Even on our first real vacation (of more than two days) in the last several years, I've found time to fit in some comics' business. Last night in the Philadelphia suburb of Media PA, I was part of a group of close to 20 of my retailing colleagues from the greater Philly area. Some came from New Jersey, I believe there was at least one from Maryland... and we all had a good time talking industry insider stuff.
The meeting was coordinated by my pal George Stasky from Brave New Worlds with stores in the Old City of Philly and the suburb of Willow Grove PA. besides the copious amounts of pizza and beer (Hop-Devil!) consumed, we talked a lot about ComicsPRO, the retailer trade association for which I'm currently serving as president. We talked about the good things that can happen when colleagues in the same business work together. In the process of the meeting, three new members joined the retailer ranks of ComicsPRO. Thanks to George for doing the meeting set-up and to M ike Clark of Showcase Comics for hosting the meeting at his very nice store in the Granite Run Mall.
As for the vacation part of things, Libby and I did a walking tour of historical spots in the Old City of Philadelphia, seeing such sites as Independence Hall, Betsy Ross's house, the burial place of Benjamin Franklin, the national Constitution Museum and the Liberty Bell (which, after you see the photo here, will know why I now call it the Libbyerty Belle. Take a look.)
The second photo shown here was taken at Betsy Ross's house. Libby is shown with a colonial era soldier who told compelling stories about the birth of the USA and his reasons for joining the fight. I was honestly not prepared for feeling of patriotism that were stirred in me by visiting these hallowed places of American History.
The final photo here shows FlyCoJoe at Elfreth Alley which is the oldest continually inhabited residential street in the US. Elfreth was a primarily Irish neighborhood and since that old Irish is still in me blood, it was a chance to think of some of my ancestors who fled the famine and the prejudice to get to a better place....America. Still, after 300 years, we have many from other countries coming to America to flee persecution and to find a better life.
After a couple of days in the City of Brotherly Love, it's on to Pittsburgh for the Three Rivers Progressive Rock Festival. Sweet!