They say you should never have regrets. They also say you should never meet your heroes. Those fortunate enough to have positive experiences with the latter only serve to make the former more poignant here at SUPERMANIA.
In 1994 with the colossus of modern-day internet fandom in its infancy, the tradition of the Sci-Fi convention was quietly going about its business celebrating all things cult as it had for decades previously.
One such celebration was the annual Dixie Trek convention held in Atlanta, Georgia, where organiser and Superfan Ron Nastrom had listened to repeated pleas of fans over the years and had finally secured the first (and what would famously become only) special guest appearance of one Christopher Reeve.
Hired for a Q&A and autograph session lasting the afternoon, (read Ron’s fantastic account here) Reeve would characteristically both deny special treatment and insist on signing for all attendees (bottom pic courtesy of Capedwonder.com) No-one there that day could’ve forseen the significance of this event anymore than the tragic incidents that would occur less than a year later.
This latest and most precious addition to the collection shown above is a rare signed copy of Convention Life Issue #1 from the session and has its own tale recounted here;
“I was Deputy Director of Security for the “Dixie Trek” Convention held in Atlanta at the CastleGate Hotel on May 13th through 15th 1994. Christopher Reeve was a guest speaker. He had another engagement in Los Angeles about a movie project but he had already committed to the convention. On Saturday, May 15th 1994, Mr. Reeve flew to Atlanta, gave a very moving speech, then signed autographs to everyone who wanted one. He even personalized them if the person wanted it. Being that I was running Security for his appearance, I was second in line to get him to sign. (I let the Director of the Convention go first!)
Knowing Mr. Reeve needed to get back to LA, we tried to rush the crowd along. Mr. Reeve wouldn’t have that. He signed every one. That was just the kind of man he was. Extremely Gracious! He flew back to LA that night. Personally, Superman really impressed me.
I forgot to get my own program signed but I got this one for someone else on my crew. I was very busy with security. Unfortunately, she had to leave the convention before I could give it to her. Then I never saw her again. It’s been sitting in a box in my closet ever since…”
While no amount of memorabilia could make up for missing out on such an opportunity, ‘Shannon’s’ loss is now certainly my gain…