Capricon XXII

Capricon XXII was held over the weekend of February 7-10, 2002 at the Sheraton Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Illinois, one of the north suburbs of Chicago. This is the Chicago area's annual winter convention, and this year it has continued its pattern of having a daily newsletter and a pirate radio station on a local transmitter, which could be picked up on any radio in the hotel.

We got there early on Friday morning, and in spite of being delayed somewhat by having to take an alternate route to get around some accidents on the freeway, the dealers' room still wasn't open for dealer set-up. The hotel wasn't ready to let us check into our sleeping room either, so we just settled into the comfortable chairs in the lounge to wait. I finished a commission for a friend that I'd been forgetting for far too long.

Once I'd gotten that finished and off my conscience, I discovered that the art show was open. I brought my artwork in and got it onto the art show.

By that time the dealers' room was open, so we carried in our merchandise and got set up. The biggest problem in getting things in was getting our vehicle backed into the loading dock area, then getting back into a regular parking place after we were done.

Setting up was rather interesting because this was our first con to use the trifold wire gridwall that we had just acquired to help us better display our stuff. Fortunately there was some unused space beyond our tables into which we were able to expand without too much trouble, so we were able to put the gridwall there and hang a lot of merchandise that we hadn't been able to display properly for ages.

Once we were set up, we went over to con registration and got our badges. Since the con program book was a coloring book, we each got two crayons with the rest of our program materials.

After that we got checked into the hotel and got our stuff into our sleeping room. Then we settled in at the dealers' room to sell. Sales were slow but steady, and I had some time to go through my notes and think about possible directions for taking some stories.

When the dealers' room closed, we called in a pizza for supper. After supper, we headed down to the hot tub for a good soak to work out the aches and pains of having lugged in so many boxes of books.

In the evening we made the rounds of the various parties. Capricon is always a good convention for parties, and this was no exception. There were a large number of parties on the top floor with the con suite, and we could just walk up and down the hallway, visiting the various parties, before we finally decided to turn in for the night.

On Saturday we got up early and had cold pizza for breakfast. Then we headed down to the dealers' room and got our tables ready for business. Sales were slow, but I was so tired that I couldn't really do much writing because I was hitting a complex verbal duel in my current project. So I just did some drawing in my sketchbook to pass the time.

In the evening we called in Chinese food for supper. Then we went down to the hot tub and soaked for a while. Then we went to the parties, and ended up staying up until midnight trying to visit them all.

Sunday morning we had some of our leftover Chinese food for breakfast. Then we got our personal belongings packed and cleared out of our sleeping room. We made good enough time on that task that we were able to rest for a while in the con suite before it was time to go down to the dealers' room and get our tables open.

We actually had a brief period of fairly brisk sales before it was time to start packing. I also got my unsold art off the art show and picked up my check for art show sales. When the dealers' room finally closed, we were able to get several people helping us carry stuff out, so we were able to get everything loaded surprisingly fast.

This was good because we had bad weather coming in. Because we had a broken window motor on the driver's side door of our van, we had to take the freeways through the Loop and south in order to avoid tollbooths, although the tollway would have gotten us through the Chicago area more quickly. By the time we stopped to eat supper, we were starting to get some nasty weather. However, we were able to get home safely that night, unlike 2000's Capricon, when the weather got so unpleasant that we had to stop for the night along the way and continue home the next morning in daylight.

Copyright 2012 by Leigh Kimmel

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Last updated October 21, 2012.