What a Show is About

It begins quietly.

"We're not introducing anything new," says Jeff Joseph, "but I wanted to bring people together. For me, a show is about having fun, getting back in touch with friends..." He pauses. Enjoy The Music's Steve Rochlin walks into the room.

"Like Steve," he finishes.

Steve Rochlin takes a seat beside me.

"We see each other, what, twice a year?" Jeff asks him.

Before us, a round table is covered by meats and cheeses, vegetables, crackers, dips, and wines. I wonder how much of it will be left at the end of the night.

"That's right," Steve says. And he turns to me. "I've seen you at these things before." And we make introductions.

"This is my third CES," I explain. "I've been with Stereophile for six years, but I've only been writing for the website for a couple."

"Ah, so this is your sixth show, including Home Entertainments?"

"Yeah," I say, with no amount of certainty, "that sounds about right."

"God," Steve replies, "I feel old." And he turns to Jeff. "I remember when I was in his place. I was young, excited, energized."

"And how many shows has it been for you now?" Jeff asks.

"This is my one-hundredth show," Steve replies slowly, with a sigh and a nod.

"That's great," I say, certain that, if I ever made it to one hundred, I'd never know. Someone else would have to inform me. I would have lost count long before. I'm losing count, already.

"It's crazy," he says.