Boston Star Trek Convention
(Thomas - 0th)
1976: April 16-19
Thomas, a bright-eyed 12-year-old nascent fan, was visiting his brother Bill in Boston. It took very little effort for Bill to convince Thomas to come with him to the Boston Star Trek Convention.
For Thomas, it was a first step into a larger world.
In fact, according to the con badges, Thomas liked the convention so well that he attended twice. (Actually, these were day memberships; they went back for a second day.)
At the con, Thomas saw a fellow in a really stunning Andorian costume; he traces his fascination with Andorians from that moment. Thomas wanted to enter the Masquerade -- he was wearing a vaugely Trek-ish shirt that his Mom had made for him. Some fool at the masquerade registration table dissuaded Thomas from entering.
Thomas remembers shaking James ("Scotty") Doohan's hand, and listening to Doohan talk about the new Star Trek TV series that was in the works at the time. (The new series never came about, but many elements were used in the first Star Trek movie years later.)
In the Dealer's Room, Thomas bought a model kit of the K-7 space station from "The Trouble With Tribbles." We still have that space station model today.
All too soon, young Thomas had to go home to his somewhat less-fannish parents -- but a seed had been planted, and in the fullness of time, it would bear fruit.
Since Thomas was still officially a Young Fan (under 14), and did not attend this con on his own volition, we consider it to be a prelude to his con-going experience, and count it as his "zeroth" con. Besides, that allows the numbers to come out right later on.
(Coincidentally, it was on this same weekend that a 18-year-old named Don Sakers was attending a con in Baltimore.)