ZebraCon/1989

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ZebraCon 9 (1989)

the cover of the 1989 program book, artist is Karen Eaton
first page of the 1989 post-con report

It was held October 6-9, 1989 at the Holiday Inn O'Hare.

As of the first progress report, the con had reached the membership cap as and had started a waiting list.

The cost was Attending: $20.00, Supporting: $5.00.'

There were two dealer's rooms and 24 dealers.

There were four entries to the mini-essay contest announced in a progress report, and all four essays were printed in the program book. The topic: "What fandom has meant to me."

From the Post-Con Report

What a terrific weekend! Three weeks since the con, and thinking about it still gives us a warm glow. We really believe this was one of the best ZCons we've everhad,andthecreditforthatbelongstoyou. Allofyou. Youmadethe weekend very special.

We hope you'll all come back in two years for #10 - almost 100 people have signed up already, and please remember our membership is limited to 175. A $5 deposit will hold you a place, then if you can't attend it's an automatic Supporting Membership.

Everything ran very smoothly this year - we had a few annoyances but no real problems. There are some things, like the Song Tape Contest, that need work, but on the whole we are all quite pleased. Many thanks are due to our wonderful staff, and especially to Susie and Cherry, who handled Registration and Opera tions, respectively and efficiently.
Did we put the fear of god into you people last year or what??? After the food fiasco of ZCon 9, everyone was on such good behavior that we had tons of cake left over. Next time we'll probably do some sort of dessert thing again...

Are you ready for this? We raised almost $4000 for our charities. I know, we can hardly believe it either! That's incredible from only 175 people.

Breakdown:

Bat Conservation Society - $100 (approx.)

Greenpeace - $500

Pediatric Aids Foundation - $3300

Special thanks to Marian Kelly for the stupendous job she did in organizing all the charity items.

Food Tidbits

From the first progress report:
Due to the problems with last year's buffet, this time we are planning something like coffee-and-cake... more details later, but whatever we end up doing it will be the place for the Saturday evening festivities, and it will be included in your $20 membership fee. We will start a little later, to give everyone a chance to have dinner.

Art and Fiction Awards

See Huggy Awards.

From the third progress report:
Well, so far only one artist has reserved space, so we may have a really small Art Show this year... Now listen guys. You're supposed to SASE Jean and get a copy of the Rules and a Reservation form. OK, mostly the Rules are the same as every year, but you still need a Reservation form. You can even call Jean and leave a message on her machine saying you want to reserve space, but one way or the other you have to let her know! Your bid and control sheets can be picked up at the con (we're trying to make it easy for you), but if you don't bother to reserve in advance there may not be space for you in the Art Show. Clear?

Song Tape Contest

From the program book:
The Song Tape contest will be held Friday night, from 8:30 - 11:30, in Kitty Hawk. Why? It holds more people. You must register your sonq tapes ahead of time by filling out one of the cards at Registration Ballots for the contest are included in this Program Book, so don't forget to vote...turn in your ballots to Karen by 2 pm Saturday.

One of the vids that won an award was a Starsky & Hutch vid "Old Yellow Car," which Ruth Kurz described as "cute." [1]

The Con Suite That Wasn't

From the program book:
We say this every year, and there are still people who don't get it... Karen & Jean's room is a suite, you can even call it the con suite, but it is not an open bar, restaurant, or free sleeping space. Please, treat it as a private room, for that's what it is. If the door is open, feel free to come in...but if the door is closed and we don't ask you in, don't get upset. Occasionally we need to get some work done, or get some rest, or just get away from it all for a while.

The Skits

The con skit was “The Pieing of CI5,” based on "The Purging of CI5," an episode of The Professionals.

From the program book:
If you're wondering why our S&H play is scheduled at such an odd time, and in the Video Room to boot, here's the reason: First of all, this came up at the last minute, when the Saturday evening schedule was all worked out and filled to the last minute. Secondly, the ladies involved requested a small room; they did not want to do the play on Saturday in the large meeting room. So...the only small room suit able was the Video Room, and the only time possible was Saturday morning. We're sorry if this inconveniences anyone, but if you want gripe about it, talk to the people involved, not us, ok?
From the post-con report:
We thoroughly enjoyed both our skits, and thank both Lezlie Shell and Paula Smith - as well as both talented casts - for pro viding us with further proof that fans are crazy. Next time... it would be ideal if we could have one PROs skit and one S&H...or one with both fandoms represented. OK? Start thinking about it, guys.

Programming

From the third progress report:
We're not having panels this year. (Just kidding.) Well, actually what we are striving for is more informality...so we're calling 'em discussion sessions (or something more pretentious if we can think of anything). As for topics - that's still up in the air. Hopefully we'll have it all figured out before the con actually begins. Many thanks to those of you who sent in suggestions, even the unworkable ones.
  • Episode Critiquing: S&H (Coffin, Fix, Sweet Revenge...)
  • Slash: What's the Lure?
  • How Bodie & Doyle Changed Over 5 Years
  • MADLIBS! (a silly game for all fans - come and play!)
  • Artists' Gabfest & Drinking Club...in the bar
  • Writer's Workshop
  • AIDS Update/Question & Answer Session
  • "Candlelight" - an S&H play by Pat Massie
  • The State of the Fandom: S&H
  • The State of the Fandom: PROs
  • How Starsky & Hutch Changed Over 3 Years
  • Discussion Group: Paganism
  • Episode Critiquing: PROs (Graveyard, Purging, Mixed Doubles)
  • Hollywood Hotline - What's Hot, What's Happening

Video Room

From the first progress report:
We need suggestions! What do you want to see, other than the usual episodes? The songtapes were such fun last year we're planning another Song Tape Festial for Friday night...perhaps a contest. Start working on those videos! We will be set up for both Beta and VHS.

From the third progress report:

We're going to go ahead and block out about 3 hours Friday night for the songtape contest...depending on how many we get they can be shown more than once. Anyone bringing a songtape or six, you must sign up at Registration that you're entering the contest. Ballots for voting will also be available at Reg.

Con Charity

From the first progress report:
We plan to make donations to Greenpeace, the Wilderness Society, and the World Wildlife Fund... maybe Bat Conservation International again. There will be a raffle, as usual, and hopefully many of you will bring items to be auctioned off for charity. Last year we managed to raise over $700, which is fantastic for such a small con...can we do better???

Regarding Volunteers

From the first progress report:
STAFF If you worked last year (bless you) you are NOT automatically signed up to work this year. You must let us know if you want to be on Staff -- we will need Security and Video Room personnel. There will be an Operations Room and an Operations Manager to keep everything running on schedule. We will have some kind of perk for Staff people but haven't quite decided yet...we might do another "automatic sign-up" for ZCon 10. Please let us know soon if you would like to work...it would only be a few hours spread out over the whole weekend. Obviously, the more people we have to work, the fewer hours any one individual will have to.

Regarding This Con's Focus

From the first progress report:

There's been some bitching going on lately that "there wasn't enough Starsky and Hutch" at last year's con. This upsets me, as both Jean and myself bend over backwards every year to ensure that everything is 50-50. You can't get much more fair than that! ZCon is not a Starsky & Hutch convention. It hasn't been one since 1982. It is a Starsky & Hutch/Professionals con, and it is because of Pros that it has survived. If we had tried to remain purely S&H, ZCon would have died out in 1984. Membership was dropping every year, until we added PROs. We schedule the same number of videos and panels for each fandom...we have absolutely no control over what dealers are selling, or which pieces of art an artist chooses to bring. As a matter of fact, last year there were more hours of S&H songtapes scheduled, and the play was S&H, so there was actually more S&H than PROs. We try to be fair, and to reflect the fact that a great many people enjoy both fandoms. I don't think you can ask for more than that.

The Huggy Awards

Convention Reports

From the post-con report by the con organizers:
What a terrific weekend! Three weeks since the con, and thinking about it still gives us a warm glow. We really believe this was one of the best ZCons we've ever had, and the credit for that belongs to you. All of you. You made the weekend very special. We hope you'll all come back in two years for #10 - almost 100 people have signed up already, and please remember our membership is limited to 175. A $5 deposit will hold you a place, then if you can't attend it's an automatic Supporting Membership. Everything ran very smoothly this year - we had a few annoyances but no real problems. There are some things, like the Song Tape Contest, that need work, but on the whole we are all quite pleased. Many thanks are due to our wonderful staff, and especially to Susie and Cherry, who handled Registration and Operations, respectively and efficiently... Are you ready for this? We raised almost $4000 for our charities. I know, we can hardly believe it either! That's incredible from only 175 people. Breakdown: Bat Conservation Society - $100 (approx.) Greenpeace - $500 Pediatric Aids Foundation - $3300... We thoroughly enjoyed both our skits, and thank both Lezlie Shell and Paula Smith - as well as both talented casts - for providing us with further proof that fans are crazy. Next time... it would be ideal if we could have one PROs skit and one S&H...or one with both fandoms represented. OK? Start thinking about it, guys.
From Frienz #7, also duplicated in Tell Me Something I Don't Know! #16:

Another Z-Con has come and gone. This year's was subdued, naturally, because of the unfortunate circumstances concerning Paul and his family, but it was still fun being with others to share our S&H enthusiasm. There were the usual room parties, incessant, intense talking 'til all hours of the (next) morning and plans for yet another SHare Con in March. We need another S&H fix in view of the fact that there won't be a Z-Con next year - how can we go two years without a gathering? The sympathy card I brought with me was signed by 52 fans and I've included a copy of the front of the card, the saying inside, the brief note I wrote to accompany it and a LOVE saying I tucked in the envelope in this issue so all can see one of the symbols of affection and concern sent to Paul & Elizabeth. I'm also ecstatic to announce that over $3,200.00 was raised at the con for the PAF. Marian Kelly generously coordinated the collection of funds and will have a scroll made up with the names of the con attendees to present to (Elizabeth, we hope) the PAF with the money. I've asked her to send the APA a report, and hopefully, she'll comply. Karen B had a huge piece of poster board at the registration table for fans to write messages to Paul & Elizabeth that she'd send off to the couple after the con. It was filled on both sides with many lovely, caring, supportive words. Part of the total collection for the PAF was raised from an art auction (which netted about $1,100.00) and the sale of six fetching color photos of Paul, David and both men together. It was great fun and most stimulating sitting on 2 S&H panels: "Critiquing Fix/Coffin/Sweet Revenge" and "How David & Ken Changed Over the Years."

Pat's amusing, "Candlelight," was put on in a suite and afterwards, we had a small party with refreshments, then a number of us stayed behind to work on the AIDS quilt in Ariel's memory. We finished six of the requisite 18 blocks and are awaiting response from Elizabeth to Martha's letter requesting permission to submit the completed quilt to the Names Project in Washington, D.C. Anyone interested in sending in a quilt patch,

write to Martha or Jennifer for information. The highlight for me, however, was posing with Laura Scarsdale's exact replica of THE TORINO. What a JOY standing beside/sitting in a car just like the one Paul & David used! Of course, the weekend passed much too quickly, but the memories will long linger. We missed those who couldn't attend, and hope to see you either at SHare Con or Z-Con 1991.

From Tell Me Something I Don't Know! #16:

Z-Con this year was wonderful. I hope Marian Kelly has written something for APA about her efforts to develop a fundraiser for the Pediatrics Aid Foundation. She was wonderful!! And the event was incredibly successful, beyond our wildest dreams. As of this writing there is no final total yet, but more than $3,200 was raised at Z-Con through the warm generosity of 175 fans! Artists donated the proceeds from their work, fans gave up portions of their memorabilia collections to be auctioned off. Even the hotel staff contributed. Up in [M B's] room we got together and sewed blocks for a possible Names Quilt for Ariel. (Nothing will be done without the permission of the family, however.) It was both sad and wonderfully therapeutic experience. Out of all the sadness that most of us have felt since learning of Ariel's death and the ordeal facing the Glaser family, it was good to be with warm and understanding friends doing something positive to combat despair. I can't imagine a better introduction to S&H fandom.
From Tell Me Something I Don't Know! #16:
Registration started Thursday night, so we checked in to get our programs, badges, and t-shirts. I promptly forgot my shirt, distracted by all the excitement of meeting old friends, but I go it back again the next day -- just about the time I forgot my art portfolio which I didn't miss for days. Fortunately, [Jean C] and [Karen B] know I need a minder and took care of things for me. And Laurie found the Bodie button I lost, too!

Friday I opted to skip breakfast with everyone in order to set up my table in the dealers' room, and enter work in the art show -- alongside some truly magnificent pieces by Kate Nuernberg, Karen River, Suzie Lovett, [Jean C], and many others which later won lots of awards, and sold in the auction for hundreds of dollars.

You'll have to get reports on panels and events from other people as I missed most of them this time, but I caught the song tapes (which I enjoy more after I've seen the lyrics written) and other bits of the program. I was glad "My Old Yellow Car" won a prize. Cute.

I don't know how far they got with the memorial quilt, but Marian Kelly said we raised over $3000 for Pediatric Aids from buying the donated posters, pictures, zines, memorabilia, and just giving cash. My special thanks to Terry and Evelyn, who enabled me to give and spend more on charity items. I love my purchases from there, the dealers' rooms, and the art show. Treasures! And a lot was raised for Greenpeace, too. It's even easier to bid up artwork when it's for charity. People helped me when I needed it so much. Now I can pass their generosity along.

Saturday found several of us studiously poring over the Huggy and Art Show ballots. Some of my choices won, and some didn't. Meg Lewtan was there from Australia to receive her latest Huggy. Terrific. Jean Chabot, Suzie Lovett, Pat Massie, Cheryl Meier, and other old-timers also won, but there were some new winners as well. Nice to have fresh faces to nurture fandom and keep it new.

After the awards were given out we were treated to two plays. One was written by Leslie Schell, in which 4 fans discussed how to write B/D stories which were acted out by [Maureen B], who played one sexy Doyle and (whoops, forgot) who played Bodie. Lots of fun. Then we were treated to another Paula Smith special. For the first time Paula presented a Professionals play, explaining that she forced herself to watch an episode all the way through. She chose "The Purging of CI5" and wrote "The Pieing of CI5" with plenty of whipped cream pies included for dispatching the agents, one by one. Paula played a very Scottish Cowley, in kiss, while Terry played Doyle to TAC's Bodie. (Blonde? Bodie?) It was great fun, with the usual witty puns.

The Art Auction was lively. One of Karen River's beautiful paintings, best in show, went for a record $500, and others went for nearly as much, with many over $100. It is a good sign for fannish economy. Afterwards, we visited one another in our rooms, discussing other cons, zines, treasures we'd bought.

Sunday morning started with a group breakfast that was fun in spite of a very sarcastic waitress, who found it impossible to bring much of what we ordered, and made it clear she had no intention of doing so. The rest of Sunday was spent visiting, taking pictures of the Torino before Laura took it home, and generally saying goodbye to everyone.

[snipped]

Suddenly, the world of fandom doesn't seem like such a big place, just spread out a bit! Like many others, I've already signed up for Z-Con #10 in 1991. Like Paula and Karen, I have never missed one, and don't intend to start now.

References

  1. Tell Me Something I Don't Know #16.