April 15, 1988
At Jack Heneghan's House, Mike Walsh presiding. Those attending: Joe Mayhew, Jack Heneghan, Robyn Rissell, Keith Marshall, Tom Schaad, Bob MacIntosh, Mary Morman, Kent Bloom, Abner Mintz, Chris Callahan, Dick Roepke, Dan Hoey, Jul & Mark Owings, Matt Lawrence, Alexis Gilliland, Irvin Koch, Erica Van Dommelen, Covert Beach, George Shaner, Walter Miles, Kathi Overton, John Pomeranz, Lance Oszko, Brian Lewis, Jack Chalker, Eva Whitley, Tom Schaad, Jim & Kim Elmore, Barry & Judy Newton, Linda Melnick, Bill Squire.
The meeting was called to order at 9:18 and the minutes (and precious little else) of the past three meetings were at hand in the WSFA JOURNAL. The Treasurer reported a bank balance of $14,638.84.
DISCON III BID COMMITTEE: Kent Bloom reported that they had filed with NOREASCON III as required by WSFS rules and were now an "official bid". He also announced at there would be a work-session for the bid at his house on June 5th at 1:00 PM. John Pomeranz was asking those going to off-beat cons get about 100 Bid fliers from him to take along and distribute for the DC in 92 bid.
DISCLAVE'88: Tom Schaad announced that there would be a "new" hotel for the Con this year. The New Carrollton Hotel has been sold and will no longer be a Sheraton, but will now become a Howard Johnson Premium. "Yes," quoth he, "Disclave will still be there. Things are going well. Kent Bloom, Con Registrar, needs cashiers and beer carders. Evan Phillips needs help in the Con Suite. As of the meeting, 39 dealers tables had been sold and 316 memberships. Kathi Overton mentioned some of the films she had for Disclave this year: ALPHAVILLE and THE GOLEM among them.
DISCLAVE'89: Mike Walsh announced that next year's Con would NOT be at the New Carrollton Sheraton (That hotel no longer being in existence - the second Sheraton to fall before the mighty Disclave!) Whether it would be in the New HoJo or not is not settled at this time.
As required by the WSFA Constitution, Steven Fetheroff, on behalf of the other two trustees (Cat Slusser and Steven Smith) announced the mandated list of candidates for office as selected by the WSFA Trustees. He reported that all those listed had consented to running.
Their candidates are as follows,
For President: Erica Van Dommelen
For Vice President: Steve Smith
For Secretary: Mary Morman
For Treasurer: Bob MacIntosh
For Trustees: Steven Fetheroff
Mary Ellen Scharadin
This required slate does not prevent and is not intended to discourage nominations from the floor. The election will follow the May 6th meeting at Gilliland House.
THE FIFTH FRIDAY PARTY WILL BE AT THE BUNGALOW, The residence of Mark Barker, John Pomeranz and Kathi Overton.
THERE WAS NO BUSINESS CONDUCTED.
A FEW ANNOUNCEMENTS:
MARY MORMAN IS RECEIVING HER MASTER'S DEGREE SUMMA CUM LAUDE (Which is Latin for Summer is coming, Loudly or something nice like that - )
JACK L. CHALKER, CANDIDATE, LOST. Jack, following in the footsteps of Spiro Agnew (Theodor Agnagnopoulous, another distinguished Marylander) ran for the Carroll County school-board.
GEORGE SHANER IS RECEIVING HIS MASTER'S DEGREE FROM GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY IN CONFLICT MANAGEMENT. Joe Mayhew wants to know whether he will now seek a post of the boxing commission or plan a nice little war for the Reagan Administration?
The meeting was adjourned at 9:48.
Unicon will be back at the Holiday Inn of Annapolis over July 22-24 with VERNOR VINGE as GOH and NED DAMERON as Special Artist Guest, as well as Alexis Gilliland and Dolly Gilliland, others. Membership is $20.00 until June 30th and $25.00 at the door. Check or Money Order payable to UNICON and sent to P.O. Box 7553, Silver Spring, MD 20907. They are serious about their Masquerade, and are showing 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY in Cinemascope(!). They also hold a book swap and, on the whole, last year's con was much nicer than the ones held in Silver Spring. Fliers have been passed out at WSFA meetings.
The room rates are: Single and Double: $62. Check in time is 2:00 pm and Check-out is 11 am. (A tax of 11% is added to the room cost. The Hotel is just off US Route 50 at the first Annapolis (Crownsville, Parole exit) See their flier.
Deluded that it was the 5th Friday, I called Evan Phillips up and asked him if he were planning to go to the WSFA party at the Bungalow. In part, because it was actually the 4th Friday in April, and for certain other reasons, he wasn't going. But, he was going to a Computer Fair in Trenton, New Jersey, and invited me to come along with him. I had been to one at the New Carrollton Sheraton before when I was looking for a printer for my new computer. It was a bulging, spinning and wondrous affair held in the Bunker. While Disclave puts 75 tables in 2/3rds of the Exhibition Hall, the computer show puts 300 in the whole place (excluding the odd room at the end) and it gets stifling and tropical there in the winter due to the friction between the people trying to get at the goodies.
Did I want to go? I was looking for a color monitor and a board to run it, and so I said, sure, what time will we head up there tomorrow?" "I'm going up tonight, after work."
And so, we arranged to meet at Evan's work parking lot at 7:30 and head up, after getting something to eat (actual departure 9:30 -- Evan is amazingly fannish.)
We got to our Hotel, a MacIntosh (apt for a computer show), around midnight and managed to get the room upped to a double. (Other fen from arriving from State College PA were not so lucky and were stacked in a single). All was well.. ...for us.
In the morning we headed out for the fair, which was a couple towns down the road. As we drew near to the township of Ewing, the site of Trenton University, traffic got much thicker and slower. We saw signs for Computer show parking several miles out. Parking on campus was totally gone long before we got there, and so we drove to the shuttle lot. A mere 18,000 had attended the previous year, and from the look of things, at least that many were in line ahead of us. When our shuttle bus trolleyed down the shady campus lane toward the stadium, we began to see lane after lane of the parking lot filled with huxters. The outdoor part of the show seemed to go on forever. Evan told me there was more inside the student centre. There was. It was weary work just going from one end of the outdoor show to the other. As a non-computer person, I felt like as baffled and wonder-struck as a hillbilly in a Chinese grocery store. There were tables laden with every sort of electrical coupling, junk, old computers, parts, brandnew stuff, old stuff, even Darrell Schweitzer pushing his books: "Wannabuyabuk?"
Around noon, the rains came. My umbrella was some miles away in my car at the shuttle lot. I had just bought the color monitor and board I had lusted after (the whole lot for a mere $160.00 - cash, no tax, no questions) and hoped that the paper carton would not dissolve before I got it to my car. It was a very heavy item: NCR made and obviously meant to be very permanent. Evan bought a few things too - actually an amazing assortment of things which mostly got home safely.
We found a "dive" for lunch back near the parking lot and Evan wondered why I would want to go into a "dive". I told him of the fannish use of the word to mean a nice, homey low profile place to eat which is reasonably priced if a somewhat informal. Home made pasta, they cut their own steaks for the Philadelphia style steak sandwiches. We went back to the fair and again on Sunday. much stuff, car-filled and foot weary, we headed back home. The indoor part of the show had been vast and full of the latest things, beyond my grasp or pocketbook. There were program items, which I was too dazed to attend, and probably too much of a neophyte to understand. It had been a long weekend, but a good one, and now it was time to figure out what I had bought.
Evan came over to help me install my new color monitor, and it worked - mostly. Both the monitor and the board were just a little off-standard. The board has a bit more stuff on it than I really needed. and it tended to be a bit bossy when dealing with the mother-board. It had a mono thingie of its own, and where the standard command: Mode co80 delivered the cursor over to its color monitor, it rather snottily refused to return it to the monochromatic monitor with the standard command: Mode Mono. This caused Evan to try all sorts of dip switch settings and other mysteries of his religion to make the board come to heel. But it held its ground. The only way to pry the cursor loose from it was to turn the machine off (a soft boot at least). He went home defeated, but not vanquished.
I had also bought some cheap software, not knowing that a $3.00 program is not usually worth it. So, when I tried my copy of "CREATE-A-BASE - A Database Manager" on my IBM XT clone, it wanted two floppy drives. I only have one as I have a hard disk installed. Figuring the fault lay in my colossal ignorance of Computers, I telawhined to Mr. Phillips and he came over and looked into the matter. It didn't seem to respond to anything he tried either, and so he decided to "list" the program and see what was in it. As the program listed its commands, suddenly the cursor and the rest of the program popped over onto the mono monitor! Some glitch in the program made it happen.
"Hah!" said Evan and went after it like a bulldog. After a long, frustrating process (I helped by offering useless advice), Evan managed to strip out the fewest list items which would make the monitor change, and put that into my system as a command responding to "mono". Now it works: two wrongs made a right.
WSFA plays host to fandom once a year. We've been doing it mostly since 1950, with a few gaps. Over the years, some of the details have changed and perhaps now and then it gets a little off-course and we have to stop and think, "Why are we doing this?"
One reason is to pay back our friends in Boston, Philadelphia and elsewhere for hosting us. Another is that working together on a con is fun, particularly if everyone pitches in. We run an SF Con because it seems to be a logical thing for a SF club to do. We could hold an annual fund raiser for the the poor. Or a bowling tournament, or a field-and-track day. But, whatever we did, it would be a lot better and much more satisfying if more of you were included in the "we". You do not have to kill yourself, give up your entire weekend or even do manual labour to help put on a Con. It's a good way to meet people and get to know them better. It's a neat way to develop a network of friendships all over the country. But, working on a con is particularly fun and satisfying for many of us because it provides a manageable project which we can see through to its successful completion in a reasonable period of time - as opposed to the Sisyphus routine endemic to bureaucratic and corporate occupations.
You can start something, do it in a sensable way; and see its consummation. Try it this year. WSFA doesn't belong to a small number of old hands; sometimes it may seem that way, but that's only because they don't really know what you can do.