It was odd - somehow this Sock Summit was less "Exciting" - it didn't have all the shiny newness of the last (first!) Gathering of the Tribe two years ago. Yet, somehow it was also more satisfying - I had a better idea of how to pace myself, and took a lot of time to just hang, visit with people, and explore Portland a little more. And I had a chance to connect with folks who I'd met last time around, some of whom have become good friends in the meantime. Of course, there were also ample opportunities to meet new people, and to put real faces and voices to internet names. And because I was a little more oriented this time around, I got a lot more out of the classes I took and the brains I got to pick!
I had a funny moment in the taxi after the Sock Hop on Saturday. The driver was making small talk, as they do, and he asked if I was in town for a conference. "Yep. It's a sock knitting convention."
His head actually tilted sideways. "What?"
"A sock knitting conference."
Head tilted the other way. "What?!"
"It's called Sock Summit. It's the second one that's been held here."
"So you....get together and knit socks? Do you talk about knitting socks?"
"Yep! There are a few thousand people here, from all over the world."
"Do you...like...take classes and stuff?"
"Oh, yeah! I've had some great classes!" So I told him about the photography class and the ergonomics class, and the Sock Hop, and getting together with friends from the opposite side of the continent, and the trip down on the train, and how much I enjoy Portland....And by the time we got to the hotel, he was sold on the idea. "That's pretty neat!" he said, more than once.
As I was getting out of the taxi, I couldn't resist adding, in my chipper-est voice: "And on Sunday, there will be sheep!"
Poor guy did an epic headtilt. I hope he didn't injure himself! And I sure hope he saw the full-page spread in today's Oregonian.