Chicon 4 (40th Worldcon)

(Don - 20th)[Don - 8th Worldcon]

1982: September 2-6

Hyatt Regency, Chicago, IL

GOH: A. Bertram Chandler
GOH: Frank Kelly Freas
GOH: Lee Hoffman

Attendance: 4275

Lisa and Melissa and Don shared a room in the Hyatt, and they had a "ra'snake" in the bathroom. Actually, they had a bathroom light fixture that went "hiss" when the light was turned off...but they preferred to think of it as a "ra'snake."

Mary Mand was also along; she and Don had flown out to Chicago and this time, as he recalls, they enjoyed the trip.

This was Don's first Worldcon as a seasoned pro -- with three published stories to his credit -- and he rather enjoyed going to the Analog party (which was held across the river in another hotel) even though he wasn't on any program items.

The Hyatt was the star of the Worldcon. The staff actually circulated around the long line at registration, bearing trays of complimentary munchies and drinks; the lobby featured a spiral ramp, a lake, and a 24-hour-a-day Italian restaurant. The Cedar Grove Movement, of course, did not waste the opportunity to indulge in lasagna at 3 AM.

The convention facilities extended deep underground, and joined up with a maze of corridors and tunnels that stretched across miles of downtown Chicago.

One night at the con, the Cedar Grovers were visited by Jim Faulkenberg...who brought a very strange friend named Mark. Mark disappeared for a while (later consensus was that he'd left to buy some drugs)...when he returned he sat in the middle of the floor and made odd, heavy-breathing sounds all night. The others did their best to ignore him.

The Chicon's "In Memoriam" page listed Harry Bates, Russ Manning, D.F. Jones, Harold ("Hal") Foster and Philip K. Dick.

On Sunday there was a turtle race in the hotel's lake. Several fans tried to enter, but were disqualified due to their species.

A number of members of the Chicon were stricken with a malady which was nicknamed "the Kessel runs" -- but fandom was spared any casualties.

On Monday afternoon, Mary and Don left the hotel in an attempt to see more of Chicago. It was their intention to wander down toward the Lake...unfortunately, the roads didn't permit such wandering, and they barely made it back to the Hyatt alive. They were recovering in the lounge (over drinks) when the whole sky started to light up -- Chicago was throwing a great fireworks party and Worldcon had ringside seats.

All in all, the fourth Chicon was one of the best Worldcons before or since.

Janice Gelb's Chicon 4 report