This past Saturday, the club celebrated its 10th Anniversary with a get-together in Eagle Rock and among the many highlights, standing in our living room with those brave enough to stay into the evening and endure the Holiday Special in its entirety may top them all. Without being initially aware of or intending it, the date of the meet-up happened to fall on the 40th Anniversary of the infamous yet beautiful Star Wars television disaster of November 17th, 1978. It's as if it was fate.
While we were sadly missing our founder and Wookiee family connoisseur that moved eastward nearly 9 years ago and later joined another amazing collectors club, he was definitely there in spirit.
In the past 10 years, the club has grown considerably both in ranks and activities. From two group trips to Rancho Obi-Wan (and a third upcoming) and having an official booth at Star Wars Celebration (which is on the horizon again with next spring in Chicago) to becoming a regular presence at the Rancho Cucamonga Library's annual "Star Wars Reads" event, a lot of vintage Star Wars appreciation has been fostered for both collectors and casual fans of all ages.
But at the heart of it, despite how sporadically we shake the "Californian" in us and plan member-hosted meetings, this club has established a close-knit community of collectors, and of friends.
Last weekend's get-together exemplified this. As a perfect preamble, none other than the velvetgeek Bruce White himself was in town to open another incredible WWE black velvet wrestler portrait show at Gallery 1988 on Melrose the night before and a NorCal contingent of Mark and Dora Huber and Trevor Wencl arrived a day early to attend.
Just before heading to the gallery, we squeezed in a quick double-feature 16mm screening of the original teaser trailer for Star Wars and its derivative parody Hardware Wars courtesy of Trevor, who once played in a band by none other name than "Fluke Starbucker" and has petted the one and only Chewchilla the Wookiee Monster.
Trevor's Hardware Wars print was a gem for several reasons. First of all, the color was spectacularly good for a print from the late 70s. Secondly, it was canned with a supplementary pamphlet that revealed this particular print was intended to be used for educational purposes. The study guide, which was written in part by the film's director Ernie Fosselius, included numerous exercises meant to teach students about the nature of parody -- even having them come up with their own. It is the ultimate film-related kitsch collectible and I'm so glad he brought it and that we were able to project it.
Saturday's main event saw all of the CAVSWCC Meeting mainstays: regulars and newcomers, bbq and beverages, and a varied assortment of vintage items for sale, trade, and to share.
|First round of kebabs hit the grill.|
|The club mascot points the way to the watering hole.|
|Tessa's amazing cookies (sadly, no Wookiee molds in the set for Life Day).|
|Patio ensemble on a nice (nearly Fall-like) SoCal day.|
|First time attendees Dale and poster enthusiast and Facebook group leader Tony van Dam|
|Bootleg Brethren Trevor and Darren|
|A rarely seen German bootleg Stormtrooper brought by Darren|
|Bootlegs and more.|
|The gang gathers at the drive-way "Swap Meet," where everything from store displays to Rumph mugs to lobby card negatives could be found.|
|A couple of old-schoolers: Phidias and fresh from the East Coast, Rob Johnson - Welcome to CA!|
|Rob and Tony make their marks on the CAVSWCC flag.|
|Finally had some pieces framed in the office just in time for the get-together.|
|A fun acquisition and one that's been on my list for some time: the Jim Rumph Kenobi Mug -- Thanks Mark H.!|
|With most of my vintage collection not on display, I did bring out a few favorites, including the bizarre Silver Striker.|
|B-Wing Pilot travelling exhibit.|
Thanks so much to everyone that could make it to this one, and to everyone that's attended any of the meet-ups since '08. With CAVSWCC, a joy we all can share was truly created. Here's to another 10 years.