ZebraCon 8 (1988)
Zebracon 8 was held October 21-23, 1988 in the Chicago area. Membership was capped at 150 and the convention was sold out by the fall of 1988. A waiting list was set up to handle the overflow. The vid show "returned" (it may have been skipped a year) and ran for 3 hours.
flyer from The Hatstand Express #8
The weekend was one long, glorious high, from meeting Carol and Merle in the lobby while registering Thursday, to the group gabfest in "The Pits" before leaving Sunday afternoon. While I was blathering on to Carol and Merle, Lily Fulford offered us all buttons which proclaimed "I'm a member of the Marian Kelly Fan Club". This inspired idea grew to epic proportions over the weekend, as the buttons multiplied and strangers not associated with the con began inquiring about the identity of this mysterious heroine. Scene: dinner at the Marketplace. A voice rings out: "Isn't that Marian Kelly?" In the snack bar: "Look! It's Marian Kelly!" From the audience at the Writer's Panel: "Ooh! It's Marian Kelly!" It was the name on everyone's lips. Poor Marian was a great sport, enduring the pointed fingers and loudly delivered remarks with grace (not to mention rosy cheeks). I heard that one "tourist" even had his picture taken with this Famous Author, but I'll leave it to Marian to confirm or deny this rumor.
The coincidence of there being two [Linda Ms] registered at the hotel that weekend added more confusion and entertainment. Our reservations were made in my name, so of course, when [Nancy G] and Megan Kent arrived, exhausted by their all-night drive from the OC area, the clerk checked them into the wrong room. Nancy and [Megan] thought it a bit strange when they were told that I had specifically requested one king-sized bed (for four of us?), but were too tired to question it much. They just told the clerk that no, we wanted two doubles. Then they blithely went to this poor woman's room, unpacked, showered, and took a nap. They even ate her mints! When the three of us met and discovered what had happened, they hastily vacated the premises. We never saw "the other [Linda M]", and have no idea whether she ever got an unused room, and her king-sized bed!
Other memorable moments included meeting [Chris P], the other half of SH fandom's wonderful writing team, being part of the SH team in the trivia contest, and trying to explain fandom (and the "Marian Kelly Fan Club") to a befuddled but sincerely interested gentleman our group kept bumping into in the halls and elevators. The fact that he had caught Nancy doing her "Larry" character down the hallway (picture a cross between Igor and the Hunchback of Notre Dame) didn't make matters easier!
Health and Safety Tip: NEVER wear your name tag into the bar at a con. Unless, Of course, you're in the market for drunken pick-up attempts.
Saturday night was a special evening, with the hors d'oeuvres buffet, the Huggy Awards, and the art auction. The food was outstanding this year. The hotel did a great job. Congratulations and thanks to all the Huggy Award winners for their contributions to this fandom. Thanks, also, to [April Valentine], for your songs. I only wish your voice hadn't been giving you trouble, so you could have sung "Whisper My Name", which is one of my favorites. Maybe next year?
At the art auction I threw caution (and sanity) to the winds, and bought another treasure from Suzan Lovett — the "Sunrise" illo inspired by Decorated for Death. Suzan, do you have any memories of being Michelangelo in a former life? NO, I won't tell how much I spent for it. Suffice it to say that I was in dire need of reassurances afterward, of the "Yes, you did the right thing. You'll never regret it, variety. As I was telling myself that "Some people spend more than this just shopping for clothes," my pal, [Betsy B] chimed in with, "Or a major appliance." Thanks, that's what friends are for. I'm pleased to announce, though, that I don't regret it! I love that drawing! I'm also happy to say that John was too concerned with "You want to hang that in our bedroom?!" to ask how much I'd paid for it. (Another benefit of separate checking accounts.) Being the special and truly non-bigoted person he is, my guy agreed to my hanging it, so all's well.
I did have one problem with this convention. It was over way too soon! But, I brought home a treasure trove of memories to carry me through the post-con let down of geographical isolation and kindergarten report cards. And if I do forget, I still have my favorite button: "Possessor of a mind not merely twisted but actually sprained." Guess that says it all for all of us.Special thanks to: Karen and Jean - for the planning, work, and headaches that must go Into putting this con on every year. Cheryl and Lucy - for supplying an eager audience with two new zines this year. Commitment and Penal Code. (And to Lucy for credit undeserved: Reading over one story doth not a "proofreader" make, but thanks for the thought!) Betsy and [April] - for you lovely songtapes. And we all want copies! Paula and Jody and all the cast members - for another delicious con skit! Nancy, Betsy, and [Megan] - my "roomies" - for everything. And all of fandom - for the warmth and closeness we share, and the happiness "our guys" have added to my life. Long may we endure ...