Grandmaster Joe

We took a whirlwind trip down to Cocoa Beach this weekend to see Uncle Joe receive an award bestowed upon a living author for a lifetime’s achievement in science fiction and/or fantasy. If you look at that list you can see that Unca Joe keeps damn fine company.

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We left Gainesville Saturday morning, and got to Cocoa just in time for lunch. Aunt Gay and Uncle Joe were still having lunch, so we hung out at the bar/seating area between the pool and the beach and Tim read while I knitted. I also started to walk, barefoot, down to the ocean but was turned back by the burning hot sands. Seriously, y’all. BURNING HOT. Remind me not to do that barefoot again. After we hooked up with Aunt Gay, we dropped our stuff off in the room, admired the view, and then walked around to get the lay of the hotel – we were staying in a resort right next to the con hotel, and it was a quick pretty walk around a pool and across a parking lot to get to the other hotel. After hanging for a while at the hospitality suite (which was very well-run, with lots of great food to offer – much of it home-made and healthy which is a lovely change) it was back to our rooms to get ready for the evening. As you can tell from my photos, I could barely stop staring at the ocean long enough to get dressed.

Then it was off to the reception for drinks and milling around. I saw many old friends and overall it felt like a family reunion. Inside, at dinner, the worst thing happened – fucking allergy attack. I had gone for the Ranch dressing on the salad (not recognizing the gravy-like dressing that was the other option) and although I do love Ranch it’s a crapshoot — some Ranch dressings contain eggs, and I was squarely hit by this one. I did NOT want to be that person who makes a scene at her uncle’s big night, but unfortunately even though I practically have stock in Benadryl, I happened to have THE ONE BAG with me that doesn’t have any. I have a bottle in just about every other bag I own. FAIL! Fortunately Aunt Gay discreetly asked around and procured some for me, and by about the end of dinner the swelling in my throat had gone down enough that I could finish eating. I stayed away from desert, a lime cheesecake. No more egg for me tonight, thanks.

The award ceremony seemed to start off slowly, but must have gone faster than I thought because before I knew it, Connie Willis was giving the funniest and loveliest introduction for Uncle Joe. She also included Aunt Gay in much of her speech, and it was sweet and touching and belly-laugh producing. Uncle Joe’s acceptance speech was also fantastic – funny and thoughtful – and can I just say that he looked alternately dapper and cute as a GD button?! After the ceremony (and I’m not trying to brush off the winners of awards; but mostly I was there for Uncle Joe, not knowing any of the nominees very well. I’ve put many of their books on my list, though) we went back up to the hospitality suite and showed off his award (and a painting that he was given, which I seem not to have gotten a photograph of). After it got more and more crowded and loud, we retired back to the hotel and sat up for a little while longer, before finally crashing.

Sunday morning we took our time getting moving (again, I could hardly tear my eyes away from the ocean), and left Cocoa around 11 in order to stop at my mom’s and have lunch with her and Dave. I know it will surprise no-one that we went to JB’s Fish Camp. Anyone? Anyone surprised? No? Didn’t think so. After lunch it was time to get back up to Gainesville.

And that was our weekend. Mom, it was great to see you and Dave; and Aunt Gay and Uncle Joe, congratulations and many thanks for the weekend! And thanks also to Sharon and Ginger for letting me out of the shop for the weekend – I’m grateful to have been able to go down for this!

2 comments

  1. Thanks to you for being there, Lore! You can watch the ceremony at sfwa.org/nebula-awards-live-broadcast. It’s the fourth video from the left. Connie’s intro is about 10 minutes in.

  2. Lore, thanks for “taking us along” with you and Tim via photos and narrative. So sorry you had another attack at the worst time, but true to Connie’s wonderful tribute to Gay, she was the nursemaid once again and helped pull you through. We were THRILLED to watch the presentation live from Jenny’s. Connie’s introduction and Joe’s wonderful response were far and away the highlights of the evening. What a night for all of you! Bill and I are thrilled that Joe and Gay received such a great tribute. You must be so proud.

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