When I first started to think about going to the DC show, it was right after 2020 Baltimore show. I thought I would be going just a few months later in August. Shortly after, however, the pen community started to have an inkling that things would not go as planned. The Covid-19 pandemic hit and shows everywhere began to be cancelled for the rest of 2020. The DC show soon followed suit which was the absolute right decision for what we all were facing. We then learned that sadly, Bob Johnson, the organizer of the DC show had passed away in September. Bob’s sister Barbara and his Nephew Jeff had taken over the organization for the show and in an announcement in October, We were given the date for the 2021 Washington DC Fountain Pen Supershow. August 5th through the 8th 2021 at the Marriott Fairview Park in Falls Church, VA.
I started then to plan to go to the show. I had no idea what the show was going to look like, how many days I would go, which day I would go, but I knew that I wanted to go as long as the show was still on and there were safety precautions in place. Later, my family booked a vacation that was for the week following the show, So I made the decision to go for just the day on Saturday. I arrived about an hour early with a large box of items for the DC Metro Pen Crew’s pay it forward table which were generously donated by Pen Boutique of Columbia Maryland, as well as my own box of items for the table. The people at the check-in counter graciously offered to have someone help me bring everything from my car to the table so I could set it out for people to take. I checked in and was given a ticket for the raffle and a ticket for the giveaway goodie bag from Yafa.
There were were two ballrooms, as well as the hallways outside the ballrooms where the show took place. There were fewer vendors than in previous years due to travel restrictions, but there was no sense that things were really missing. The show was still crowded, but less than prior shows, based on photos I have seen. Save for just a couple of people, everyone I saw at the show was masked while not eating or drinking, which was mandated by the organizers of the show. There were a lot of vintage pen sellers and boutique makers at the show as well as major brands. There were also several nibmeisters. I had a 12:30 appointment with Damien Alomar of All in the Nib for a tune and smooth on my Montblanc Leonard Bernstein. I am so happy to have the pen writing just how I want it now and I picked up a pen from him as well. I picked up a few things in the dollar bin from another vendor to try my hand a replacing a sac. David Isaacson had a table of his bargain basement pens and I picked up three there, as well as a Parker Vacumatic from Nik at Entropy Ink. I also picked up some new Inks from Yafa as well as a pen for my wife, and got to try some delicious Turkish coffee from Galen Leather.
It was so good to be able to see both old friends and new. It filled my heart to finally meet so many of the wonderful people I had seen only on zoom calls or social media. There are too many to list individually, but I had a great time being able to put the upper half of a face to the names. I would have liked to have been able to stay for the after show festivities, but I had a long drive ahead of me the next day so I did leave when the show ended. I am greatly looking forward to what next year’s show will bring.