I started this series in October 2011. It had numerous parts but unfortunately I never completed it or answered the ultimate question. Friends have encouraged me to repost and get on with it already. Since it’s been almost three years with a new influx of fans, I think it merits a new conversation. There are some similarities between and now. Does journeying to see the crush in a play sound familiar? Some things never change.
[I’m telling this story because it represents my background in fandom spanning a period of almost 20 years. All observations and opinions stated are mine alone. This post has been months in the making because it’s been so difficult to articulate and pen. It’s important to know this background so Dear Reader can understand upon what basis I attempt to answer the question of various bloggers in Armitage World: Why Richard Armitage? This series will be posted sporadically as my thoughts gel. Here are Part 1 and Part 2.]
In early 1998, we learned that Mr. Crush would be appearing in play staged in a small experimental theater. British members formed an advance team and attended an early performance. They approached him and told him about our club. He was friendly and shared a drink with them. After much brouhaha, 13 of us from the US, Canada and UK journeyed to London to see the play on 8 days notice. If you can imagine the logistics of the situation, it was an exciting but crazy thing to do. The play was indeed in a small venue. I sat in the first row; I could have tripped him had I stuck out my foot. The intimacy of the theater coupled with it being over a bar helped in arranging a meeting between Mr. Crush and us. By that time, he knew we were an older mature bunch who would be respectful and polite. He was flummoxed we would fly across the pond to see him and was quite gracious in spending the rest of the evening with us. It was a lovely experience plus we got to meet each other, many for the first time.
The high continued upon our return. Mr. Crush’s wife acted as intermediary with designated members and were eventually recognized as an official fan club. List mom set up a website. The group continued to grow. More fanfic and art poured forth on our mailing list. (The contained aspect of the list made it quite nurturing, something I’ll discuss in another post.) Over the next several years, a few of us journeyed to see him again in a bigger production, and a film premiere in Toronto. We also organized a mini two day convention for ourselves also in Toronto. A small contingent began a yearly tradition of attending the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario. A few formed close friendships had get-togethers in different cities. In 1999, I averaged a trip every other month.
That’s not to say things were perfect in the club. Periodically we had interesting types join who did not fit in with the club’s laid back approach and they eventually had to be eased out. We had flame wars break about about twice a year usually during the heat of summer or the dead of winter precipitated by personal issues which List Mom decisively doused. We had personal crises with appeals and fundraisers for very serious situations. Overall, it was a pretty cohesive group within. Then problems started without.
NEXT: All good things must come to an end
cliffhanger! I can’t wait for the next part! I hope it is soon, I am hooked on your story.
Oh yeah, it did have a cliffhanger, didn’t it? Can’t wait to see what I said next. 🙂
Thanks for reading, Heather.
And now I have the theme from “The Jeffersons” stuck in my head.
*sings* “To find me a piece of the piiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie!” 😉
This is probably a really dumb question, but I have to ask. You are writing about events 20 years ago. So why can’t you say who that crush was? Or does everyone know except me? Or is it so far in the past it is irrelevant now? I have heard of horror stories regarding cruelty and/or other horrible fandom behavior, so I wonder if that happened to you and that is why you are reluctant to open a can of worms that is rusted shut at this point. Just wondering. I would love to know your take on the usual compare and contrast assignment re: particular fandoms and the objects of their affection. Which relates to “Why Richard Armitage?” To do that, shouldn’t we know who that person was/is? Thank you for your blog. I really enjoy it and I am not being critical, just curious. I am hanging off the cliff precariously, waiting for the next installment.
Thanks Kathy! So glad you’re enjoying the series. 🙂
I thought long and hard about revealing the names but decided not against it. Although I had uncomplimentary things to say about them, it wasn’t my intent to slime them. I only mentioned the negative parts to explain the reasons for my disaffection. Also, naming them would be irrelevant to the purpose of the series. The narration is a backstory to explain how I come to the conclusions at the end. I do name the next crush because everybody reading my blog already knows who he is, so discretion would be pointless. Maybe I’ll feel differently in the future, but it doesn’t feel right at this time.
YEs- my first thought was “what a cliffhanger!”
Although part of me would like to know who Mr Crush is, I think leaving him unnamed gives you the freedom to be completely honest without risk of hurt. It isn’t really about him but the fandom that followed him. But you aren’t alone Kathy- I have no idea who he is!
That’s exactly it – the freedom to be completely honest without risk of hurt. I’m still locked in the work ethic of taking 30 words to say ten. 🙂
I am glad you don’t know either,Bolly.
Hmmm. Flame wars a couple times a year…. sounds familiar. Is this a common theme in your experience? Mr. Crush and wife sound lovely.
Absolutely. Arguments are bound to break any time you have a diverse group of people coming together for extended periods. Everybody watches their manners and try to overlook little issues that pop up where they are rubbed the wrong way, but eventually some flares and BOOM. The energy and emotion is expended until next time. I’ve encountered it in every fandom I’ve been in. Some flare ups are uglier than others depending on how invested the parties are in their views. Then it turns into a flame war, sadly.