Late Show with David Letterman   DAVECON TRIP REPORT   May 20, 2005

My Turn – DaveCon 2005

You've read some other trip reports, now here's my viewpoint:

Mid-March 2005 ~

From out of the blue, an email question arrives in my inbox: "There's an available *chick seat* for the DaveCon taping this year and the date's been moved up - can you make it?"

Now I've been lurking/posting in afl for well over 10 years, and have read all about these annual group pilgrimages to New York to see Dave *live*. I've seen the pictures and heard the rumors of drunken disorderly characters... of course I'd want to be a part of it! Other than meeting Traci & Carl in person a couple years ago when we all briefly crossed paths in our Indiana home state, I wasn't sure if the other online people had three dimensions or not.

I'd say I was extremely curious and a little nervous about it all. But I checked my schedule, and if I really hustled between other trips already on the calendar, it could happen. Husband George said OK. I was IN! May 15th, after two months of planning and anticipation ~ 5 AM: Pat to New York! Read _the curious incident of the dog in the night-time_ on the plane, thanks to the recommendation by sister Katycren

  • Town car was waiting at JFK to take me to the President Hotel

  • Walked to MoMA - fabulous collection!

  • Met up with Traci, Carl, Helen, Karen, Steve, Rona, and Dan at the Trailer Park Lounge & Grill. This was great fun, and so exciting to finally get my hands off the keyboard & onto these people! I'm probably forever labeled now as a toucher or hugger - but I couldn't help myself. :)

  • Walked over with gang to UCB, but I hadn't pre-purchased a ticket to see the comedy show, and the waitlist was too long, so it was back to the hotel where I promptly, happily, fell into bed May 16th ~

  • Leisurely awoke & waited until 10 AM to call Donzie (& still woke him). Long, enjoyable, funny conversation - it took the edge off for when I would finnally meet him later in person. The Donz. The one & only. :)

  • Met ex-Minnesota neighbor now living in NYC to shop 5th Avenue & enjoy a lovely lunch outside at Café St. Bart's - very New York

  • Walked to her new neighborhood at 51st & 1st to see her new 14th floor apartment with panoramic views of the city, the Hudson & UN building. Mouth agape at thought of big $$$ spent to live in same building with British representative to the UN and Emeril!

  • Walked back to west side and upstairs to Angelo's Restaurant

  • Went around the long, long table to introduce myself to all the assembled mass of afl-ers in the room - interesting characters, all! It was a bit intimidating because (other than Traci's friend, Dan, also from MN, but not an afl-er), I was the only new DaveCon kid this year. My little brain couldn't process it all fast enough! Here they were! Brad, Foxy, Renee, Nick & Marilyn, Brady, Micah, Nekk, BostonBill, Dake, Cheryl, Ann, Rocco, Greg, Mark Leckner, Bill Lehecka, Donz! All familiar, but new! (Wasn't Li'l Tommy Cronin supposed to be there, too? Where's DDY?) Again with the hugging. I couldn't love them all enough to thank them for the years of laughs they've provided online. And for some, they'd offered me personal, emotional support and friendship in emails.

  • Chat, chat, chat - laugh, laugh, laugh - matched faces & voices & stories to names. I was in afl heaven! :)

  • Gifts of CDs, buttons, candy necklaces, DVDs & a toy MINI Cooper were distributed

  • Out to the street & lined-up for Big Show tickets with page Heather from Portland warmly welcoming us

  • Went to Rupert's and caught Ray Romano, with his chopped-off trousers around his ankles, shuffle in for a remote

  • Met May and Rupert in the Hello Deli who couldn't have been nicer


  • During the line-up, Brad & Renee took me under their attentive care and answered all my questions. Marilyn offered Altoids to all.

  • We were seated in middle section three or four rows back. I could NOT sit still. Took in all of the theatre surroundings, where everyone else was seated, who was on stage, the background twinkly lights of the set, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. Sensory overload!

  • DAVE! Ohmygod, ohmygod, DAVE! Running out, informally talking at center stage with the audience. He noticed Traci very quickly (wonder why - cleavage?) and chose her to ask her question: "Will you be my partner on the Amazing Race?" She was so cool with the interchange. I was astounded and very, very happy for her. :)

  • The Late Show! The wonderful, exciting experience of the show (details already provided elsewhere). Only problem during the show were the cameras and equipment that blocked our view of Dave - I had a sliver of a sightline - and so I was glancing around the theatre and up to the monitors. My neck and shoulders were stiff, and I could see Brad next to me was also hurting. Again, the uncontrollable desire to get my hands on that man's upper body to massage! No, no, mustn't get too familiar...the stories would spread like wildfire! ;)

  • The Tony Mendez Show! The fabulous experience of the TMS (details already provided elsewhere). Most touching moment for me was during the direction from Jay and Walter and Tony, they said, "OK we need someone to ask a question," and Mark Leckner's hand shot up. Good job, Mark. Then they said, "Now we need a female to ask a question." There was an immediate chorus from the afl-ers: "Pat! Have Pat do it!" It sincerely warmed my heart. Very, very sweet of them all to selflessly offer me the chance at speaking on camera, silly little line or two that it was. Then Donzie spoke, then back to me for an unexpected follow-up. Crazy Zombie crowd scenes ensued, and time onstage at the desk & in the guest chair, just like it was no big deal to be there. But, it was a very big deal!

  • Newbies stayed behind and Tony gave another backstage tour of the Ed Sullivan theatre for us. My favorite item: the ghost light on stage. :) And the now-walled-up entry from the green room, that had previously been a secret tunnel which led to Studio 54. Many had used it to flee Studio 54 & escape cop capture, and supposedly Jackie Gleason used it to go from the Ed to get drinks for himself during the taping of his old variety show. Tony has many, many show bidness stories to tell!

  • On to the West Bank, and because we from the tour group were late arrivals, the food was gone. Traci worked some magic and more trays came out from the kitchen. Tony arrived later and spun more tales of Late Show intrigue. The afl-ers hung on his every word. Again, hugs all around as afl-ers left one-by-one, and when Tony finally left. We closed the place down, and those diehards remaining walked around town, ending up at Hurley's Tavern.

  • I said my sad good-byes, walked next door to my hotel, feeling exhilarated

    May 17th ~

  • Easy flight back to MN May 18th ~

  • Flight to Las Vegas to meet George, show pictures & tell stories May 21st ~

  • Flight back to MN

  • Non-stop work & meetings & golf events May 27th ~

  • It's been a full two weeks since my adventures began, and I'm STILL giddy at the memory!

  • This all started as a longtime, long distance, on-going fan love affair with David Letterman

  • As thrilling as it was to see Dave do the show again, I had seen it live once before, four years ago on my special 5-0 birthday trip to NY. He actually selected me for the pre-show question on that trip. Check the afl archives if you want to read about *that
  • long saga! :)

  • This trip, it was equally thrilling to meet my afl pals in person. Perhaps (dare I say it), more interesting and lasting. You're all special people in this extended zany family of ours, and I LOVED being with you!

  • Thank you to Renee, Traci & Helen for going the extra mile to organize the days; special thanks to Tony, Walter, Jay, Heather, Eddie Brill, David Kay, Chez, Rupert & May for their graciousness and acknowledgment of our gang! Next time, I'd like to also meet LS Staffers Mikemack, Stephanie, Bob Borden, Biff, Alan - Dave :)

  • If there is a next time, I plan to linger a while longer in New York...

    Pat's Jan. 18, 2001 Report

    DDY's Trip Reports Page