2018 Freddy the Pig Convention

Mark Your Calendars for Freddyfest 2018!

Sunday 10/7/18 — Tuesday 10/9/18

with a special presentation by Michael Cart, biographer of Walter R. Brooks, on Saturday 10/6 in Rochester, NY

The Gould Hotel, Seneca Falls, NY

Seneca Falls is a Centerboro-ish small town in the Finger Lakes region, less than an hour from the airports in Syracuse or Rochester. Seneca Falls offers plenty of sites for those who might want to arrive early (or stay late) and explore — including the Women’s Rights National Historical Park, the Seneca Museum of Waterways, the Erie Canal, the Elizabeth Cady Stanton House, the National Women’s Hall of Fame, among others. As a bonus, the leaves should be spectacular!


Our own Michael Cart – who literally wrote the book about Walter R. Brooks: Talking Animals and Others (The Overlook Press, 2009) – will share his wit and wisdom about Freddy’s creator at 1 pm on Saturday, October 6.

The event will be in the second floor conference room in the Rundel Memorial Building (the “old library”) at 115 South Avenue in Rochester, NY. (The room is directly off the lobby on that floor, next to the main stairs and across from an elevator.)

Our convention begins the next day in Seneca Falls, about an hour’s drive away, so this Rochester Public Library event might be a perfect beginning to a wonderful holiday weekend!

Brooks lived in Rochester for several years early in his life and attended University of Rochester. Of course, the city is mentioned a number of times in the Freddy books. Michael will pay special attention to Walter’s Rochester connections, and a Q&A will follow the talk.

Thanks to member John Rhoades for getting the ball rolling on this by planting the seed with Rochester’s Office of the City Historian!


Preliminary schedule for our 2018 convention

Subject to change. All times approximate. Meals are own-plans except for the banquet.


12 noon Favorite Illustrations by Kurt Wiese – NANCY WRIGHT

1 pm Welcome/State of the Barnyard RANDY CEPUCH

1:30 pm The Uncollectible Poems of Freddy the Pig: From Here to Obscurity and other scholarly stuff from the Centerboro School, with the original texts diligently compared and revised.JOHN CHASTAIN

2:30 pm Future Fans of Freddy: What Do We Have in Common That Turns Us Into Serial Freddy Readers? What makes people read Freddy books, and why? Are there life forces that drive us toward them? Are there personality characteristics that make us susceptible? How would you spot a future Freddy fan in a crowd? The answers are simple and straightforward, just like Freddy himself. – BETSY TISDALE, NANETTE FYNAN

3:15 pm A Visit to the Dark Side: Gangs on the Bean Farm Territorial disputes weren’t exactly unknown in the otherwise bucolic Centerboro area. –ALADDINE JOROFF

3:30 pm Why A Sunbonnet and Curls? An introduction to and reading of the second revision of Edward H. Anderson’s essay originally published on the now defunct Mr. Eha’s Place website. Possible analytic approaches to the question are explored and a final recommendation is offered. – PAUL STACHOWSKI

4 pm The Great Dragon Debate On the 60th anniversary of its publication, a debate will be waged on Freddy and the Dragon, the last Freddy book in the canon. Is it a tired version of those classics that have gone before it, or does it maintain, or even surpass, the humor and creativity of the previous books? –ALICE TRACY, KEVIN PARKER

5 pm An Update on Wikibeania and the Freddy Concordance RANDY CEPUCH, PETER TAMAS

5:30 pm How to Help Today’s Libraries Our instincts are to donate to libraries. However, many libraries are changing. This changes how we can encourage libraries to promote Freddy. – PETER TAMAS

8 pm A Cappella Freddy Singalong It’s not easy these days to smuggle guitars across the US border, so our Canadian musician friends will lead us through voice-only renditions of old and new Freddy-related tunes. (Among them: I Am Cow (Hear Me Moo), and the geographically perfect Right Beside Cayuga’s Waters.) – DAVID HAAS, SUSAN LYNCH

8:30 pm Freddy Goes Camping: A Bedtime Story Small stick puppets based on the original Kurt Wiese illustrations interact with each other and the illustrations from Freddy Goes Camping, depicted in a very large book – a bedtime story. Nancy is the narrator, Jeb is the puppeteer and familiar voices speak the dialog. – NANCY WRIGHT, JEB RONG


9 am Freddy Comes to Rochester An in-depth and lively look at the life, times, and work of Walter R. Brooks, giving attention to the people and places that influenced his writing.  MICHAEL CART

10 am Suffragettes and Mrs. Bean A brief history of the suffrage movement and Mrs. Bean’s attitude toward women’s rights. Freddy and The Bean Home News and Freddy Plays Football will be discussed. – HENRY COHN

11 am The Haudenosaunee of Central New York and Talking Animals A brief overview of Native Americans in central New York State and the importance of animals in the spiritual lives of the Haudenosaunee peoples. The belief in talking animals has played a large part in their traditions, which we will explore in this presentation. – TOM SCHOBERT

1:30 pm Bean Barnyard Boo-Boos & Faded Phaetons – RANDY CEPUCH

1:45 pm The Evolution of Female Characters in the Freddy Series How they connect to Walter Brooks’ life (1886-1958) and times, and often represent values that Brooks admired. Tantalizing question: Is Freddy an androgenous pig? –CONNIE ARNOLD

3:30 pm O Canada: The Game Freddy Goes to the North Pole contains a glacier of anti-Canadian tropes, from avaricious border guards to dirty-faced young girls to bloodthirsty wolves slithering through the boreal forest, hunting for tasty Americans. Not to mention an incompetent socialist Santa who dares to be proud of his low- productivity rates. Now, just in time to save an entire nation’s rep, it’s ‘O Canada – The Game’. Conventionistas will divide into teams and battle it out for lavish prizes. So bone up on your Bieber – this is a presentation that knows no borders! And has no tariffs on laughs! – DAVE CARLEY, GLENDA MACFARLANE, MARY FRENCH

6 pm Banquet: Yes, it’s time to Pig Out!

7 pm An Appreciation of Jinx A comprehensive chronological character study of Freddy’s faithful feline friend. RANDY CEPUCH


9:30 am Business Meeting Treasurer’s Report, etc. – JOHN CHASTAIN

Hotel Reservations and Convention Registration 

The hotel itself is a “boutique” establishment featuring 48 very comfortable rooms on four floors (served by an elevator) with an excellent restaurant. Take a peek at http://www.thegouldhotel.com/

Hotel Reservation Info:

Reserve now by calling 877-788-4010.

Please note: You must register for the hotel and the convention separately.  

Convention Registration

Attendance is free, but we ask that you register as knowing how many people to expect will aid us in our planning. The convention registration form is available below or simply email us with your name, the number of people in your party and the days you plan to attend.  We also strongly encourage all convention attendees to become members of the club which you can do on this site.

Reach us via email:  friendsoffreddy@gmail.com.

We look forward to seeing you in October!