::As the cheers for Clarice die down, they start back up again with gusto when the next presenter appears. Foxglove is wearing a black evening gown with a gold herringbone belt at the waist, plus a sapphire cameo around her neck. She waves and smiles as well, and when she reaches the podium Chris “Dale” Birkett shouts, “We’d love to have you around every night too!”::
::The crowd shouts its approval, some chanting, ‘Fox-y!’
before order is restored::
Foxglove: Oh, it’s a nice thought, but I’d have to have an hour in-between shows for feeding time outside…
::The laughter ensues, and Foxglove raises her wing to
silence the crowd::
Foxglove: I’m really pleased to be here—the Golden Acorn awards are not really about us Rangers. They’re about the fans and all the wonderful things they create, and some of the hardest-working fans are the website maintainers. They have the role of keeping a site interesting to the fans while finding all sorts of new things to add to it. It’s a pretty thankless job, and I think all of the maintainers here should stand up now and be recognized.
::From the audience, a bunch of the Rangerphiles stand up as
the others clap. The big screen shows Winston and Dumpster Side in the
spotlight as they push to be the nearest to the camera::
Foxglove: Okay, let’s see who our nominees are:
- Ray Jones (JoneScientific)
- Alex (The Russian CDRR Portal)
- Jaleel (The Foxglove Feature)
Foxglove: Wow, they don’t come better than that, do they. But only one can win…
::Foxglove tears open the envelope, using her wingtip::
Gadget: And I bet you thought I couldn’t do it. Well, call me a luna moth! Get up here, Mr. Rangerphile! Ray Jones is our winner!
::Just a little more stoop-shouldered and just a little more gray-haired than last year, Ray Jones strides up to the podium. He is dressed in a cheap black suit with a lavender shirt and a slightly worn black clip-on tie. His heavy, but shiny and new, black high-top work shoes complete the image of late-middle-age eccentricity.
The star of the entrance, however, is Gadget, now nestling in his coat pocket to be better seen. Standing out against his white handkerchief, she is dressed in a strapless black evening gown, with long black gloves. Around her neck is a strand of perfect tiny white pearls. Another strand makes a bracelet on one black-gloved wrist. A pearl earring in each ear completes this perfect vision of murine elegance and beauty::
Ray: Good evening everyone!
::General applause echoes across the audience::
Ray: I want to thank everyone here for this honor. My website is actually several sites crosslinked together. There is my guest site, “voicesinthewalls” which began originally as a site about horror and science fiction, but was soon recycled into a place where I could host Rescue Ranger art and stories by others. “Rrchives” was set up to display out-of-print Disneyana and whose crown jewel is the Rescue Rangers “Bible” which I acquired on ebay.
::The big screen follows along with Ray, showing his various sites, now switching to JoneScientific::
Ray: “jonescientific” hosts my own crude and sometimes slightly demented Rangery creations. That has been filling up of late - largely with arts & craftsy type stuff so probably sometime next near I will have to add a new “RR-ts and Crafts” site for new material. Most recently I set up a Yahoo group - the Rescue Rangers Field Headquarters” to provide group communications during those infrequent times when the Acorn Café is down.
::The big screen switches to the RR Calendar and loud
applause breaks out::
Ray: But the main area, from our group perspective, is the Calendar site. To talk about that, let me turn the mike over to the one person most responsible for inspiring me to set all this up. The one person without whom my site, if I had one at all, would most probably be a Washu Shrine. Gadget?
Gadget: Golly, thanks!
::From the audience, Cyber Daimyo yells, “You should have your own mini-series!”. Gadget laughs and then signals for calm::
Gadget: Let me say that the Calendar is Ray’s site only in the sense that he does the cut and paste work. It’s really the Rescue Ranger fan communities’ site. You wonderful people - and buses - do the real creative work.
::From the back, Greyhound Bus honks his horn, echoing loud through the auditorium::
Gadget: Each month, you generously share the most wonderful pictures and songs and poems. Your talent and imagination never fails! Sometimes, we have such a wealth that many items have to be bumped ahead to future months. It’s no chore to have the privilege to work with such great material every month.
But another important thing about the Calendar is that it is not simply an art gallery. It is meant to contribute to the sense of RR community. We have fine, polished, professional quality work. But golly, what really matters is that we can bring together work by so many of our friends!
::This brings a lot of smiles and applause from the audience, and Gadget waits until it dies down again::
Gadget: We are not looking so much for extraordinary skill - though we have lots and we truly value it - as we are looking for heart and feeling. For that hard-to-define bond of common interest and friendship. We’d like nothing more than to display work by every single one of you. Not because you are great artists—maybe you don’t think you could operate a pencil if your life depended on it—but because you are a Rangerphile. To quote from one of our past adventures, ‘Come along, you belong!’.
::Ray reaches to his pocket and lightly strokes Gadget’s head with one finger::
Gadget: Golly - that’s the signal to stop talking! We have to go now.
::Indy leans over toward Chris Silva, sitting next to him in the audience, “I see he did remember what happened with last year’s marathon acceptance.” Chris shrugs. “Hey, for Gadget, ten minutes is just getting warmed up.”::
Ray: Indeed, we have to keep moving along. Let me just thank everyone again for this award, and to reiterate that every one of you who have every made a contribution to the Calendar are the real winners tonight.
So let’s keep it up! January will start the fourth year of the Calendar and we can certainly keep it going for many, many more. Don’t be shy. Pick up your pencils and paints and keyboards – whatever medium you think you might like to try - and amaze us all with what you can do!
Gadget: Thank you all again! Okay, we’re through.
::Ray and Gadget wave, then, mousette in pocket, he strides offstage to applause. Foxy flies off this time, knowing that they’ve got to move it along::