Saturday, June 16, 2007

Here at ChesterCon07

I'm blogging, right now, this very moment, from the lobby of the Brady Educational Building, where, at this moment, the Chesterton Conference is going on. David Zach and Peter Floriani are having a very deep and serious discussion near me about coffee mugs. Laura Ahlquist is doing the detail work for which she is known. Other people are milling about trying to decide which Chestertonian t-shirt they should buy. The conference t-shirt has the logo of this year's conference on it in bright yellow, very attractive, with the The Man Who Was Thursday quote on the back, "Chaos is dull" in very large print. Nice.

Well, how did I make it? We went to Milwaukee yesterday morning, got to the Lakefront show, and prayed. But we were rejected, so it must be God's plan that I should make it up here. We then drove to Minneapolis and the four of us set up the tent for the Stone Arch art show up here (our backup choice, and one we would have easily cancelled if we had gotten into Lakefront.) Then, Mike and the girls dropped me at the conference.

I immediately came into this lobby, teeming with Chestertonians waiting for dinner. I first met Peter Floriani, who shouted with joy that I was able to come. He and Dale gave me welcome hugs. I hugged Geir, Sean Dailey, and met Beatriz and her brother Alejandro, from Mexico City; Beatriz has been reading this blog and her husband gave her this trip as a birthday present. She and her brother are the first people from Mexico to attend the American Chesterton Society meeting, although her brother lives in McAllen so technically, he's from here, still he was born there. They were introduced to Chesterton by finding a Chesterton book on their father's book shelf many years ago.

I then met David Zach, who's been reading the blog. He's a professional speaker who has some great ideas for Chestertonian coffee mugs, magnets, pins and other ways to make Chesterton more known. He's also been putting Chesterton Conference brochures up in coffee shops across Milwaukee, where he lives, which is wonderful.

Frank and Ann Petta are here. I have yet to meet Aidan Mackey, but plan to attend his talk this afternoon.

Last night, I attended Dawn Eden's talk, and met her. She is tremendously nice, sweet, and although she gets nervous and has a bit of a stutter, she had a great story to tell and told it well. I hope to get to talk more with her today.

But before Dawn's talk, we had a treat. A surprise. Jacinta VanHecke, age 14, recited the first book of The Ballad of the White Horse. I don't know how long it took (15 or 20 minutes) but I was fine until she got to the part where Mary is talking to Alfred, and says,
"I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher.

"Night shall be thrice night over you,
And heaven an iron cope.
Do you have joy without a cause,
Yea, faith without a hope?"
when I totally teared up and cried. Peter was next to me wiping tears, too. It was really amazing to hear this young lady recite. Wow. She received a well-deserved standing ovation, and lengthy applause.

Then came Joseph Pearce, who is always interesing, mainly because I love accents, and he has a great one. He spoke about his new book Small is Still Beautiful which sounded quite interesting.

This morning, we got up, went over to the art fair, set up all the pictures and got things ready there. Then came back (let the girls sleep a little bit longer), got ready, and they dropped me off here. I regret to say I've already missed the first speech, but I did hear something funny about it from Jaime, who shared breakfast with me.

But I'm terrible at relating funny stories, so I will wait for Jaime to send it to me so I can get the story right. But it had to do with the fact that some thin men do a better job of letting their "fat man" struggle out than others. I think. ;-)

Now, I must get to Geir's talk.


  1. Nancy, I'm simply green. Now who will I comisserate with about missing the conference? And to think, if only I was better at arm twisting and imposing on relatives I could possibly have made it after all. I hope there's a lesson here somewhere...

    "Next year - St. Paul!"

  2. You can commiserate with me!
    I am beyond green with envy. I wanted to come sooooooooo badly, but tomorrow is our pastor's last Sunday, and the staff took him out for dinner last evening. I'm organist (staff) and as I've always referred to Jeff as the older brother I never had, I couldn't miss it without sending the wrong sort of message. I did tell Jeff, however, that if he truly loved me, he would have delayed his last Sunday for a week so I could go to St. Paul for the Chesterton Conference. :-)

    Look out, St. Paul-- next year is MY year!

  3. Just be sure you don't get a room on the fifth floor in the non-air conditioned dorm with no elevator.


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