Monday, September 21, 2020
Thursday, September 17, 2020
And then one day, Fortress Party moved to Ann Arbor. We bought a house because of the name of the street it was on... Roon the Ben.
Thursday, September 10, 2020
- A hand holding a DIVX disc.
- Some kind of malevolent space god cursing a farm in a crystal ball
- A retro rocket ship
- A nuclear explosion at the North Pole
- A laser blaster
- The gravestone for Jim O'Keane (Who I think was Jeff Bercovici's middle school English teacher?)
- An envelope with a 34-cent stamp
- A small (but apparently futuristic) shovel.
- A sinister bug-creature
- A robot with an oscilloscope on its chest
- An alien
- A tower in the clouds with a nearby flying saucer
I think there were 6 of each beer, and the handful of guests had a chance to sample both. Everyone agreed that both were delicious, but we argued fiercely about which brew was better.
Monday, September 7, 2020
Year 3 was the first time we used clotheslines and clothespins to hang the sheets. This was only possible because of a unique architectural feature of the family room in my parents' house.
If you look just to the left of the light fixture, you will see a bit of clothesline leading up towards the corner of the room. It is tied around an angled support beam. There are one these in each of the cardinal corners of the room. We tied the clotheslines to these very loosely, and the fort dipped considerably in the middle, where it was still bolstered from below by furniture.
Still, the idea of supporting the sheets from above was a major game-changer. In the evolution of Fortress Party, this was the year it sprouted legs and walked out of the ocean.
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
It is with both sadness and relief that we officially announce the cancellation of Fortress Party 2020. If this comes as a surprise, you must be living under a rock. In which case I envy you, because that living situation would simulate the Fortress experience, at least a little.
On one hand, it would be irresponsible to cram 400 people into a single-family home during a pandemic, but on the other hand, what if that home was modified to impair air circulation as much as possible?
For those of you who aren't privy to the lowdown, Fortress Party is an event that Lauren and I have hosted every year since before Lauren and I met. This would have been our 26th consecutive year turning the house into a giant maze of sheets, crawlspaces, and fire hazards.
Since I won't be spending the next three months hanging sheets, I've decided to use some of that found time to share the history and highlights of the last 25 years of Forts.
We'll start from the beginning, and work up to the present by December 12, the day that would have been FP'20.
Note to those of you reading this on email: I will post most of these Fortress Party updates to blog and Facebook. The monthly Hard Taco digest emails will continue to have links to the newest Hard Taco songs, as well as links to the Fortress Party history updates.
1995 - The fort with a lower-case f.
This is the real story of how it started. I was home on college break, some high school and camp friends came over, and someone suggested we build a fort in my parent's family room. I think it was borne out of nostalgia, which is a funny emotion for a teenager.
We draped sheets over furniture and secured them with heavy books or photo albums. The highest point in the fort was the sheet that rested on the NordicTrack ski machine.
The main activity of the evening was playing Trivial Pursuit. As you can see, it was Trivial Pursuit Genus I, but of course they didn't call it Genus I because Genus II hadn't been invented yet. Fortress Party was the same way... this night wouldn't come to be known as Fortress Party '95 until many years later.
With warmest regards,