Let us return once more to days of Fandom past. Through the magic of the photographic time machine, ably wielded by the intrepid, itinerant fan Fred A. Levy Haskell, we turn the dial back to 1970 and visit a place called Midwestcon.
Midwestcon is the annual regional convention hosted by the Cincinnati Fantasy Group, a fan organization that’s been knocking around since 1935. 1935!
Midwestcon was first held in 1950. This past June the organization hosted Midwestcon 64. It’s one of the longest continuously operating conventions in the country.
But that’s not what caught my eye while perusing Fred’s photos of Midwestcon 21, held in 1970. (1970! Ancient History. That’s when they built the pyramids, right? In the interest of full disclosure, it would actually be 3 more years before I attended my own first convention – a Trek con – which really wasn’t a con, but that’s a different story.) Oh no.
What caught my eye was how obviously the prior decade was still in evidence. Want to know where Hippie, Yippie and Dippie culture went after humans landed on the Moon? Obviously it went right to Cincinnati. To a little place called the North Plaza Motel. Just check out the clothing and the cars to see what I mean.
Midwestcon carries a fair bit of fannish history with it: the series was inaugurated following the 1949 Worldcon – Cinvention the 7th Worldcon. It was the first relaxacon ever and has played host to quite a few notable Guests of Honor. You can find out more about Midwestcon’s history here and here. (Plan on spending a little time futzing around on that last site; Fancyclopedia is chock-a-block full of fannish history.)