Sunday, July 10, 2011

Round Two - The Velo Fellow

This was my second time at the Velo Fellow publick house and as with the first, it was a great night of literary, musical and artistic conversation. I don't think I've ever been in such a group as our local Upstate Steampunk folks, where the conversations are so knowledgeable on so many fronts. I table hopped  a number of times (in between mouthfuls of delicious French Onion Soup)  to chat with co-workers, recent friends, people I've never met and a co-writer, David Windhorst, who I worked with on Edge magazine twenty years ago. I haven't seen David in many years and had no idea that he and his wife, Kat were into steampunk.  She has very good reason to like steampunk, as she formerly owned one of the premiere costume companies in Greenville before moving to Califronia to work on costumes in the movie business. The conversations from Josh Smith, fire eater, cleaver juggler, electro-mechnic inventor and his highly entertaining girlfriend, Kristen, diesel mechanic and great story teller to Braxton of the steampunk macabre duo Valentine Wolfe, and his plans for a trek to Connecticut to score the ultimate bass, Charlotte who spoke about Victorian literature and steampunk, and Rachel who spoke about fantasy, science fiction and graphic novel art.  How many conversations can bring up Edgar Allen Poe,  the movie, The Crow, Tesla, navy steamships, Emily Austin, Bruce Sterling, fairy tales, comic book art, Ellen Datlow, dwarfs walking on beds of glass - all in one evening? Talk about fodder for fiction - I must call a gathering at the Velo anytime I encounter the white page syndrome!
In fact, I only called this gathering two days before on the Upstate Steampunk facebook page after Ben, musician, artist (of IFB fame) and I decided to get together. He was working during the last meeting so missed the incredible experience. And we had more than 25 people show up! I would hesitate to say that we literally "invaded" the sublime pub with the incredible ambiance and varied menu, but I think we may have inundated them to some degree.
It was fun to see a good number of my co-workers from the head injury program show up, as well.  I'm not quite sure what they all might think.  The experience can be overwhelming when delving into the lively and often tangential conversations of steampunkers and their varied backgrounds, even when we are not all in our steampunk gear. Josh did wear the goggles he won (expertly crafted by Gypsy Teague, herself) at last year's con but the rest of us, having come straight from work were in current day garments.

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