Bova Column on SF Conventions

Ben Bova  devotes his latest column for the Naples News to science fiction conventions.

For example, some years ago in a hotel far, far away (it was in St. Louis, actually) the hotel staff took one look at the fans arriving for their convention and decided to treat them like scum. Service was worse than dismal. The hotel even shut down the elevators at midnight, which stranded late-night revelers in the lobby. I was among them and got into a fist fight (mild mannered me!) with a young elevator operator who refused to take a group of us to the floors where our rooms were located.

Within a week after that convention closed, several national aerospace organizations canceled their plans to hold meetings at that hotel; the hotel’s insurance carrier tripled the hotel’s rates, and a few other inconveniences were rained upon the hotel’s management and staff.

…Not the least being the installation of self-service elevator controls. The Chase-Park Plaza’s elevator operators were out of a job by 1974 when I was there for the Popular Culture Association convention.

[Via Tony Lewis on Smofs.]

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5 thoughts on “Bova Column on SF Conventions

  1. How about that? I was there for the Popular Culture Association convention, too! I lived just two streets south of the Chase and the next block east at the time, and my arrival was delayed by dozens of police cars screaming south past me on Euclid Avenue as well as coming north from the other end all turning onto my street, Laclede Avenue. As I took off running back to my apartment building, cops armed with rifles and shotguns ran up the stairs of the building immediately next door and fearing a Texas Tower situation, I grabbed two panicking neighbor kids I knew off the street, one under each arm, and carried them out of the line of fire.

    They brought a guy down in handcuffs along with his long gun without any shots fired. I found the kids’ mothers and started back for the Chase.

    The first night was also the banquet for the Associated General Contractors, and Ronald Reagan, the featured speaker, walked right past me on the Mezzanine as he left, less than four feet from me, about forty minutes after the police confrontation two short blocks away.

    I heard later the guy got out on bail that night.

  2. and BTW, Bova will be GoH at Balticon next year. The 2010 website is still up, but it will be Memorial Day weekend. Plus, Art GoH: Vinnie Di Fate.

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