Return With Us Now: 1968

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Return With Us Now To Those Thrilling Days of Yester-Year - 1968
(c) Dean Sweatman 2014

I have always intended to do this RSN but never expected it to be 46 years in the making.

It had been 17 years since the NOLACon and 7 years since the New Orleans ConsolaCon. The New Orleans Science Fiction Association was in its heyday. It had formed in June 1967 with 3 objectives:
1) Bid New Orleans as the site for the 1973 World-con
2) Bid NOSFA to host the 1968 Deep South Con.
3) Organize the fragmented pockets of Fen, Neo-fen and Proto-fen in the city under one banner to host the various Fannish events that would lead up to the World-con site selection vote for 1973.

The New Orleans in '73 Bid was moving along and we had won the bid to host the 1968 Deep South Con VI that John Guidry, Don Markstein, Rick Norwood, and Justin Winston had presented at the previous (Atlanta, GA) DSC.

We were a year old and had 10 to 20 members coming semi-regularly to the monthly meetings being held in members homes. In July we elected Don Walsh as our 1st President and had published 4 issues of NOLA-Zine during the past year. In August we started to meet weekly to prepare for the con.

19680823-25 Deep South Con VI - Down-Town Howard Johnson Motor Inn

Day 1
I took the Airport Express bus into New Orleans dropping me off 2 blocks east of the hotel. It was to early to pick up my con badge or check-in to our rooms so Bill Bruce from Baton Rogue, LA and I dropped our bags and went to the coffee shop in the next block from the hotel for breakfast and talk about Stranger in a Strange Land and all things fannish. Upon returning we met with the other con and NOSFA members that had arrived. Craig Shukas, Irv Koch and I dumped our luggage into our room and started to roam the halls.

There weren't that many halls to roam as we were housed in one room. Reg was a small table just outside the door. The "Con-Suite" was a common-room to the meeting floor to provide a table, some chairs, a desk, sofa and rest-rooms. The front of the room was set up for panels with a couple of dealers tables along the back wall.

Attending membership was 75 making it a crowed room. Member's rooms and the swimming pool / patio were close by and available for spill-over discussions when there weren't panels going on. For most of New Orleans Fandom this was their first con. I had traveled to Houston TX for a Comic-con prior to meet some friends from Denton, TX Fandom. Movies were shown by Justin Winston from his film collection in the evenings of Friday and Saturday.

Local author Dan Galouye (Dark Universe, Simulacron-3) was the Guest of Honor. Also present were Joseph Green (The Loafers of Refuge) NASA tech writer and family from FL (where we first met Rosie Green Now Lillian). Old Time Radio, Comics and Pulp dealer Roger Nelson had come down from [Chicago IL, Ned Brooks VA, Irv Koch TN, JoAnne Burger from Houston TX - a femfan and head of the N3F Tape Bureau looking for OTR, Pulps and to record the con on tape, Glen Brock, Joe Celko and Steve Hughes from Atlanta, Rick Norwood, John Guidry, Don Walsh, Don Markstein, Justin Winston, Craig Sukas, the rest from NOSFA, and 40 or so others that have gotten lost in my memories.

Only about 10 hours were devoted to panels, 4 hours to film, and 2 hours for the banquet. Room parties as we know them today were not to be found as Bourbon Street was only 8 blocks away.

Day 2
Irv Koch presented a tape made by Janie Lamb bidding Knoxville TN for the 1969 DSC. He also proposed the formation of a Southern Confederation of Fen organization to help in keeping contacts made in the various cons, clubs and individuals in touch with each other.

Harry B. Moore ( chair NOLA-Con) dropped in for a few hours.

Saturday Night there was as great discussion held in the con-suite hosted by Dan and Joe ( talking about Writers and Southern Fandom of the late '40s and "50s as both had attended NOLA-Con) that broke up for a hamburger run about 3 am.

Day 3
Business meeting - The Atlanta bid for 1969 was dropped in favor of Knoxville with an announcement that they would bid for the 1970 DSC. Irv Koch's proposal was accepted for discussion and would be revisited at the 1969 DSC.

Banquet - Rubber chicken and a fine speech presented by Dan Galouye.

The con ended about 3 pm with the usual round of "let's do it again next year". Those going on to Baycon heading westward and the rest of us headed home basking in the after-glow of the Gathering of the Clan with dreams of Next Year.


Additions and / or Corrections requested

Discussion is invited and Previous installments of this and the "In For a Penny" series can be found online (IA) Discussion

As always permission is granted to the Contraflow and / or SFC for use of the above. Anyone else that so desperate as to want to use it or any of the other muttering I have posted can contact me off-list.

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