We sallied out to Kabul restaurant for our main meal of the day at lunch time. Kabul is another one of our ritual stops in town and the chicken shish kabob and kofta karayi were as good as ever.
Georgie was on "Narnia: Faith and Feminism" at 1PM, along with David Lenander, Penny Hill, Sylvia Anne Kelso, and Cynthia Ward. This was a very good panel on Lewis and his writings with a number of different viewpoints. Georgie's remarks to the effect that Narnia is a Christian's story, but not a Christian allegory, were recieved by the audience with literal applause. Her idea that Lucy shares with Alice and Dorothy the position of "opener of the way" to the fantasy land was also well received.
Immediately after the panel, it was meet Bill and Tracy and fight our way through the entangling conversations for the trip to Woodman's and final party supplies. Since we arrived back inthe middel of the last afternoon panel, elevators we mercifully clear, and we took the opportunity to stage all our stuff down to the sixth floor.
We got into Room 607 quite promptly at 5PM and began setup, which consisted of loading cheese, meat, and drinks into the room refrigerators, and icing down the rest of the drinkables in the bathtub. Then we hung decorations, including Venice travel posters, feather masks, and gold foil spirals depending from the ceiling. Cutting up our trademark fresh pineapple and surrounding it with melon chunks did not take long, so we actually had time to take a break and get into costume in a leisurely fashion before laying out the remainder of a descent antipasto: olives, artichoke hearts, picked mushrooms, salami, prosciutto, and cheeses. We also had an assortment of delicious Italian cookies from Sciortino’s bakery here in Milwaukee. The piece de resistance of décor was a rented “champagne” fountain, which inspired a lot of comment. I was surprised at how many people had never seen one. We filled that with Asti Spumante and managed to keep it sparkling along through the night, even if the thing did leak, slowly. Keeping with the “sparkling” theme, we had Kirschten Regale sparkling cider and pear juice for soft drinks, and Andre cold duck for those who preferred red wine. (Yes, cold duck. Hey, it was with our theme. And it actually isn’t bad. It was a blast from the past for a lot of people--.)
Georgie looked gorgeous in her beaded dress of deep sea-green with matching Venetian mask and traditional hat, and a flowing diaphanous wrap spangled with sea-themed decorations. Tracy Benton was even more spectacular in her hand-dyed silk period gown of cloudy violet shades representing nebulous outer space. Bill Bodden was regal and imposing in black and gold as the Doge, and I was in black and white parti-color as Harlecchino, both of which costumes were also sewn by Tracy.
We opened the doors at 8PM, figuring that since the con was sold out and the dessert reception only had 400 tickets, there might be a lot of people at loose ends until GoH speeches. We were wrong about that, but we did provide a haven for a few drifters, and we considered it a good omen that out first guest came in an attractive Renaissance costume.
Things livened up gradually with many guests showing up attractively masked and garbed. The decorated vizard masks I had made proved popular as a party favor, and our food and drink selections stood us in good stead until the party wound down about 1:30AM. I would have to say, a good time was had by all.