This year's Worldcon took the cake. As usual everything was planned months in advance, with my only (major) hint of trouble being that I'd had to re-plan it all several times with successive Worldcon administrations,
My last word from the events director before I left was that yes, of course we were still scheduled for Saturday night right before the "Masque"—the costume competition.
When 1 arrived on Saturday morning, all planning fell apart as usual. Na, I was told, Saturday night was off. All awards had been rescheduled to be given with the Hugos on Sunday night.
I tried to remain calm. I couldn't stay until Sunday night, but everyone else in our awards program could and the possibility of having that kind of audience and recognition was too good to pass up.
In an hour and a half, I had called everyone but Fredrick Pohl (who was to accept for Alfred Bester) and had rearranged everything to run without me.
Meanwhile, I searched for the man in charge of events. When located, he explained that only awards voted on by the entire Con membership could be given with the Hugos, and that we would be on Saturday night but during to Masque intermission…
So it went, with me racing from hotel to hotel, dodging torrential rainstorms, buying an umbrellas, flagging down taxis to get to and from the Auditorium where the event would be held (it was two miles rather than the six blocks I'd been told on the phone), rounding up all participants through yet more schedule changes, finding out at the last minute that although we'd told to sit in the audience and get called up on stage by to master of ceremonies (Robert Silverberg) there were no stairs up to the stage.
Well, climbing up onto a waist-high stage is undignified but not impassible, even in a straight skirt. The very kind and charming Forrest J. Ackerman however, who was now accepting for Bester, is of an age where he should not have to climb a stage to accept an award for a friend. Damn if he didn't beat me up there—of course, he was wearing pants!
Somehow the awards were given out, people came up to talk with us afterward, and we gained some new members. My biggest regret was that as 1 was trying to smooth my clothing after my climb, I forgot to punch the "on" button of my tape recorder—all those speeches lost!
My deepest thanks go to Brad Linaweaver who was of immeasurable help in making order out of chaos, and Forrest Ackerman who was not only a lifesaver, but a very kind and wonderful man.
I also must thank the Con people, who were trying hard to fix a mess others had created.
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