Westercon 19

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Westercon 19 was held 1-4 July, 1966 at the Stardust Motor Hotel and Country Club in San Diego, CA. GoH: Harlan Ellison; FGoH: John Trimble & Bjo Trimble. The MC was Theodore Sturgeon. Chaired by Dennis N. Smith.

This was the Westercon whose hotel inspired Poul Anderson to write the immortal filk Bouncing Potatoes. (The hotel was underwhelming. Fans were overcharged on rooms, the motel failed to block the convention rooms, resulting in noise complaints from other guests at the motel, the coffee shop had bad prices, food, and service, the banquet food was bad, and the hotel manager seemed disgruntled that fans provided their own entertainment, rather than utilizing the services of the young ladies who appeared around the pool every evening (see Bouncing Potatoes.) The same food was responsible for the Harlan Ellison & Bill Rotsler Egg Adventure.

For second year in a row, fans from the New York Fanoclasts club drove out (via the Midwestcon the weekend earlier) for the convention to support their New York in '67 Worldcon bid. The group of seven fen included Ted White, Arnie Katz, Mike McInerney, Andy Porter, and Dave Van Arnam

The concom was inexperienced and had only scheduled Opening Ceremonies, the Banquet, Ellison's "Dangerous Visions" panel, and the masquerade (which was totally unplanned in manner of judges & categories.) In fact, some reports on the convention have the chairman, Smith, disappearing about the time the convention started.

Ed Wood helped organize some panels to help fill out the program. The masquerade featured a seven-fan "Wizard of Id" group, with Tom Gilbert as Rodney, Jerry Jacks as the Wizard, Fred Patten as Bung, and Len Bailes as the King.

In the first fan showing, a preview of the Star Trek pilot was shown by Harlan Ellison to rave reviews.

At the business meeting, Los Angeles/LASFS won rights to run Westercon 20 by defeating bids by Burlingame, CA and Berkeley.

A fairly damning convention report was published by Bruce Pelz in Ratatosk 36.

Westercon 18«« »»Westercon 20

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