|Michael Sinclair, aka the Commodore, has been attending science fiction conventions since 1975. He has graciously agreed to provide his reminiscences of those great old days of science fiction fandom to The Thunder Child.
Godzilla menacing Michael
Index to The Commodore's Ramblings
Bidding for World Con
I flew to New Orleans to help with their bid after some people from Columbus played games with a friend of mine in Cincinnati.
What generally happens is a local group sets up an executive committee and incorporates in their state. Our committee had about seven members who put up money. I offered my services to John Guidry and told him I would go to cons that I normally did not attend,i.e. large conventions in L.A. and N.Y. and other places and if they won some of my expenses would be reimbursed. I did not chalk up my expenses for the normal South Eastern conventions I was attending.
I think the Nolacon bid spent about $50,000 dollars. We had the rum drink "Hurricanes" and beads lots of Mardi Gras beads to pass out. I never walked anywhere in convention without a handful of beads. Drape them around pretty ladies, babies, and old folks they all wanted Mardi Gras beads. For some SMOFs (Secret Masters of Fandom) we even had some beads that were pre-World War II or beads that had actually been caught on the streets of NOLA.
I think "Fever Dream" probably describes it best. You are focused on creating the old bread and circuses image and that folks would have a good time in NOLA.
Once a group of fans gets organized, they tend to bring large numbers of people on the committee. I always used to compare it to the Politburo which was the Executive Committee and the Central Committee which was a larger group. These are some of the people who hope to work on a World Con at some level. A lot of folks in the executive committee wind up being Division Heads and Department Heads. I told John that I did not want to head of a Division or Department, so he made me a Minister Without Portfolio. Good British title that.
Also fans in other cities that supported you were contacted and asked to throw parties and distribute fliers at the conventions they attended. Communications today are a lot easier and cheaper. I would have loved to have had a PC when I was doing the legwork for NOLA.