Tuesday, June 13, 2017

It was a GREAT Howard Days!

Photo by Ben Friberg

Before the memories fade, we'd like to thank some folks for helping to make Howard Days 2017 a memorable event!

First, many thanks go to Project Pride of Cross Plains, Watchers of the Howard House and the most wonderful hosts anyone could ever have. The docents were at the House ready to go both days, the yard and grounds sparkled in the Texas sun and we were all treated like royalty! A big shout-out goes to Arlene and Tom Stephenson and Era Lee Hanke for all their dedication and hard work year after year. Howard Days would not happen with them.

Also, the Robert E. Howard Foundation is a big supporter of Howard Days, as are the members of the REHupa, the Robert E. Howard United Press Association. REHupa members act as Howard Ambassadors all weekend and always help newbies with any questions.

And of course, many thanks to all who attended this year! We met some new friends and welcomed them into our big Howard family reunion. Many promises to return in 2018 were heard and will be looking then for the folks who we missed this year.

One of the best things about this year was moving the panels to the Fellowship Hall of the First United Methodist Church in Cross Plains. Spacious and cool, it featured wonderful electronics for all presentations and the audio was great! Many thanks to all who helped there!

So, after a few months respite, we'll start planning for 2018. The dates are set for the second full weekend in June, on the 8th and 9th. As it's never too early to start planning (we know events come and go so quickly!), think about joining us to support the legacy of Robert E. Howard and join in the fun and fellowship of our little family reunion! See you next year!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Howard Days is (Just About) Here!



The Robert E. Howard Museum stands shining in the Texas sun, anticipating the arrival of hundreds of visitors later this week for the annual Robert E. Howard Days!

Under the direction and sponsorship of Project Pride of ?Cross Plains, The Robert E. Howard Foundation and REHupa, the Robert E. Howard United Press Association, months of planning are ready to take shape on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 8-9-10.

People from all over the world and all walks of life are gathering in the bustling metropolis of Cross Plains, Texas to celebrate the life, legacy and work of a true Texas original, Robert E. Howard -Author and Poet.

The "theme" this year is The Howard Detectives, where we'll honor a number folks who have done an amazing amount of work digging up all sorts of information, typescripts, court records, newspaper notices, original photographs, hard-to-find books and magazines - all directly related to Robert E. Howard. Fortunately, most of these folks will be on hand at Howard Days to participate in panel discussions and to display some of the rarer items found in the world of REH.

Plus, we're continuing our tradition of The Best Two Days in Howard Fandom, with tours of his house, a  Bus Tours of Cross Plains and surrounding environs, a Howard Swap Meet, a Celebration Banquet with a Silent Auction, a special Postal Cancellation available only in Cross Plains, a Poetry Reading right from Howard's porch, plus a hot dog lunch and a Saturday old fashioned chuck wagon BBQ!

Of course, the best part of Howard Days is the fellowship brought forth and shown by all the attendees, new and old alike. Howard Days anymore is like an extended Howard Family Reunion, where like-minded people gather to support and enjoy the legacy of Robert E. Howard.

Now, with the exception of the Banquet (where a $15 bill gets you a great Texas meal amidst your new family) ALL of the events at Howard Days are FREE! You won't find a better deal all summer.
Now, there may be a few seats left at the Banquet of you show up on Friday, but that's the deal - you have to show up! It's Texas - there's plenty of room! So, Y'all Come!

Here's the schedule of event for the weekend:

2017 HOWARD DAYS SCHEDULE

THURSDAY JUNE 8

The Robert E. Howard House and Museum is open to the public from 2 to 4 pm. There are no docents on duty but the Gift Shop will be open.

FRIDAY JUNE 9

8:30 – 9 am: Coffee and donuts at the Pavilion, compliments of Project Pride

9 am – 4 pm: Robert E. Howard House Museum open to the public. The adjacent Alla Ray Morris Pavilion will be open from Thursday to Sunday.

9 am – 4 pm: REH Postal Cancellation at Cross Plains Post Office. Friday Only.

9 am – 11 am: Bus Tour of Cross Plains & Surrounding Areas. Friday Only.

10:00 am to 4 pm: Pavilion available for REH items Swap Meet

10 am – 5 pm: Cross Plains Public Library open. Original Robert E. Howard typescripts available for viewing. The Conan Board Game and the Conan Role-playing Game will be presented also.

11:00: PANEL: The Glenn Lord Collection. Come hear the story of the Original Howard Detective and how he assembled the world's number one collection of Howard typescripts, pulps and memorabilia. Panelists: Paul Herman, Rob Roehm, Patrice Louinet.

Noon: Lunch hosted by Project Pride at the Pavilion.

1:30 pm: PANEL:  Collecting REH: What makes for a core Howard collection? How can you assemble one? We'll also discuss the good Howard collections in the world. Panelists: Jeff Shanks, Lee Breakiron, Patrice Louinet, Bobby Derie

2:30 pm: PANEL: Travels with Ol' Two-Gun. Panelists Rob Roehm, Bob Roehm and Todd Vick will discuss the detective travels they've made in the name of Howard history, genealogy and minutia.

Following this panel will be the presentations of the 2016 Robert E. Howard Foundation Awards.

5:30 – 6:30: Silent Auction items available for viewing & bidding at Banquet site

6:30: Robert E. Howard Celebration Banquet & Silent Auction at the Cross Plains Community Center. Speaker: Paul Herman.

9:00 pm PANEL: Fists at the Ice House (behind the old Texas Taxidermy building on Main St.) Mark Finn, Chris Gruber, and Jeff Shanks discuss Howard's pugilistic prose in this perennial favorite.

Afterward there will be Howard Fellowship at the Pavilion


SATURDAY JUNE 10

9 am – 4 pm: Robert E. Howard House Museum open to the public. The adjacent Alla Ray Morris Pavilion will be open from Thursday to Sunday.

9 am – 4 pm: BARBARIAN FESTIVAL at Treadway Park, 3 blocks west of REH House

10 am – 3 pm: Cross Plains Public Library open. Original Robert E. Howard typescripts available for viewing. The Conan Board Game and the Conan Role-playing Game will be presented also.

10 a.m. to 4 pm: Pavilion available for REH items Swap Meet

11 a.m. PANEL: Paul Herman 2017 Guest of Honor. Mark Finn will conduct an interview style panel with our shy and retiring Guest of Honor.

Lunch & Festival Activities at your leisure during the day

1:30 pm PANEL: Pictures of Howard. For a long time we only had 29 photos of Bob Howard. Come and see what photo detective work has produced in the last 12 years! Panelists: Rusty Burke, Paul Herman, Patrice Louinet.

2:30 pm PANEL: The Second Annual Glenn Lord Symposium. Howard scholars will present papers discussing the life and works of Robert E. Howard. Panelists: To Be Announced.

5:00 to 8:00 pm: Sunset BBQ at the Pavilion

There will be some extemporaneous panel-like events this year: Special Announcements at the Pavilion prior to the BBQ, Conan Board Game and Role-playing game demonstrations and participation at the Library and Poetry Readings on Howard's Porch.

Afterward there will be Howard Fellowship at the Pavilion.

PLEASE NOTE: ALL PANELS LAST ONE HOUR AND WILL TAKE PLACE AT THE FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, 1000 N. MAIN ST. IN CROSS PLAINS.

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Top Ten Reasons to Come to Howard Days


With only ten days left until the start of Howard Days, here are the TOP TEN REASONS why you should show up in Cross Plains!

10. To honor and support the legacy of an American original, Robert E. Howard.

9. In Cross Plains, Texas, no one is a stranger.

8. You will meet folks from - literally - all over the world who share a common interest: the life and works of Robert E. Howard!

7. Where else can you actually read Howard's poetry right from the front porch of the house where it was created?

6. The Postal Cancellation souvenir is exclusive to Howard Days.

5. The Gift Shop, Swap Meet, Silent Auction and REH Foundation tent have Howard items that you can get no where else!

4. The House tours, the Bus Tour and tours of local restaurants (and the Barbarian Festival!) will keep both your brain and your stomach well fed! (The House tours and the Bus Tour are FREE, but the restaurants will need some of your dough.)

3. The Friday Hot Dog Lunch, the Banquet and the Saturday night BBQ offer up some fine Texas vittles!

2. You can meet interesting people and exchange thoughts and ideas at the myriad of interesting Howard-themed panel presentations.

1. Howard Days in Cross Plains is like a big family reunion - only with people you really want to see!

We hope to see you at Robert E. Howard Days this year - it truly is the Best Two Days in Howard Fandom! Y'all come!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Howard Days Reminders



With Robert E. Howard Days in Cross Plains less than three weeks away now, we'd like to share some reminders for all attendees making the trek to West Texas.

Some folks like to show up early, so let it be known that Thursday is the new Friday, just as Wednesday is the new Thursday. Really, it's not as confusing as it sounds.

  • The Alla Ray Morris Pavilion adjacent to the Howard Museum will be "open" to everyone starting on Wednesday afternoon. It's a good place to meet up with friends and just hang out while waiting for the festivities to begin. You will no doubt see folks from Project Pride getting everything ready, so if you'd like to volunteer a little time to help them any way you can, they would certainly thank you kindly.
  • On Thursday late afternoon in Cross Plains you can show your support for the Barbarian Festival by attending the Fish Fry at the Senior Center right downtown and then watch the four-hour parade to celebrate the Festival on Saturday at Treadway Park. Only kidding about that four hour thing.
  • The Howard House and Museum will be open on Thursday afternoon from 2 to 4. You will be able to tour the house and get in early to the Gift Shop, but there will be no docents available to give you a tour.
  • Speaking of the Gift Shop, please note that they do not take credit or debit cards, so it's cash or check only. Same is true at the Silent Auction held at the Banquet on Friday night. There are several ATMs located around town for your convenience.
  • And speaking of the Celebration Banquet, there are still seats available but they are going fast. For $15.00 (per person) you get to sit down to a delicious Texas style dinner with 124 of your new and old friends, have access to the Silent Auction and hear 2017 Guest of Honor Paul Herman. This is the ONLY FEE for the entire weekend, as all other activities are free! You can still mail your reservation to Project Pride, POB 534, Cross Plains, TX 76443 or Paypal your dough to ProjPride@yahoo.com.
  • And speaking of the Silent Auction, we are still looking for donations of Howard items to fill the tables. 100% of the money from the Silent Auction goes to the maintenance and upkeep of the Robert E. Howard Museum, so please help them out! You can send your tax deductible donations to the above address or bring them to the House on Friday before 4 pm. Thanks!
  • Don't forget the special Postal Cancellation stamp souvenir (shown above) is only available at the Cross Plains Post Office on Friday.
  • ALL PANELS this year will be held at the First United Methodist Church on the north side of town. We're looking forward to this new venue with more room and better acoustics and presentation facilities. Please plan your attendance time accordingly, as it may take you a whole extra minute to travel to this site.
  • The Robert E. Howard Foundation will have a tent set up in the back yard of the House where you may purchase all the REH titles available from the REH Foundation Press.
  • And finally, Cross Plains is wet again and we're not talking about the recent storms. You may now purchase beer and wine within Cross Plains city limits, for consumption on private property, eliminating the trip to Brownwood to the drive-thru liquor store (unless you really want to!) As always, please practice discretion. Thanks.
Ok, stay tuned to this page for additional updates or stuff we've forgotten to tell you. There's always plenty of room at Howard Days for you, so even if it's a last minute decision, y'all come!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Cross Plains No Longer Dry!



Perhaps an explanation is in order; while Cross Plains indeed has a perpetually dry atmosphere and climate and the dangers of brush fires are always present, Cross Plains is no longer dry in the alcohol sense.

May 2017 finds us now able to purchase beer and wine within the city's limits, after a referendum to allow alcohol sales in Callahan County was ratified.

So, for those of us Howard Days attendees who needed to head to Brown County for libations, celebrating Howard Days at the Pavilion is now easier on our gas tanks!

As always, drink responsibly and don't get caught on Texas roads with open containers, because the Rangers don't like that - AT ALL!

We're looking forward to seeing old and new friends at Howard Days, regardless of what your beverage preference is. Only a month to go! Now it's REALLY time to get organized!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Howard Days is Six Weeks Away!



The Best Two Days in Howard Fandom are just around the corner! Schedules are set, plans are made, itineraries are being filled and surprises are in the offing! Howard Days 2017 has the makings of being another wonderful time to support the Legacy of Robert E. Howard!

Project Pride of Cross Plains, the fine folks who actually do all of the work to insure a great Howard Days, is busy with their preparations. While we are trying a couple of new things this year with the venues and the programming, one of the most popular events during Howard Days is staying in place.

The Silent Auction at the Friday night Celebration Banquet, is one of the most exciting happenings that occurs during Howard Days. Attendees file into the Cross Plains Community Center to enjoy a delicious Texas meal, hear Guest of Honor Paul Herman speak, meet and greet old and new friends - and then elbow each other out of the way as pencils fly and bids are placed on the scores of REH items lined up on tables, awaiting bids! Just kidding about the elbows, but bidding is always fun, fast and furious! And 100% of the proceeds go to Project Pride and their year-round care of the Robert E. Howard Museum.

Items in the auction range from old and new Howard hardback and paperback books, magazines, comic books and graphic novels, fanzines, original artwork, posters, 3-D art - the myriad list is mind-boggling! A number of the items are collectibles for those folks wanting to fill in their Howard collections and there are always some surprise items that ramp up the bidding!

To that end, the Silent Auction needs your help. By your donation of items for the auction, you're helping out Project Pride as they continuously insure the Legacy of Ol' Two-Gun Bob Howard. A number of us have multiple items in our Howard collections that would be gladly accepted into the Silent Auction, so we're hoping you can help!

You can mail your (tax-deductible) items to:
Project Pride Silent Auction, POB 534, Cross Plains, TX 76443

Or, you can bring items to the Howard House on the Friday of Howard Days. However, items mailed early enable Project Pride to have them in place on the tables, ready for bids.

Both the Silent Auction and the Gift Shop at the Howard House are only equipped to take your cash or check, so please plan accordingly. (There are several ATM's around town.)

Word is out that there will be a number of items from the Glenn Lord Collection in this year's auction, compliments of Lou Ann Lord. You won't want to miss this!

And it's not too late to make plans to head to Cross Plains and join the fun. With the exception of the Banquet meal, all the events, activities, panels, tours at Howard Days are FREE! You can't find a better deal than that! Hope to see you there - y'all come!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Registration Forms Now Available





Here are the registration pages going out now to folks on the Project Pride mailing list. Never fear! You may use the form here to register for Howard Days in June.

Please note that the registration taking place is primarily for the Friday Celebration Banquet. ALL the activities at Howard Days: admission to the Howard Museum and grounds, the Bus Tour, all panels, swap meet, readings and other activities are presented FREE of charge! The $15.00 fee gets you a seat at the Banquet plus helps defray the cost of drinks, donuts, and a hot dog lunch.

You won't find a better deal all summer. Plus you get to hang out with a great group of people! Hope to see you in June - it's never too late to come on down to Howard Days. It's in Texas - there's plenty of room!

Y'all come!