Springfest

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Convention
Name: Springfest
Dates: 1987-1990, perhaps more
Frequency:
Location: Jackson, Mississippi
Type: celebrity guests, non-profit
Focus: Star Trek, other
Organization:
Founder:
Founding Date:
URL:
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Springfest was a con sponsored by Federation Outpost Dream Base One, a fan club out of Jackson, Mississippi.

The first two years were one-day cons, the third and fourth ones was a three-day cons.

1987

One guest was Frank Loflin, past president of the Jackson Astronomical Association. He presented a slide show with a focus on the galaxy.

1988

One guest was Frank Loflin, past president of the Jackson Astronomical Association.

1989

This was three-day con. It was held June 2-4, 1989 at the Sheraton Regency Convention Center on North State Street in Jackson, Mississippi,

Guests of Honor were Grace Lee Whitney (the "very Special Guest of Honor"), Mercedes Lackey (also a guest of honor), Larry Dixon, Marion Zimmer Bradley (special appearance by), Steve Jackson (gaming guest), Michael Scott ("Scotty") (guest lecturer), Frank Loflin, and John Bell (master of ceremonies).

There were the usual selection of planned events including "live role-playing game," an "original musical production," and Grace Lee Whitney performed some of the songs she had written.

The musical, "My Fair Starship" (based on "My Fair Lady") had a character in it named "Ulura," and she was portrayed by Misty Lackey.

The two con skits were "Son of Confrontation" and "In Search of.... The Cage."

Larry Dixon, one of the guests, would later become Mercedes Lackey's husband. [1] [2]

1989 Con Reports

Wednesday. Meeting Marion Zimmer Bradley, and talking about opera; I remember hoping that she didn't think I was a complete idiot.

Thursday evening. Greeting Aubrey Stephens with a huge grin; fighting down a feeling of panic when John Bell said hello to me because he didn't have a voice; praying that Grace Lee Whitney, Misty Lackey, and Lisa Waters were all on the same night (they were) and that there wouldn't be any problems; waiting while Aubrey Stephens and Lisa Waters tracked down Lisa's luggage; trying not to laugh when Johnny Byrd carried Misty's guitar case (she calls it the mini-coffin); being mistaken for Larry Dixon's mother (much to Johnny's amusement) as he checked into the hotel; trying on the Next Generation uniforms Janet Hoffman had made for us - in the lobby; being TOLD to eat (at midnight) by Aubrey, Johnny, and Chris Hart, while Grace and her friend Steve Arter looked on from another table.

Friday morning. Getting up at five to get ready to do a tv interview with Grace, and hoping she had gotten more sleep than I had; realizing all over again what a lovely and warm gracious lady Ms. Whitney - and what a good sport to do the show at that hour; breakfast with Grace, Steve, and Chris Hart; sitting in Johnny's car listening to Marion and Misty do a radio talk show.

Friday Afternoon. Changing clothes before a staff briefing and looking at the bed longingly; arranging to have three planes met; greeting Scotty and Jessica Scott -and thinking it was great to have friends as guests; happily welcoming Steve Jackson, knowing that now all the guests were in; getting flowers and gifts to the right rooms; trying to make sure the con got started as smoothly as possible; realizing that we didn't have our communications sets or food in the hospitality suite and trying not to panic; heaving a sigh of relief when the rest of the Meridian people arrived.

Friday Night. Wondering why Ken Crosby hadn't shown up yet; escorting Grace down to her sponsor's reception; finally having my photo taken with Grace; trying to suggest one more way to locate Ken Crosby; accepting Lee Carlson's offer to run a live role-playing game because Ken Crosby had only shown up for 25 minutes; saying hello to my room for 40 minutes, then getting the hotel's security people to honor their agreement to let us stay in the convention rooms past midnight; being ordered back to my room by the only two people present with whom I don't argue lightly (Aubrey and Johnny); making sure that security had everything shut down before I thought about sleep. Saturday Morning. Gathering the cast for the rehearsal for the production; wondering if John Bell's voice was going to run out before the weekend did; remembering everyone else's lines but mine and hoping I didn't do that later; running around a lot; watching Johnny go over the Weapon Master song with Steve and Scotty.

Saturday Afternoon/Evening/Night. Hearing Johnny locate someone else to help Wendell at registration because Janet was busy finishing his uniform; finding 20 minutes to sit down with Aubrey and Johnny - just the three of us at an undisclosed location; signing up for the costume contest with Aubrey, Johnny, and Janet (as John Liver Picklehard and the crew of the USS Boobyprize) to make sure there would be more than three entries; changing into costume and distributing the production T-Shirts; sitting backstage waiting to go on for the costume contest with my con-spirators, and each of us getting pages at least twice; dealing with the delay in the programming when Misty's auction went overtime because she made so much money; Grace, a true wonder, taking the delay in stride - and doing a fabulous job in her show; getting a hug from Grace; Steve and Scotty carrying Heather off the stage too early; Johnny laughing at Aubrey dancing with Larry; missing lines and cues but having a ball anyway; getting to actually dance three or four times; trying to find sober people to help run security; catching up with Bob Jinkins long enough to thank him for taking over gaming; getting banished to my room; Misty announcing the death of the Ayatollah and keeping the dance open an extra hour with Robert's blessings and cooperation; Johnny making sure I got back to my room, again (or was that, AGAIN?); checking to make sure everyone had survived. I don't remember sleeping. Sunday. Feeling like the walking dead, and looking around to see that most of the staff looked similar; running around a lot, only slower; being warned by photographer Christal Barnes that I wasn't in more than two photos because I was never still long enough; arranging transportation for Grace (and Steve Arter) to the airport; feeling kind of funny and dizzy for a moment, and then hearing from sort of far away a voice saying, "Well, the weekend's complete now. Should we move her to a chair or should wc let everyone trip over her?" (For the record, I was moved.); holding gaming awards with William Carter and Aubrey, and being very grateful to them both; turning down offers to go eat by telling everyone that I was going with someone else (I don't believe I just let that out!); watching the con close down; spending some hours in conversation with Steve Jackson as we both wound down.

Monday. Saying goodbye to Marion, Lisa, and Misty; Sally, Judith, Barbara, Christa, Diane; taking Steve to the airport in the pouring rain only to discover when we got there that all the lights were out; packing and finally checking out.

Exhausting. Exhilarating. Challenging. And next year.... [3]

SPRINGFEST '89 was a kick and a half! Dale Jewel arranged for Judith, Sally, and Judith's friend Barbara Fletcher from Philadelphia, to be met at the Jackson airport by two welcomers, a double dose of Dianes, Durham and Wendland. Now that's class!

We won't go into detail about all that went on, ['cause we don't have the time, energy, or space,] but we will tell you that we met Marion Zimmer Bradley, Misty's mentor and a truly grand lady; Lisa [Elizabeth] Walters, Mrs. Bradley's aide-de-camp, [secretary just doesn't say enough,] and author in her own right; the one and only Larry Dixon, artist extraordinaire and Misty co-conspirator/collaborator; Grace Lee Whitney, of original Star Trek fame, [and much more attractive in person than she appears on the screen]; gamers Steve Jackson and Michael "Scotty" Scott; and--sound of trumpets--our own, very special MISTY!]

The delightful cartoon to the left [printed in the print newsletter, missing from the online version] appeared in the program, and we were given permission to reproduce it here. [There was also a photograph of the lady, but there's no way it came even close to capturing the multi-faceted personality of our favorite author.] She is a 5'5" bundle of perpetual motion and energy, [which we found a bit unnerving,] with auburn hair, hazel eyes which sometimes seem green and sometimes golden, and a smile that wins everyone within its reach.

On the fan side, we met Christa Miller, who flew in from Glendale, CA. Misty was very complimented and we were delighted to meet her. Christa's enthusiasm and sparkling personality were contagious, and a welcome contribution to all the festivities she attended. [4]

1990

June 1-3, 1990.

Guests were Mercedes Lackey, Larry Dixon, Walter Koenig, Robert Aspirin, Steve Jackson, and Michael Scott.

References

  1. This doesn't jive with a statement in a 2016 interview with Laceky: "In 1990 she met artist Larry Dixon at a small Science Fiction convention in Meridian, Mississippi, on a television interview organized by the convention." -- Author Guest of Honor: Mercedes Lackey, RavenCon
  2. See Lackey's comments atQueen's Own, April 1989, nor with: "Artist Larry Dixon has joined my company, High Flight," an announcement Lackey made in Aug/Sept 1989 at Queen's Own
  3. by D. Durham, in Fedcom (October 1989)
  4. from Queen's Own, June/July 1989