I love going to conventions, it’s an opportunity to visit with people who enjoy some of the same things that I enjoy. This summer has been filled with great conventions such as San Diego Comic Con, Creation Entertainment’s 57 Year Convention saluting Star Trek and Dragon*Con. However none of those quite compared to that of the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention held annually in Hunt Valley, Maryland just north of Baltimore. The convention is in its 17th year and continues to grow each year offering opportunities to meet stars of some of the greatest shows from the 60s and 70s.
I’ve been poking fun at the concept behind a nostalgia convention calling it an old people’s convention. In a recent discussion with former editor Eric LeBlanc, we joked about the topic and I was corrected many times with being told that it was not just for old people. The convention headliners included Robert Fuller (Laramie), Nancy Kovack (Bewitched, Batman), and Sam Jones of the almost 20 actors and actresses in attendance.
My convention journey to Baltimore started off like any normal trip find from Lake Charles, Louisiana in our small regional airport. After arriving in Dallas, and waiting a couple of hours for the connecting flight I met up with actor Robert Fuller and his wife. I wanted to introduce myself to them knowing we would be working together all weekend. Finally we were permitted to board the flight headed to Baltimore. Once on the plane it was then trouble occurred. The plane had experienced a mechanical breakdown and after some investigation the pilot found that maintenance had not been performed in several days. He elected to make everyone leave the plane in a wait a new plane to go to Baltimore. We sat in the lobby area waiting for our new flight which took about two hours. After that time, we again boarded the new plane for our flight to Baltimore and it was smooth sailing from that point. The pilot even joked that he would burn so much gas that the price of fuel would go up the next day and it would be his fault. Honestly, it was better to be safe than sorry and I appreciate the efforts of the pilot.
Unlike most conventions, that are held on the weekend, this convention begins its day on Thursday morning and ends Saturday evening. Once doors were opened, a plethora of people came through to visit the many celebrities on hand. I had the opportunity to sit with Linda Gaye Scott (Westworld, Batman) throughout the weekend and I was amazed by how many people came by to share their memories with these celebrities. Many of the shows had been popular before I was born but I did have a familiarity with shows like Batman and Bewitched.
It’s not just celebrities that people come to see at the nostalgia convention. The convention also boasts a large vendor area where you can find memorabilia from throughout the early days of Hollywood up through modern times. I thoroughly enjoyed looking through some of the old autograph books and lobby cards available for purchase. I even was able to find some Star Trek autographs but unfortunately did not purchase those this time.
The highlight of the convention had to be on Saturday evening during the convention’s annual dinner gala for attendees electing to purchase the special event. All of the actors are situated in seats throughout the ballroom with random attendees. This gives everyone an opportunity to meet someone they did not get to meet during the show. My party was paired with Sam Jones, best known for his role on the film Flash Gordon. While we were engaged in conversation, Sam was eager to start enjoying some dinner rolls. He disembarked from the table and asked the banquet staff if he could have some bread. We joked the entire time afterwards about his quest for us to be well fed. It even went so far
as to continue through dinner dessert service where he insisted everyone have a piece of chocolate cake. Also seated at the table was Robert Fuller and his wife and again we had an opportunity to talk about the events of the week and how the convention was overall. I did get an opportunity to ask Sam if he was able to meet Freddie Mercury, and while he said he wasn’t able; others on the film did get to meet him. If you know anything about me, you know that Queen is probably my most favorite band in the whole world.
I left Baltimore with the feeling that the Nostalgia Convention was much more than just a celebration of old, it was more about celebrating some of the greatest television shows and movies of all times. The actors that were in attendance pioneered the journey that others have taken and make Hollywood what it is. Hats off to the folks who worked tirelessly to put on the convention and I can’t wait until next year for the 18th annual convention.
The Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention has a sister event in Williamsburg, Virginia. This event is held on November 10-12; 2022. More information is available on the official website. The Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention returns to Hunt Valley September 7-9, 2023.