Milwaukee's Michael J. Lowrey has been to all 39 Chattacons, and he's not about to miss the 40th that starts Friday.
He said, "My wife and I are preparing to come down from Milwaukee for my 40th Chattacon (I'm the sole survivor: the only person who has been to every single one)."
Mr. Lowrey gives this Chattacon history, "Chattacon was started by the late Irvin Koch, a Chattanooga native. See more information here
. There were less than 100 people at the first one, which lost money.
"I was living in Nashville at the time, and was member #3 (I still have the name badge). When I moved to Milwaukee in 1977, I decided I'd been in on it at the start, and was not going to let a little thing like living 700 miles away break the streak.
"Irv's dead; those other old timers not dead have had to miss one or more over the years, except me."
He says Chattacon is "a fan-run not-for-profit science fiction convention, not a media show: no TV stars, no movie B-list selling overpriced autographs. Proceeds are plowed into making the next year better; surpluses are donated to some literacy-based charity or the like.
"At one time a couple of decades ago, the membership soared above 1,400 because it was getting an element of people (affluent white kids mostly from Atlanta's suburbs) who had discovered that science fiction (DON'T CALL IT "SCI-FI", PLEASE) fandom is a tolerant and open-minded crowd, among whom adolescent displays of kink or even just sexuality would not get back to Daddy's country club or Momma's preacher. That element has drifted away now, and membership is well below 1,000 of people who actually read the stuff."
Daughter Kelly, 19, has been to over 80 SF conventions and does her own art and fan-fiction.
Click here for the Chattacon schedule.