Well said, Tom. The first time I went to GSL I didn't even bring a model to show, but after that I've always brought something. Even if you don't have a winning entry, it's a way of getting to know your fellow modellers. When I got a fourth in class at GSL XXI I was surprised and overjoyed, but I don't anticipate that happening again - the standards seem to get higher with every show.
And speaking of boyhood idols, one of the thrills at the last few GSLs for me was meeting and listening to Don Emmons - builder and writer of articles in Rod & Custom Models and the inspiration for much of my model building to this day.