We almost didn’t attend Days of the Dead Chicago this year. As some of you may or may not know our dearly departed friend Sid Haig was going to renew our vows at this convention. Unfortunately due to his recent passing in September (my heart is still aching) the ceremony was cancelled. We didn’t want to still do it without Sid. Normally couples don’t even renew their vows when its been 10 years but it also marked 15 years since we first met Sid. We thought it would be a fun way to celebrate together and he was all for it. Without him it just would not be the same.
We had already booked our room and purchased our tickets but were having a hard time deciding if we should still go. The thought of being there without Sid in general was hard to even think about let alone the reminder that he would never be there with us again. But after talking with my Murder Ride sister Nicole and Sid’s wife Suzie I was reassured that Sid would want us to still go. So we packed up our bags and hoped we could make the most of it and maybe even possibly bring us some closure. Ironically enough right before we left I was pulling up some files on one of my flash drives and found my old Captain Spaulding’s Chicken Shack Cheerleaders questionnaire (from around 2006 or so) that was used for his previous website. I didn’t even know I still had it. I considered it a sign from Sid as it brought back some great old memories of fan girl moments from the earlier days. I have since added it to my Sid Memorial page.
We decided to bring the key to our heart necklaces that we had exchanged at our wedding. We had added sun and moon charms to them to represent 10 years and words from our vows and were going to re-exchange them during the renewal ceremony with Sid. Bringing them with us made it feel like Sid was still with us in spirit.
Once Frank and I were at the convention we decided to focus the highlight of our weekend to being time spent with each other in our element and also being able to gift a few of my art pieces. The Soska Sisters as well as Skeet Ulrich were added to the guest list. Unfortunately Skeet cancelled at the last minute but we were able to see Jen and Sylvia again. As always the ladies brightened our spirits and it felt good to be reunited with them.
They loved that they got to keep the original of my “Twisted” Demon Twins of Berlin portrait that I drew of them. Sylvia even told me that the American Mary barrettes I made them are displayed on one of their special alter. She also educated me on the “god cell”. These ladies are both entertaining, beautiful and smart! What is there not to admire.
As you know from our convention adventure photos we always stop to support projects that Sid was passionate about. This includes one of his recent movies High On The Hog. The first time we met these guys at Flashback Weekend a few years back we could feel the love and the genuine admiration they had for Sid. Since then if they are at a con we always stop and talk to whoever is running the booth wither it be Tony. Kevin or Ben and try to buy something and shoot the shit. The last time we saw them was early September at Horrorhound where we had just learned that Sid was in ICU on our drive to Indy. This time it was even harder as we were all in pain of losing Sid and we were all feeling that emptiness of him not being there with all of us. But in turn it was good to be around other like minded people that understood the struggle we were feeling that we could actually talk to.
To our surprise Sid’s pig prop from the movie was there and Kevin and Ben let us take a couple special photos with it. Including one that included our special wedding keys. So I am so glad we decided to bring them with us. From the beam of light in the photo of Frank and I we definitely think Sid was happy we met up with these guys again and he was definitively there in spirit.
Later in the day Ben actually interviewed us for the Sid Haig Documentary. A project that Sid had given them his blessing on and was in the works well far before he had passed away. None of us expected it to become a tribute but the interview was actually very therapeutic for Frank and I. Not only did it make us smile thinking and sharing some of our many happy memories of Sid but it made us feel better knowing we may be a part of something that will help keep his memory alive for everyone that loved and admired him. Now let’s just hope I am not an ugly crier ha ha. Even if I am so be it. The feelings are real and from the heart and we are honored to be asked to be a part of it.
So in a nutshell this was a hard convention to be at but in the end Nicole and Suzie were right. Sid wanted us to be there and we are both glad we went. It felt like we were in the right place at the right time and with the right people and it actually did give us some closure. It will never be the same without Sid but like he told me when my Uncle passed away earlier this year “He may not be in body anymore, but as long as you and all who love him remember him, he’s never gone.“