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2018 Baltimore Pen Show – Part 5

Posted in Pen Shows

Welcome back to my BWIPS experience write-up. Today starts the pen show after dark shenanigans. If you haven’t read parts 1, 2, 3, and 4, you might want to go do that. This post is back to a shorter length, but tomorrow’s (which should be my last post) will probably be rather long.

The announcement that the show was official over (for the day) was a bit of a bummer, but it also meant that it was time for after-show shenanigans.

It took me a while to locate Jim, who I found sitting with Adam at the Bertram’s Inkwell table. At that moment, the plan was to stick with Adam to enjoy the after party.

But when we got shoo’ed out of the room, we found ourselves in a crush of people. For a while, we sat and listened to Larry Ragland of Diplomat Pens play the guitar. I even had some fun dancing. Te was kind enough to let me include some photos she took.

Larry Ragland playing guitar Dancing to Larry Ragland's guitar playing

After a few minutes though, I noticed everyone heading down the hall to the lobby, and pointed that out to my group. Like good little pen followers, we headed for the lobby as well.

What followed was a good half hour of confusion and indecision. We finally decided where to have dinner, then everyone left to set down their things. We agreed to meet back in the lobby in 15 minutes. Side Note: I went to the car to drop off my camera, and found this in the elevator. Can you spot the problem?

Messed up elevator buttons

It occurred to Te to call the restaurant to see if they could accommodate such a large group (there were easily 20 of us), and the answer was a resounding no.So it was back to the drawing board. Thankfully, while I was standing around in a post pen show haze, either Cheriz or Te (I can’t remember who at this point) made an executive decision that we were going to Frank & Nic’s. I think Te called to make sure they could handle our group, and, thankfully this time the answer was yes.

Everything seemed settled, but as our agreed-upon meeting time came and went, it became obvious that our organization left much to be desired. We were missing half of our group, with no real way to contact them.

A message was sent out on Slack, and those of us that were available went off to Frank & Nic’s. I’m pretty sure a few people got tagged in an Instagram photo once we arrived, as well.

Once at the restaurant, which was conveniently right around the corner, we were seated at a table for 10(ish). We were definitely going to have some overflow, but I figured we could expand to the surrounding tables.

However, as a few more people arrived, our waitress offered to have the back room opened for our group. It ended up being perfect. We set up two long tables after being asked not to make a “U”, and settled in for dinner.

Making of a pen show photo Me and Te

It was then that I remembered that Chet, who had passed us on the way to his room, hadn’t made it back down in time to join us. Not one to leave people out, I sent him a message inviting him to dinner. I was rather pleased that he took me up on the offer. The more the merrier.

I filled my new pen case while I waited to place my order. Isn’t the rainbow lovely?

My current pen collection

Our waitress was on point, and worked her way around the room quickly and efficiently. We mostly stayed in our seats and talked pens until people finished eating. Then, it was socializing time. I really tried to get a good selfie with the entire room, but my phone wasn’t a fan of slow panning with the “wide selfie” mode.

Pen show selfie Pen show selfie Pen show selfie

I can’t even begin to tell you all of the pen show shenanigans that happened while we were there, but I’ll give you some highlights.

My favorite was Oscar “stealing” a cup from the bar. We all had a good laugh at that. Thanks to Te for the photo of him hiding when he thought some of the workers had seen him.

Oscar behind the bar Oscar hiding behind the bar

We were all flitting around and chatting with each other. It was a very relaxed atmosphere. Everyone was happy. It’s very nice to be part of such a friendly, happy, inclusive community.

People were swapping ideas and giving advice freely, without the secrecy and competitiveness you often find among makers. I felt, still feel, honored to be included and welcomed into such a group.

I had an opportunity to show off my pens a bit, which I did like a proud mom. It was a chance to promote makers who weren’t present, like Anthony Smith.

Te let me write with her Trilogy nib from Ralph. It’s really cool, and offers a gorgeous writing experience, but it’s not something I’d personally reach for often, since I tend to write small. The bottom line of writing is Jim’s. 😉

Far too soon, in my opinion, we were the checks were paid and everyone was packing up to head back to the hotel. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the “official” Pen Show After Dark, but I knew I’d be having fun.

Come back tomorrow for the final installment of my BWIPS 2018 experience.

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