When you get a chance to meet Lon Milo Duquette and talk about the tiny home town you share, you jump on it! And when he asks for a selfie....you grin like an idiot and play it about as cool as you can.
When I made the decision to attend my very first Pantheacon, I was excited at the potential of meeting new people and having new experiences. However, when I looked at the schedule there is one name that stuck out to me and I knew I had to try to meet him. That name was Lon Milo Duquette.
For those of you who don't know, Duquette is an occultist, magician, author, and musician. Some of my earliest magical practices were based upon the books written by Duquette. When my son was an infant, the music he loved to listen to most were those sang by DuQuette.
However, there book that drew me in to him the most and lead to me feeling like I had to connect to him the most. In his book titled "My Life with the Spirits" he describes his life as a child, growing up in rural Nebraska. Imagine my shock when I saw the name of my very own home town, a village of only 300 people, named as someplace he not only lived, but had family! I immediately became a fan girl. No one in my tiny town believed the things I did or had the practices I had, so to know that one of my favorite magicians shared that history...to say I was a bit fan-girled would probably be an understatement.
Duquette was performing a concert of his music on one of the evenings of Pantheacon, and I knew I had to attend, if nothing else but to listen to him sing live. I wasn't sure how packed the space would be, so I arrived early and found a seat in the front row. He began unpacking his guitar and tuning things...the room was only starting to fill so I finally pumped myself up enough to awkwardly say...."So...in your book...umm...My Life with the Spirits" *he nods* "you talk about Nebraska....a tiny town called _____" *he smirks and nods again*. "Well, I actually grew up in that town." The shock and amusement he felt was IMMEDIATELY evident. He was grinning ear to ear and laughed loudly. He was so pleased. He kept insisting that there was no way we were both from that place and weren't related in some way. His joy was so entertaining to me, and I was pleased that I has spoken up. Then, to make things even better, he says "We have to get a selfie! No, not just a selfie". He then called someone over to take photos of the two of us together, me grinning like an idiot, and him in his trademark smirk. It was such a wonderful experience.
The following day, he messaged me to tell me how nice it was to meet, and as I walked around a corner, there he sat on his phone. I smiled and waved, and he handed me his phone to talk to his wife. I genuinely couldn't have asked for a more positive experience. He has history from my town that I would never know otherwise, and I have the present, which he hasn't experienced in 50 years. I'm glad I got out of my comfort zone and was able to meet someone so special. Thank you, Lon, for sharing your time with me.