Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today...

Today is my 50th birthday. I get to spend it driving from Ontario OR to Winnemucca NV on our way home from Worldcon, but before we check out of the hotel in Ontario, I'd like to reflect on one of several important events that happened twenty years ago this week and in particular twenty years ago today.

In 1995, the Worldcon was in Glasgow. I was wearing two separate area head hats for that Worldcon: Site Selection (a four-way race, like this year) and Business Meeting. This was the first time I'd chaired a WSFS Business Meeting. I know those of you who haven't known me that long might find it hard to believe, but back then I was not necessarily considered an asset to have on your organization. Paul Dormer, who was running WSFS for Intersection in 1995, took a chance on asking me to chair the 1995 meeting, after I'd worked on a variety of head-table positions between 1991 and 1994, including Timekeeper, Secretary, and Parliamentarian.

Most people wouldn't consider this a present, but for me, getting to chair the WSFS Business Meeting for my birthday (eleven years after I attended my first convention, the 1984 Worldcon in Anaheim) was something I really appreciated and enjoyed. I learned things, too, and I keep learning them. Among other things, I found I could suggest a way out of a thorny parliamentary thicket caused by an ill-advised motion to commend me in such a way that it implicitly censured one of my predecessors. It was the first time I'd ever actually deployed Postpone Indefinitely for its intended purpose. (Because WSFS rules at that time prohibited the motion, it had to be in the form "Suspend the Rules and Postpone Indefinitely," but it worked out the same way.) I even had the unusual situation of having to reprimand myself, as I (in my Business Meeting hat) had to tell me (in my Site Selection hat) to refrain from collating demographic information that we had made provision for collecting in the election that year, per instructions from the Meeting.

The 1995 WSFS Business Meeting was only one of the great things that happened to me at that Worldcon, but it's the one I'll always associate with my birthday. Since 1995, I've chaired WSFS meetings in the USA, Canada, and Japan (nobody has more countries than I do), and I'm pretty proud of my work. I look forward to getting to do it again, too, even after the experience this past week in Spokane.
Tags: business meeting, worldcon, wsfs, wsfs business meeting
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