Monday, March 10, 2014

Bouchercon Memories

The other day I was trying to clear away some of the clutter in my office, and what to my wondering eyes should appear but the program from the first Bouchercon I ever attended.  It was number XI, and it was held in Washington, D. C.  I thought some of you might like to have a look at the program, too, especially those of you who've attended a Bouchercon in recent years.  There's a difference.  If size matters, the current Bouchercons are so much bigger that it's hard to explain.  So I'll let the program speak for itself.

Look at the guest list first.  There are familiar names there, and some of the people represented are no longer among us.  I miss them all.  The good news is that a lot of them are still around.  A little older, perhaps.  Okay, a lot older.  But still here and still going to Bouchercon.  

Then look at the program.  Yes, that's all of it, right there on two uncrowded pages.  In those days, it was easy to go to everything on the program, and I'm pretty sure I did.

The highlight of the convention for me, however, was meeting the DAPA-Em gang in person for the first time.  You know who you are.  I didn't have a camera with me on the trip, so I don't have a record of it.  A physical record, that is.  A lot of it is in memory yet green.  Besides the convention, Judy and I toured the White House, the Smithsonian, and the Washington Monument.  

And then there was that great trip to the bookstore in a station wagon piloted by Art Scott.  What was the name of that place?   Chaos Unlimited?  I remember finding Roughneck by Jim Thompson there, and a second printing of John D. MacDonald's  Weep for Me.  Probably paid a quarter for them.  On the way back to the convention we were treated to a dramatic reading of selected passages from Michael Avallone's The Bouncing Betty by the inimitable John Nimienski.  I miss the old days.



Anonymous said...

Yes, Chaos Unltd. - Nelson Freck's store. I remember going down to the basement - you had to really duck your head. It was our third Bouchercon and one of the more memorable,

Stay off our lawns!


Unknown said...

It was in the basement that I found the good stuff.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes. And we met for the first time at the bar on the roof of the hotel. You ordered a gin and tonic (which struck me at the time as pretty radical for a guy teaching at a Baptist college in Brownwood, Texas). At Chaos, didn't you find one or two of Daoma Winston's early Beacons - Runaway Blonde or The Woman he Wanted? She signed them for you, as I recall.

Unknown said...

Your memory doesn't fail you. I got The Woman He Wanted and The Other Stranger. She was irate when I showed them to her, thinking that someone had reprinted them. She, being a respectable novelist at that time, didn't want to see them. But she finally signed them, angrily cracking the brittle spines on both of them.

Cap'n Bob said...

I remember going to that store with Gregory Macdonald and a bunch of others, hanging out with Bill DeAndrea, and Ann Byerly. Wooster's Windex cocktail. Dinner with Dorothy. It was a great con because it was small and served Bouchercon's original purpose--for fan and pros to mingle. Nowadays it's a stampede of cozy writers to tackle editors and the fans be damned.

Marsdon said...

Wow, hard to remember a con with single track programming.