5) Truly I expected to see no one I knew, but by the end of the night I'd run into the retired colleague of a friend of mine who remembered meeting me and reads the column, Miss Kitty who tends the bar for me at Repeal Day every December, and later in the night a friend of a friend who's engaged in community theatre costuming.
6) The event was laid out over three spaces: a large entrance hall fitted up with a light buffet and a bar, a larger room just off it with the 22-piece brass band, a bar, and a photo backdrop, and a smaller room where the talks would be given with a bar, light buffet, and some high top tables with high chairs. Plenty of room to move around made it a comfortable night.
7) ONE glass of red wine to start the night. To quote Auntie Mame, "I don't want to get overstimulated for Floyd." "Boyd." "Yes, Boyd and Emily."
8) The two speakers who spoke before me were a big hit, and seem to have brought friends or at least had a following from previous events; I couldn't quite tell. But they brought it talking about Victorian fashion. Fascinating. And tough acts to follow.
9) All of us were introduced by one of the station's Radio Personalities, and he said very nice things about me before I took the podium. Once there, I just did my thing, occasionally interjecting info not in the script, not always remembering to advance my slides, and realizing about halfway through that I'd never let my left hand leave its home base on the edge of the podium.
10) I managed to get a few good laughs, and once it was all over and I could celebrate with another glass of red wine, I ended up in a very convivial conversation with about six or eight people, most of whom belonged to the same family and some of whom play in the orchestra pits of the B'way shows that tour to Boston.
11) I must say, a LOT of people treated this as a true dress-up night, and I'm in awe of the ladies present who came in hoop skirts or gowns with bustles. (I overheard one of them say "As long as there's a handicapped stall, I'm OK.") All Victorian periods were represented (except the 1890s - I didn't see any leg o' muitton sleeves), and one couple even came in Victorian bathing costumes! I was glad I'd at least brought my mask, and really, I should've worn my black tie.
12) PHM very kindly lifted me home, as well as another event volunteer who lived in Somerville. Driving through bits of Brighton, I was struck by how placeless it seemed. At night, all these strip malls and what-have-you could have been anywhere in the nation. It reminded me of that Jim Jarmusch film Stranger Than Paradise.
13) Finally back home, I could collapse (my feet were killing me) and rejoice. The night really was a success.