My Convention Career: 1979
- Chattacon, Chattanooga -- The con was snowed in and the banquet room was freezing, so I took advantage of a late birthday gift brought by friends to the con: a footed, hooded striped flannel robe. After the fifth or so person asked if I was going into the masquerade, I said I was, as a gay Jawa. The people at my table decided this was too good an idea to pass up so we fudged a facemask out of a hotel towel and I won the masquerade's "Anita Bryant Award": an orange. This con is also noteworthy for the fact that the hotel wouldn't allow the art show to take the hotel art off the walls, so various fans attached bid sheets to the decoration, including one on a sea scene called "De Shrimp Boats, Dey Is A Comin'."
- CoastCon, Biloxi -- George Effinger, my main reason to attend this con, called me from an oxygen tent the night before I was leaving to tell me he couldn't make it but I decided to go anyway. A good decision, since the few True Fans there (in and among the gamers, Marines, and fraternity brothers) huddled together, including GoH George RR Martin, resulting in a lasting bonding similar to the type of thing that results from being in a foxhole together during a war. Favorite overheard conversation was a young fan coming up to George Martin at a party and asking in a thick Southern accent "Why do you wraht such depressin' stories?" I drove back from the con with the late Dave Minch, and we should never have tried it on no sleep: we ended up missing the turn-up to the Atlanta freeway and didn't notice until we hit a sign on I-10 saying "Welcome to Florida"!
- Kubla Khanception, Nashville -- My first chance to share convention adventures with friend Eve Ackerman (the one who showed me the original notice about SunCon, my first convention). My first true "Freak the Mundanes" happening occurred at a local "family style" restaurant, when we didn't quite realize how loud we were telling the Jesus jokes we somehow started trading. All-night filking was fun but made for a somewhat dangerous drive home, during which we kept opening and closing the windows and singing at the top of our lungs to keep ourselves awake.
- Deep South Con, New Orleans -- I helped for the first time at a bid party at this con: Atlanta was bidding for the next DSC. I was really sick of making peach daiquiries by the time Saturday night was over.
- FilkCon, Chicago -- As a founding member of the Filk Foundation, I was duty-bound to attend this first-ever convention devoted solely to filking. A great laid-back con, although listening to the tapes years later can make me wince.
- NorthAmeriCon (the NASFiC), Louisville -- Probably my all-time favorite convention, even if it was the first and last time I ever had to sleep in a function room (thanks to a roommate mix-up). Lots of old friends, absolutely fabulous filking, hanging with the Dorsai, and the easiest acquisition of kosher food ever, thanks to an Ethnic Heritage Festival going on at the large plaza next door to the hotel. (Also famous for the skinnydipping party that had more serious ramifications from a hotel official thanks to windows into the pool from the bar, unbeknownst to the swimmers.) I had more appreciation of this convention at the convention because of the bittersweet knowledge that I was moving to Israel and might never be at another convention.
This page brought to you by Janice Gelb. Last updated February 26, 1997.
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