D.C., Day 1

     Well, I made it.  The unofficial Jeopardy! reunion that is coinciding with the National History Bee and Bowl.  I’ve been up since 1 a.m. (had to get up at 3 anyway but just couldn’t sleep), but I feel good somehow and I want to do this (blog) tonight
     Everything went smoothly for me until I tried to rent a car – Just know that I hate Budget rental and will not book with them again.  I had to go to another rental company and had to pay THREE TIMES the price I had booked the car with a long time ago.  AND I was late and stressed because I wanted to make the Jeopardy! panel discussion at 3:45.  I don’t know how I didn’t get into an accident both on the way to the event and tonight on the way back to the hotel.  Anyway parking was a mess, too, but I found a place that didn’t give me a heart attack when I got the price tonight.
     I saw David Madden right away when I walked in, which was exciting!  At first I walked straight into the panel discussion, where Brad Rutter, Roger Craig, and current teen champ Raynell Cooper were at the front of the room.  Later I realized there was another man who was hidden by a pillar named Milt Hathaway.
     I could tell the discussion was very informal.  And sadly, there were only maybe 10 people there at any given time.  Bob Harris came in and out of the room as he was setting up for his presentation, which followed.  In my haste I forgot to bring my books of his out from my car, but I did ask him if he’d be around all weekend, and he said yes.  At the very beginning of his presentation, a girl in the audience asked him if Bob Harris was going to be speaking next.  ???  He was like, “That’s me.”  I was actually impressed with Bob.  He is quite a funny guy.  (He is a former stand-up comedian, for those of you who haven’t read Prisoner of Trebekistan.  Later, he and I were in the same elevator.  He asked my name and shook my hand, and I mentioned the blog.  He said, “I’ll have to check that out.”  He’s been to the blog before, but I guess he forgot!  I had praised one of his books and told him about it on Twitter, and he responded.  That was back in the day before I even had my current logo. 
     A lot of questions for the panel were about preparation for Jeopardy!  Of note, someone did ask Brad if he had a family, and at first he just spoke about his parents and brother, but then said he had a girlfriend.  Also, I found it interesting that he never practiced the buzzer when he is so well-known for being so good with it.  Brad also mentioned that he does not believe himself to necessarily be better than other contestants, but he can handle pressure better.
     The panel, especially Roger, seemed to emphasize that it is not necessary to read books, but to know who wrote them, etc.  Roger’s example was the book Sister Carrie being written by Theodore Dreiser.  (Please see the comment from Roger about this, below.)
     That evening, there was a second, larger panel discussion that included the above as well as a man who identified himself as Burns Cameron, a champion from the Art Fleming era.  David was also in and out of the room, and later, his mom and dad were there!  I also spotted Bill MacDonald, Liz Murphy, and Drew Scheeler, but they stayed in the audience!  I was disappointed and hollered that they were in the audience, but I didn’t holler loud enough.  Here’s a pic of the panel (from left to right, Burns Cameron, Raynell Cooper, Brad Rutter, Roger Craig, Bob Harris):

     After the panel, I went to be trained as a moderator for the Bowl.  It was all Greek to me, and I do NOT feel comfortable yet, especially with the scoring.  I’m assured that everything will be fine and that there will be experienced people there.  Incidentally, Brad Rutter was in the room when I got there.  He scooted up to the row behind me, and I heard him ask the kid who was helping if he could go next, unaware that I had already told the kid I needed to be trained!  The kid told him he could go next, but then he had someone else go next.  Brad still went before me, which was cool because it made it easier to pay attention.  Here’s a pic:

     Plus, I can’t help but wonder if Brad will be hosting Jeopardy! one day.  I asked him about it during the panel discussion, and he said he would love to, but he seemed to think the show might go away for a while after Alex does leave.  I also asked Brad if he was considering writing a book, and he said he didn’t think he had anything to say right now, and he is after all only thirty-three.  I have to say, I’ve always liked Brad and I think he is the MAN.
     I don’t know why but Brad stayed for a while after he read, so he saw me read for a while.  I don’t know when he left, but I looked up once and he was gone.  I thought it was cute, though: I saw him pose for a picture with someone!
     As for the red shirt I talked about in my last post, I waited til the end of the evening to pick one up, and I had a scare that there might not be any smalls!  I can’t imagine how a men’s large would look on me, except HUGE!  I was ready and in fact was taking out every shirt one by one, and it didn’t take all that long to find a small.  Here’s a pic of it:

     Til tomorrow!