When I first arrived in the Dealer's Room Friday morning, I was greeted by Ed Hulse, whose Muriana Press table was at the front of the hall, facing the entrance. After talking for a bit, he pointed to a table to his immediate left and informed me that this was "My table." My table, for what? I asked. Unknown to me, Ed had set aside a table in the Dealer's Room, for me to sign and sell copies of my book; as a newly-published author, this is not something I had expected, or even thought about - while I was certainly gracious for the table space, I did not have any copies of my book to sign or sell, so it seemed that the table would go unused. I felt like a bit of a jerk really, having a table, right at the front of the Dealer's Room, and not using it, but again, bringing books was something that just had not occurred to me, unfortunately.
The next day, as I was going about my rounds in the Dealer's Room, I purchased a few items from Thomas Martin, who had a table to the immediate right of "mine." When I looked at the table, and picked up the card labelled with my name sitting on it, Thomas remarked along the lines that, apparently "that guy" never showed up! I told him that, actually, I did show up, but in my newness to the writing field, I had not even thought about bringing copies of my book. I was glad, however, that the table did not remain as empty, unusable space - Thomas was telling me that it was a great spot that he, and other folks, had been using to hang out and talk to longtime friends as they entered the hall, a kind of gathering spot in the Dealer's Room for attendees to meet up, and catch up. It was such a success on that front, that Thomas said he even considered renting out the space, in upcoming shows, specifically for that purpose.
So, while the original use of the table was not realized, due largely to my error, I was relieved to see that it did not go to waste, but actually served a good cause, in providing a place for folks to reconnect.
And now, My Meanderings About Columbus...
The grounds of the Capitol were interesting; reminding me of a somewhat smaller version of Richmond's Capitol Square, it is essentially a large park with buildings, and various statues, not least of which is the McKinley Memorial. Also on the grounds, among other statues, was one in particular that caught my eye, as it relates to an event in 20th century history which I have spent a good deal of time studying, and writing about.
The plaque beneath the soldier reads:
The Spirit of '98
Erected in the State of Ohio to the Honor and Memory of the Ohio Veterans of the Spanish American War, Philippine Insurrection, and the China Relief Expedition.
Dedicated June 28, 1929
"The Cause Which Triumphed Through Their Valor Will Live."
The China Relief Expedition was the name given to the United States' involvement in the Boxer Rebellion, an insurrection that lasted from 1898 to 1901, wherein a group of fervently anti-foreign Chinese, enraged by the carving up of the Empire on the part of the Western Powers and the placing of foreign-controlled areas, or legations in various cities, attacked these Western enclaves, burning buildings and killing residents. At first condemned, and then later embraced by the Chinese monarch, the Empress Dowager CiXi, the movement was suppressed in large part due to the formation of the Eight Nation Alliance, consisting of the United States, the British Empire, France, Imperial Germany, Japan, the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary, the Kingdom of Italy, and Czarist Russia - the Alliance's military expeditions to the areas of China most affected, primarily Peking and other major centers of foreign presence, helped bring an end to the violence, but also further weakened Chinese sovereignty. It was an important event, both in United States and Chinese history, helping to set the stage for the course each power would take in the 20th, and 21st centuries, respectively - this is the first such monument I have encountered, dedicated to the servicemen who served in the China Relief Expedition.
Turning right, and away from the Capitol, I usually headed back south, past the street that would take me back to the Hyatt Regency, and instead continued on to the banks of the Scioto River.
The area surrounding the river is very nicely developed, with benches, swing-sets, sculptures, and viewing stands scattered about. Crossing over a bridge, you come to the other side, where a stone-seat amphitheater is situated, along with an apparently good fishing spot, and a home for the numerous geese that traverse the sidewalk.
Walking along the amphitheater and sidewalk along the river's edge, you are taken back in the direction of the Hyatt Regency. Before crossing the bridge back to the north side of the river, I walked down to the Columbus War Memorial building, but I unfortunately did not have a chance to go in, although I did take note of the Arnold Schwarzenegger statue, situated, somewhat oddly, outside of the building.
I will close with another photo of the Scioto, from the south side; as I have said before, I thoroughly enjoyed this year's Pulpfest on a variety of levels, and the surrounding city of Columbus, was certainly a part of that. I do hope that the convention stays in the Columbus area, for a good many years to come.