Sunday, August 11, 2002After another fine breakfast at the Brookfield Sheraton, Dave was pleased to discover, he could check out thruough the cable TV. That done, we packed our bags, left our keys in the room and headed out to our cars. After about 5 miles on the freeway, I lost Dave in traffic. Downtown, I found a parking spot on the far side of the Bradley Center (it's free on the streets on Sunday).
Back at con, there was a special Sunday Auction going on. A lot of items remained unsold and Frank was determined to get to as much as he could. I wandered over to Grand Avenue for a Coke, and then visited the dealer area one last time. Finally I came back to take some pix of the final auction.
Long about noon, the selling came to a halt, save for one final ritual item: The coveted Copy of Kriegspiel. For many years now, this copy of Avalon Hill's Kriegspiel has been the last item sold at the auction, and the winner must promise to bring it back to next year's auction to be sold as the last item once again.
The bidding started quietly enough, and when it approached forty dollars...
Some moments before, Frank had waxed poetically about how the future of the gaming hobby lay in the hands of the young, and it was our job to encourage new gamers whenever possible. They had their bidder.
Frank was presented with a bottle of non-alcoholic bubbly and a warm glow settled over the last GENCON auction in Wisconsin. The winner posed for some photographs and I snapped this one myself. After the dust settled, auction workers began scampering about, sorting unsold items into piles sorted by seller.
I wandered over the the 5th floor again to see how Scott, & Lisa were doing in the Rio Grande Games tournament. It turned out that they and their friend Darrel had accumulated the most points over the four days of GENCON. One last game of Puerto Rico had to be played to determine 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place. Guess which game I got into.
Scott nearly won, but I dorked him near the end of the game by filling up a ship with my goods and depriving him of some victory points. Darrel came in first, Scott second, and Lisa Third. And, for what it's worth (there was no prize) I came in fourth!.
After the Rio Grande tourney, I headed back to the auction and helped process sellers (they do a bunch of paperwork, collect their money, and finally, items that did not sell). Long about 5:30, I was able to check out. There was some final hob-nobbing among old friends, then I bid my farewell to all till next year.
Now that I look over my journal of GENCON, I see how narrow was my view. I never went over to the RPGA HQ to look in on how the thousands of role players were doing, and I never found the miniatures gaming area, or the collectable card games area, and I missed the art show completely, and failed to attend a single seminar. And yet, I had a great time. GENCON has come to mean so much to so many and we are all bound together by the common thread, love of games and gaming. It's a very social activity and I'm sure glad to be part of it all.
As I walked back to my car for the last time, I had to stop and take a picture of what's left of Kilbourne Hall, home of the Gencon Auction for over twelve years... gonna miss that place.