Saturday, August 20, 2011
WEIRD WEEKEND SCRAPBOOK: The Saturday Boy
Saturday is always a hard slog if you’re working behind the scenes at the Weird Weekend and this year was no exception. Today there were 10 different speakers (not counting the other members of the forthcoming Sumatra expedition who joined Richard on stage after his talk to tell us briefly about their plans, and the CFZ Awards honourees and quiz teams) with talks lasting from midday until 11pm, although we do often over-run a tad. As far as I’m aware NO OTHER cryptozoological conference offers their ticket-holders such good value for money.
As ever I was responsible for filming every talk, which although might sound like easy work, is most certainly not as I have to be on the ball hunched over a camera sitting in an uncomfortable chair following the speakers round the stage, anticipating good moments for close-ups and slide changes, which is easier said than done especially if you get tired or leg cramps. Thankfully I had my secret weapons of cheap knock-off Red Bull and cramp-zapping tonic water to fall back on so things turned out ok. The advantage of being the camera man, though, is that I get to watch all the talks and every single one of them today was a corker. Although every one of the talks were brilliant my favourite tonight was Lee ‘Dead of Night’ Walker’s two stories.
Oh and for those wondering who the special guest I mentioned yesterday was, it was P.T. Barnum himself. I suggested to Jon that we summon the great showman in the CFZ time machine (which bears an uncanny resemblance to Silas Hawkins’s car) about 6 months ago and my talk this year was on Barnum and his friend Grizzly Adams, but this year he has by pure chance been mentioned in a few of the other lectures too, notably Peter Christies’s talk about Fortean North Devon where it was mentioned that Barnum’s friend and employee, the famed dwarf Tom Thumb’s ornate tiny carriage is actually on display in a local National Trust property. I shall have to see if I can convince Mrs Downes, who is an N.T. member, that a trip there would make a good CFZ outing… OLL LEWIS