We all owe Bass of Treesofjoy.com a huge debt of gratitude for putting this together as well as Bill of Bill's Figs for hosting the event.
Maggie, I took some lousy pictures that I will be posting just for you.
This first gathering was small with about 15 people of which only about 6 are current forum members (+1 who will be joining in the next day or 2) and assorted children, spouses, etc. Forum members included Bass (of course), Gorgi, Fortissi, BLB, PM209 and jenia. If I've left out someone, please yell and I will correct this. Not sure if Al Richter is a forum member or not.
PM209 gets the award for the longest drive. He drove from Binghamton, NY (look it up on the map) to Flemington, NJ. It was a 3:30 drive for me one way and Binghamton is at least 4 hours further north.
The weather was perfectly miserable so it was fortunate that we had the event at Bill's where he could shelter the group from occasional drizzle and give us a slideshow presentation of his self-watering system and general fig culture information.
I had been offline for a few days so didn't see Bass's posts about the raffle/swap, so... I embarrassed myself by showing up empty-handed. I was impressed (and even more embarrassed) by the generosity of people lik Gorgi, Bass, Fortissi, BLB and Al Richter Gorgi showed up with a boxfull of BC Sal's/Sal's Corleone plants that were raffled off for FREE. (Eat your hearts out! Bet you'll all show up NEXT time.) Everyone got someothing. Actually, everyone walked away with plants and cuttings. There was quite an impressive variety.
Mostly, it was just fun to put faces to names and talk figs.
Bill's operation is lovely and impressive. He had an army of 180+ fig trees in his self-watering pots lined up like soldiers. I couldn't get past calculating to cost of the pots, much less the trees.
In the meantime, Bass if plotting and planning future events so stay tuned.
I'll post (bad) pictures after I've had a nap.