Recently, I talked about some of my Geek history with some people, and it got me to thinking about how long I’ve been into a lot of this stuff. I’ve talked before how I’ve grown up with Star Wars, and as a child of the Eighties I also grew up with Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, and all those. In late 1991, I got into Star Trek via Star Trek: The Next Generation, but I’ve talked about this all before. The dead horse has called, and is begging me to stop beating it. So, with this in mind, I started thinking, when was my first science fiction convention?
I remembered that it was during my first summer working Webelos Adventure Camp at Camp Kikthawenund near Elwood. I remember my friend Carl, known as “Waldo” at camp, asking me if I wanted to hit the con. I remember it being in Cincinnati, and Majel Barret and John de Lancie were the guests. Thanks to this, I was also able to do some extensive research (5 minutes trying different search terms in Google) and I was able to figure out when my first convention was.
On August 1st, 1992, I walked in to the Albert B. Sabin Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio after a fairly hellish drive from Indiana. I was fifteen years old, dressed in a Spock t-shirt (don’t buy that, for the love of all that’s holy, that’s just the shirt I was wearing!), and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I wish I could say I had vivid memories of that first con, but I remember a few people in costume (cool!), a bunch of Galoob action figures (I bought a Worf), and tables of prop replicas that were, at the time, out of my price range. Sadly, my most vivid memories of the day involve Carl’s car breaking down, having to carry his battery to a service station, learning how to pop the clutch to jump a car, and then having battery acid eat the aforementioned Spock t-shirt. However, it did start me on a path to a whole new group of experiences.
Since that time, I have attended all sorts of shows, from small local cons in library basements, to large shows like San Diego Comic Con or Gen Con, and everything in between. I have been an attendee, I have attended as a member of the press, I have been billed as a guest, I have moderated panels, I have sat in on panels, I have even helped run some smaller shows. This year, I’m tabling at shows, with merchandise and everything. Conventions have become a big part of my life, they have become a change to hang out with a lot of really great people, and they have become something I adore and cherish attending.
And it all started at a Star Trek convention in August of 1992.