May 17, 2016

2016 Ohio Bigfoot Conference

Ohio Bigfoot Conference. by Melissa Hovey-Larsen.

As many of you know I don't attend conferences to listen to speakers. I go to see friends, I haven't seen in a while, sometimes years. Why don't I listen to speakers? Well, personally I hate being trapped in a room for god knows how long. and I hate being the person who stands up to leave while a person is speaking, because I have to find a ladies room. I know the large majority of those invited to speak, so I have either heard their spiel or can guess what they'll talk about.

Conferences (in my humble opinion) aren't really for the "field researcher," their more for those in the general public who see faces on T.V. or the internet and want to meet those people (or faces) up close. They're also for the person who's had a sighting and wants to talk to an investigator face to face.

 For those of you without a sense of humor, buy, or grow one, before reading any further - or simply stop reading.

I absolutely loved seeing my sister, and partner in crime, Monica Frank Rawlins. Hopefully it won't be another 5 years before we see each other again.

Meeting Shelly Covington-Montana was a trip. An absolute pleasure.

Gabrielle Cole is just as nice in person as she is online - see your dentist before spending any time around her.

Sean Forker hasn't changed in all the years I've known him. Someday you must share your secret. Seriously what is it? Creams, vitamins, HGH? Really I wanna know. But seeing him with his pal James Baker (thanks for that hug) was a true pleasure.

Jeffery R. Thomas didn't disappoint and as usual he brought his unique sense of humor along with his wife Tonia who is always as nice as she is funny.

Tom Yamarone: Yams!!!!! What else is there to say? Always, always great to see you!!

Diana Esordi - it's always great to see you and I couldn't be happier for you and Mike.

Sharon Lee. You wore Bella out. She hasn't moved in 2 days. I tried to play with her yesterday and she lifted her head and said - well I can't post that - but she gave me directions. It was great seeing you!

Henry B. May IV. Henry.. Henry.. The only person I know who can walk around with a smile on his face, and a camera in his hand, at these events like it's the first one he's ever been to. One of the kindest and nicest men in this community. I'm so glad I found you on Sunday to say hi. The only reason you got that picture is cause I like you so much! Thanks for posting it so fast.

Fred Saluga - a person I truly enjoy. Why? Because you can vehemently disagree with him, and still call him friend. It was great seeing you again my friend!

Eric H. Altman. What can I say about Eric. Eric your warmth and ability to spread joy to everyone is a pleasure to behold. Yes, I am yanking your chain. But it was great seeing you!

Cliff Barackman. It's been years, but it was really great to see you again!! Thanks for the tape measure - I will use it with pride. I just wish you had handed them out to everyone with instructions.

Lyle Blackburn. It was great to finally meet you in person! Love the hat.

Mike Hall - who let you out of Texas? Whoever did, it was nice seeing you again after all these years.

Abe Del Rio - who else didn't recognize him? I sure didn't. I don't think he will mind my saying, he walked up to me to give me a hug, and I pulled back and said, "Who are you?" then checked his name tag. It was great seeing you Abe - you look great and I wish you nothing but the best!!

Guy Edwards. After finishing this article I will be going into traction after taking a picture with him. How tall are you? 8 feet? Dude! It was great to meet you after all these years.

Dax Rushlow. It was great meeting both you and your wife!! I never would have guessed you would have such a great sense of humor and such a big smile (yah I seen the picture). Seriously though, it was great to finally meet you both.

Now, for my rant. Take it as you will. Again for those of you without a sense of humor, buy or grow one before reading any further - or simply stop reading.

1. There were so many people, I could hardly make it to the bar. It's a good thing I don't drink, but a glass of water would have been nice.

2. Marc DeWerth - could you cram more venders into a 3 foot space? I bet you can. Please make note of that for next year. The doors in front of the bathrooms were free space. No worries, anyone will climb a vendor table to get to the bathroom.

3. People I didn't get to see - Trinetta Brown Jackson and William Dranginis. Seriously? How did that happen? I am sure it was partly my fault for not spending much time at the Lodge - but Bill you were making deliveries to various cabins, and donuts are my favorite food. You are elusive like bigfoot.

4. I finally had the chance to see and speak to Bob Gimlin on Sunday. Was he being hid in a closet somewhere? Geesh let the poor guy out from time to time. I have met and spoken with him before and I know he enjoys sunlight and air.

5. Question: When is the ONLY time a bigfooter doesn't get accused of using photoshop?

Answer: After taking a picture of someone at a conference or in the field. Seriously people. I know most of you use photoshop - could you cut some of us some slack? I know some of you take 500 pictures but that is no excuse for not taking the time to make us all look our stunning best.

End rant.

At the end of the day, or the conference, all that really matters is - did you have fun? Did you meet those you wanted to? If it was your goal to learn something - did you? That's all that matters. We spend such precious little time appreciating those around us - you know, the people we talk to online, as if Facebook is our real world. Anyone who says conferences aren't important doesn't know what their talking about.

Take from conferences what you can, discard what doesn't apply and go away with happy memories. We spend so much time disagreeing and reading about the latest fight or drama - it's a miracle we can even come together in one place at all.

If my rant made you laugh - great - because we don't do enough of that either.


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