Return of Roger Wagner

Posted Thu, Jul. 12th 2018 in News

To help us celebrate the 30th KansasFest, Roger Wagner is returning with our keynote.  Roger, besides being an accomplished Apple II programmer, author, and businessman, is a KansasFest alumnus.  He delivered the keynote in 1995 (recording courtesy of Steve Disbrow, EGO Systems).

If you need help coming up with difficult questions to ask Roger, don’t miss the 1992 “celebrity roast” featuring him.


Remembering Ryan

Posted Thu, Dec. 8th 2011 in News

KansasFest 2011 was, by all accounts, a success, with an impressive number of attendees, a memorable keynote speech, and many days and nights of sessions and camaraderie. But through it all, the absence of one long-time Apple II user couldn’t help but be noticed. Ryan Suenaga, who attended every KansasFest from 1996 through 2009, passed away earlier this year, resulting in a loss that was felt by all, even those who had never met him.

But KansasFest was intent on not letting him be forgotten. Upon check-in, every attendee received a pair of loud shorts, which Ryan was famous for wearing. Everyone proudly wore the questionable attire for the annual group photo later that week.

KansasFest 2011 group photo, courtesy Loren Damewood.Speak softly and wear loud shorts.

That gesture just scratched the surface of the meaning Ryan’s life had on the event. Ryan started the tradition of hosting a Krispy Kreme buffet every Thursday night at KansasFest, inviting attendees to indulge in the fattening doughnuts. That tradition continued this year as the Ryan Suenaga Memorial Krispy Kreme Night, with a donation jar set up in which participants could contribute to the @rsuenaga scholarship fund at Kapiolani Community College in Hawaii. A whopping $375 was raised in this fashion, which an anonymous donor then matched, doubling the amount to $750.

KansasFest attendee Vince Briel then donated one of his rare A2MP3 cards to be auctioned, with the proceeds benefitting the scholarship. The eBay auction closed at roughly $250; when added to the previous donations, the contribution to the scholarship totaled $1,000.

KansasFest 2011 culminated with the annual formal dinner and roast. Although Ryan had already been roasted by his friends in 2002, this year seemed a good opportunity to revisit the memories, hi-jinx, and hope that Ryan inspired. It was this community’s way of showing their respect and affection in a way that Ryan would’ve appreciated. The roast closed by bestowing upon Ryan the Apple II Forever award. That plaque has been forwarded to his family, along with copies of the Juiced.GS tribute to Ryan, which was also included with the scholarship donation.

These many acts, remembrances, and donations show how much Ryan meant to the community, and what the community can do in return. Although KansasFest will never be the same without Ryan, Apple II users will always remember him and will ensure that his life has meaning for many KansasFests to come.

Dinner Banquet

Posted Fri, Jul. 22nd 2011 in

Formal banquet, including Tie On One contest. Awarding of prizes for ties and door signs. Roast presentation by Ken “MC for Life” Gagne.

Dinner Banquet

Posted Fri, Jul. 23rd 2010 in

Formal banquet, including Tie On One contest. Awarding of prizes for ties and door signs. Roast presentation by Ken “MC for Life” Gagne.

KansasFest 1992 celebrity roast

Posted Fri, May. 14th 2010 in News

Antoine Vignau of Brutal Deluxe Software recently unearthed a lost classic: a recording of the fourth annual A2-Central summer conference — aka KansasFest 1992. The video was originally assembled by Steve Disbrow, publisher of GS+ magazine, and opens with Tom Weishaar’s telephone interview of Steve Wozniak, commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Apple II’s release. Much of the remaining video is dedicated to the Friday evening formal dinner, including the annual “Tie One On” contest and the celebrity roast, in which “amusing stories, anecdotes, and just downright falsehoods” are told about Roger Wagner.

Now you too can relive this historic occasion, as Antoine has made this video available online. The entire film runs two hours and 17 minutes, is divided across 16 YouTube videos, and can be found in this playlist:

This video is one of many multimedia recordings of KansasFests past, linked to from our photo and video gallery.

It’s amazing to see that so many traditions have stayed alive longer than its 1992 participants could’ve imagined — KansasFest, the tie contest, celebrity roasts, and more. You too can be a part of history at KansasFest 2010. Register today!

Dinner Banquet

Posted Fri, Jul. 24th 2009 in

Formal banquet, including Tie On One contest. Awarding of prizes for ties and door signs. Roast presentation by Ken “MC for Life” Gagne.