Saturday, August 15

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly About the DS Fest Today

The Good: Seeing my friends! It was great having Pinoke stay over with us so we could get caught up with each other! It was terrific to meet up with Cheryl today too. I met one friend I'd chatted with online a few times. That was all fun!

TB and I very much enjoyed the talk given on parallel time and time travel by professor of physics and author, Frank Borzellieri. We liked how he tied into examples of time travel/parallel time using examples from Dark Shadows, i.e. Quentin's staircase = wormhole. It was also particularly helpful to us in understanding a lot of the time travelling going on in Lost.

I bought a book by David Selby and one by Lara Parker. We took a spin through the marketplace room.

The Bad: Standard complaints--food was way overpriced. The marketplace room was a lot smaller than I'd remembered from earlier Fests. Everyone seemed to have the same things for sale: books, magazines, and photographs. One merchandiser had some jewelry and tee shirts; another had Dark Shadows wear. What happened to the vampire teeth?

The Ugly: This is why TB and I ended up leaving early: neither of us can stand for more than a few minutes at a time. He has his spinal stenosis, bulging & herniated disks; I have my slipping disks and piriformis syndrome plus the brace on my ankle. So anyway, we go back to the ballroom after lunch because we wanted to see Jonathan Frid and the cast reunion.

The place is packed, standing room only. In Fests gone by, I seem to remember that disabled people--those in wheelchairs and with mobility issues--had a section in the front. In Fests gone by, there'd been volunteers at the entrances and disabled people could get help finding a place or a seat from them.

Well, here I was seeing people in wheelchairs all over, many unable to see over the people standing up along the walls. There were no volunteers in sight, just hordes of people standing everywhere (this in addition to all the ones seated in the audience).

Two of my friends had arrived earlier and had snagged seats but there were none left--except for the ones taped off with the words "reserved for Marcy". One friend explained these seats were reserved for the "volunteers" but maybe not all of them would show up. She and my other friend were sitting in two of these "reserved" seats and suggested TB and I sit behind them, so we did.

Almost immediately, a woman leans over and says to me, "No, you can sit here, these are for volunteers."

So I said, "My husband and I are both disabled and unable to stand. If volunteers don't show up, could we sit here?"

And she goes, "No, they're for the stars."

So the one friend offers her chair and says she'll sit on the floor. I want Ted to take the seat because of his back and I'll sit on the floor too. He, gentleman that he is, insists I sit. So I'm thinking, I'm never going to enjoy this knowing Ted's standing up and in pain, this is going to go on for over 2 hours, and my friends are probably going to be thrown out of their chairs too. So I said to TB, let's just go.

My friend was horrified. "Don't you want to see Frid? Or the cast reunion? You guys paid $30 registration!"

But we couldn't stay. So we left the ballroom. Out in the hall way, though, there were still people sitting at the registration. So I approached one and I asked, "If you are handicapped and you're coming to the Fest, are you supposed to let someone know ahead of time so there's accommodations made?" He didn't know and hands me off to Ann, the lady sitting next to him.

So I repeat my question and then add that TB and I can't stand. She says, "Well, you have to tell a volunteer."

So I answered there's none there, only the ones sitting down already. I said there's no available chairs in there.

So she says, "Well, I don't know what to tell you."

I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. What, is this back to the stone age?

TB said, "let's just go." And so we did. But I'm going to be writing some letters tomorrow you betcha!

1 comment:

Ydiana said...

Oh, what a horrible experience! Seats only for volunteers who never turn up and uncooperative registration commitee! You should write that letter fast! ;(

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