Ditto 14

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Ditto 14, combined with FanHistoriCon 11, was held October 12–14, 2001, at Jumer's Chateau in Bloomington, IL, a location selected for its proximity to Bob Tucker's home to enable his attendance. It was organized by Dick and Leah Smith with help from Tucker; his wife, Fern; and Henry and Letha Welch.

The FanHistoriCon Guest Speaker, Jack Speer, was brought to the convention by the Don Ford Fund. Events included an auction and the Ditto fanhistory trivia game.

First Fandom was also represented by Forrest Ackerman, who nearly didn't make it because his travel agent had erroneously booked his flight to Bloomington, Indiana, rather than Bloomington, Illinois. Fortunately, the Smiths discovered the error in time to make arrangements for Forry to fly to Chicago, where Tom Veal made sure he made connections to get to the right Bloomington.

Neil Rest also had trouble with transportation to the con, which was held amid the heightened security in the aftermath of 9/11, when trains and bus companies suddenly began demanding photo IDs. A nondriver, Neil had no such identification. Ultimately, the Smiths found Neil a college shuttle service from O'Hare Airport that didn't require it, and he got a ride home with Steven H Silver.

Post-9/11 travel issues affected several other fans, most notably the white-bearded Art Widner, who arrived harried and indignant after airport personnel, mistaking him for an ayatollah, subjected him to an undignified search.

Having Tucker, Speer, Ackerman and Widner all together made the con very special. Leah Smith took advantage of it by asking these four founders of fandom just who it was who stuck the microcosm with that name and dubbed its members with the troublesome title fans. None of them knew, so it seems no one ever will.

Publications, edited by Leah, were called Spirits of Things Past, and included the Contact! fanthology; most are online.

e01-001.jpeg Nicki Lynch and Bob Tucker taken at the 2001 Ditto/FanHistoriCon

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