Musings and thanks.

Discussion in 'AK Fest 2010' started by luvvinvinyl, May 3, 2010.

  1. luvvinvinyl

    luvvinvinyl Aggie! Staff Member Admin Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,317
    Location:
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    In 2003, when I joined AK, little did I know what lie ahead. Looking around at where I am now, I am filled with wonder at where I find myself. In a handful of years, I have met and become friends with so many good people, among the finest I know, truly a blessing. Those friends surround me, standing as I am, half a step from the centre of an amazing thing, AK Fest. Exhibitors, attendees, and Akers alike comment about how much fun AK Fest is. It would be foolish of me to disagree, since that is my aim, for everyone to have fun with this. Yeah, there’s business to do, for the exhibitors, but, as the years go by, more and more of them get caught up in the Fest culture, returning each year, vowing, at closing, to return for the next show. That ‘Fest family’ feeling is really gratifying, and this year seemed to me to be the high point, so far, of all our previous eight Fests. I wonder if we would have gotten to this point in our growth, if there had never been a Plaza hotel, for the first several Fests. Who knows?

    I will say that the Fest never would have reached these heights, without the Herculean efforts of a group of people, small in number, but huge in dedication, and in ‘heart’. Bear with me, please, as I call them to your attention.

    First, no discussion of the Fest can start anywhere but with the big man, Dave. Grumpy astounds me, each year, with the time and effort he puts in, finding and negotiating a suitable, improved venue. This year was a good one. Making phone calls and writing emails, literally by the thousands, to exhibitors, to fill the rooms. Even auditioning entertainment for Saturday night. Everything, from the largest to the smallest detail, is under his watchful eye. His workload would smother a committee of several, on a good year. Dave, thank you for setting a standard to which I can aspire. If I am able to help you reach your goal of making AK Fest the best it can be, then I am only too happy, my friend. The show’s success, and your satisfaction with it, is worth the work.

    Nancy, Ms Grumpy, is a human dynamo, with whom few, if any can keep up. By the time the Fest is looming large, she is logging many hours with Dave, or in rounding up all the many things that help keep the Fest running smoothly. Then on Fest weekend, she shifts from high gear to overdrive. All this, while still tending the three younger grumplings, never forgetting her family. Nancy, it is a pleasure to be able to help lighten your workload.

    Matt and Jeff are the two eager young men who lent their enthusiasm and their strength to the job of getting the Fest from the Goldstein home to the venue, and then helping the many vendors load in and out, a monumental task. As hard as they work, these two play hard, as well, but they earn it. Matt, Jeff, you two remind me that I have to make time for play, at the Fest, so I thank you for your work, and your lesson.

    Karen, it was a pleasure to meet you this year, and watch as you jumped feet first into the chaos that is the Fest. Your willingness to take on any task was much appreciated.

    To all the many AKers who offered their assistance, thank you. Your support made an excellent safety net, and kept us from feeling overworked. Ken, thank you for your extra efforts on the registration desk. You helped the ladies avoid burnout, and, since one of them is my lovely wife, I am especially grateful.

    Joanne, a friend of my wife and I, and my wife, Linda, have worked four Fests, now. Though you two may not ‘get’ the whole audio thing, I know that you love music, and so you have become part of the Fest family. Your cheerful disposition, even when you are down a pint on caffeine, puts a welcoming face on the Fest, for our exhibitors and guests. Thank you, Jo, for your patience, and expertise. Linda, my friends know how lucky I am to have you. You put up with my obsessions, both here at AK, and in my other interests. Thank you for that. Beyond that, you have come to appreciate my friends here at AK and the Fest, and they you. Not every man is so lucky. Damn few, I wager, but I am one of them.

    Our exhibitors are the foundation on which the Fest is built. Those who have become ‘regulars’ are more like friends than business colleagues. Even some of the reviewers are caught up in the Fest culture of fun. All of you go to great lengths to welcome in our guests, with a smile, play their music, and make the Fest a relaxed and inviting place to be. Thank you for your continued support, your hard work, and your generosity.

    Our guests are the reason for the Fest, now. Many of you know the story of how the Fest came to be. It was supposed to be a small gathering of friends which turned into a small show at a hotel, in 2003. Imagine, four systems set up in each of a few small ballrooms, one on each wall, and each owner getting 15 minutes to demo his gear, before yielding the floor to the next in line, waiting 45 minutes till his turn came back around. I believe that it is these very beginnings that formed the structure of the Fest, which has grown into a venue for manufacturers and dealers to show their product, but which still honours its roots in vintage and DIY. That ‘everyman’ facet of the Fest outlook welcomes everyone, regardless of their level of interest in audio gear. It is, after all, about the music, and there are myriad ways to enjoy it. To our guests, I hope the Fest was as much fun for you as it was for me. I know that we have seen people come back year after year, to renew their acquaintance with the Fest, and to have a good time. I really like that. Thank you.

    Last but certainly not least, to my fellow AK members, who travel from near and far, to come to the Fest, thank you. Some of you are my dear friends, and I look forward to seeing you during your annual visit. Some of you are close by, and we meet, still too infrequently. Some of you are friends we are just meeting for the first time. All of you are part of the AK legacy, and a big reason why we put in the many hours we do.

    If I have left out anyone, it is my shortcoming, for which I apologize.

    I look at the Fest, and my part in it, from my perspective, and I see my contributions dwarfed by others. These same people tell me that my efforts outshine their own. Maybe that’s the biggest reason why this works so well. The Fest is larger than any person or group, and each of us, who contribute to the organization and execution of it, relies on the rest of the stalwart team to help pull it off. From my vantage point, this was the best Fest yet. Thank you to everyone who had a part in that, in whatever way. Your participation makes it all worthwhile.
     

     

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  2. perchdog

    perchdog AudioDouchebag

    Messages:
    3,997
    Location:
    Livonia Mi
    best show in town...

    thank you, everyone.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2010
  3. piece-it pete

    piece-it pete What, me worry?

    Messages:
    4,096
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Well, there is this one guy named Ernie, he seems to be everywhere doing everything since forever in his unfailingly polite and gentlemanlike manner :thmbsp:

    Pete
     
  4. x_25

    x_25 Big Vandies!! Mwahahah...

    Messages:
    6,682
    Location:
    Northern NJ
    QFT! :yes:
     
  5. SPL db

    SPL db It's all about the music! Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    I concur!

    Scott
     
  6. similost

    similost Rockin and Rollin....

    Messages:
    37,457
    Location:
    West By God Virginnie
    I tip my hat Ernie. You have such an eloquent way with words, and this couldn't have been said better.

    I thank all of you that did such a fantastic job of making this happen, and making it a lifetime memory. I think even my wife is hooked now, and looking forward to another AK Fest.

    It was such a pleasure to get to meet and spend time with everyone, but the coolest part was finally getting to meet and shake hands, and even share a hug with the people that make this site and the fest what it is by providing all the hard work they do.
     
  7. Erkenbrand42

    Erkenbrand42 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    379
    Location:
    Rochester, New York
    And we all thank you too, Ernie! Speaking as an exhibitor, I have to say that the entire team does an amazing job. It is the absolute highlight each year. And Ernie's unfailing graciousness goes a long way to creating that 'family Fest' feeling.
     
  8. 313guy

    313guy extra ordinary member Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,221
    Location:
    Auburn Hills, MI
    Well spoken, Ernie. It was a pleasure meeting you Sunday. I fully enjoyed my stay at the Fest and hope it was my first of many to come. Thanks again to all who make it a great event.
     
  9. Urizen

    Urizen Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    24,638
    Here's Ernie presenting, over the phone, the AK MOTY award to Fotno:

    [​IMG]

    I was humbled to witness it. You channeled him. Thank you. :)
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2010

     

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  10. JHS2RT

    JHS2RT and Miss Sasha Subscriber

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    Thank You for your kind words ,Ernie---Without you the fest would have been OK --but YOU (along with the Goldstien family) made it top notch.
    Regards --James
     
  11. fotno

    fotno Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,206
    Location:
    Buzzardtown, NC
    Ken I thank you for that picture. No one can truly know just what it means to me.

    One of the highlights of my life is receiving the AK MOTY award. At the very same time, one of my greatest disappointments was not being there to accept it in person. I wish I could've been, but that's just not in the cards.

    I would like all of you fine folks to know what an humbling thing it is to be thought of as worthy of such an honor; and to have that honor presented by a man I hold in the very highest regard, is more humbling still.
     
  12. Urizen

    Urizen Lunatic Member

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    24,638
    You are most welcome, brother.:thmbsp:
     
  13. SPL db

    SPL db It's all about the music! Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Couldn't have happened to a more deserving person Steve.

    Be it ever so humble there is no place like home.

    And brother, that's right were you are. :yes:

    Scott
     
  14. Sandy G

    Sandy G Spiteful Old Cuss Staff Member Moderator Subscriber

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    Location:
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    Damn, boys, sittin' here readin' this & gettin' all misty-eyed....That I am even TANGENTALLY connected w/such a super group of folks makes me beam w/pride !!
     
  15. luvvinvinyl

    luvvinvinyl Aggie! Staff Member Admin Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    Thanks for the photog duty, Ken.

    Steve, there was no way I was relinquishing, to anyone, the privilege of presenting your award.
     
  16. justrideit

    justrideit Busy, busy, busy Subscriber

    Messages:
    719
    Location:
    SE MI
    Ernie's presentation to Fotno was done really well. Ernie, you my friend are a professional!

    And congrats to Fotno.
     
  17. WhiteSE

    WhiteSE Is Lute Gluten Free?? Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,690
    Location:
    North Bergen, NJ
    Yeah, you guys work your ass off, its almost embarrasing to enjoy the spoils of ya'alls toils.

    I have been to only 2 fests and its been awesome. I actually become quite grumpy when beginning of May comes around as I usually cant make it...Once I have teaching tenure, I know where some of my personal days will be applied to.
     

     

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