Cheryl had picked up my badge for me earlier in the day and stored it and my membership package with David Clark at his Cargo Cult Books table. We went downstairs, heading for the Dealers Room so we could get them. The Dealers Room was closed. We went back upstairs, where the Opening Ceremonies were happening. In the hope that Dave might be in there, we tried to go in, but were stopped by a con official who wanted to see my badge and was unmoved by the explanation that my badge was probably in the room.
I shrugged and said, "Goodbye," then headed over to one of the sofas in the lobby, figuring I could just sit there and read until Cheryl was ready to leave. The badger was within his rights, really. I didn't have a badge; he didn't know who I was, and his job was to keep people who did not have badges. Being an ex-Worldcon chair doesn't make me immune to such things; moreover, hardly anyone at the WHC knows (or cares) who I am. I'm an anonymous unknown here, and I don't expect special treatment.
In any event, Cheryl, who did have her badge, was able to enter the Opening Ceremonies without me. She found Dave, who did indeed have my package. Now that I possessed the proper identity papers, we were both able to enter the ballroom, where the Opening Ceremonies were reaching their climax with the introduction of Grand Master inductee Ray Gardener. It's interesting that they give our their awards at the beginning of the convention, rather than having them as the climax of the convention as most Worldcons do.
Mike Willmoth joined us as the speech-making concluded, followed by David-Glenn Anderson. We smoffed for a while about World Horror Conventions and convention sites in general, until the con kicked everyone out so they could reset the room for showing movies later that evening.
David Clark suggested we have dinner at the Ruth Chris Steak House across the street. Cheryl and I agreed, and the three of us headed over there. I've never eaten there before. The food was good, but expensive: my share was $80, and while the steak reminded me of my days growing up on my grandparents' farm, I'm not sure it was worth quite that much.
Borderlands Books was hosting an "Art Show and Mass Signing" event at their store on Valencia Street. Shuttle buses had been laid on to transport people from the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway to Borderlands; however, as David Clark had driven to the con in order to transport his stock, he offered us a lift. Thanks, Dave!
A mob of people were standing on the sidewalk outside the store, although there was room inside; the smokers, those people driven outside by the heat of an overloaded room, and those who wanted to talk with them made up a good-sized crowd. We went inside and admired John Picacio's artwork, and Cheryl introduced me to Picacio. He said, "Oh, you're the famous Kevin I keep hearing about!" I blushed.
We hung around Borderlands for an hour or so, but it was getting on past 10 PM and we needed to head home. We're not moving into the hotel until tomorrow night, I have to work tomorrow, and it takes a while to get home. So we made our goodbyes and trotted down to 16th Street Mission BART, catching the 10:29 PM train to San Bruno, and I drove home from there, eventually arriving home just before midnight. Not having my computer with me, I wrote up the notes that eventually became this entry in my Day-Timer instead.
Now I must get some sleep.
Update, 10:15 AM Friday: Cheryl has her take on the incident on the Emerald City blog. She is less complacent about it than I was.