Would anyone like to join me for lunch?
It’s an innocent enough question by all means, but when you get an overwhelming response to that question is when things get interesting. That simple question came from the digital mouth of Marc Lee. Marc. for those who may not know, is a stalwart of the geek community in Florida. For years, he has been the voice of MegaCon, DragonCon, and other conventions across the nation. he has built up a following and that following responded. So, he decided to organize a meeting of the minds as it were and what came about was quite an afternoon. After a number of responses, a Facebook event was created and the next thing you know, a dining hall at Imperial Dynasty was booked and filled. This was definitely going to be something.
“It’s just lunch, dammit.”
Well after Saturday, those of us who were there may beg to differ. We certainly had lunch, but we had so much more than that. It was a truly magnificent afternoon. This was a true meeting of like-minded people who came together to enjoy friendship, meet new people, and enjoy great conversation about Star Trek, Star Wars, theme parks and all the other great things that draw our community together. The afternoon we had was a shining example of the camaraderie that can be achieved in the nerd community.
In all, we were a group of about sixty people. We were certainly as diverse as any crowd Marc has moderated over his years of panel hosting experience. That made the day special. As we conversed about out favorite topics, so came points of views from multiple generations, providing a prime backdrop to paint the picture of how things such as Star Trek have affected our lives and how the show can be viewed depending on when you watched it. I of course as an introvert, took much of this in, but still tried to break myself out some to add my input. That perhaps was a strength of the crowd. I felt like I belonged in this group and was truly shown the love that our community can provide to one another. Far too often has the community fought and torn itself apart when it should be about bringing out the best and building each other other up. The people I was surrounded with in that dining room showed what a true community can do.
As an event host, Marc made sure our afternoon was fun and enjoyable. A performance by The Kitchen Killaz, trivia with The Five Minute Professor, and a reading from author Bill Hatfield were scattered among the afternoon, showcasing more great talent. All were superb and all deserved the spotlight they were given. Something that only makes out community stronger. Up is the direction we need to build our community. A number of attendees drove several hours to be a part of the festivities. That speaks to Marc and the respect he has earned. He has always been one to promote the best and discourage the worst.
Overall, it was an afternoon of fun, food, and friends. I can not thank Marc enough for allowing me to be a part of this. It was a very special afternoon and one I will certainly not forget for a long time. As I continue to make memories with the nerdy community and build my repertoire of stories, this will be one I go to fondly. This was a day that really made me reflect and appreciate the good in our community and the kind of environment I want to foster and grow with this site and the community surrounding it. For what started out as just some old and new friends getting together for lunch, has turned into a lasting memory.