Monday, August 11, 2014

Boston Comic Con, Cosplay, and My Inner Child

In a little over a week, I will turn 70, but I know, and those who know me, know that there is a kid alive and well inside me. It's there just below the surface, coming out as a joke or a bad pun, but the outer adult, constrains the inner child to fit the social situation.  This weekend, the kid got loose, if only for a little while.

Jill and I decided to spend a weekend in Boston and do the tourist thing. We hadn't been there since my daughter graduated from B.U. We were going retrace the visits of 20 years ago, hit the shops on Newbury St., visit Faneuil Hall, eat a Durgin Park, and stroll the Freedom Trail, but our plans changed about 5 minutes after we checked into the Harbor Marriott.

As we looked out our 10th floor window, we noticed a group of costumed super heroes gathering in the courtyard across the way. A minute later, Jill and I were walking toward the group.  We had no idea Comic Con was in Boston the same time we were, let alone a block from our hotel! We had chanced upon a small photo shoot of a group of folks from the Boston Super Heroes Facebook group during one of two photo shoots we caught during the weekend.

The kid inside me smile as I remember the summers on the farm in the 1950s, and long hours of playing Flash Gordon and Superman with my brother and cousins.  I began snapping pictures, and flashed from the 50s on the farm to the 70s, my first years of marriage, a Halloween party, my wife as a hot Cheshire cat and me in my homemade a Captain Klutz costume.

 A few more pictures and I flash forward another 30 years to when I was presenting at a national education conference.  It was again Halloween, and it was New Orleans!  Nuff said?  A friend and I went out to get costumes for partying later that evening. He was the Grim Reaper, and I was Cousin It.  The kid in both of us came out as we crashed one of the major sessions given by another friend. 

As I snapped a few more pictures the inner kid sighed, realizing his costumed superhero days were gone.  Comic Con would be cool to visit and rekindle memories, but there was little chance that the 70 year-old was going to don a Spider-man costume and participate. Just about then I heard, "Let's get Stan Lee into the picture!"  

As I looked around looking for Stan Lee, I realized he was talking to me. I doubt that the Cosplayers saw it, but I know my wife saw the inner kid take over as I went from observer to participant.

I didn't get to formally meet any of the Boston Superheroes Facebook group, but formality was not needed then.  I joined the Facebook group and hope to get to know more of them, not because of the super hero thing or the kid thing, but because of the spirits that live under those costumes.  The atmosphere and the feeling I got from them was one of openness, comradry, and acceptance.    

Even though it was just for a few minutes, the kid was loose, but now that he is out, he's already getting ready for next year.  Thanks Boston Superheroes!