Yinz, Ya’ll, Eh? Say What Club Conventions by Angie Fugo

Yinz, Ya’ll, Eh?  (aka: the ‘burgh’s plural you, the South’s plural you, and Canada’s every other word!)

Hey SWC-ers!  It’s been three years since our last blog post and three years of fantastic cons to reminisce about.  So, time for a new blog and a walk thru our most recent cons of the roaring back again ‘20s…

Aug 2020 – Year of the Non-Convention gets a brief mention since yours truly & the 2020 Con Committee tried our best to cobble a Con together up until the last minute, then had everything in place for 2021.

Aug 2021 – Pittsburgh, Yinz met here (Pittsburgher hosts, me and Joe Kovac + Pat Kovac and Lorne Smith)

Our 2021 reunion convention built many bridges among us and along three sparkling rivers surrounded by green hills, inclines, and the warm, welcoming people of Pittsburgh!  And refreshing it was, after two years of a “drought” of not seeing each other because of a cancelled 2020 (I most of the year, that is).  Many made excursions to the Andy Warhol Museum, the National Aviary, and more.  And our Gateway Clipper riverboat cruise was a feasting-dinner-dancing, one-of-a-kind experience where we descended and rose again on the Ohio River’s first set of locks.  We could have kept heading West into the glorious sunset and on to the Gulf of Mexico… but alas, our lovely host city beckoned us with a gorgeous nightfall illumination-fest.  Gliding back to Mon-On-Ga-He(y!)-La’s riverbanks, twilight transformed into glistening, shimmering views of the U.S’s most colorfully lit city (I’m biased!) – or at least the only one connected by 446 works of art we call bridges.  This convention was also our last with André, our dear photographer of many cons, doing his incredible art-making of us, in digital photography.  (We love and miss you, André!)

Aug 2022 – Ya’ll met in the infamous Music City thanks to Mike and Sherri Steele and Cynthia Moynihan

Another year rolled by with planning and anticipation of our first convention in the all-night music city of Nashville, Tennessee!  What a time it was – touring a very-hearing-accessible Library, experiencing the Grand Ole Opry (backstage and front stage) and strolling into clubs and on rooftops well into the am hours.  One of these clubs, the Wild Horse Saloon (with horses on the ceiling and everywhere else in the saloon!).  Wild Horse allowed us to bring a beautiful ASL interpreter and our own amazing Julia Stepp providing real-time captioning of the music. Both were awesome hits in addition to the great music artists playing that night.  Knowing the music, but maybe or maybe not hearing it, we danced up a storm!  We also wowed the crowd by having these two there… many people besides us appreciated having synchronous song lyrics and “live-screened” ASL interpretation.

July 2023 – And all who could went any which way, plane, train, or automobile, to Vancouver, B.C., eh! (With many cross-border and international thanks to our spectacular hosts, Lorne and Joann Smith.)  This was the Say What Club’s second international convention held outside the United States.  And it too, was another fantastic convention in a cool place compared to the rest of the sizzling continent.  And of course, its share of stimulating activities – the water taxi dance, a city-wide sightseeing tour, the truly unique Beatles greatest hits show disguised as Bard on the Beach, food tours, and bakeries and sushi – oh my!  And did we mention our gorgeous Northwest Canadian scenery and friendly host hotel and city?  And while we were hoping for the Northern Lights and they failed to appear, we did manage to enjoy many of our first-ever or first post-pandemic international excursions, except that nasty little “bug” that hit us there or followed many of us home!  Thankfully, all of us cared for each other while there and made sure each made it safely home and recovered.  A convention full of memories that made their way home with us and will carry us onto next year.  Here’s to all our continued health, more new Canadian friends, and a convention next year to look forward to a little south of this same U.S./Canada border.  Eh!