I'm posting this final sidebar with more convention photos and a few observations. After looking back at the full sessions I was able to attend (around getting Ernie Banks photo and autograph Saturday afternoon), I realized that Wayne Messmer hosted every one. So much for variety being the spice of life. Below are photos from the 25th Retrospective session, my "Hunt for Ernie" and finally, the "Essence of Being a Cub" session Sunday morning.
Here are the photos from Saturday morning. The first couple are from the tail end of the "Meet the Owners" session (hosted by Len Kasper).
The next few are from my afternoon in search of Ernie (yes, the lines are long and slow, but it's worth it.)
And finally, "The Essence of Being a Cub" session.
And lastly, just an observation. This was my last Cubs Convention. Word in the Hilton was the Cubs sold 15,000 passes. This is apparently up 50% from just a few years ago. I know the money raised goes to Cubs Care Charities, but 15,000 people PLUS all the hotel staff and Cubs own staff are just too damn many bodies in that space- no matter how you cut it.
Mrs. Zeke and I agree that any money we would have put towards a future convention will instead go towards a Spring Training trip or a road trip with the Cubs during the season.