By all accounts, Thursday night’s blogging meet-up at the Corner Brewery was a big success. I don’t have an exact count, but Chris Savage just posed on Eclectablog that approximately 75 people turned out for it, which sounds about right to me. On one hand, I’m happy that we had such a good turnout, but, on the other, it kind of sucks, as I didn’t have an opportunity to speak with everyone. (Maybe, if we do it again, we could set up a kind of speed-dating arrangement, where everyone gets up, hugs awkwardly, and rotates every five minutes or so.) And, the conversations that I did have, while fascinating, weren’t nearly long enough. But, all things considered, I’d say that it was a great event, and I wanted to post something here, thanking everyone who came out.
Here are a few of my own personal highlights.
• State Representative Jeff Irwin showed up, which was nice. We talked about his ongoing work to pass a graduated income tax. I also learned that his son, who is about Alro’s age, isn’t named Mac because he and his wife love The Mackinac Center. • Steve and Hillary Cherry, the Hamtramck power couple behind the Hamtramck Star, drove out to join us, which was super nice. I don’t see nearly enough of them since they were driven out of Ypsilanti in 2005. We talked about guns, raw milk, and everything in between. I think I also signed up to come out and spin some records on the AM radio station that they operate. (note to self: Go back and buy the soundtrack from Capricorn One that you saw at Cafe Ollie yesterday, but were too cheap to spend a dollar on.) • Thom Elliott, a frequent commenter on this site, embarrassed me by saying some incredibly kind things about the role that my blog plays in the community. • I talked with Vinnie Massimino about his incredible plans for the upcoming Shadow Art Fair. (Here’s a hint… It involves a green screen!) • I talked for quite a while with local radio personality Linda Yohn. We discussed the possibility of bringing back the Ypsilanti Jazz Festival. I also asked her what it’s like to have her face on the side of a bus. • Mike White, who publishes the film zine Cashiers du Cinemart, showed up. We hadn’t seen one another in almost ten years, so it was nice catching up. We ended up talking about our mutual love for Tim Carey, and the interview that Mike recently did with Tim’s son, Romeo, which I still need to listen to. • Ed Vielmetti and I talked with Michelle Rogers about the future of the newspaper industry, which was fascinating. • I told Murph how much I appreciated it when he fact-checks my posts. I don’t think he believed me, but I was being sincere. • Patti Smith, Kurt Waugh and I did a pretty convincing reenactment of the Ypsi income tax debate that took place on this site not too long ago. • And, basically, we all talked shit about the bloggers that didn’t make it.
There were a lot of other things too, so I’m sorry if I left out a conversation that I had with you, but I’ve got to call it quits for the time being, and work on a press release for our local chapter of the Awesome Foundation. (We just gave out another $1,000 grant this morning.)
As for these Beer with Bloggers events, I believe there will be more. So, if you missed this one, don’t cry. (I think we’ll do it again around October.)
Oh, I should add that I think the highlight of the evening, at least for me, was talking with those blogless folks who showed up, looking for information on how to start sites of their own. That was pretty cool.