1943 Michiconference

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Michicon 3, the 1943 Michiconference, a convention held October 30–November 1, featured the opening of the Slan Shack. (The Ashleys, Jack Wiedenbeck and Walt Liebscher had just moved in.) In fact, Al Ashley later said that the Michicon had been canceled due to the War and that this one was only a large housewarming for the Slan Shack.

Regardless, many people (including Tucker who publicized it) saw it as a Michicon, and around 22 people were there at some point of the weekend — Tucker didn't leave until the following Thursday.

An uninvited and unwanted Claude Degler showed up on October 29 as the Ashleys were beginning to move into Slan Shack. He was already well-known as a schnorer who would stay if given even a slight amount of encouragement, so the Slan Shackers made a pact not to give him any money. Al Ashley told him the Conference didn't want him, and when asked, tried to explain why, but only got arguments in return. Finally Degler said he had no place to sleep and only 60¢, but the Ashleys refused to lend him anything. Unusually (since Degler had received this treatment elsewhere), this caused him to return to Newcastle, Indiana, and to claim that the Oakgrove Fantasy Society held a banquet in his honor. He also claimed that the trip had caused him to develop a bad chest cold.

Harry Warner describes the proceedings:

This was the occasion when Speer administered to many fans the mental alertness test from George Washington University. Many fans assumed it was an IQ test and the above-average scores that they achieved caused conjectures about genius in fandom for years to come. [See intelligence.) A lot of faanism was evident during this event. For instance, a Science Fiction Song Sheet was published, containing fan parodies suitable for group singing. Speer blew up black balloons to commemorate the sixth anniversary of Michelism. Saari and Speer disputed at such length that there was talk about sponsoring a nationwide debating tour in which they would star. Liebscher auctioned off artwork from Gnaedinger and Palmer.


1942 Michiconference Michiconference Michicon 4
1943
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