Just got home from Pintastic New England and wanted to share a couple of thoughts about it, followed by one very important point.
This show was simply fantastic. From the family friendly theme (Robin would be proud!) to the wonderful machines in the free play area. Everything was incredible down to the last detail.
Being a first show, I'm sure Gabe and Derek would tell you they'd rethink the restoration throwdown for future shows. There were two machines (I hope the two contributors just shared the prize). I'm not sure many people would have the cojones to bring a machine they spent countless hours on getting perfect to a public place.
I was disappointed Marco wasn't there, but they were a sponsor and had a presence there in other ways. But for every small thing you could find to criticize, there were ten things that were just *perfect*.
I'll never forget seeing a clown-woman on stilts walking through the vendor area.
I'll never forget the generosity Gabe and Derek showed by paying for an after-party Friday night with three food stations--and paying for a band on Saturday night. That money came out of their pockets. I know how much it was, and it wasn't a pretty number.
I'll never forget the wonderful location that allowed my wife (and dog!) to enjoy the beautiful weather by the lake, or the cigar I got to have with a beautiful view at dusk Friday night.
I'll never forget finally getting to meet one of my heroes, Lloyd (and accidentally punking Jared in his seminar), running into Roger Sharpe as he came out a door I was going in, or meeting so many incredible people from this site that have been so instrumental (and patient) in helping me get involved in this hobby and know what the hell I'm doing (I'm looking at you, ForceFlow!).
I'll never forget the kind words said to me about the effect I've had on some people on this site...especially in front of my wife, who thinks I'm a loser for all the time I spend here. (And she might have a point!)
But most of all, I'll never forget the passion and dedication that Gabe and Derek put in over the past year to make this such a memorable show. There was just something about it that sets it apart from other shows. They went for a warm family feel, and they nailed it perfectly.
Now for the important point.
I don't think the attendance is exactly what Gabe and Derek were hoping for or even expecting. If it was underattended, there's a pretty good chance they lost money trying to bring an incredible pinball show to New England. Somebody I was talking to suggested a Kickstarter campaign to help cover their losses, and I completely concur...and I'll be the first contributor.
But that's down the road. For now, guys, rest up and know that you were a complete success in what you worked so hard to achieve. I'm forever grateful for the wonderful weekend you gave me, and hope that we can do it all again next year.
(I may have to add more stuff as I remember it...I'm just too tired now!)