Recap – 2009 Convention


If you missed the 2009 Convention, we offer a recap with photographs. Our fourth event was also the last year we had the event in Aberdeen, Maryland. After four years, we discovered we had out-grown the hotel because of crowd growth. We had to re-direct the autograph lines twice in Aberdeen, and two of the events generated a line so long to get into the panels and seminars that they blocked vendor tables. The Q&A session with Bob Hastings, Diana Sowle and Rosemary Rice was so packed people couldn’t even get in the door. Like we mentioned once, the kind of problems we prefer to handle are those regarding crowd control. Very few conventions have crowd control issues and we prefer to deal with that as compared to other issues.

As we explained to the hotel, unless they build rubber walls, we could not stay for a fifth year. Our move to Hunt Valley, Maryland would be more costly but the wider aisles were needed so people could move about more freely. Even those in electronic scooters could now get around a lot easier.

Rosemary Rice and Bob Hastings signed autographs for free to fans. Bob was pleased to see people bringing models of battleships from the McHALE’S NAVY TV series and other memorabilia. News Channel 10 in Baltimore covered the event, can can be found on the YouTube page. For the first time, the dinner banquet was a sell-out and we’ve always sold out every year since.


*  A recreation of a “lost” LONE RANGER radio drama from 1936 performed on stage!

*  Author John L. French discussed how CSI was accomplished back in 1954, with demonstrations and tools of the times.

*  Thad Komorowski, animation historian, provided two lengthy vintage animation showings with background information about each cartoon he screened.
*  Author Martin Grams presented a retrospective of Alfred Hitchcock and his Hollywood career.

*  Author Jim Rosen offered a presentation about Advnetures in Paradise and the series star, Gardner McKay.

*  Author Jack French discussed Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys in print form. Who hasn’t read one of those books?

*  Author Michael Hayde gave us a look back at the days of folk music and a rare glimpse of a “lost” episode of TV’s Hootenany.

*  Fred Berney discussed the history of Big John and Sparky, a children’s program from the 1950s, with brief film clips from the series!


Thank you to everyone who contributed to the charity auction for the St. Jude Children’s Hospital. It was our first year donating to St. Jude and while we only had an hour to auction off as many donations as possible, in less than one hour we raised a total of $723. Not a bad start for a first time event.


Lee Meriwether (Catwoman on Batman, Time Tunnel)

Celeste Holm (Academy Award winning actress)

Bob Hastings (Lt. Carpenter on McHale’s Navy)

Diana Sowle (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory)

Johnny Whitaker (Family Affair and Tom Sawyer)

Rosemary Rice (Katrin on I Remember Mama)

James Best (Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane, Dukes of Hazzard)

Joel Blumberg (Host of Silver Screen Audio)



Got home yesterday from a fantastic weekend at MANC in Aberdeen MD.  In this time of economic downturn, it’s amazing that this is one convention that hasmanaged to break it’s own attendance record each year. MANC is quickly becoming THE convention of the year . . . readers would be advised not to miss next years’ event.  —  Rodney Bowcock, Kentucky

Just wanted to thank you and all involved for such a wonderful weekend. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and are looking forward to going again next year. —  David Frost

I just wanted to thank you for this weekend’s convention. It was our first time attending, and Bill and I had a wonderful time! The guests were personable, both in their interviews and in meeting them around the convention. The presentations were informative and varied. There was always something interesting going on! It was truly delightful and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Thanks to you and michelle and her parents for running such a great show.  —  Teresa Naugle

The main reason for paying a visit to your event was to meet Johnny Whitaker. FAMILY AFFAIR was the first show my mother let me stay up late and watch on the television. My heart raced when I met Mr. Whitaker and he graciously let me pose for a photo with him. I expected to stay for a half hour and remained through the day unaware how fascinating the subjects covered in the presentations. The vendor rooms were filled with more merchandise than I could have imagined. You can expect me to stay all weekend next year. Let me know what the dates are.  —  Chick Kazz, Baltimore, Maryland

This was the first time I attended your convention. I had a great time!! I will be back next year.  —  John Noonan

Just a brief note to say thank you, again, for having me as one of the author panelists at the Mid-Atlantic Convention. —  Andrew Lee Fielding, Pompton Lakes, NJ

The recreation of a LONE RANGER radio drama was very enjoyable. This was my first year at your event and my wife, who had to be dragged along because I cannot drive the car, wants to return next year. You should be proud.  —  Patrick Taylor, Lycoming, Pennsylvania

Please, please, please bring Sidney Portier to your event next year. I worship the man and he would be perfect for your event. Please consider this as a favor to me. Oh, your convention was a blast. I will be returning every year.  — Grace Manes, North Carolina

I was looking forward to Terry Salomonson’s presentation on SGT. PRESTON OF THE YUKON after he was unable to do so last year. He did not fail to disappoint. Worth waiting all year for. Your Alfred Hitchcock presentation was great. I learned things I did not know. I don’t know what Terry plans to do next year but please have him kick off the presentations again. I cannot think of a better way to launch the weekend.  —  Donald Plummer, Maryland

I’m sure you and Michelle are enjoying a well-deserved rest after all the preparation you had to put together to achieve what you achieved last weekend with the convention. I was extraordinarily impressed. I mentioned to you that I’d never done anything like that before—but I guarantee you, I’d love to do it again, & plan to be registered for the 2010 event. Kudos to both of you for an excellent event.  —  Linda Alexander, author, Westminster, Maryland

Just wanted to thank you for letting me part of your show, which is without a doubt the best show going anywhere.  You and Michelle have done an incredible job with it and it is only going to get better!  —  Kevin Flynn, Perry Hall, Maryland

There was a huge jump in attendance from last year’s convention, and most events were standing room only. The only problem was the convention, as always, ended too quickly. I can’t wait till next year!  —  Ken Stockinger, The Old Time Radio Digest