Balticon 17

(Don - 22nd)(Thomas - 7th)

1983: April 1-3

Hyatt Regency Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD

GOH: L. Sprague deCamp & Catherine Crook deCamp
Fan GOH: Jack Chalker & Eva Whitley
Art GOH: Anne Trembley

The second Balticon in the Hyatt was somewhat more relaxed than the first. There was a membership limit of 1500, and although in theory it was strictly enforced, there seemed to be many more fans there.

Balticon ran multi-track programming: in addition to science, pro and fan programming, there was also video, movies, Golden Age radio, singing and gaming. Clam Chowder performed all three days of the con.

This con, the historic first meeting between Mary Mand and Jim Grey, will go down in legend.

The Masquerade was the biggest event of the con. Thomas appeared as the Empire State Building, complete with a tiny King Kong. The halftime entertainment was by Clam Chowder. Don remembers that the TV news people came in to shoot some of the dancing at the Chowder concert; the fans were completely unconcerned, they kept pushing the cameras away . . . until finally Kathy Sobansky made an announcement: "Could you please move your cameras back? You're getting in the way of the dancers."

Thomas commuted to Balticon 17, along with Will Burnham and Will Brehm. He remembers buying a button that said "Don't Just Stand There, Hug Me," which he refers to as one of the best investments he ever made at a con.




Thomas' Empire State Building Costume

The cardboard Empire State Building is hollow and large enough for a person to fit inside. You may notice a darker rectangle on the face of the building: this is a piece of painted fabric which sits before the wearer's eyes to provide a limited sort of visibility.

When Thomas presented this costume, a tiny King Kong, complete with banana, was perched atop the mast.

Thomas and Michelle Walsh at Balticon.

Will Burnham, Will Brehm, and a Mystery Fan.

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