Thursday, 3 March 2011

Robert E. Howard Days Schedule Up

From REHupa, courtesy of Indy:



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.

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

9 am – 11 am: “Trailer” Tour of Cross Plains

10 am – 5 pm: Cross Plains Public Library open

11:00: PANEL: Howard Days History

Noon: Lunch hosted by Project Pride. Donations Welcome.

11:00 am to 4 pm: Pavilion available for REH items Swap Meet

1:00 pm: PANEL: History of REH fanzines

2:15 pm: PANEL: Howard’s Historicals

3:30 pm: PANEL: Conan Movie Trailers

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

Following the Banquet & Silent Auction: The Second Annual Robert E. Howard Foundation Awards at the Cross Plains Community Center

Afterward there will be some extemporaneous REH Poetry Reading at the Pavilion.


9 am – 4 pm: Robert E. Howard House Museum open to the public.

9 am – 4 pm: BARBARIAN FESTIVAL in the large lot North of the Dollar Store on Main St.

10 am – 3 pm: Cross Plains Public Library open

10 am PANEL: To Be Announced

Noon to 4 pm: Pavilion available for REH items Swap Meet

Lunch & Festival Activities at your leisure during the day

1:00 pm PANEL: Damon Sasser/Dennis McHaney

2:15 pm PANEL: REH Historical Poetry

3:30 pm PANEL:What’s Up with REH? at the Pavilion

5 pm: Sunset BBQ at the Caddo Peak Ranch

The Robert E. Howard Foundation will host a Legacy Circle Members Luncheon 11:30 am Saturday at Jean’s Feed Barn.

The Robert E. Howard grave site: A visit to the Howard grave site at the Greenleaf Cemetery in Brownwood is not an “official” activity of REH Days. Directions are available at the Howard House, as are directions to Novalyne Price Ellis’ grave site between Brownwood and Bangs.


PLEASE NOTE: You do not have to pre-register to partake of the weekend’s festivities. All are welcome to attend, visit the House and enjoy all of the activities free of charge. Project Pride likes to pre-register folks to get a head count of how many will be attending the Banquet. All the panels, tours, Swap Meet, BBQ etc. are presented at no cost. Your registration fee covers coffee & donuts Friday morning, lunch at the Pavilion Friday noon, the Friday Banquet and the Saturday BBQ.

The cost for pre-registration this year is $15 per person. Simply send your name(s) & address with a check or money order or register via PayPal (information forthcoming):
Project Pride
Attn: REH Days 2010 Pre-registration
PO Box 534
Cross Plains, TX 76443

Please pre-register before June 1, 2011.
And for only $3.00 more per person ($5.00 per family), you can become a card-carrying Member of Project Pride. Each membership can make a big difference for the House!

Oh boy! A detailed breakdown after the jump, as well as a few observations from last year (I had this whole ten-part "Scottish Invasion of Cross Plains" series planned, but procrastination has proven terminal.  Someday...)

9:00 – 4:00: Howard House Museum open for tours.
Each year, Howard Days begins at the front door to the Howard House. There is plenty of parking along the West side of the House. Say hi to the nice ladies at the table out front, sign your name in the Guest Register, drop a donation in the Donation Jar and put on a name badge so everyone knows your name.
Then enter the house itself. You can either take the guided tour, where in each room a docent will explain to you all of the history and items associated with that room, or if you’ve been here many times before you can simply browse around yourself and see what’s new. All of the rooms have been restored back to the decor of the period, and there is a wide array of  Howard associational items to look over and enjoy, including numerous photos of REH, his family and friends. You can gaze in awe at the rarest Howard collectible of all: the British publisher Herbert Jenkins 1938 edition of Robert E. Howard’s A GENT FROM BEAR CREEK, a most gracious donation from Leo Grin, or look at the Benjamin Musser poetry book that was autographed to REH by Musser and sent directly to REH in 1931. (This gem was donated by REHupa). A number of books that Dr. Howard owned are now displayed in the parlor of the Howard House, thanks to the sharp eye and quick wits of Don Herron.
In the back of the House, the Howard Gift Shop has an enormous selection of books, magazines, postcards, t-shirts and other souvenirs to purchase. Each purchase contributes to the Robert E. Howard Museum, so be sure to bring lots of dough! Cash or checks only please…and the Jenkins book is not for sale…
Adjacent to the Robert E. Howard House you’ll find the Alla Ray Morris Pavilion, a covered, open air meeting place for all Howard Days attendees. There are plenty of tables and chairs set up here for you to relax, converse, look over your Gift Shop purchases or swap meet deals, and just enjoy old and new friendships while celebrating Ol’ Two-Gun Bob Howard. Project Pride provides cold water and soft drinks in a large cooler here (don’t forget the Donation Jar!), and the Trailer Tour also starts here. The Friday luncheon, some of the panels and the Swap Meet take place here, and the Pavilion is also the after-hours gathering spot. It is open to all, and you are welcome here whether or not you’ve pre-registered. See you at the Pavilion!

I didn't take pictures inside the house last time around, I wasn't sure if I was allowed. If I can, I'll get one of Melville next to the mysterious tortoise bank. Some really lovely things in there.

9:00 – 4:00: Postal Cancellation at downtown Post Office
Take your postcards and souvenir mail there, and they will cancel the stamp with a special REH Days logo. Send your family or friends who couldn’t make it a special REH souvenir to add to their collections. The post office is located at 101 N. Avenue D, one block east of Main Street (behind Higgenbotham’s General Store).

I sent a postcard last year (I think: either that or the girls did), might do it again this year.

10:00 – 500: Public Library downtown open. Original manuscripts available for viewing, copies for sale.
The Cross Plains Public Library will be open all day for the purpose of viewing their extensive Howard collection. The Library has an wide array of original Howard typescripts, rare Howard books, old Weird Tales magazines and various Howard fanzines. Enjoy the new library annex and be in the audience for the various Howard Days panels presented here. There will also be Howard books for sale here, including the excellent REH memoir by Novalyne Price Ellis, One Who Walked Alone. Copies of Howard’s typewritten manuscript pages are also for sale.

I loved the library. Absolutely fantastic place, lovely and obliging staff. I'm eager to see how the Dan Goudey Memorial's going along.

9:00 – 11:00 am: Open-air Trailer Ride Tour
Why walk when you can ride? Show up before 9 am to claim a seat on the open-air trailer. Hosted by Rusty Burke, Don Clark and Kennith Beeler, they will provide commentary on REH points of interest as you ride around Cross Plains. This year the trailer has sides on it for added safety and there’s a p.a. system available for your listening pleasure.Sorry, but there will be no Bus Tours this year.

This was a great little tour, I got to see tons of fantastic places. A shame the bus tour isn't on this year, since it took you places the trailer didn't: hopefully it'll return next year.

11:00 am: Panel: 25 Years Later – The First REH Days. Rusty Burke and Bill Cavalier, two of the original 10 attendees, talk about the one that started it all: the very first REH Days in 1986. Location: Pavilion.

Rusty and Bill are great fun to listen to, so I'll definitely drop by the panel.

10:00 – 4:00 Pavilion available for informal REH Swap Meet. You are welcome to bring your Robert E. Howard and related items and set up on the tables in the pavilion, for a Howard Fans Swap Meet. Buy, sell, & trade in this informal setting with your fellow fans, while enjoying a cool drink provided by Project Pride and chatting with your new and old Howard friends. If you do sell items, a donation of your proceeds to Project Pride (on the honor system) is the only fee for the space provided, and it is much appreciated. The requested donation is 10% of your sales.

I got a few good things at the swap meet, but I had limited funds back then (trips to America ain't cheap, lads & lasses): I've been saving up more, so hopefully they'll be ready for a gullible Scot.

1:00 Panel: REH Fanzines: They Kept the Legacy Alive. Join panelists Damon Sasser, Dennis McHaney, Lee Breakiron and Bill Cavalier as they present an overview of the history of REH fan publishing. Location: Cross Plains Library.

I'm looking forward to seeing the gang talk about the REH fanzines before my time, I'm woefully uninformed.  I talked with Dennis & Bill last year, but I didn't get the chance to talk to Damon or Lee.

2:15 Panel: The Howard Historicals. A discussion of Howard’s love for writing history in the guise of fiction and this year’s SWORD WOMAN book from Del Rey will take place. Panelists: Barbara Barrett, Amy Kerr + To Be Announced. Location: Cross Plains Library.

Cool, the REH Shieldmaidens unite again!  I can't wait to meet Amy in person.  I wonder who the mysterious TBA is - Howard Andrew Jones?  Scott Oden?  John Watkiss?  I still need to glomp him for his gorgeous Dark Agnes illustrations.

3:30 Panel: Fredrik Malmberg of Paradox Entertainment. Join Fred at the Cross Plains High School Auditorium for a showing of trailers of the upcoming CONAN movie. Location: CPHS Auditorium.

Jings. I wonder if they'll be supplying their own tomatoes, or do guests have to bring their own?  Still, I'm interested to see Fred there, especially in the Lion's Den.  He's the dude in charge of the Conan trademark, after all.  Plus he looks like my uncle.  I'm sure some might be disappointed that this could mean the Valkyrie Gudrun won't be joining us this year, but we can always hope.

6:30 The Robert E. Howard Days Celebration Banquet
Come feast on a complete fajita dinner with all the fixin’s, this year provided again by our amigos at Mexico City Cafe in Cross Plains. Your $15.00 registration fee entitles you to this, the second of three full meals served by your Cross Plains friends. (The third is the Barbeque at Caddo Peak Ranch on Saturday night.)

Last year, I was informed that the meat served was, in fact, possum.  Being a guy who enjoys his haggis, this didn't particularly phase me, but I wasn't that hungry anyway.  It turned out it wasn't possum, of course, just the Texans having us on - still, I wouldn't be averse to possum.  Rather that than whole prawn.  Gah.

The Silent Auction ends after dinner, with a brief period to raise those bids. If you are the winning bidder when time is up, you win the item. We promise you won’t have to wait long in the payment line, because we’re hanging at the Community Center for:
The Robert E. Howard Foundation Awards. Immediately after the Silent Auction ends, stick around in the coolness of the Community Center as the 2010 REH Foundation Awards are presented for the finest in REH scholarship and fandom, as voted by the membership of the Foundation.

The 2011 nominees haven't been announced yet, but it can't be long now.

Here's Saturday:

10:00 – 4:00 Annual Barbarian Festival located in the large lot just north of the Dollar Store on Main Street in Cross Plains – a small town specialty: parade, car & tractor show, live music, craft vendors & lots of food vendors, games for the whole family, and new this year – a Talent Show. See their website at

I didn't spend a lot of time at the festival last year, but if I have spare time, I might have a wee saunter over.

10:00 Panel: To Be Announced

Oh ho!  A mystery - a special guest?  A new book announcement?  The Conan film, or its sequel, or another upcoming Howard project?  Something entirely different?

1:00 Panel: Guests of Honor Dennis McHaney and Damon Sasser talk about their prolific careers involved with Howard Fandom.

I imagine much fun to be had.

2:15 Panel: REH Historical Poetry. Noted REH poetry experts Barbara Barrett and Frank Coffman discuss the historical slant to Howard’s poems.

Grand stuff!

3:30 Panel: What’s Happening with REH. Panelists discuss the ongoing and upcoming events and projects in the continuing 21st Century REH Boom. Panelists will include Rusty Burke, Fred Malmberg, Paul Herman + other unsuspecting Howard Heads!

This was a great panel last year, and I doubt this year will be any different.  Specifically, I hope Sword Woman isn't the last we see of the Del Reys.

5:00 – 8:00 “Sunset BBQ at Caddo Peak,” hosted by the Middleton Family, owners of the beautiful Caddo Peak Ranch.
We all meet at the Pavilion before 5 and caravan a few miles west of Cross Plains to one of the most picturesque landmarks of Central Texas, the Caddo Peaks. While there, you’ll have the opportunity to take a trip to the base of West Caddo Peak and hike up to the top, giving you perhaps the best view of Central Texas to be had anywhere. (Don’t forget your water bottle!)
When you return, you will enjoy a delicious,  fully catered BBQ meal, courtesy of the owners of the ranch, Janet Swanson and Marsha Murray. And then, watch a beautiful sunset with your many old and new Howard friends, as Howard Days comes to a close. An informal gathering then takes place at the Pavilion after the BBQ.
Hope you can make it to Cross Plains for Robert E. Howard Days this year. It continues to be a wonderful time to enjoy what is the very best time to be a Howard Fan, and share in the Fellowship of Robert E. Howard Friends, Old & New. It’s a trip you won’t forget!
As they say in Texas: “Y’all come!”

I was assured that this was a lovely time, but Crom, what an ordeal... due to jetlag, homesickness and who knows what other weird ailments made me somewhat weird that weekend, I decided to go with my mam to Caddo Peak, while the girls hitched a ride.  We were given directions.  We got lost.  Somehow, we got lost.  It was mildly terrifying: lost out in this harsh, unforgiving heat, night swiftly approaching, the danger of the country roads, in a foreign land.  Luckily, a stranger saved us, and we got back to the hotel - but sadly, I missed the BBQ.  It turned out that, because we Scots live in a small country, our concept of what constituted "just up the road" varied greatly from a state which is ten times the size of our homeland. So we missed it.

Not this year!


  1. *sigh*

    Wish I could join you. Maybe another year.

  2. really making it tempting.. but that 28 hours on a greyhound ... each.. way.. just.. it's really holding me back..

  3. the heat...the heat....

  4. yah, I also really didn't know how far away brownwood was from crossplains.. It's odd that the last 30 miles of my hypothetical trip is the only bit I've no clue how to get across.. Renting a car for a weekend is financially impossible.. but I'm not sure if a taxi trip would really be any cheaper.

    I'd just drive.. but I know my car wouldn't make it.. and I'd really hate to break down in front of some farmhouse or something in Texas in the middle of tumbleweed country..

  5. I would like to remind my grandson that it wasn't lack of funds that curtailed his spending spree last year but lack of weight allowance on the plane. He bought, no kidding, about fifty books that 'us girls' had to distribute and carry in our luggage. This year he is being very small volume only. Granny has spoken!!

  6. Woah, Al! Did you just get skooled by your grandma? Good on you, Granny!

  7. Wish I could join you. Maybe another year.

    Here's hoping!

    I'd just drive.. but I know my car wouldn't make it.. and I'd really hate to break down in front of some farmhouse or something in Texas in the middle of tumbleweed country..

    I would like to remind my grandson that it wasn't lack of funds that curtailed his spending spree last year but lack of weight allowance on the plane. He bought, no kidding, about fifty books that 'us girls' had to distribute and carry in our luggage.

    Those were gifts from Deuce! What kind of a friend would I be to refuse such generosity from a fellow Cimmerian?

    (In any case, if I do go a bit mad, I'll send any surplus back home via package. I won't impose again. Hey, one very small volume only for the plane!)

    Woah, Al! Did you just get skooled by your grandma?

    About fifteen years ago, Gran fell through the roof and broke her back. She was back on her feet within weeks, insisting on making cups of tea for the family.

    So yes, I did indeed get skooled by my grandma. Don't mess with West Coast Grannies, is all I can say!

  8. I'm afraid you quoted me in the same block as your Gran.

    But after having looked into it, the final 30 miles between Brownwood and Crossplains seems determined to balk me in every attempt.

    Truly amazing that I can go from Athens Georgia to Brownwood Texas with no difficulty, but cannot manage to get from Brownwood to Crossplains.. boggles the mind.

  9. Crivvens, so I did. What I meant to say was "I know the feeling: 30 miles is a big journey for me, let alone 3000!"

  10. One of these years I'm going to go to Howard Days, just wish it wasn't on my anniversary. Don't think the wife is up for celebrating our matrimony in Cross Plains.

  11. I imagine your flight from Scotland to Texas is probably in the range of .. 10 hours or so? Maybe 11 heading home?

    Thats a pretty substantial chunk of time to be trapped in a plane.

    But I can fully respect the 30 miles as a journey, to me, thats just going to the book store.. but having been to the UK.. and having seen The National Express's idea of an "Express service".. which took some where in the range of 14 hours to get from the Scottish Borders to London.. egads..