For years I have been trying to attend the conference but life, work, school or finances always had a way of interrupting my attendance. Life almost stopped me this year after we lost our house and hero cat Myrra to an electrical fire in June, 2012. After surviving such a life changing event I decided life is too short to waste constantly dreaming of attending and to actually attend regardless of our situation. I grew up reading the magazine 2600. Like many it had a positive influence on my curious growing mind and heavily influenced my chosen career.
Originally, I volunteered for any assistance. Unfortunately, I was not physically capable of working as hard as I wished due to smoke inhalation injuries from our house fire. However, Lindsay, the volunteer organizer was extremely sympathetic to my fiery situation and made sure I could still participate for setup and tear down. She set aside some extra swag t-shirts since we lost pretty much everything and gave me a copy of the book The Best of 2600 A Hacker Odyssey to help rebuild our library. I must admit tears welled up a bit when Lindsay was so kind and gave me the book and the newest copy of 2600 magazine after all the equipment trucks were loaded up. My emotions got the best of me and I left without expressing just how great of an experience the conference was and how thankful I am to Lindsay for all her support. Thank you so much for everything.
I never thought when flipping greedily through the pages of 2600 in my youth, scouring each page carefully for tidbits of knowledge that one day I would attend the conference much less they would help clothe me and keep me slightly sane by replacing part of my collection 2600 magazine collection. The next conference will be in two years, 2014. I look forward to volunteering again, this time more physically capable and involved if possible. Thank you to Lindsay and all the other volunteers and organizers for being so fantastic. Volunteering at Last H.O.P.E. Number Nine was memorable and I look forward to 2014.