Monday, June 20, 2011

Winkie Convention Countdown: 18 Days to Go

I couldn't put it off any longer. My time had come. In 1993, I was tapped to chair the convention. That means I had to come up with the evening programming, and make sure everything else was in place as well for the weekend. It's a big responsibility, and one I decided to take very seriously. So I got to thinking, what would I like to see at the convention — and what did I not want to see? The latter was easy, actually. The evening programming can often become too much of a lecture, with someone explaining something illustrated with the occasional slide. After a long day of driving on Friday, or a long day of other activities on Saturday, a lot of the audience end up dozing off. I wanted to raise the energy level and keep everyone interested. So, I looked back at old convention reports and figured out what sounded good, and can I do something like that. One item that was of particular interest was a recreation of the old 1933 NBC Wizard of Oz radio show at the Ozmopolitan Convention a few years earlier. So I started there, making that the Saturday evening entertainment, and worked around that. And I also decided to start early, lining up ideas and presenters almost as soon as the 1992 convention ended. Before I knew it, I had a core of about three dozen people from all over the country involved, and I sent them regular progress letters (and this was before e-mail, so I had printing and postage costs to content with), called up those who I needed information from, and so forth. There were lots of changes and tweaks to my program as ideas flew around, I found out what people liked or didn't like, how intra-Club politics worked, and that sort of thing. But through it all, the radio show was still there. Somebody even sent me a tape of the performance from Ozmopolitan, and it was funny and fun and I knew it was the sort of thing the Winkies would get a kick out of. Now all I had to do was get it all to happen.

(To be continued...)

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