Balticon 19

(Don - 34th)(Thomas - 18th)

1985: 5-7 April

Hunt Valley Inn, Timonium, MD

GOH: R. A. MacAvoy
Art GOH: David Cherry
Fan GOH: Theresa Renner
Music GOH: Clam Chowder

Balticon was back in the Hunt Valley Inn in 1985. The Pocket Program carried this warning: "NOTICE: There may be some inconvenience because hotel renovations were not completed as scheduled."

Were there ever!

Thomas and Don fortunately escaped the overbooking that left many fans without a place to stay for the con. But they were still victims of the renovations: in this case, major surgery that left the main hotel lobby inaccessible and funneled all traffic between the two halves of the con through a narrow corridor in the basement.

Don was on two panels at this Balticon: a Friday late-afternoon panel hidden away in a room so remote that two of the panelists didn't even find it until the panel was well underway, and a Saturday afternoon one that never even made it onto the pocket program.

The high point of the con was the masquerade: Thomas wore his glow-in-the-dark outfit and Don wrote his presentation as a member of "The Three-Mile Island Clean-Up Crew." The audience loved it; there was not, as they say, a dry seat in the house.

Three Mile Island Clean-Up Crew

Thomas took the stage and made a slow turn under the bright spotlights, while the emcee read the costume title.

Just when the audience began to get antsy, and slightly disappointed, the lights went out and the costume glowed a sickly green in the dark.

Thomas did a triumphant turn to thunderous applause, then left the stage.

People asked Thomas how he achieved the glow effect. He always answered (truthfully) "The costume is painted with glow-in-the-dark paint."

Inevitably, the questioner would go on to say something like, "Oh, and you had a black light?"

"No, it glows in the dark."

"Oh, like ultraviolet?"

"No, it glows in the dark."

"Well, what power source did you use?"


It's amazing how much trouble people have understanding the concept of "glows in the dark."

Thomas made two matching outfits, one for Don and one for Mary Mand. At ConFederation in 1986, the three of them reprised the gag as "The Chernobyl Clean-Up Crew."

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