Time for another road trip, this time to Las Vegas, Nevada to meet up with R2 Builders Club founder Dave Everett, and some members from the Las Vegas area.
Mike Senna and I joined Las Vegas-area residents Mike Johnson, Efrain Lona (not pictured), Damien Metz and Dan Johnson, along with Central California builder Michael McMaster, to meet Dave Everett. Dave was attending a convention in Las Vegas, so it was a rare opportunity to meet the club's "lord and master" (his preferred title). :-)
Mike and I made the four-hour drive out from Southern California, while Michael McMaster started out from Central California. When you're in the middle of nowhere, road and town names get a little strange.
I call this "Dewback Mountain." You should drink Mountain Dew when viewing it.
We finally arrived at the Luxor, where we met up in the registration area, and then proceeded to talk about all things R2 and beyond, over a 3+ hour lunch.
R2 is never very far.
We had some time to kill between lunch and dinner, so we split up for a bit. By the time we got back together, Damien had pulled together an official R2 Builders badge for Dave, in record time.
Damien also shared some cool laser work featuring R2.
Mike Senna presented Dave with a special autographed picture of George Lucas, posing with Mike and Mike's droid.
The autograph says, "Dave E. All the best!" It is signed, "Michael J. Senna" I'm sure Dave will treasure it, and treat it with the reverence it deserves.
We wrapped it up with a guided tour of one of the casinos' surveillance rooms. I can't go into too much detail, but suffice it to say that a) we were amazed, and b) don't think you can get away with anything in any public area of a Las Vegas casino. We were even able to watch the recording of our group walking into the casino just minutes before, making our way all the way up to the surveillance room in which we were now standing. It was fascinating stuff.
It was a privilege to get to meet Dave. Without him, there is no doubt I would have continued to lead a more ordinary life, and not have been introduced into the crazy hobby that is R2 building. It was also great to meet up with our Las Vegas-based members, both those I met before and those I met for the first time. Oh, and Michael McMaster! Always good to see him too. It was a great trip.
The full photoset is here.