me. Having carried a torch for the character he created, I can now say I truly admire the actor. What an incredible experience!
-- Jodee Steffensen
I have never been to any Con anywhere before, so when Diane told me
that she was bringing David to Denver for the MileHiCon and the
Super Collector shows, I was ecstatic. I agreed to help out where I
could, receiving some supplies that they mailed out, and bringing to
the hotel the bottled water and such that Diane had bought when she
was here at a Librarians’ computer conference the first part of the
I arrived at the hotel Friday at noon. I was concerned about getting a parking place in their garage because they were saying on the MileHiCon list it would be full. I don’t think that was a real worry, though, because the structure was empty when I arrived. I parked about six cars down from the elevator to the lobby. I had decided that it would be easier for me to get a room at the hotel rather than drive back across town that night after dark, so I checked in, took my things to my room, and settled in.
My room was on the fifth floor, down the hall from the Klingon Feast suite, but fortunately there didn’t seem to be a lot of Klingons at the Con and they didn’t disturb me at all. After my experience in Dallas of having the fire alarm go off at 2:00 A.M. and having to go down 23 flights of stairs, I was more than happy to be on the fifth floor.
I was supposed to meet Diane, John and David at 1:30, but they could be a half-hour early, so I went down to the lobby, found a seat where I could see the door, and sat down. I was sitting outside one of the hotel “cafes”, and though not near the central/main door I was within ten feet of the doors. I sat and watched the dealers coming in with boxes and more boxes and carts and even carts of boxes.
I’d been waiting for about thirty minutes when a black Dodge Caravan minivan pulled up in front. I was looking for a Super Shuttle, or other airport conveyance, but this one was a plain van.
I first recognized David as he opened the front door and got out of the car, then Diane got out of the back seat, so I knew I wasn’t imagining things. David took hold of his rolling suitcase and headed for the door.
I opened the door and held it for him, probably grinning my head off, and he greeted me by name and walked inside. Diane and John soon joined us. I presented the promised bottle of Ketel One vodka to David and received my hug and kiss on the cheek, then we all headed toward the check-in desk.
I chatted a bit with David while he stood in line, and offered to hold the Ketel One bottle while he checked in. He told me that he had to stand in line at LAX for an hour and a half to get through Security, and that he had thrown his back out trying to take off his shoes standing up.
David wasn’t in the best of mood or shape, but he was still very polite. When he had completed his check-in procedure he started to reach for the bottle... but ornery person that I am, I pretended to hold it tighter.
I swear he got this “Oh No” expression in his eyes, but softened when I laughed and held it out to him. I’m sure that he must have thought I was a “rabid” woman stalker and that I was going to hassle him. He took it out of my hands with a grin.
They went over to the elevator to go up to their rooms and that’s all I saw of David the rest of the day.
Diane and John came by my room a little while later and we went down to check out the area where David would be selling. Two nice long tables right in front of everything. I signed up for Friday and Saturday at the Con, then we went back to their room and John showed me all the signs he’d made for the con. Very good job. We agreed to eat supper there in the hotel later.
Diane called me about 7:00 p.m. and we went down to the hotel restaurant for dinner. Being a Hyatt it was trying very hard to be fancy. I had the pork tenderloin medallions perched atop a scoop of white beans and something else. Diane had the salmon and John had the rib-eye.
Enough about that. We went back to their room after dinner and I helped put labels on file folders to notify everyone that davidhedison.com was where they needed to go to get the latest news of David Hedison.
The next morning, Saturday, I waited to hear from Diane, not sure what time I should show up downstairs... whether they needed or wanted my help with the table. She called me about 9:15 and said that she was going to get David and that I should come on down and see if John needed help.
John didn’t want any help. He told me to sit down and wait. He got the table all put together and by that time David and Diane arrived. There were a couple of people milling around the table with cameras so John told me I should stand by the far table corner and make sure no one took “unauthorized” pictures, but there didn’t seem to any people trying to do that, so my “job” was soon unnecessary.
I bought the pictures I wanted and had my picture taken with David. He is the most kind and polite gentleman you will ever meet. We talked a little bit when Diane and John were both busy elsewhere, and he was considerate and so very nice, as he was to each and every one of the people who came to the table, even the obnoxious ones.
The day was slow. It seemed there were more people there to talk to one another and parade around in costumes to be seen, themselves, than to get autographs. I’d never been to a Con before, but I had a good time just watching all the strange people in costumes... everything from Space Balls costumes to belly dancers to a really excellent Lucius Malfoy costume. There were also “green women” from Star Trek. John took pictures of one of them with David, so check out the web site for them. Seemed there were quite a few costumed characters for what was billed as a science-fiction literary convention.
I circulated around the table, going into the dealer room, out into the foyer and down to the first floor area, wanting to stay near enough to be of use if needed, but trying not to be annoying. David noticed me anyway and mentioned to Diane that I seemed to be around a lot.
She told him that the Con was very small and there wasn’t much else to do, and that I was helping them out. That seemed to satisfy him. I tried harder after that to stay out of sight.
During the afternoon Bobbie Boeve showed up with her daughter, Amber. Bobbie and I had never met even though we live virtually in the same city, so it was really nice to get acquainted, and to get to chat with her for a while. She talked to David a little while, too, and we attended his Q & A together.
David's panel was at 3:30 PM and for a small con he had a very good turnout, I thought. He opened it up for questions, rather than giving a formal speech and he kept answering for the entire hour. He returned to his table and signed more pictures for about another half-hour then they closed up. I left and drove home.
Sunday was the collector’s show as far north of Denver as the MileHiCon was south, both on extreme edges of the city general. It was a short one, from 9:00 to 3:00 only, and my son, also a David, and I arrived close to noon.
This Con was mostly comic books and toys, but it was fun to look around. Diane, John and David H were set up in a smaller area, but David saw me at once when we walked up and smiled and pointed at me and gave a little wave, and greeted me by name. We talked for just a moment, and I asked him how his back was. He said that he’d been really in a lot of pain that morning and could hardly get out of the car at the Con but that Diane had sent out for a heat patch and that helped a lot. He seemed jovial and as pleasant as always, despite being in pain.
I introduced him to my son then, and he commented on my son’s name also being David. I laughed and asked him where he thought I got the name from. He grinned at me, rather pleased, I think.
Bobbie and Amber were there ahead of us this time, and Amber was in costume, looking lovely as the “Secret Dancer.” She was all decked out in a lovely red “ball gown”. Again we chatted a bit, and Bobbie showed me some of her artwork that she had brought with her. I had promised to print out a couple of my stories and bring them to her but I can only blame my exhaustion of the previous night. I was wiped out.
We only stayed about an hour. My David gets restless around so many people, but he got to meet David Hedison, and shook his hand twice, arriving and leaving. He was quite impressed with him, saying later that he felt like he knew him.
My David may be schizophrenic and bi-polar, but he is a very good judge of character. He has officially given David Hedison his stamp of approval. I bought my third picture from David H.
On a really “personal” note, I had done laundry for Diane and John on Saturday night, and the box was in my car. I told David good-bye and gave him another hug, and got another smooch on the cheek, then Diane was going to go out with me to get the laundry. She told David that I had been nice enough to wash for them, and he looked at me, startled, and said “You did her laundry?”
I grinned and shrugged, and then, fool that I am, I blurted out “I’m sorry, I should have asked if you needed anything laundered,” and he popped right back with, "Sure, you could have done my underwear."
Boy, talk about turning nineteen shades of red, and stammering out something unintelligible. He just sat there and smiled. Oh wowsers, what a smile.
What a wonderful weekend. I feel so very fortunate to have been able to spend so much time in David's presence, and be near him.
C. Lyn Barrow
October 31, 2007