Avalon 2006. November 24-26, 2006
Convention, Wells, England
Because there had been only one session on Sunday morning, the auction could be held in the afternoon, and a larger venue wasn't necessary, so the fans returned for the auction to the same room upstairs in the Bishop's Palace where the Question and Answer sessions had taken place.
Once again, Amanda, Richard, and Dan Shea worked the crowd, playfully encouraging them to bid. Dan Shea walked down the aisle exhibiting a mounted plaque with Goa'uld symbols on it. Someone in the crowd called out to ask if Richard would sign it, and Richard called back, "I'll do anything you want to it!" That brought cheers and "ooohs" and laughter from the crowd and an innocent, "What??" from Richard. Dan gave the plaque to Richard to sign, but as the bidding continued, he kept walking around the room as if he was still holding the invisible item, even offering it to one of the bidders who "took" the invisible plaque from him to show to his wife before handing it back.
Once again, Richard auctioned off one of his autographed seal pictures, and when the bidding got up to £300, he leaned over to the auctioneer to whisper in her ear, holding the picture in front of their faces to hide what they were saying as cameras madly flashed. Finally he announced that he would sign another picture, and both of the top bidders could win the picture for equal bids, then he hugged both winners in thanks.
Just as had happened the previous evening, as Richard hugged and thanked each winner, the bidding increased with each item just for the chance to get a hug. When one winner stepped to the back of the room to pay for her item, she said with some disappointment that she had not received a hug, and the security officer nearby overheard her. After she returned to her seat, the security officer took Richard aside, whispered to him, and pointed out the woman, at which point Richard called her back and gave her the missing hug.
One additional visit to the "Atlantis" set was auctioned and then the totals were calculated. Another £5000 was earned that afternoon, and the bank representatives came to the front to present the final giant check for £15,000 ($30,000) raised during the three auctions. Richard, Amanda, and Dan offered their heartfelt thanks to the crowd for their generosity as the audience applauded. Then, in a magical moment, the audience spontaneously began to rise to their feet, still applauding and cheering, as Amanda and Dan slipped out the side door, leaving Richard alone to receive the accolades. He was genuinely touched, not fully comprehending the reason for the standing ovation. He began to leave, but hesitated, and tried to call Amanda and Dan back to join him, but they both smiled and called back, "This is for you!" The ovation lasted at least two minutes until finally, deeply moved, Richard bowed, then raised his arms in the air and called out above the applause, "I love you all!!" before leaving the room.
Shortly after the auction ended, there was a reception upstairs for the staff and stewards to celebrate the end of a highly successful weekend, and Richard and Amanda both joined the gathering to thank those who had made Avalon possible. The celebration was brief, however, since the event had ended and the building had to be vacated. As the celebration drew to a close, Richard and Amanda returned downstairs to collect their things and prepare to meet the car that had come to take them back to the place they had been staying. Richard asked, "Did I tell you about the two dogs staying there? One of them is 14 years old, but she's taken a liking to me and follows me all around and leads me out where she wants me to go." With that, Richard and Amanda said their goodbyes and drove off in the car, as Richard looked forward to at least one more chance to play with the dogs before finally heading home.
Many thanks for the additional photos from:
Carmargue Ltd., Legends Memorabilia, UgzY, Trekkie, Astra, Raquel, Teresa, Beverley J Barrett, dove0709, DMD, Wendy & Kelly & Scott, Diana, Gator101, Marieta, and Gabriele Gerritsen
Transcript written by KateR. Avalon 2006 is a production of Carmargue Ltd. Wells, England. November 24-26, 2006.