So I did something last year that I never would have expected to do. Months later, it still seems pretty weird. But I think I’ll do it again.
I organized a Bigfoot conference.
How did this happen? I’m not a Bigfoot fanatic. I’ve done my armchair research and gone on a few abbreviated Sasquatch safaris, but I won’t call myself a Bigfoot researcher. I don’t even believe in Bigfoot, exactly, though I believe in plenty of other people who believe. (I think that makes sense.) I had been to exactly one Bigfoot conference before — now I’ve been to two, counting my own. The Ohio Bigfoot Conference was a blast. I got my picture with Bob Gimlin, as I’m sure all the first-timers do. But never had I organized an event remotely similar to this. The most organizing I do in my day-to-day life is trying to find a couple of socks that match.
Anyway, I came home from that fateful weekend in the Buckeye State and was talking to a friend about how much fun it had been. My friend said, “Why can’t we have a Bigfoot conference here in Montana?” Well. Not having the slightest, smallest, foggiest inkling of a clue of a thought on how to go about doing that, it seemed like a logical project to undertake. I didn’t know how to ask people to speak at a Bigfoot conference. I didn’t know WHO to ask to speak at a Bigfoot conference. All I had was a name — Big Sky Bigfoot Conference — and an idea for a kick-ass t-shirt. I didn’t know if the conference would be well received or if people would just think we were a bunch of weirdos — which I guess, honestly, was OK with me as long as they paid for their tickets.
Yet somehow I was able to pull in a line-up of varied and interesting speakers and exhibitors, from all over the dang country, even. Thanks again to Mike Cook, Becky Cook, Russell Acord, Richard Soule, Duke Sullivan, and our fabulous emcee Ed Brown. Richard decided our motto for the weekend would be “It’s all coming together.” It did! It all came together, amazingly, despite my unabashed cluelessness. People are excited about Bigfoot. They want to talk about it. They believe, or maybe they want to believe. They want to be with other believers. Something is in these great dark North American mountains and it’s big, and unknown, and powerful, and kinda creepy. (And possibly hair-covered and throwing rocks at you, so watch out.) Although we’re all swimming in information in this interconnected modern digital world, these elemental mysteries still lurk right outside our back doors. In short, Bigfoot matters.
I know this is a leap year and all, but even so, it’s marching on at a disconcerting pace, and I need to get it together if we’re gonna do this again in 2016. Thank you to everyone who’s supported us and I hope to have some updates for you very soon. Or soon-ish. I have socks to sort, and that’s probably going to take me a while.