GOH: Gordon R. Dickson
Fan GOH: Dick Eney
The second L.A.Con, with 8365 fans in attendance, is the largest
Worldcon to date. It certainly
was quite a bash. By now, there was in fandom a catchphrase for
describing Worldcon: "A
weekend party with five thousand of your closest friends."
The L.A.Con was like that.
Don and Mary Mand flew through Atlanta to Houston where they
met Thomas, who had been visiting family all summer. Then all
three continued on to Los Angeles, arriving about 7:00 pm California
Convention literature had warned them that shuttle buses from
the airport were erratic, so they decided to take a cab. How much
could it cost? Twenty or thirty dollars? They piled into the taxi,
then spent a rather painful hour watching the meter move while
they sped on through the night. $30 . . . $40 . . . $50. Surely
they'd get there soon? $60 . . . $70 . . . finally, at just about
$75.00, they reached the Hilton hotel.
They reached their rooms -- they had two connecting rooms --
and unpacked, relaxing after the hectic trip. Somewhat later,
the phone rang: it was Lisa and Melissa, who had just arrived
at the airport. As one, the three shouted: "TAKE THE SHUTTLE
BUS!!!" -- and then the line went dead.
The ladies, who'd had a long, late flight, reached the hotel
safely and had no trouble checking in. When they asked Don, Thomas,
and Mary why they'd shouted that strange advice, they related
the story of the taxi fare . . . and all agreed that the essential
bit of information was relayed.
With a Worldcon right
across the street from Disneyland, the committee
knew that they had to do something. So they arranged for discount
tickets, and Wednesday September 29th was officially designated
"Fan Day at Disneyland." Thousands of fans converged
on the park, and they had a spectacular time. The folks at Disneyland,
however, were a little disconcerted by some of the fans' antics.
(The con committee, responsibly
trying to cover all bases ahead of time, asked Disneyland what
the policy was on people wearing costumes. It turned out that
there was no policy . . . this was the first time that
anyone had asked. The Disneyland folks were a little puzzled,
in fact, as to why someone who wasn't an employee would want
to wear a costume into the park . . . .)
For another example, the five Cedar Grovers went on the "Rocket
to Mars" ride. It was great, up until the point when the
ship approached Mars. There was a sudden meteor storm, and the
pilot threw the vessel into hyperdrive.
At once the protests rose from the Cedar Grove Movement: "Damn
fool, he's gonna kill us!" "You can't go into hyperdrive
this deep in a gravity well!" "And in the middle of
a meteor storm?!" "And the ship was spinning! There's
no telling where we'll come out."
Well, the pilot was better than they thought, for they arrived
safely back on Earth. But all of them agreed that next time, they
wanted one of their own number at the controls . . . .
After Disneyland, the L.A.Con was bound to be a little anticlimactic.
Don was on one panel, a Friday afternoon one titled "Making
Your First Sale." The con also featured the first-ever showing
of all three Star Wars movies in one night-long Trilogy;
after taking one look at the line (which started forming that
morning), all of them decided to give it a pass.
A young lady who had worn a mermaid outfit in the Masquerade
showed up at the pool with the suit on and some helpers; lifting
her very carefully, they put her into the water and she proceeded
to prove that the costume was functional as well as beautiful.
At the LACon Don had his first-ever lunch with an editor: Betsy
Mitchell of Baen was intrigued by an early version of The Eighth
Angel Trumpeted and she wanted to talk to him about it. While
she did not end up buying that particular book, Don did sell her
The Leaves of October quite a few years later.
The Thought Police Gazette relates the following tidbit
from the convention bulletin board: "DeAnn Iwan says, `The
real reason that WSFS changed the site
bidding from a 2-year lead time to a 3-year lead time is so
that there will be time to finish the masquerade!"
On the In Memoriam page of the program
book were A. Bertram Chandler, Zenna Henderson, Leonard Wibberly
and Mike Wood.
All in all, the seocnd L.A.Con left all with happy memories and warm feelings.
Evelyn C. Leeper's LACon 2 report