August 9th & 10th, RMS Queen Mary, Long Beach, California, USA
On a hot, sunny California day, members of the spying world had been brought together with their fans and supporters. SpyFest was the first of a hopefully annual event, where people from the real as well as fictional world of secret agents and covert operations would be presented before fans of the genre, for a meeting of minds and ideas. The grandiose setting was the R.M.S Queen Mary. This former ocean going liner has been berthed at Long Beach since 1967 after an illustrious career of over 1000 Transatlantic crossings, as well as a brief stint as a troop carrier during WW2. This majestic ship now serves as a floating hotel and tourist attraction, and it was in the exhibit hall that the weekend's events were to be held.
We were only able to visit on the Saturday, and were looking forward to the day ahead. We arrived about 30 minutes before the 10am start, and a small queue was forming at the ticket office. We purchased our tickets and approached the entrance to the exhibition.
Four cars that had featured in the Austin Powers movies ushered visitors into the bowels of the ship, from where they could gaze at display stands full of gadgets and gizmos from the world of spies. Real spy gadgets from the CIA museum could be viewed (no photography permitted), as well as the fictional gadgets from James Bond, The Man from U.N.C.L.E, The Avengers, Austin Powers, etc. thanks to Danny Biederman from 'Spy Fi Archives'.
Also on display was an excellent collection of guns used by 007 throughout his career.
Various tables were selling toys, games, videos, books, etc. from secret agent TV series and Film shows. Amongst them was Steven Jay Rubin who was offering his newly revised edition of the excellent 'James Bond Encyclopedia' for sale.
SpyGuise had a large table with many items from the Bond films for sale, and John Cork and Bruce Scivally, authors of 'The James Bond Legacy' were on hand to sign copies of their excellent book. Dean Williams was promoting his non-profit video 'Project Bond: A catastrophe in the making'. Tables had been set out for all the guests, and photos and autographs were available for a small fee. On the lower of the 3 floors was the stage and seating arena, where the guests were to be presented during the various seminars and forums that were to take place during the weekend.
CONTINUE TO PART 2
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