Conventions Memories: Cons I Have Known and Loved
|Interviews by Fans|
|Title:||Conventions Memories: Cons I Have Known and Loved|
|Fandom(s):||Star Trek: TOS|
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Part of a Series Called "The Legacy of K/S in Conventions"
- Convention Memories by Robin Hood
- IDICon and 4-Play Con: An Interview with Kandy F. and Marnie S.
- Convention Memories: Nancy Kippax: K/S Con
- Conventions Memories: Cons I Have Known and Loved by Shelley Butler
- Convention Memories: Shore Leave by Linda B.
- Are You Out of Your Mind? Putting on a K/S Convention by Dovya Blacque, Liz W., Rosemary W., and Jenna Sinclair
The very first gathering I ever attended has to have been at Robin Hood’s townhouse...
I lived in West Los Angeles at the time (the early nineties), so I drove there on my own, feeling so excited and so scared because I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to actually be in the same room as other K/Sers. The only other actual meetings with K/S people I’d ever had were at the Star Trek conventions that I went to in the Los Angeles area. In those days, these were large Star Trek conventions that had huge Dealers Rooms and tucked away in those huge Dealers Rooms were an assortment of zine tables where the K/S ladies presided and where I found my first K/S and my first K/S zines. But I digress. So here I am driving to who-knows-where and meeting the famous Robin Hood after talking with her on the phone and feeling so anxious because I had no idea what to expect…. But the moment that I’ll never forget was the first sight of her bedroom walls that were emblazoned (if that’s the word!) with beautifully framed and matted original K/S artwork. In those days (I hate saying that), the only visual representation of K/S was artwork done by clandestine K/S artists and it just blew me away. I had only seen some artwork in various zines that I had bought at the conventions, but never such a fantastic display as what adorned Robin’s walls. One could stand for hours perusing each piece and some were so gorgeous like works by The Southern Cross and Gayle F. I hope I’m not digressing again, but the artwork on Robin’s walls was such a big attraction to see (along with the zines, the food, the other K/Sers) that I have to describe it... The very first visits were a bit strange because, at first, most of the people were not really into K/S, and I remember sitting in the living room listening to them while they talked about everything but K/S. I wanted to jump up and say, “Kirk and Spock!” but didn’t. But later visits turned extraordinary because K/Sers started coming and I met some people who have changed my life, especially my close friend, Kathy Stanis. And if that wasn’t enough, Robin was the first person to tell me about Shore Leave in Baltimore and how I had to go. Also at later gatherings, we talked about the newsletter at the time, The LOC Connection in detail, speculating on who the pseudonym really was and what we thought of the LOCs. This newsletter was really the only contact we had with other K/Sers, so it was very important to us. Sometimes a Robin-get-together (sometimes referred to as Going To Mecca) featured the publication of one of her zines, First Time, Within The Mirror, or Scattered Stars. These were celebratory occasions and we would all be in a buying and reading frenzy to get at those new zines. Then there was Robin’s zine closet.This small shed in her back patio was filled with her zines. We would just stand there looking at them in awe and wonder. It might sound funny to everyone now, with the internet K/S so available. But then these zines, Robin’s get-togethers and the newsletter were all we had of K/S.
Around this time, I started going to Slash fandom groups that were held at different peoples’ homes all over the Southern California area. These get-togethers were not really K/S—they were most of the slash fandoms at the time like Muncle, Pros, Starsky and Hutch, and others. So it was usually awkward and uncomfortable for me. The fandoms were very separate and everyone had their own group. But I did meet someone there who would become a very close friend, so it was definitely worth it.
When I started doing K/S art (a whole other subject), I began going to Escapade, a multi-media slash convention in the Santa Barbara area, north of Los Angeles.Robin would be there and a few others who I knew, and I displayed my artwork in the show and auction. It was never that successful for me because like the slash fandom group meetings, most of the people attending were multi-media fans.
My first Shore Leaves were a crazed blur of wild emotions as I met other K/Sers, talked endlessly, bought zines, went on a buying frenzy in the Dealers Room, talked endlessly, participated in the convention’s art show and auction, joined Robin in her room for private art showing, and talked endlessly.
So many things became tradition like rearranging the furniture in the lounge for just our group; saying “We must talk!” to each other as we passed in the halls and Dealers Room; sitting for hours in our rooms talking; not sleeping; meeting in the dining room for Sunday brunch; talking endlessly about K/S. These times I will treasure forever—the first explosive joy of discovering K/S along with so many others who felt the same way. Then on Sunday after the convention was over, I remember sitting in my room alone writing notes about my experience for the newsletter. These times were before Jenna and I started The K/S Press, so the Shore Leave experience was quite different. We all met in each others’ rooms or in the lounge or in the Dealers Room. Sometimes we’d go to see a guest speak or attend a panel, but I remember never leaving the hotel! In fact, I had to make up places and things I saw in the Baltimore area to satisfy those people when I got home who hadn’t a clue about K/S or even Star Trek. During subsequent conventions, the most important events were the art shows, both the “regular” one and the one just for us hosted by Robin. First, just getting my art there was a big deal. I won’t go into detail, but usually the most stressful moments were when the airport security wanted to look through my portfolio. It never became a problem, though, usually the security person would ask “Oh, did you do these?” But the whole project of getting my art set up in the show; deciding which ones went to Robin’s party; actually pricing my artwork for sale; and the biggest deal was the art auction. It took a lot of times before I got used to having my artwork auctioned. You’d have thought I was at Sotheby’s how nervous I was!We always groaned and made fun of the auctioneer who was truly very strange and we were forced to sit for hours while she regaled the buying crowd with an endless supply of Klingon etched glassware. But we had fun!
My KisCon experience was totally unique—really different from Shore Leave. It was just an intimate group of K/Sers gathering in Texas who enjoyed one of the best organized cons ever. Jenna is a master (mistress) of organization and I used to tease her that she covered every single detail including packing everyone’s suitcases for them.
We were all together in a hotel that really hadn’t a clue what this convention was all about! The activities were varied and on-going—Jenna had planned just about every minute of the entire weekend. One of the highlights has to have been her plays. She wrote K/S plays that were performed after the Saturday night dinners. The plays were clever, hilarious and sexy. We’d always be so astonished not only with her talent, but how incongruous it was with the way she looked and came across like a perfectly decent housewife and how beneath that veneer seethed a passionate and outspoken woman who thought nothing of saying things like “cock up Kirk’s ass” like others would say recipes. KisCon was truly a labor of love and it showed. K/Sers came from all over the world and we all had a fantastic time. And talk about activities! Jenna came up with “Pin The Kiss on Kirk And Spock” and contests of every type and gorgeous K/S poetry recitals by S. R. Benjamin that made us cry, and a reading room of K/S zines and an art show, and a great Dealers Room, and delicious dinners and interesting panels that filled the whole weekend.In closing, all these conventions were such a big part of my life and hold so many memories that it’s really hard to convey what I feel. These were the connections that we had to K/S and it was so different than communicating on the internet. I certainly couldn’t be without the internet now, but back then these conventions were the only times we could actually meet and talk and be together with K/S.