Fred Pohl's LAcon I Reminiscence

1972L.A.Con I, Los Angeles
by Frederik Pohl
From the Noreascon Three PB

I took my two youngest kids along to the 1972 Worldcon in L.A. That may have been a mistake. Neither of them had ever been in California before, so we got there a week early in order to do Disneyland and the LaBrea Tar Pits and the Los Angeles Art Museum and the Farmer's Market and everything else that was to be done in the area. So by the time of the con itself it was kind of an anticlimax — well, it might have been, I think. What prevented it from being anticlimactic was the fact that finally I had made it; I was officially the Guest of Honor, a situation which tends to make any con seem a lot better than it actually is.

Best or not, the L.A. 1972 con was certainly the biggest — with over 2,000 on the books, it had the most attendance of any Worldcon ever. (At least, then it did. A mere couple of thousand looks at most small-to-medium now.) It had a few problems. The International Hotel where it was held (now under new management as the Airport Hyatt) is right across the street from the bustling runways of LAX, so we had four-engined jets buzzing by our windows night and day; in the middle of everything SFWA was forced to call an emergency meeting, because one of the members wanted us to strike the con (his grievance was that he had been forced to wear his badge where it was visible, instead of over his groin); and the con committee refused to give memberships to the GoH's two children (a chintziness of the spirit which the GoH has not forgotten after all these years). All the same, it was a great con. The kids must have liked the place, at least, because now one of them is now a full-time Los Angeleno.