Atlanta sizzles with Dragon*Con, Dean Cain, more
Downtown Atlanta was a madhouse of crazy fun this past weekend, as geeks, football fans, NASCAR gearheads and black members of the LGBT community swarmed upon the city for their respective interests and causes. I’ll affectionately describe it as America’s pop culture melting pot.
I can hear the money changing hands right now.
“Where did she go this weekend? I bet she went to the NASCAR race.”
“Yeah. Yeah. She’s from Mountain City. They love cars up there. I’ve heard they sit in the Hardee’s parking lot for HOURS, staring at each other’s cars.”
“You think? I bet she went to the football game. She looks like a football fan to me.”
“Really? Care to wager on it?”
“How much? $5? No. $10. No. $25. Yeah. $25.”
(Drum roll) I went to Dragon*Con. (People tear up sheets, throw pieces on the ground and storm off.)
Anyway, Dragon*Con, the South’s biggest convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film, was centered in downtown Atlanta. It draws in 40,000 to 50,000 people easily, including yours truly for the last four years. The convention brings freaks and geeks — even some famous ones — from all over the country as they celebrate their favorite characters and stand in line for their favorite actor’s autograph. The panels, the costumes, the excitement. It was a perfect weekend for a nerd like me. But it wasn’t just Dragon*Con that had me excited.
The Tennessee Volunteers kicked off the 2012 season just down the street from where I was geeking out. It’s a moment for which Vol fans wait months.
As one football season ends, I’m already waiting for the next to begin. Sure, there’s basketball and other spring/summer sports to keep me and other fans occupied but nothing quite pleases us as much as a pigskin being passed, rushed and (if it’s the other team) fumbled. The game kept us happy as UT rolled to a 35-21 win over N.C. State.
The other big events of the weekend were the two NASCAR races being held at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Black Gay Pride, which centered at Piedmont Park. The latter, according to the website, “has grown into the largest Black Gay Pride celebration in the world.”
Maybe it was everything going on, but there was excitement everywhere I turned. The costumes at Dragon*Con were amazing, and with so many celebrities, you never knew who you would bump into. But for me, the pinnacle of that excitement came Sunday in a black shirt and slacks. Always classy. Always Dean Cain. Sigh.
He’s probably best known for his work as Clark Kent/Superman on the ’90s show “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.” I fell in love with the man. Nearly 20 years later, he’s still a favorite of mine.
His autograph line seemed long, but it probably took longer because Cain was gracious and kind to each and every person he met, even those just accompanying a friend, like BFF did with me.
As our encounter ended, he moved in to hug me, and though he might not be playing Superman anymore, he’s still a man of steel.
All in all, it was a fantastic weekend in Atlanta.The city has always been a nice, gracious host to me. Thanks to frequent visits, it’s become a home away from home for me.
And, Atlanta is a magical place this time of year. I have the chance to meet childhood heroes, spend time with some of my favorite people and walk in a world filled with caped crusaders, celebrities and other folks who are out to have a good time.
As far as I’m concerned, the world can have big cities like New York. I want my ATL. Where’s Dire Straits?