11:55 PM, Saturday, May 16th, 2015:
As Don and I have spent more time together, it's fairly clear we both do a fair amount of pinching ourselves when it comes to where we happen to be at any given time. For one, I would never be in Vegas alone, at a semi-convention of Back to the Future fans looking at movie props and listening to the longest raffle I've ever known could take place during a 3 hour event. You actually start to get slap happy at some point because you don't belong to such an extreme point... that you kinda wanna start breakin some shit.
It wasn't that bad. Just, well, how did we get here again?
So I have the big 4-day Las Vegas Convention Center gig this week. A gig I got specifically because all the time machine owners were at this free Back to the Future event. Heh. I was to come up on Sunday (when they all left) but Don said they were doing a little birthday thingee for him at the "Enchantment Under the Sea" event on the final night and offered to let me stay with him if I could get my car into the convention on Saturday. The company gave me a Saturday load-in and even through in the extra hotel night on them so it was pretty awesome all around...
...but then you get there and grab a drink and a couple carrots from the party trays... and you can't think of a time in your life when you would ever really do this. I got to meet some other owners I had only spoken to online and of course we all have that in common - but it reminded me of a VFW hall I saw my dad play at in Ohio... within 3 minutes I felt like I was in someone else's body. I just kinda looked at Don and laughed. What the hell is this?
It's not to take anything away from the fans that love this shit. It really isn't, we just find outselves in this strange position of totally being a part of this community, but not exactly processing the steps that got us here. It has to be even more surreal for him. He did a SCENE 30 years ago. The cool thing is, he genuinely likes the joy he brings people when he shows up and who wouldn't like being put up in a hotel or getting free drinks or signing autographs? And people LOSE THEIR SHIT over the Time Machine and a few times I've made people's ENTIRE YEAR by showing up. It's wonderful, for sure... but periodically during these moments? You look up and think, what the hell? I don't belong here in the LEAST. It has nothing to do with who I am, it's just a part I'm playing for this moment and then I'm gonna walk the fuck away and go be me. You start to just feel uncomfortable being so attached to something that has literally nothing to do with you. I mean, Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis are probably the only two people who can go to these things and not feel this way, because even the main actors seem befuddled by the adoration. They've all moved so far past the roles they genuinely have to be reminded of things the fans know by heart. I think that's why Tom Wilson (Biff) just threw his hands up and said "ENOUGH" awhile back: it genuinely feels like you're accepting something you don't deserve. And I guarantee Lloyd and Fox, though certainly proud of their work on the films, genuinely react with such shyness because it feels SO OVERBLOWN.
So eventually all you do is drink. People kept buying Don drinks and I kept stealing sips because the goddamn line was 20 deep. An hour in I just wanted to go play with my quad-copter (hell yes I brought it to Vegas to make an amazing demo reel) and although Don was enjoying talking to some fans, his son was with us and ready to peel his own skin off. It started to become funny because we would catch ourselves just standing there in awe of how little we belonged in that room. And then the raffle started.
It was a 3 hour event with a 90 minute raffle. Item after item after item of a man with the lowest voice I've ever heard (to the point of actually not being able to understand him) reading numbers off the tickets. Of course only the last 2 or 3 digits of the ticket ever changed, but yup - let's read all 9. Every time. For an hour and a half. We kinda started to lose it and only knowing a birthday cake was coming for Don kept us from skipping out. Further wanting to be ornery, Don put on his RentTheDelorean.com t-shirt I brought him before he got onstage to blow out his candles...
I was struggling to hold the camera I was giggling so hard. Don will be the first to tell you, he rarely comes out in pictures because of how dark his skin is, but this was hilarious. ALL you see is the logo. He's also tall, so the spotlight literally only hit his chest. What's even crazier about this? That guy giving him the pins onstage? Is the only reason I even have a time machine.

He was originally going to be the Time Machine at the 2014 Memorial event until he announced on Facebook he was SELLING the car. Which kinda freaked me out and prompted me to look for alternatives. Ended up the alternative was getting my own. He's never spoken to me since (I guess he really wanted to do my free event !?!?!?!) and here we are. A year later, in drastically different positions... sure is funny how life works, huh?
Anyway, it was great meeting some of the other owners and even a builder or two. Don and I gambled and ate hot dogs with some of his friends and I made it an early night because, well, because I'm an old man with 2 kids. And I actually like that. :-)
Awesome drone footage soon!!!