Charlotte Flair

On September 21, 2017, I made that favorite little drive over to Bookends for former WWE Women’s Champion, Charlotte Flair. Charlotte co-authored a book, Second Nature, with her father, WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, whose health prevented him from the book tour. They advertised posed photos and no signed memorabilia, however I brought along my Wrestlemania 29 program just in case. When I got to the store, they advised me to fetch it from the car, as there was the possibility she would indeed sign extras.

Charlotte came in, started quickly, did nice poses, and signed extras!!! A number of us had extras, but not everyone, which kept the line moving. As is the standard for WWE superstars, extra time was spent with the children attendees, but I support that as I was once a kid attending Bookends signings to meet my favorite superstars.

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As a little throwback, here’s me with Ric Flair, at Bookends, back in 2005. Talk about coming full circle…

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I may not be the avid WWE viewer that I once was, but I love it when Bookends brings in active WWE superstars, because it never disappoints. Hope to attend another one soon!!!

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Monster-Mania Con 37

I skipped #35 and was out of town for #36, so it was long overdue for me to get back down to Cherry Hill for Monster-Mania Con 37, Philadelphia’s semi-annual horror film and memorabilia convention on Friday, August 18. Friday is always the best day to find parking, and also after the initial three hours, there are little to no lines. Dave really outdid himself this time and brought in two huge headliners – Kate Beckinsale and Val Kilmer. There were plenty of bumps in the road to MMC. Kate canceled, only to be rebooked a day later. She was then attacked by an overzealous fan at a similar event a few weeks prior. And Val’s health condition was a looming possibility for cancellation. In preparation of a headliner canceling, Dave was proactive and brought in Peter Weller as backup. In the end, Fairuza Balk was the only star who was unable to attend.

I had already met a few of these guests – Halloween leading ladies PJ Soles and Danielle Harris, and Rocky star Burt Young. That left me needing to see Kate, Val, and four others. I had purchased photo ops for Kate and Val, and was guaranteed to meet them, so my game plan was to start with the other four, and then if time permitted and lines were moving quickly, I would get the autographs from Val and Kate.

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Daphne Zuniga ~ A rare appearance from the Spaceballs star, Daphne was pretty surprised that I remember her from the 1985 TV movie she did with Lucille Ball – Stone Pillow.

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Ethan Embry ~ I underestimated Ethan’s popularity and following from The Walking Dead. Even though his line wrapped around the corral a few times, he took his time with every single fan.

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Jonathan Ke Huy Quan ~ A rare appearance from The Goonies star, Jonathan was a man of few words, yet bestowed great appreciation to all of his fans.

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Tom Morga ~ Part of a lineup featuring several of the actors to portray Jason Voorhees, I was one of the few to get Tom for his brief time as Michael Myers in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers.

After finishing up with my wants, I scoped things out and found Val and Kate were both taking dinner breaks. Lines had pretty much dwindled down as no one wants to stand on line for a star that is not even present when other stars are sitting idle. The one thing you have to be careful with when attending on Friday night is that some stars break for dinner and never come back down without warning, ala Adam West and Burt Ward. In this case however, Val and Kate were most certainly returning, so I hoped on Val’s line. He returned not long after, and without table photos being offered and his limited ability to speak with fans, the line moved very quickly. I then ran upstairs and jumped on Kate’s line before she returned from dinner. This line moved a little slower as there were security precautions and rules. I would estimate I waited 30 minutes for Val, and another 30-45 for Kate. Dave’s staff made it extremely easy and stress-free to be able to accomplish this, and my successful evening may not have been if it were not for them.

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Val Kilmer ~ Val was one of the first big working movie stars to do shows, and while he’s been attending them since the mid-90s, his popularity and lines are at an all-time high.

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Kate Beckinsale ~ Similar to Val Kilmer, Kate’s one of the few working motion picture actresses who books appearances like these. It was a whirlwind chain of events to get here, but she made it, and never looked any worse for wear.

As always, I wrap up with a huge thank you to Dave and the Monster-Mania family for bringing in this great roster of rare and big names. I also want to do something I seldom do, and that is thank my fellow convention goers. If it was not for our respectfulness, cooperation, and understanding, big draw guests like Kate and Val would not have good experiences, nor make these shows look appealing for fellow stars.

Artimus Pyle

Growing up in the house of a Lynyrd Skynyrd fan, the name Artimus Pyle was like folklore. A man that has withstood the test of time and literally seen it all, I was pretty excited to hear he would be coming into work last week. Pyle was the band’s drummer from 1974-1977, and again from 1987-1991. He survived the ’77 plane crash, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his contribution in 2006.

The first night, I just wanted to feel him out, see how easy it would be to pull off a photo op and maybe an autograph. Artimus came in, was super cool, and we spoke for a little while. I decided I would make my move the next night. During the day, my coworker did a full-fledged photo shoot with him, so I knew it would be easy.

I pulled the first album I could find at the house, Gimme Back My Bullets, my dad’s original copy from 1976. Artimus came in, and I whipped the album and a Sharpie out before he even knew what hit him. He graciously signed, explained the liner notes that he had written for it, and suggested we take a photo together. It was an awesome success, and I was really happy with the result.

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General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 4

Sunday was a big day event wise with six of them on the agenda. I attended the first two. Kelly Monaco’s event, aptly titled Donuts & Girl-talk was first up. Kelly had invited Billy Miller, T.K. Weaver, and the Andonian Twins to do the event with her, but Billy declined as to not wanting to take the spotlight off of her, and she later thought having the kids there may not be the best idea. So, she flew solo and rocked the Q&A. Her responses were compassionate, thought out and well received.

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Kelly Monaco “Sam Morgan” ~ Definitely not our first photo together, and most likely not the last. I was at an event one time and a handler had put a post-it note on the photo I had to be signed, and Kelly tore it off and said, “Did they really think I needed this?” I look kinda derpy in this one, but Kelly looks flawless.

After Kelly’s, I had a little bit of time before another annual event which I attend every year – The BFF Event with Kirsten Storms and Emme Rylan. I promise I will not gush over these two because my regular readers have heard it all before. I think they are both lovely, young ladies, they’re great, and I will never miss one of their events. I think our photos together really say it all.

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Emme Rylan “Lulu Spencer-Falconeri” ~ This woman gave birth just weeks before this photo was taken, and she was the best looking woman in the room. I wish I had the energy!!!

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Kirsten Storms “Maxie Jones” ~ Not much to say that has not already been said. I think this might be my favorite photo of us together from over the years.

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Kirsten & Emme ~ A perfect way to cap off the weekend!!!

And that was all she wrote for me. There were several other events that day – Kathleen Gati’s, Michelle Stafford and James Patrick Stuart’s, Bradford Anderson’s, and Karaoke hosted by Lexi Ainsworth, Ryan Carnes, Dioni Michelle Collins, and Marc Anthony Samuel. A couple of events were even held on Monday – Carolyn Hennesy’s and Marc Anthony Samuel’s.

As always, I have to wrap up with an appreciation post for the wonderful crew that puts this event together. Debbie Morris, the longtime president of the GH Fan Club, and event coordinator extraordinaire, is one of the most selfless people I know. Fan Club Weekend is not something that gets set up on Thursday morning, and by Monday afternoon, it is packed up and everyone is heading home. The coordination, hauling, meetings, placements, etc., are pulled off like a fine dance, and we have Debbie to thank for that. And always at her side are two more amazing young ladies – Claire Mullan and Michelle DeMoss. While Debbie is a resident of the Lone Star State, Claire and Michelle are Californians, and therefore act as the liaisons to both the studio and hotel. Putting an event of this size together is not easy feat, but these ladies have it down to a science, and while I am sure they may have rested for a day or two afterwards, they are already at working putting together General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2018 – A Celebration of 55 Years.

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But as they say, it takes a village. Debbie, Claire, and Michelle have a great team of volunteers. Part of the fun of attending GHFCW each year is seeing all of you!!!

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And a very special thanks for all the great years to all our gone but not forgotten friends!!! (To Peter & John – we wish you guys were still here with us!!!)

Part One (Thursday): General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 1

Part Two (Friday): General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 2

Part Three (Saturday): General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 3

General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 3

As is the norm, Saturday ended up being my longest day of the weekend with three back-to-back events, the first being the Main Event Luncheon. To allow the fans more one-on-one time with the actors during the autograph & photo session, the typical, hour-long Q&A was eliminated, much to my satisfaction. In years past, the actors talked for so long, the meet & greet would sometimes only run for an hour and a half, this year, we got two solid hours. With the Q&A eliminated, and therefore no stage, they were able to add additional tables to the room and sell more tickets than the past couple of years. I’d say attendance was no less than 250 fans.

While the actors assembled for their introduction, a mini Q&A was hosted by Maurice Benard, James DePaiva, Chad Duell, Michael Easton, Lisa LoCicero, Kin Shriner, and Dominic Zamprogna. This was perfect, as it was held while we were eating and did not interfere with the meet & greet time. Actor attendance overall was 29, down 10 from last year. Attending stars, in alphabetical order, were Lexi Ainsworth (Kristina), Maurice Benard (Sonny), Ryan Carnes (Lucas), Dioni Michelle Collins (Deanna), James DePaiva (David), William deVry (Julian), Risa Dorken (Amy), Chad Duell (Michael), Michael Easton (Finn), Hayley Erin (Kiki), Scarlett Fernandez (Charlotte), Kathleen Gati (Obrecht), Carolyn Hennesy (Diane), Ashley Jones (Parker), Wally Kurth (Ned), Chloe Lanier (Nelle), Lisa LoCicero (Olivia), Eden McCoy (Josslyn), Haley Pullos (Molly), Marc Anthony Samuel (Felix), Kin Shriner (Scott), Brooklyn Rae Silzer (Emma), Garren Stitt (Oscar), Kirsten Storms (Maxie), James Patrick Stuart (Valentin), Donnell Turner (Curtis), Robert Palmer Watkins (Dillon), Hudson West (Jake), and Dominic Zamprogna (Dante).

Needing to see just DePaiva, Jones, & Stitt, the meet & greet would be a breeze-through for me. DePaiva bolted after the introductions, leaving me with just two stars to see and everyone else being a nice added bonus.

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Sandy Masone ~ I first became friends with this veteran GH crew member back in 2011 when she gave me a studio tour. Sandy is the cast-proclaimed GH mascot, and a highlight of my weekend is seeing her.

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Lisa LoCicero “Olivia Quartermaine” ~ Being the Quartermaine fanboy that I am, I was very excited to get my first photo with Lisa since Olivia married Ned and took the Quartermaine name.

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Eden McCoy “Josslyn Jacks” ~ My favorite pairing of Carly’s was Jax, so naturally I would have a soft spot for Josslyn and her terrific actress, Eden, who I hope is around for many years to come.

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Garren Stitt “Oscar Nero” ~ Still new to the show, Oscar is a character who definitely brings a mystery with him. It was nice of Garren to attend still being so fresh and new to the world of GH fandom.

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Ashley Jones “Parker Forsyth” ~ I’ve had a crush on Ashley since I briefly watched Bold and the Beautiful in the late 2000s. I was very excited that she came, and meeting her did not disappoint. She is terrific.

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Brooklyn Rae Silzer “Emma Scorpio-Drake” ~ Brooklyn attends just about every year, so she was manning the Kids’ Table and showing Scarlett and Hudson the ropes.

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Lexi Ainsworth “Kristina Corinthos-Davis” ~ The last photo I have with Lexi, she’s wearing Victoria’s Secret pajamas (long story). Now she’s an Emmy winner!!!

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Kathleen Gati “Dr. Liesl Obrecht” ~ This was Kathleen’s fifth year attending, and I have a photo with her from each one. I always make the time to visit with her and her husband, Michael, who unfortunately had to work this year and could not attend with her.

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James Patrick Stuart “Valentin Cassadine” ~ When he attended last year, James had only appeared in a few episodes. This year, being in shows nearly every week, James had one of the longest lines that never seemed to die down.

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Kirsten Storms “Maxie Jones” ~ I have no idea who this woman is and why we took a photo together that was not a selfie and did not involve sticking our tongues out.

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Donnell Turner “Curtis Ashford” ~ Talk about a never-ending line. I would not be surprised if you told me Donnell was still in that ballroom a week later taking photos and signing autographs.

After accomplishing all I needed to from the Main Event, I enjoyed an edible meal at Conrad’s, next door to the Embassy, as the lunch they served up left a lot to be desired. I then went back to the hotel for the next event – 40 Years of Kin Shriner and Jacklyn Zeman. I attend Kin’s event every year, and I have attended all of Jackie’s east coast events. I love these two human beings. They are funny, compassionate, and share more history than dozens of their costars combined. While intended to be a celebration of 40 years, the event also acted as a tribute to Peter Hansen, Kin’s onscreen father, who we lost back in April. The memories were flowing, as was the celebratory champagne, and a delicious anniversary cake.

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Jacklyn Zeman “Bobbie Spencer” and Kin Shriner “Scott Baldwin” ~ I always look forward to seeing these two. The stories and laughs are always endless with Jackie and Kin.

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Kin recently moved into his own dressing room at the GH studio, and I gave him this When Worlds Collide movie poster to adorn the wall. The film starred GH icons Peter Hansen and Rachel Ames.

Immediately following Jackie & Kin’s event, I ran next door to Crab Ave, where a few of my favorite ladies were hosting a paint party. Full of laughs, paint, and drinks – Hayley Erin, Chloe Lanier, and Brytni Sarpy hosted this event, with special guest Camryn Grimes, and produced by the lovely Debby O’Connor of YourNumberOneFan.

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Camryn Grimes “Mariah Copeland on Young and the Restless” ~ Camryn is a good friend of the girls, so they invited her to come by, and I am glad she did. She was an absolute doll.

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Chloe Lanier “Nelle Hayes” ~ Chloe and I hit it off last year, and I had visited with her earlier in the day at the luncheon. Easily a favorite of mine to catch up with at these events.

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Brytni Sarpy “Valerie Spencer” ~ Brytni and I sat back to back during, and the inside jokes, under breath comments, eye rolls, and looks were flowing.

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Hayley Erin “Kiki Jerome” ~ She’s one of my favorites, and she knows it. She never spotted me during the luncheon, and was a bit worried, but she knew I would turn up sooner or later.

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My favorite trio.

Following the paint party, the majority of attendees went over to One Night Only with Michael Easton and Roger Howarth and their special guests Melissa Archer and Rebecca Budig, I called it a night.

Part One (Thursday): General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 1

Part Two (Friday): General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 2

Part Four (Sunday): General Hospital Fan Club Weekend 2017- Part 4