ZebraCon 1 (1979)
Zebracon 1 was held in July 27-29, 1979 and had 60 attendees.
cover of 1979 convention program
"Starsk, we have reports of a crowd gathering in Melrose Park... could be a big case... some sort of cult."
"S'fine with me, buddy, as long as they don't put any rattlesnakes in the fridge."
Fanzine ad for the first Zebracon 1979 posted in Zebra Three #3, click to read
There are many early convention reports, for 1979 as well as others, in the letterzine S and H.
From one fan writing in issue #4:
I have to adin't to being very jealous of all those who were able to attend Z-Con. Does the next one have to be in October?!? Some of us poor people are in the process of earning their sheepskins and October is mid-term month (the agonies of which I'm currently going through.) Which brings something to mind, I feel like I'm on the young end of the spectrum. ST fandom pretty well covers all the ages, but what's the make-up of S&H fandom? I'm certainly not asking anyone to divulge their age. I think It's a lot more fun to let people guess than to tell them. But not having gone to the con, and being only letter-acquainted with a few people, I was wondering what kind of audience has grasped the special quality found In the show.
By Lizabeth Tucker from The Striped Tomato:Zebra Con was held at the Melrose Park Holiday Inn, July 27, 28, and 29, and was attended by about 60 of the 65 people scheduled to come. We also were proudly supported by 35 others. I suppose I should take things in order, so…..
I'll start with Thursday night; the 26th. I finally finished printing the Dirtball Dispatch, and would like to extend a very heartfelt "thank you" to Joanne and to Zort, who helped collate 'til 4 a.m. Speaking of the Dirtball, also thanks to Paula Smith and whoever else came to my room to help collate (forgive me for forgetting your name - I was on drugs! ). Also thanks to CR (you know who you are) for coming up and spooning (for those of you who don't know; spooning is a primitive - but effective - way of closing staples.).
Friday afternoon - the con begins! And so does mass confusion, due to a sudden influx of fans. Thanks to Karen and Shirley for running the registration desk so smoothly! Most of the confusion was just everybody meeting "names" - names we all knew of through fandom, but were meeting in person for the first time. Like Connie Faddis, Lorraine Bartlett, Laurie Haldeman, Jan Lindner, Teri White, and Liz Tucker - who gets first prize for chiding letters to apathetic fans. Registration was followed by a somewhat "loose" costume/get acquainted party, which was mostly everyone sitting around talking S & H. Which is what it was all about anyway! There were some hucksters already doing great business Friday, selling live photos of the boys, magazine articles and pictures, toys, and other collectors' items. Friday ended with the showing of videotapes from 9 until about 3: 30 in the morning. Thanks to Karen and Randy for bringing their machine!
Saturday morning blossomed afresh with the: opening of the dealer's room and the art show. We by no means expected the quantity of art we got - it was marvelous! Thanks Signe, for sending your beautiful pieces even though you couldn't come - see you next year! Throughout the afternoon, we had three excellent panels, and a slide show by Rita Dyan which gave us a wonderful glimpse backstage. We then adjourned to the pool for the First Annual Starsky vs. Hutch Big-Balloon-In-Your-Face Water Fight, which was won by the Hutch team - who cheated - but it was all just in fun anyway. (But wait 'til next year, Starsky fans. Sweet revenge!) (Sorry)
After the pool fight, everybody took a needed break, then came the highlight of the con - the banquet. Professional photography was donated by Bob Cortier (thanks Bob!). At the banquet, the guests of honor speeches were made, given by two shaky, shy, but marvelous ladies who have done a lot for fandom - Lorraine (Zebra Three) Bartlett and Linda (Collector Supreme) Walter. Awards were given for Best Costume (Simone...Simone...), and literary and artistic achievements in S & H fandom. Most of the awards were won by Miss Connie Faddis, who must have set off every airport alarm on her way home….
The banquet was followed by the Zebra Con Art Auction, and at this time I should like to thank everybody who contributed - artwork, scripts, zines, slides, dolls, and othersuch "for the kids." Also, a very big thank you to Paula, Joanne, (who ran the table and handled the money); all the runners; and Karen and Kyym for helping auctioneer. Couldn't have done it without ya!
The auction was over about 1, and the masochists ran off and flayed themselves with more episodes in the video room - 'til ' 4 am. *Sigh* Ain't fandom grand?
Sunday was a day both happy and sad. There was another panel, a writers' workshop, and a dead dog conference, where, I'm happy to report, it was unanimous to go for Zebra Con II - The Sequel. It was here that I announced that Zebra Con '79, the very first S & H Fandom Convention, (and hopefully not the last), made $650 for the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse. Thank you, all. And God bless you every one.
The sad part of Sunday was the goodbyes. As always, time goes far too quickly when you're having fun.Now, all you people out there - if this con report seems slightly sketchy and not fulfilling enough - all of you non-members of Zebra Con may purchase an in-depth review, including photos, highlights, transcripts of panels, award list, etc. in the form of the Zebra Con '79 Yearbook , for the paltry sum of $1.50 (not including postage, which will be determined by size).
Friday: Registration started at 1 pm, though by this point almost everyone had arrived, meeting everyone else. The hotel staff didn't understand us, and tried to charge certain of the con members more than was originally agreed on, causing a few raised voices to be heard at the main desk. Soon, however, all this was resolved and we got down to business. [Karen B] signed up people, handed out our t-shirts, and handed out badges. Some of us helped set up the dealer's room and it opened at 2.00. There were few dealers, but what merchandise they had was excellent. Linda Walter brought most of her foreign photo's and clippings from overseas magazines, which quickly sold out. Another table had live photos of Paul with a half grown beard, and a snap shot of Elizabeth, Paul's lady.
Things were moving slowly this first day, but this suited us. At 7.30, we adjourned to the Large Colonial Room to have a Get Acquainted Party. Also at this get together was the costume party. Unfortunately, it was not listed in the Program so many people didn't realise they should bring their costumes. Therefore, we three (Mary Leonhart, Ann Leonhart and Liz Tucker) easily won first place. Simon, Simon! In case you don't recognise it from the above, our costume was from BLOODBATH and the final execution scene. The water pistol fight, scheduled for this time was put off till the next day to allow the weather to warm up.
Saturday: The art room opened at 9.00 with some lovely works from the various zines. Predominately displayed were works by Connie Faddis, in attendance, and Signe Landon, unable to make it. Also on the tables were pieces by Ruth Kurz, Paulie Gilmore, for Dr. Who freaks in the audience. Since the Art Auction didn't actually start till ten that evening, everyone had plenty of time to wander in and out of the display room and make their preliminary bids.
Next on the agenda was a slide show by a special guest, Rita Dyan, who had the unique pleasure of working on the set while Starsky and Hutch was in production, and had even worked on the, set of The Rookies when David guested on it. She was able to tell us the truth about the men and their relationship off the screen as well as on, and the funny stories and odd happenings behind the scenes with both the stars and the crew. She showed unusual shots that she had taken when the men were unaware, like Paul between scenes of DANDRUFF playing his guitar, the same one loaned to David Soul for some of his publicity stills. She told how down Paul might be and how his face would light up from a joke from David or the appearance of Elizabeth with a car load of children. Each of us had long, happy hours talking to Rita about the series, learning how things really were there.
At approximately two o'clock the first panel began: THE BLOND BLINTZ PANEL with Lorraine Bartlett, Connie Faddis, Marion Hale, and Jan Lindner on it. They discussed with each other and the audience such diverse subjects as Hutch's medical background, why his attraction to weird women, his relationship with Starsky, and his guilt complex. At three was the second panel, THE DIRTBALL one, with myself, Linda Walter, Judy Maricevic, Jan Lindner, and contributions from Paulie Gilmore in the audience. Again discussed was the attraction between Hutch and Starsky, and what Starsky's background was like. We resolved one thing from these panels, never again to separate the two men. Each panel wound up discussing the other's man.
At four was the writer's panel, which I didn't attend (I was starving!) so I can't give a report on it. The dinner was at 7.30 with lots of delicious food, fine company and outrageous jokes on our guys, some of them quite raunchy! The awards were given at this time, miniature oscars. Faddis and Lindner took more than anyone else, which surprised no one. Teri's COPKILLER copped a prize, as did Jan and Judi Lindner's THE END, a sad story contained in SYNDIZINE 1. THE END was probably the most hated and best written story in the short story class. Hated because they both die in the end, and treated so well that you cry through the whole thing.
At ten was the art auction, what everyone had been waiting for. I was lucky enough to pick up two Walter cartoons, one Faddis, one Gilmore, and one Signe Landon. Not a bad haul for one evening! The Faddis was from SOLITAIRE and features both Starsky and Hutch, but the other two are originals of Starsky only. Other things besides art was auctioned off, like a 1979 Annual from England that went for $125 to Teri White after a hotly contested bidding. Replicas of Starsky's leather necklace with the foreign coins was also auctioned off, as were special books and magazines, and one advertisement for a David Soul concert in Europe that had 'Souled out' on the front. All in all, everyone went back to their rooms happy. Proceeds from the auction went to the charity of Con: The National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse, suggested by THE CRYING CHILD. During all this other stuff, there were episodes being played in the room upstairs? and later a special "letter to home" a la M-A-S-H, was done for the con attendees, spoken by 'Starsky'. The vocal was emphasized by cuts from the series. Hilarious!
Sunday: At ten all the buyers at the art auction picked up their stuff and paid for it, stashing it in their rooms or carrying it around for the rest of the day. The dealer's room was open for one more perusal, but it was mostly sold out. A fanzine panel with Lorraine Bartlett, Laurie Haldeman, Jan Lindner, and Judy Maricevic on the fine art and exquisite agonies of doing your own zine was held. Cost was the biggest discussion, with selection of various methods of printing and their advantages and drawbacks.
Paulie called the remaining members together for one last meeting, in which it was voted to have another con next year (1980) with all at this one attending. There will be at least as many as the 79 Con and hopefully more.In numbers, there were 60 attending members and 0650 raised for the charity. In all, it was a great way to spend a weekend and a deserving charity to work for.
- S&H #3.
- it is unknown if this was ever published