Corflu - the path to fandom


It's traditional to start a trip report with the "getting there" stage. In our case, "getting there" is convoluted and includes a stop in Boston for Corflu 2001. The first part of the trip, getting to Boston, is described on the Start page. Written by Eric with interjections, editing and photographs by Jean. Larger versions of some of the photos in this chapter are available on our Bravenet photo storage site. Last updated 4 October 2001.

Friday 30 March 2001

It was about 2 p.m. by the time we headed off to collect Jean's fanzine from Kinko's. Ron drove us in to the con hotel, which given the continuous cold rain was a real help. Ron had been reminiscing about taking photos at the first Corflu in Berkeley, California at a beautiful old hotel on his first visit to the San Francisco Bay area, so he also wanted to look in at this one so much closer to home. (Rich McAllister writes that the hotel was the Claremont, in Oakland/Berkeley, and notes that the boundary between the two cities actually runs through the hotel.)

Corflu 22 was held at The Midtown Hotel, Huntington Avenue, Boston, which turned out to be a low, motel style building amidst many taller buildings. Must have been built before property values in Boston went as high as the buildings.

While waiting for con areas to open, we found bunches of fans in the reception area, many of them comparing Palm and Psion and planning a beamfest in Ted White's room. Whatever happened to the traditional comparing of fanzines?

Great hospitality room. They had chocolate chip cookies, and real Coke, both of which I'm attempting to avoid. They also had fresh vegetables and dips, and various other healthy things.

Nic FareyThe convention officially opened at 9 p.m. and Nic Farey (photo right) was randomly drawn as GoH, after a minor error with previous winners not being removed from the ballot, which saw previous GoH Art Widner drawn first.

Up until 2:30 talking, which was a good start, but shows how short of fannish stamina I am in my dotage.

Saturday 31 March

A bagel in the hospitality room seemed better than the hotel breakfast. At least, it did after Jean convinced me that bagels were actually a food. I associated bagels with rock-hard objects that crack teeth, from poor past experiences. These were fresh. Of course, by the time I next encounter a bagel, I will have forgotten this lesson.

The panels included the The Intersections of Professional and Fannish Life, and FAPAC of Yore, APAC of Today.

Life with Faned panel Life with Faned featured an all women panel, the partners of faneds, Catherine Crockett, Bobbie Farey, Carrie Root, and Sheila Lightsey. Click photo to see it larger. Bobbie Farey's line about life with Nic not being the horror most people think it is brought down the audience. I hadn't met Nic nor seen his zines prior to Corflu, but having seen him in action, I could see why the audience reacted.

The Cult of Corflu in the New Millennium was the presentation of Corflu bids, of which there was only one, from Nic Farey for Annapolis. The meeting kindly allowed us to also present our Airlie Beach Relaxa.con, although that was no longer a Corflu bid.

Ed Meskys and friend When discussing his Corflu 2002 bid, Nic was talking about picking up sailors, as one of the attractions of Annapolis. Eric asked if there would be enough crabs to go around at the banquet crab feast. Catherine Crockett said, "Plenty of crabs around, after visiting with all those sailors."

Lots of oldphart fans were there, including Ed Meskys, whom Jean had never met. Click photo of Ed to see it larger.

At the United fan auction, a microphone-waving Andy Hooper was asked "Is that microphone actually on, Andy?" "No. (pause) I just like to use it as a prop." Organiser Andy Hooper and Corflu very kindly provided part of the proceeds to GUFF. They had some really great old fanzines up for auction, and I think Art Widner got most of them.

Sunday 1 April 2001

No April Fools Day jokes appeared. This is distressing. I didn't manage to arrange my own joke on the School of Mathematical Sciences either, as Sunday was not a good day.

Sheila Lightsey Sheila Lightsey (photo right) arranged the Cajun Kitchen Banquet, and it was pretty good. Well, as hotel banquets go, it was real good. The only real problem I could see was that some fans couldn't eat Cajun.

Ted White explained FWA at some length, which was probably a good thing if there were many new fanzine fans present. Art Widner was elected past president, a most popular choice.

Andy Hooper gave out awards not only for the past year, but certificates for the previous one. I guess I think this is fun and worthwhile. Victor Gonzales got fanwriter, Robert Lichtman letterhack, Steve Styles artist, and Sheila Lightsey best new faneditor for The Accidental Fanzine.

Must admit the only award I really liked receiving was the one where the award was a wooden plinth with a (formerly full) can of beer superglued to it. Maybe we need to arrange to award one to Nic Farey! Maybe I should organise a bunch of plinths and get a whole heap of fans to take them to Corflu.

Spent much of the day sitting around talking, as is traditional at Corflu. A highlight of the day for Jean was meeting Anne Laurie Logan for the first time. Anne Laurie had been in A Women's Apa but gafiated some years ago, presumably to have time for the rest of her life.

Ron Salomon, Bob Webber, Art WidnerThat evening we went to dinner with 11 fans at Legal Seafood (the restaurant), and no arguments about going there. Jean "suggested" it in a command voice. We had been told about this chain of Boston restaurants by Kurt Maring (a recent immigrant to Airlie Beach from Switzerland), and I did really enjoy my clam chowder and smoked salmon entree. Jean cheated with the chowder and a salad, and got away with half my $20 meal cost. The problem with the 40% drop in the value of the A$ is I keep translating the prices to A$ (multiply by 2!), and blanching at the result. I haven't spent that much on a meal all year.

Discussed fan funds with Dick and Leah Smith, Sharon Sbarsky and others back at the con. They seem supportive of us attempting to raise GUFF funds in the USA, and also of it not having as much of a fanzine fan orientation as does TAFF. So far our efforts include the GUFF web site, flyers at cons, and in apas and our fanzines, but we need to think of other venues in which to spread the word.

We didn't get away until after ten to return to Ron's home with him (fans hate leaving a con). As a result Lori had already gone to bed, so to my regret we didn't get to see her again, or take any family photos.

Monday 2 April 2001

Laundry, how boring, and this time a whole pair of socks vanished, which would be mysterious were it not so frequent. Well, I guess it is still mysterious, just not particularly unexpected. (Later in the trip - Reading? - we saw a shop named the Lost Sock Laundromat - how appropriate!)

I walked to the bus depot to check timetables, and REI to inspect adventure gear for people far more adventurous than I. My purpose was to get a replacement bag, since my brand new folding shoulder bag had started disintegrating after a week of use. Despite the cost, I bought an Eagle Creek brand, as I know they can handle a computer, a few books, glasses, pens, notebook, camera and typical fannish junk. I'd have used my existing smaller Eagle Creek bag for the trip, but my new Psion 7 PDA occupied most of the space in it, and made it too marginal in capacity to take this trip.

We now seem to be able to occupy half a day packing and repacking bags. Something Will Have To be Done about this. Preferably something on the Fast Side of Life.

Running late, we got a giant sub sandwich from the supermarket across the parking lot to share for lunch. Even this early in the trip I was in full "count the cost" mode, as a result I suppose of anticipation about costs in the U.K., which we hear is expensive. Also this being my third year out of work, a situation that would count as retirement had I actually a usable income rather than spending savings that are in swift but not yet (I hope) catastrophic decline. Well, at least I start getting my pensions in 2002. That should cheer up the accountant portion of my soul. All that red ink saved.

Finally packed, we took the multiple bags for a drag across many parking lots for the twenty minute walk to the Logan Express bus depot, and missed the earlier bus than we intended by no more than ten seconds.

Building cranes seemed the city symbol, with demolition all around, as a better historic Boston arose from the destruction, especially near Logan airport.

At Logan we found a Waldenbooks, some phones with data ports, a Staples, and several other stores that seemed somewhat out of place in an airport.

Aboard the plane, we soon headed out of our (Economy Plus class) seats to the almost empty rear of the plane, where we each commandeered an entire row of (3) seats, intending to get some sleep.

Alison Freebairn Alison Freebairn was on the same flight, so she and I sat up and talked all night, thus keeping Jean awake; we had drinks for breakfast. I discovered that Alison lives near Ian Sorenson, thus helping overcome my geographical ignorance of yet another fan. It was real fun to have Corflu continue in this manner.

Continue to the arrival in the UK page.

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I hope you have enjoyed this GUFF web site. If you have corrections
Eric Lindsay PO Box 640, Airlie Beach, Qld 4802 Australia