As is the standard, the truly big days take you by surprise.
As many of you may know, I'm the Secretary for the COIL, the Midwest GI Joe Collectors' Club. Every year for a few years now, the other gentlemen and ladies of the group and I put together a convention of our own (dubbed, however uncreatively, COIL Con) for Midwestern fans to gather, buy, sell, talk and generally geek out. Last year, at COIL Con III, we had about 300 guests come through the grounds of Kokomo Toys, and we're expecting a similar turnout this year. By all means, if you're in the area (really, even if you're not), drop in and join us on August 24! You can find all the details at www.coilcon.com.
The real backbone of the COIL, though, is made up of the small get-togethers held during the year. COIL Con is a great focal point, but the seeds get planted in backyards, restaurants, parks... wherever Joe fans can gather together. By the time of COIL Con III last September, we had active chapters in Cincinnati/Dayton, Indianapolis, Ft. Wayne (IN), Chicago, and Louisville. As a result of that show, we had some interested folks start up chapters in Cleveland and Madison. This seemed like a natural extension of the COIL banner, with both of those cities firmly entrenched in what we'd call the American Midwest.
That changed today.
I got an email from COIL President Jon Cremeans that we had received a charter application from... Vancouver, British Columbia. CANADA.
After a brief (i.e., nonexistent) debate, the Vancouverites were accepted and the COIL went international. Congratulations to Roger Beaulieu and company on joining our growing collecting family. We are honored that you want to fly our flag.
"Midwest?" Not so much. We're going to need new stationery.