The GFSA Convention 2000 Hospitality Suite

Cleveland, April 28, 2000 - Convention 2000 is underway! People have been arriving since yesterday, with a good turnout for the Koi and goldfish health symposium by Dr. Erik Johnson (covered in another article here) that began at 9:00am this morning. But the official kickoff was in the Marriott "Salon D", where from 5pm until about 8pm people met to get their tickets and information for the weekend.

The room was packed, with a line of 8 or so people waiting for treasurer Carlos Perezís processing of the registrants. A queue? Not a problem! Everyone had something to talk about at this early point in the convention, so people drifted in and out of the line as they got interested in discussions. There were a number of international goldfish magazines being passed around, as well as a photo album of GFSA member photographs and events.

There was Metroparks Zoo information available, zoo tickets, GFSA membership cards, and some really cool convention T-shirts. The T-shirts depict a dramatic eastern-style rendition of a long-finned Telescope Eye (remember: a "Dragon Eye" for the Year of the Dragon!).

The nature of the goldfish hobby is one of people calling, writing, and now emailing each other frequently. An event like the GFSA Convention provides a rare chance to put faces with what were previously just voices (or email addresses). Many of the people who have been active contributors to the GFSA publications, organizational activities, and other facets were in attendance. Sandy Rick (until very recently the endlessly patient editor of "The Goldfish Report"), Tony Reynolds (the chairman in 1998), Carlos, Al Foster, Al Thomma, Joan Berryman, Gary Hater, TJ Mularky, and several score more people were all enjoying goldfish talk in the hospitality suite.