Midwestcon 2

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Midwestcon 2, aka the Ohio SF Conference, was held May 19–20, 1951, at Beatley's on Indian Lake, Russells Point, Ohio.

Attendees included Doc Barrett, who ran it, Ray Beam, Robert Bloch, Henry Burwell, Arthur C. Clarke, Howard DeVore, Sybil DeVore, T. E. Dikty, Phyllis Economou, Lloyd Eshbach, Philip José Farmer, Don Ford, Margaret Ford, Randall Garrett, Dean Grennell, Lee Hoffman, Robert Joseph, Ed Kuss, Roy Lavender, Bea Mahaffey, Julian May, Nancy Moore, Darrell Richardson, Frank M. Robinson, Hal Shapiro, Stan Skirvin, Roger Sims, Ben Singer, Riva Smiley, E. E. Smith, Bob Tucker, Basil Wells, Margaret Wells and George Young.

Phyllis Economou with, from left, Frank Robinson, Randy Garrett and Phil Farmer at Midwestcon 2.

Basil Wellsconrep from The Explorer (June–July 1951):

              OHIO SF CONFERENCE----1951

This year’s informal get together of fans from Ohio and from adjacent states was held, at Beatley's Hotel on Indian Lake, at Russel’s Point, Ohio on Saturday and Sunday, May 19 and May 20. (Better make a date to hit the con next year if you’re close by, or even not close by  -- three fans drove in from NYC, a publi­sher came in from Reading, one fan came from Canada, and others came from Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania.

Margaret and I arrived on Saturday before noon, and by some good fortune, we landed a room between the Don Fords and the Fletchers from Cincinnati. We began prowling the grounds and ran across members of the Cleveland Group, the Cincin­nati Group, and the Columbus Group. Said hello to Eshbach (Fantasy Press in per­son) and talked awhile with Darrel Richardson. Fletcher, whose book collections rival or surpass those of most of the serious collectors, swapped information with us on books. Saw Don Ford, Roy Lavender, Bob Tucker, Bea Mahaffey, Ted Dikty, Stan Skirvan -- but why waste Ed’s mimeo paper in naming more! Doc Barret didn’t show up until evening, after office hours. 

Doc Barret masterminds these get-togethers, and is as near a completist collector as anyone we’ve ever met. He was wearing something that rivalled the coat of Joseph — only this was a shirt!

The afternoon and evening saw a lazy informal circulation among the attendees. Some of us rented boats and went lumbering out along the canals and waterways to sandy ridges where swimming is pleasant. Some huddled together to swap magazines and info. Around five o’clock we learned of a swap shop for mags in Bellefontaine and I took off, along with Robert Joseph of Cleveland as my equally blind guide -- we found them at last -- stacks to the ceiling and six for a quarter.

Mags are heavy things to carry.

Along about ten that evening Tucker set up a machine and we saw a movie, an amateur film I feel sure, of a travelogue to Mars. I missed the title and the explanatory notes because I was talking to a femme-fan who’d just come in from NYC, but a lot of work went into that film, whoever was responsible.... after that we were shown the various illos that wore to be disposed of the next afternoon, and then we caught a series of stills from the preceding year and the July affair in NYC. Most, if not all, the color photos were Don Ford’s ... and then we were shown various and sundry pics of bon-bons, peaches, and grapes until we gagged from surfeit ... it broke up at last.

The parade from room to room, down the hall and up the hall, and the inevitable cardgames....the bull sessions ... the bottles of colored liquids ... the dianetics-atomic-space-old ish controversies ... midnight long gone and the management begging less noise.

We couldn’t stay for the Sunday afternoon luncheon - pulled out early, but we’d had a fine time and renewed acquaintance with a gang of regular people—

Doc Smith, Doc Barrett and Lloyd Eshbach, from left, in front of Beatley's at Midwestcon 2. Photo from the collection of Michael A. Banks.

Midwestcon 2 publications and photos on fanac.org.

Midwestcon 1 Midwestcon Midwestcon 3
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