The Contact Group
|Name:||The Contact Group|
|Founder(s):||Bev Volker and Nancy Kippax|
|Country based in:|
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The Contact Group was a group of Maryland media fans who gathered frequently in each other's homes to talk about Star Trek and, later, other media fandoms. The group was centered on two fanzine publishers, Bev Volker and Nancy Kippax, who published the Star Trek zine Contact (hence the name "The Contact Group"). The group also included other fanzine publishers such as Marion McChesney and April Valentine.One group member remembers:
"I went to one of the conventions and met some of the people that put on Shore Leave. Through that group I met a group of women who called themselves The Contact Group, named after a fanzine that two of them published. The Contact Group was a group of women who were drawn together by their love for Kirk and Spock (and sometimes McCoy) and their general love of Star Trek. The group got together every Saturday night at the house of one of the women who lived in east Baltimore. I was invited to join them and despite the fact that I was not very experienced as a driver and had never driven through the Harbor Tunnel before, I got together with the group for pretty much every Saturday night for the next eight years.
What did we talk about? For the first few months, I mostly listened. These people had been involved in Star Trek fandom for about ten years before I had. They had attended the really big conventions in New York and heard all of the cast members in person, even William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy at the same convention. They’d had room parties, they’d written stories, they’d met and partied with actors and people who had worked on the show, and with the writers who’d written the Star Trek books. Some of them had even participated in the great letter writing campaigns that kept Star Trek on the air when the network was ready to cancel the show!
They spoke of that time, the 1970s, as being the Golden Age of Fandom, but I was just as excited to be a part of the 1980s, the Silver Age of fandom where we were putting on conventions and writing and publishing stories and artwork, and eagerly anticipating the next Trek movie – Star Trek IV, The Voyage Home. It was the happiest time of my life.
We didn’t talk about Star Trek every minute we were together. We talked about ordinary things, but since we had the common bond, Star Trek wove through our discussions and interests. Sometimes the humor was just plain silly. I remember a night when someone brought up the subject of shoes in Star Trek where we went through the titles of each episode and substituted the word “shoes.” E.g., "Where No Man Has Gone Before" became “Where no shoe has gone before” and “City on the Edge of Forever” became “Shoe on the Edge of Forever.” “The Gamesters of Triskelion” became “The Shoes of Triskelion.” It was hilarious, but only if you were a Star Trek fan.
The drawback to this time was that while my love for Star Trek was bright and shiny and new – theirs was an older love. They would always have fond feelings for Star Trek, but for most of them, the passion had worn off years ago and many of them had turned their attention to new shows. One of them was heavily involved in Starsky and Hutch fandom, another one was writing Simon and Simon stories.......I spent about eight years getting together with my fan friends on Saturday nights, talking about Star Trek, working together on local conventions and going on road trips to see Star Trek actors in other cities. I had the thrill of seeing William Shatner in Wilks-Barre, PA, and Leonard Nimoy at a New York Creation convention. Life was good."