On Saturday night, I had the privilege of attending The 3rd Annual Ravenwood Gothic Reunion, an event that I'd missed out on in the past and was very much looking forward to finally attending this time around. I knew that on the night of September 14, there would be assembled, in a nice venue known as Teatro Scarpino, a group of individuals that represent the core of Northwest Arkansas' Goth community. Some of these folks I already knew, but there were also those considered central to Ravenwood Manor that I had not yet had the opportunity to meet. It goes without saying that this past Saturday was going to be a big night for me--and it didn't disappoint! Not only was it a night for the making of new friends, but it was a time for enjoying the company of those I'd recently made through Darkness Ressurected Dance Nights and other events over the past several months.
Before I begin talking about my experiences on Saturday night, I think it's only right to begin with a photo of this man. He is Al Thompson, the founder of Ravenwood Manor and a person very much loved by all in the community. He is also one of the folks I had the great pleasure of meeting for the first time.
I got to Scarpino's a little before the doors opened. As some of you regular readers know, I really don't like featuring photos of myself--and this is why! Believe it or not, I scared the heck out of myself when I later looked in the mirror during a run to the restroom. While one lady actually complemented me on my makeup, it occurred to me that I had maybe gone a little over the top. Then, for one fleeting moment, I considered the possibility that Batman might mistake me for the joker. Since I didn't want any problems with him and much preferred to stay at the reunion, I eventually decided to wash off the makeup; or at least, do the best I could with hand washing and paper towels. Of course, the fact that some of it was running into my eyes helped make the decision a little bit easier. At any rate, some of you wanted to see photos of me with my new top hat. This is the first of them.
Once the music got going and people had settled in, there were very few times when no one was on the dance floor. Here, some of the ladies are pictured doing a very graceful dance. Music was provided by several deejays, which included Dr. Ford Fitch, D.J. Durandal, D.J. Anthony Bale, and Oklahoma City's D.J. Morbid Kitty. The deejays presented a good mix of material ranging from electronic to more old-school stuff such as the Sisters of Mercy, a group that never fails to get me dancing. What made my night however, was when D.J. Durandal played Type O Negative's Bloody Kisses. Little did he know at the time that he had chosen to play what I consider my own personal
Halloween theme song. Good job Durandal!
This is a shot taken with Chris Brown, aka D.J. Justy. I first met Chris on a cold night last December, when we did a group viewing of The Hobbit. It can truthfully be said that The 3rd Annual Ravenwood Gothic Reunion was Chris' baby. He organized it and created it.
Here, I'm fortunate enough to be pictured with Lilith Marek, The Dragon of Ravenwood. Like Al, she was another of the people I'd long wanted to meet and finally did. Not only is Lilith a graceful dancer, but she did a lot of the publicity work for Saturday's event.
I had a great time at my first Ravenwood gathering and can honestly say that it was well worth the months-long wait. What I saw there however, goes beyond just another fun night out on the town. It wasn't a large gathering; we didn't fill up the venue, and I know that there were some folks who wanted to be there but for various reasons were not able to attend. What I actually found however, was a community of people bound together by common interests and experiences. The Ravenwood Community considers itself an extended family; one that takes great joy in getting together and sharing the experience. It was a pleasure taking part in it all Saturday night.
I, and maybe a few others, left a little before things came to a close at 2:00 a.m. When I departed, I was considering my hungry state and only wanted to grab a hot dog or two out on Dickson Street while the grabbing was still good. It didn't cross my mind that a group photo might be taken before everyone went their separate ways. But that's what happened. This last photo features the majority of those who were in attendance. If you ask me, it was an attractive group indeed!