Tullio Proni

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(March 18, 1948 –)

Tullio John Proni, an Italian-born Michigan fan, was one of the founders of General Technics at Windycon II in 1975. He also served as OE of its APA, APA-TECH.

As a master machinist and electronics expert, he was one of the originators of the blinky pendants that made their appearance in fandom in the 1970s, once LEDs and the 555 timer chip became ubiquitous. Tullio has since incorporated blinky circuitry in many devices, notably rayguns, huckstered at conventions under the name Isher Enterprises, after A. E. van Vogt's Weapon Shops of Isher story. Alex Ellingsen, Renee Sieber, Amy Ranger and others have contributed their blood, sweat, and tears to the Isher Enterprises efforts.

Jim Fuerstenberg encountered Tullio and his blinkies at a mid-’70s convention, and immediately introduced him to Steve Johnson, who had also been making them in the DePaul University machine shop and electronics shop as a student. The connection between the three was instrumental in collecting the people who founded General Technics, and in the construction of a number of radio-controlled robots.

Tullio has lived in Kalamazoo, MI, since the early 1970s, and in the same house since 1977. He has run a traditional D&D game there since then, as well as the annual house party dubbed “IsherCon.”

In 1966, Tullio devised War of the Empires, a play-by-mail space opera game, later revised by game designer Gary Gygax. Tullio has been active in Critter Crunch (small scale BattleBot) competitions at Midwestern conventions, mentoring young participants who frequently win with his help.

Born in Monfalcone, Italy, Tullio emigrated with his family to the United States in 1954 and grew up in Florida before moving to Kalamazoo for graduate school. He holds a master’s degree in psychology and, in mundane life, is vice president and information technology director at a foundation that operates schools and daycare centers. He was formerly married to Amy Ranger.

Awards, Honors and GoHships:

Person 1948
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