The PopCulteer
June 15, 2018

It is that time of the year when there’s just too much stuff happening all at the same time.You see, FestivAll is happening all over Charleston, starting today. This is a wonderful cluster of arts events that spans two weekends, turns the city into a work of art, and finds music, art, dance, theater, and happiness flooding into the streets of our fair city. It is a truly fantastic and delightful thing that I highly recommend you all get out and experience. If you’re anywhere near Charleston, West Virginia, then you really should come out and take part in the magic that descends upon this city every June.

Your PopCulteer, however, will not be in town for any of it this year.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to these events. I got an excuse, really.

You have to understand that I was a huge supporter of FestivAll in the early years. It was so wonderful to be able to stay in town and enjoy all the world-class entertainment plopped right down at my feet in the middle of Charleston. It was a godsend, and I covered it extensively here in PopCult (and on Radio Free Charleston, which should be obvious to anyone reading our RFC Flashback posts every Saturday for the past ten weeks or so).

The thing was, for over twenty years, from the early 1990s to mid-2013, I could not travel easily. I was the primary caregiver, first for my parents, and then for my late uncle, and one reason that FestivAll was such a godsend was that I could stay at home and still get out to enjoy it.

With my aforementioned late uncle now nearly five years late, I can travel. I can go do things with my wife and enjoy life to its fullest. And to me, that means travelling to Wheeling every June for The Marx Toy Convention, which I have been writing about all week. For the first time in my life I have the time, money and freedom to travel and do the things I really want to do.

This year, there was a perfect storm of things I wanted to do. While The Marx Toy Convention will keep me out of town for one weekend of FestivAll, probably from now on, this year–for the first time since I became free to travel–the Official GI Joe Convention is close enough for me to attend, which is rather fortuitious because this year is the last one of those ever. It’s my last chance to go and meet some very nice folks who used to pay me to write freelance for them back in my caregiver days. So that’s going to take me out of town during the second weekend of FestivAll, and for the first time since the very first FestivAll, I will not make it to any events this year.

But that’s me. Unless you suffer from the same toy-collecting psychosis that I do, you really ought to stick around and go to some of this stuff. Except for one event, it’s all really cool, and you’ll have a blast. Check out the schedule HERE, and don’t tell them Rudy sent you because then you’d probably have to explain where I am and it just wouldn’t be good. Trust me. I mean, I would go, but I got stuff to do.