Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ron-Kon, the Visual Record

So we recently attended our friend Ron's 50th birthday, which he stylishly fashioned into a "convention" of friends all meeting in Portland, Oregon for a weekend (this actually happened two weeks ago, but we've had plenty more adventures since then, more on that later!).

Orlando (counting the former residents) was incredibly well-represented, with the Ware family, Jim-n-Sue and of course your intrepid heroes in attendance. The many delights of Ron-Kon started with the incredible Kennedy School hotel, a restored schoolhouse that was now an arty, trendy, hip yet nonetheless utterly delightful lodge. Ron and Dorothy were of course the centre of attention, and this was Jim's first meeting of Ron in person despite having been faithful record-pals for the better part of two decades.

Indeed, music was what tied us all together, and even those attendees we hadn't met before were instantly recognised as brothers in music (or more specifically music collecting). Thus, the entire second day of Ron-Kon was a well-organised hunt for round shiny things amongst the men, including stops at one of the Everyday Music stores and a top-off at Crossroads (we hit another Everyday Music and Music Millenium the next day!). Everyone found at least a few gems along the way, my own take filling two big bags (but I bow before Joe, who scavenges these stores for a living; he easily bought at least as much as the rest of us combined!).

When the actual birthday party/dinner rolled around, fellow disc hunter Mark opened the show with a short set including a song written specially for Ron called "Nifty Fifty" with lyrics comprising a few of the many adventures the two men had shared.

Pieter Bon, a singer/songwriter and poet (and former member of the band MAM) in his native Holland, favoured us with a rousing set of songs, some in Dutch and some in English, including a rousing sing-along cover of the Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want" -- a highly appropriate choice for record-junkies!

We were even treated to a playback of a song MAM did that features a Ron Kane spoken-word lead! What th--?!

(For further hi-lites and hi-jinx from the musical portion of Ron-Kon, please see Warren's video on YouTube!)

Of course, for us the highlight was seeing our old pals for the first time in seven months or more, as well as meeting the new people. Our buddy Farrell whom we'd last seen in Ft. Collins had since moved to Portland, so we all got together at the Laurelwood Pub (Portland is full of great places to eat and drink!) for a lovely afternoon.

All too soon, of course, it had to end. We really enjoy Portland as a city anyway, so adding these great pals (old and new) to the mix just made it a fabulous, unforgettable weekend. Heather and I didn't even have time to do the "touristy things" like Multnomah Falls and suchlike, but we'll make it up on a future excursion. We took the ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles, rented a US post box (for savings and convenience on mail order and other US business) and then drove the 101 down to Portland (a scenic but difficult drive, in part due to road construction and in part due to the windy mountain-ness of it all!).

All this by way of mentioning that we've finally put up a photo gallery of our pictures, and the other participants who are reading this are more than welcome to upload your own pics and add to the gallery; just look for the Upload or the Send to album buttons on the page. We hope you will enjoy the pictures even if you weren't there, and believe me if nothing else this has started me thinking about where and how to theme my own half-century soiree (which isn't for a good long while yet, thanks for asking!) ...


heddo said...

I saw some sights...nyah nyah! :P