Recap – 2006 Convention
Our first year was a learning experience. Encouraged by friends to put on an event in Maryland, we signed an agreement with a hotel in Aberdeen, placed a number of phone calls and e-mails to celebrities and then had thousands of flyers printed. The result was a large, encouraging crowd that suggested we might have something.
Most events along the East Coast are either autograph venues (which means lots of celebrities sign autographs and lots of vendors sell merchandise), or conventions (with seminars, Q&A panels, vendors, and a small handful of celebrities). Instead of focusing the entire event on one subject as cowboy westerns or old-time radio or comic books or pulp magazines or silent movies, we chose to name the event “The Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention” to cover all of them. Whether seminars involve the history of Roy Rogers in Cinema, The Invention of Hula Hoops, bloopers on classic television programs or the History of Howdy Doody, MANC (as everyone coins the phrase nowadays) is an event that salutes all forms of nostalgic entertainment.
Authors, museum curators, film preservationists, magazine editors and radio show hosts make return visits every year to enjoy what the convention has to offer. Many of them host informative slide show presentations. Most importantly, MANC has an open-door policy which allows anyone, even someone without professional credentials, to host a presentation on stage. The annual volunteers who help shape the convention to what it is today doesn’t make decisions based on what they would like to see, or what they themselves will do on stage. Decision making is based on one principal: what we think the attendance like to see. And feedback is important to us.
In the first six years of the event, we accomplished quite a resume. Events covering the history of The Enchanted Forest (a now-defunct Maryland state theme park), to an annual charity auction to benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital allowed us to help contribute a platform of encouragement and preservation. World Premiere screenings of documentaries allowed us a deeper glimpse of Moe Berg, Alfred Hitchcock, Norman Corwin and more recently, Charlie Chan. Authors and scholars who spent years researching subjects that might be restricted to the printed page had an opportunity to reveal their findings to an audience that appreciates their work.
We feel strongly that the event will continue to grow in size and it is our hope that at future events, MANC will be able to accomplish much more. We ask that if you have never attended MANC before, please consider doing so. Maryland and Baltimore has a lot to offer so consider staying an extra day or two and enjoy the local attractions. And your stay at the event will not only help support the event, but you’ll have a blast meeting celebrities, getting their autographs, having your photo taken with them, buying a few items from the vendor tables, sitting in on panels and seminars, and enjoying a few old movies. And best of all, you’ll make new friends who share the same passion you do for the oldies-but-goodies.
CELEBRITIES WHO ATTENDED OUR EVENT!
David Hedison (Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Fly)
Lana Wood (Bond girl from Diamonds Are Forever)
Richard Herd (V: The Miniseries and Quantum Leap)
Kenny Miller (I Was a Teenage Werewolf)
Marta Kristen (Lost in Space)
Buck Biggers (co-creator of Tennessee Tuxedo and Underdog)
THE REVIEWS FROM OUR FIRST EVENT!
Great job on the convention this past weekend. John and I had a really great time, everyone from the guests to the vendors to the fans and staff were all so nice. You do a great job trying to meet everyone’s needs and really went above and beyond for your all the fans. We know you were really busy and probably still are, but we wanted to offer our services for you for next year if you need help with anything. Also, we have some friends that may want to come next year and I understand you have the dates and that it’s going to be held there in the same hotel, please let me know the dates so I can pass that info along and start spreading the news for you. Thanks again for the great time and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
Mary L. Bishop
I wanted to write and thank you for the wonderful experience that Mary and I had at MANC. We were sorry that we didn’t get much of a chance to speak to you (although, that is quite understandable), and sorry that we couldn’t stay for the final day. AND, I’m sorry that I didn’t get a chance to attend the special movie showings or events – next year we will have to bring another person or two with us so we can take turns leaving the table to enjoy your great scheduled events! But, we did have a chance to speak to a bunch of terrific people.
Karen Lerner, Radio Spirits
It’s good to hear from you. I had a great time & have received rave reviews for my panels & interviews.Thanks for th opp’y to host them! I’d like to thank you & Michelle, & your family & in-laws for a wonderful experience, your ad hoc pizza party on Wednesday night.
See you at FOTR!
Your pal– Derek
Just a word of thanks to you, Martin, for your hospitality over the weekend — and for inviting me to be a small part of this important first-time event. It was truly my pleasure and I enjoyed meeting many new folks as well as seeing old ones. I hope the event met your expectations, possibly even exceeding them. You and Michelle and the others make a good team.
Let me know if I may be of help in any project in the future. The worst I can do is say “no.”
Hi Martin, I just wanted to let you know what a great time I had at the show this past weekend. you did a great job,everything seemed to go smoothly. (I’m sure you would have a different view!!) I hope things went well enough for you to have another show next year. — Mike Davanzo
I wanted to add my thanks for the excellent job you did on this new convention. A convention that is able to combine radio and television and full appreciation of both was a great idea.
I can’t imagine what it took to do this for the first time. The whole Grams party did a wonderful job! I was glad I was able to participate. Now I’ll have to come up with an idea to participate next year!
The continuously running films was great! There was always something going on. I only wish we could have made the dinner.
Take care and again – thanks.
Incidentally, Liz and I had a great time, and I hope I’ll be able to stay for the whole shebang next time. I received a lot of positive feedback for the two presentations, and I think you and Michele did an outstanding job of pulling it all together. I hope you’re both happy with the final results – sounds like it turned out well, in spite of the lousy weather.
Sincerely, Michael Hayde
To whom it may concern,
I am e-mailing you to ask for the dates of this year’s convention. My husband enjoyed last year’s event so much he wants to return. I was told Virginia Davis will be your guest this fall, assuming you are holding it at the same hotel at the same day and time. We just watched a few of those cartoons with her so now I am getting excited.
Sincere thanks in advance, Jessica Barrowman
I am absolutelty sick about this that I have missed the convention. I had no idea such a thing existed until about ten minutes ago when I saw the blurb in the Sunpaper. I cannot make it tomorrow and I am just sick about it. Is there any chance you may do it again next year? Would you pleasssse put me on your mailing list or email list if you are. Missing Lana Wood is almost as bad as anything I can think of quite frankly. I adored her sister and read all of the books about her, including Lana’s. Thank you so much for doing this and again, I had no clue such things existed. Please put me on your mailing list and/or email list.
Joe Lamp, Arnold, Maryland