I wasn’t going to put up a posting about TeddyCon 2018, instead opting to thoroughly enjoy reading what other people wrote about it. But when I got home on Monday night after having been at the convention hotel for the eight days prior, I felt a familiar urge to do something I hadn’t done in more than a week … to write.
The more people write and post about the events they go to, the more those events grow. Posting about specific activities enjoyed or other recollections of specific moments at a convention give the organizers a bit of information about what was seen as most memorable at the event they put together.
Anyone who plans and implements a convention or similar gathering wants their creation to be memorable and to leave fond thoughts in their attendees’ minds, even days after the convention ends. And when people write about their fresh memories, it becomes a window that clearly displays what people enjoyed the most.
So, instead of typing a minute by minute recalling of the entire experience, I’ve decided to write about specific moments from TeddyCon 2018 that I found to be personally touching. It is an impossibility to be a part of every single class, activity, craft, special event and specific happening at TeddyCon as there are always at least six different options of things to do at all points in time.
It goes without saying that I didn’t see everything that went on at TC, every moment in every location. So, I will write about what I saw and what I loved.
TeddyCon 2018 was the second year of a complete hotel takeover offering. At TC, a complete hotel takeover is inclusive of every square inch of the entire hotel building, up to and including the glass doors of the main entrance as well as the indoor pool. But it is also inclusive of the courtyard. And the whole thing truly felt like a village, a magical destination – complete with a restaurant, a watering hole, a swimming hole, sleeping accommodations, shopping, entertainment, night life and the ability to roam about in nothing but a t-shirt and diaper – if so desired … protected and maintained to keep it safe.
And my oh my. The TeddyCon village atmosphere was filled with an energy I had never felt the strength of before while it offered up more than any prior TeddyCon had tendered.
Sarahkitten109 and the Magical Place
Sarah was our DJ who, on Thursday night fired up a karaoke night in the bar that kept the place packed until well after 1am … on Friday night – hosted a dance party that kept the dance floor torn up until the bar closed … and on Saturday night co-hosted a rave party that gave the bar a neon glow. She and her wife also lent an extremely important helpful hand, producing the amplification the TC leadership needed – to be able to be heard by everyone in the packed place space on Saturday night during the largest raffle we have ever had.
Not only are Sarah and her wife exceptionally nice people, they are also exceptionally giving. They entered the TeddyCon experience in 2018 and instantly lifted it up to heights it had never reached before.
Karaoke and the “Movin Out” Guy
For years, I had been petitioning to have karaoke at TC. And last year, it finally happened. Oh, my Blue Heaven, it was so awesome. So when Sarah took over the karaoke reins this year, I was definitely going to be in attendance. And while sitting at the bar, enjoying some Irish libations, I began to sing along with the current attendee who was performing Billy Joel’s Movin’ Out. While singing along, I realized the guy sitting next to me was doing the same. So he and I joined together and gave a back-up duet to the attendee.
It was an awesome moment that I will never forget for the rest of my life.
The Daddy Social and Daddy Graham’s British Accent Impersonation
TC holds a Mommy Social as well as a Daddy Social, giving the Bigs a chance to do something that is just for them. The Mommies are pampered with a light dining experience that includes finger food and drinks, prepared and served to them by a debonair group of ABDL fellas. For the daddies, a root beer and cigar gathering takes place in the courtyard.
And it was in the courtyard that I sat next to Graham, a switchy daddy from down under. He has the Crocodile Dundee Australian accent and I love listening to him speak. But he is actually quite talented in doing different accents. So, while at the daddy social, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to him perform what he called The Churchill – a British accent like no other.
He would also perform an American southern accent that would have made The Duck Dynasty guys jealous. LOL
Pschwartz and the diaper wagon
To keep the maids in the hotel from throwing their back out each morning, we have always taken the Vesuvius amount of used diapers out to the dumpsters ourselves. And we’ve come up with a fun way to do it. Pschwartz and I, along with whoever else we can sucker into joining us (LOL), take a wagon and walk around the hotel – picking up the provided black trash bags that attendees fill with their used diapers and drop outside their doors.
Pschwartz is a veteran, having served a most-impressive military career. In that regard, he doesn’t just do things, but more so, attacks all tasks with fervent purpose. I have nicknamed him *The Locomotive*, because when it’s time to do the diaper wagon run, he calls together his troops and we move like greased lightning to both keep up with him and to get the job done.
Our record is 13 minutes. Last year, we once disposed of more than 100 bags in 13 minutes flat. How is this possible, you may be wondering? My two-word answer is simple: The Locomotive.
The Courtyard Atmosphere and the Courtyard Wall Comeback
One of my favorite locations in the TeddyCon Village is the courtyard, an area that is surrounded on three sides by the hotel – the fourth side being closed in by a wall we create each year. And it is in the courtyard that the daddy social took place as well as the nightly campfire, the S’mores activity, a finger and body painting session and also houses an adult-sized swing set (the latest Phil and Arcadian X project).
The courtyard is populated from the moment people stumbled out of bed until nearly 5am the next morning. It is a wonderful opportunity to walk outside and to enjoy the outdoors – all while not having to cover-up any of one’s ABDL threads.
Putting the fourth wall up is super-tricky as there are crosswinds to contend with. So, when early Friday morning crosswinds tore up the one side of that fourth wall, there was a fear that the courtyard might be lost for the rest of the weekend.
But no. That wasn’t going to happen. A group of people, some staff and some attendees, worked together tirelessly for three and a half hours to reconstruct that courtyard wall – strengthening it to such a degree that it would not budge again until it was taken down on Sunday.
I view this as a fond memory because it showed how much people care. One guy who was a part of that wall rescue team told me it was his favorite time throughout the entire weekend because it was his piece of pie that gave him a little bit of ownership to the success of TeddyCon.
And THAT is an awesome statement and feeling. Since its inception, TeddyCon has never been about any single individual – but rather, about everyone. It rises to epic summits because of the attendees kind-hearted offerings … such as what it took to put that courtyard wall back up.
Despite LL Cool J’s suggestion, I WILL call it a comeback. And that reconstructed wall was put up in a such a manner that made clear how to make the wall impenetrable to reasonable winds – a design we will use next year. So … because of a mishap and because of attendees wanting to aid it, TeddyCon just grew organically.
What’s the Scoop?
The ball pit is an ever-constant popular spot in the play room. And once you get a few people inside it, the obvious thing happens … balls go flying everywhere. LOL It is hysterical to watch from the outside and tons of fun to be a part of from the inside. But it creates a ridiculous mess all over the play room.
So, our sponsors, ABU, gave us every single empty box they could spare. And we set these boxes all around the ball pit. It would help the problem of balls falling out of the pit. But what fixed the problem was that attendee ownership feeling that also fixed the courtyard wall.
Routinely, attendees walked past the ball pit all weekend long – pausing for just a moment to pick up one of those ABU boxes and using it as a shovel to scoop up balls that had escaped and return them to the pit.
I loved watching those moments when attendees showed how much they cared about the TeddyCon Village.
As with anything that gets used a lot, the ball pit showed a little wear-n-tear at one point as one of the poles holding up the netting worked its way free and came off. The repair would require a new pole – which wasn’t going to happen over the weekend.
But wait! The ball pit wasn’t done for. And this was due to operations team leader Baby Hugs-a-Lot (Daddy Hugs-a-lot’s little pride and joy). Baby Hugs-a-lot came up with a creative way to rig up the netting so that it would get through the weekend and the ball pit would still be useable. And he did this with such a quiet approach that Daddy Graham’s story reading, just a few feet away, wasn’t disturbed with noise.
The Connection of Respectful Disagreement
This one requires a bit of explanation to set up …
A very common occurrence these days is discourse. This is when someone sees something differently than you do or has a differing opinion from your own. Sometimes, the way we view other people who don’t see things the way we see them … is to view those people in the worst possible light. Suddenly, differences of opinion turn into personal attacks.
And THAT is incredibly unfortunate.
Everyone has the right to have an opinion. But what is sometimes forgotten is that everyone has the right to be respectful of such differences.
And that is why I will forever retain the memory of standing in the courtyard at ridiculous early o’clock Sunday morning while admiring a conversation two ABDLers were having about conventions, where conventions were headed, about the truth that everything in this world has an end, about how new things grow from the old and about how certain things don’t have a shelf-life.
I will tell you that these two fine upstanding young gents did not agree with each other. But they never lost the respect for each other. And more importantly, they actually listened to each other.
Dunking for Charity
The owner of ABU was an attendee at TeddyCon 2018 – a phenomenal soul who, when you meet him, shows clearly just through his good-natured personality why he was able to bring ABU back to greatness … then propelling it upwards. He is very passionate about raising the awareness of charities that help people to overcome the feelings of despondency or hopelessness. Choosing a specific charity that he felt personal attachment to, he brought along and set up a dunking tank next to the pool. Then he put Mommy Kuri in the dunking tank and my, oh my, did people line up to pay a few bucks to charity for the opportunity to submerge her.
Other would also wind up in that tank, for charity’s sake.
This leads to a subtopic I will call LLAMA Lovin’. I thought the ABU owner was joking when he asked me if I would get in the dunking tank.
He wasn’t joking.
And, honoring the commitment I had made, I then found myself in the dunking tank. Then the entire LLAMA crew, my beloved Lancaster PA ABDL friends, pulled out their hard-earned money – giving it to charity so they all could see me go under water … again and again and again … and again ……and again.
………………………. and again.
I lost track of the count after the 12th trip into the chilly waters beneath me. But wait! LOL The LLAMAs weren’t done being charitable yet! They all handed a sizeable wad of cash to the ABU owner for the opportunity to pose in front of the dunking tank with the shivering me sitting there.
I knew exactly what was about to happen next. And the very moment the camera snapped the photo, the dunking button was pushed one more time. And into the waters I went one more time.
Charity is a good thing and sometimes you get wet behind the ears.
I truly hope the ABU owner does it again next year.
The Selfless Four
I would call them the fantastic four, but that title has already been used. And besides, it doesn’t fully describe this quartet.
Firstly, there is Mommy Kuri, that super-sweet lady who holds it all together. She is so passionate about TeddyCon that tears form in her eyes every day, not for any sake of sadness – but rather, for happiness … of what she sees and of what she loves ……… all of us. I’ve never known someone like her before, giving and giving of herself to the point of being physically and emotionally drained. We love you, Kuri. And we cannot say it enough.
Secondly, there is Minx, another super-sweet lady who is constantly assessing every situation and always strategically places herself so she can be of assistance at a moment’s notice. She is the kind of person you can rely on being there, even when she isn’t needed for an immediate reason. But she will remain right there, patiently and without complaint, to dot the I or to cross the T that just might have been overlooked by all others. She never pauses to take a break, instead only pausing to think of what she can do next to lend a much-needed hand.
Thirdly, there is Little Philly, the fuzzy-bearded strong back who not only lifts the unliftable and builds the unbuildable but also deliberately drains himself in the process. His belief is that if he has any energy left in the end, then he didn’t do all that could have done. This is his mindset. Phil is the calm of the storm while also being the storm itself. He makes it happen when no one believes it possible.
And lastly, there is Razamataz. I saved him for the end of this posting because he is the mild-mannered titan who avoids any and all praise. He is that humble. But I’m gonna call him out right now and he will no longer be able to hide behind his kindness.
What most people don’t know is that there has never been a single activity, craft, event, special event, pageant, set up, break down, clean up, class or presentation, in five years of TeddyCon conventions, that was without his helping hand. He even emptied the garbage when no one was looking.
Aside from that, he is one of the most accepting and level-headed people I know. He is just as passionate as the rest. But he is passionate for everyone … for people who have a problem as well as for the people who sometimes cause the problems. He is fair and he is unyielding in what he gives to this convention.
Without Razamataz, TeddyCon would not exist.
And what he does for TC in the off-season goes above and beyond the call of duty.
Razzy, you are a giant among insects. And though you are eternally humble, you are also eternally appreciated and loved. And don’t you forget it, Chief.
So … at TeddyCon 2018, what I saw and what I loved was the exact same thing … a community that had grown into a village.
And we’ve only just begun.
Blessings to you all,