2017 WGASC Savanna Show @valenciahs

The day started simple enough. Even though I was going to do something completely different today I was feeling confident and comfortable. It was about 6:30am and after parking my car, saw Big Ruben (Machete), and walked over to chat. Love that guy. We talked for a good 15-20 minutes about this, that, and the other when Diane called to me. She was holding a big stack of 9″x12″ envelopes. “Ray, You’re in charge of check-in…”



As I go towards Diane, Lori points out where I’m going to be spending the next 12 hours. I’m sure Diane knows where to lead me, but Lori is in charge of the entire Savanna HS part of today’s endeavor. Honestly, Lori was already in full management mode and I’m not sure she even heard or saw Diane. I heard Lori say “white table” but I saw a lovely brown table that my 7am logic told me was the place to park my butt. I would soon be made aware of the error of my choice. (BBL)

Big Ruben came with me. He had volunteered to help that day also and we lucked out and worked together that day! Soon, however, we learned we were going to have to overcome our limitations as men. (As explained by BBL) 

Becky,  Big Boss Lady (BBL), (her self proclaimed moniker), is a WGASC show director-coordinator. She came to check out the check-in gig. Honestly, it must have been a surprise to her to see two men there (and two ruggedly handsome manly men at that). All the guard shows I’ve been to, the check in people have been women and any males I’ve seen helping were boys/students. Becky reinforces what Ruben had said just before she arrived; the white table across the walkway, away from the perforner entrance, would be a much smarter place to set up check in. 

Of couse!

Kudos to Lori, Ruben, and Becky for knowing better than me, although that line of people is astronomically long.
After getting check in set up proper, Becky starts explaining to Ruben and I the details of what to do, and how to do it. There was an early arriving performing unit and with Becky there, she was able to go through the check in procedure, and that made things even more comfortable for me. 

With Becky, as Tom would say, Ray was being Ray. Not gonna lie. Becky is pretty, but even better, she knows what she’s doing, she knows how to communicate. She was very clear about the expectations for the check in gig, and she has a great combination of energy and positive personality traits to deal with muliple people for an all day event.

With Big Ruben there, check in ran smoothly. This is a very exciting-anxious day for a lot of people, and its important to me not only to do a good job getting directors/instructors and their performers on their way, but to make our interaction brief and little personable: Greet everyone with smile and a warm welcome. Offer a few words of support and encouragement and get them on their way. Ruben did a great job helping with that too. 

Saw lots of old friends that I see every season or so at these kind of events. Its a small community, the pageantry world, and everyone knows everyone or knows someone who knows someone. Becky happened to come around when I met someone who I’ve been hearing stories about for the past 15+ years, Laura Baker. Pageantry people are like any other group of people,  there’s good and bad, tightly wound and super chill, etc. So in that variety of people, the ones I know, all had the most positive things to say about Laura, and it was genuine thrill for me to meet her.

I may have been a little over the top in my explaining to basically a complete stranger how I knew of her, but she looked quite stunned, and she kept staring, so I kept talking. Becky teased me later about that, and what Becky said Laura was saying about that crazy check in guy. Whatever. On that note, it was always great to see Becky throughout the day, what ever the reason.

Another fabulous babe, Lori, also came by throughout, making sure all was good. Ruben said something about the Savanna program, in general, and the Savanna boosters, in particular. The organization is always supportive and appreciative of those that work it. Word! On that same thought, Lori and I had a conversation about the Rose Parade float work she does every year. So right here, right now, I’m committing to helping, with the caveat, Lori has to contact me and give me the deets.

I hardly saw Carol and Tom, two other people I love, but as usual, they were busy doing their gigs, so yeah, makes sense I’d hardly see them. Same with little Ruben, AKA Panda, AKA Milton Hotcakes, AKA SugarDaddy, and V (F.I.B.) Well this is V’s last home guard show, so she was way busy doing guard captain stuff, and Hotcakes was busy maxing his gig too. Aldo made an appearance, so I took the opportunity to manhandle him. I think he misses that.

Big Ruben bought me a cheeseburger combo lunch, very delicious. Later on, early evening, while Lori was making her rounds, she offered to bring me some food. Just then a lady was passing by with a tray of turkey wraps. She was packing up her guard and she still had a bunch of leftover sandwiches. “Want a turkey wrap? Take two!” Why yes I do, and yes I will. A little later after that that same lady came by again, but this time with a tray of cookies. “Want some cookies?” Yes!, says Ray the nomnomster.

All in all, it was a great day. Much thanks to Carol, Tom, Lori for inviting me to their soirée and for always making me feel welcome. Thanks Big Ruben for hanging out all day and making the day funner, and thanks to Hotcakes and V just for being great people. Finally, thank you Becky for pleasure of working under you.

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