Midwestcon 1

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Ginny Haas with her fiancé, Oliver Saari, during Midwestcon 1.

Midwestcon 1, aka the Ohio Conference, was held May 20–21, 1950, in Bellefontaine, OH — the first relaxacon ever held, anywhere. Doc Barrett and the CFG were organizers, and part of the weekend was spent at Doc’s place at Indian Lake.

About 60 fans attended, including: Martin Alger, Ed Counts, Niel DeJack, Howard DeVore, Harlan Ellison, Lloyd Eshbach, E. E. Evans, Don Ford, Margaret Ford, Randall Garrett, Ginny Haas, David H. Keller, Ed Kuss, Julius Long, Bea Mahaffey, Ray Palmer, Earl Perry, Art Rapp, Ollie Saari, Steve Schultheis, Arnim Seielstad, Doc Smith, Bob Tucker, Basil Wells and George Young.

From left, Arnim Seielstad, Howard DeVore, Ed Kuss and Randall Garrett at Midwestcon 1 in 1950.
Photo by E. Everett Evans.

Science Fiction News Letter for July 1950 reported:

                THE OHIO CONFERENCE

On May 20-21, some sixty fans and writers met by invitation at Dr C. L. Barrett's home in Bellefontaine, Ohio, for what may prove to be the first of a series of annual conferences there. Guest speakers at a lunch­eon were DH Keller and EE Smith, with other short talks by Lloyd Eshbach, Basil Wells, Julius Long, Ray Palmer, Bea Mahaffey, and Bob Tucker.

Keller's humorous discourse was concerned with the plot-germs raised in his cellar and shipped postpaid to struggling authors anywhere in the USA; while Dr. Smith eulogized Keller, tracing his career from 1895 to his first sale in 1928, with a total of 150 stories & 6 books published to date. C.L. Barrett was toastmaster.

Entertainment was of the spontaneous variety, altho Niel DeJack showed color movies of the television broadcast made during the Cincinnati conven­tion last year, and Don Ford played a wire recording of same. Fantasy Press director Lloyd Eshbach said he is now sole owner of the press, has 20 titles under contract for publication, and his future output will be 50/50 new and reprint material. Ray Palmer stated his new magazine, IMAGINATION, will be on sale August 1, and mentioned briefly his affair with flying saucers, telling how Army officials killed a saucer story he ex­pected to run in the Ziff-Davis magazines.

Midwestcon 1 publications and photos on fanac.org

Midwestcon 0 Midwestcon Midwestcon 2
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