Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Worldcon 76 Day 5: The Gavel Passes

All good things must come to an end, and Worldcon 76 was a Very Good Thing. Today the convention ended, and now we can look forward to next year's convention in Dublin, Ireland.

The End -- and the Beginning

My mobile phone is completely wrong for taking photos in these conditions. I should have taken the Sony. This is a not-great photo of Kevin Roche bringing down the Gavel of WSFS on the sounding block held by James Bacon, Chair of Dublin 2019, an Irish Worldcon. Sitting in the audience with the gavel's box, my heart went into my throat when sounding block shot out of James' hand and rolled away.

Closing Ceremony Audience

Before the ceremony started, I got this photo of the audience. I'm glad that we kept the main stage for the final day. While it may look not that full, this same audience in the next-largest room would have been SRO and uncomfortable. This was better.

The Last Event

Kevin Roche came on stage and thanked all of the people who helped make Worldcon 76 a success, making a point of thanking the Hugo Award administrators who were inadvertently left unmentioned at last night's Hugo Awards ceremony.

Next Year in Utah

After bringing the Guests of Honor back for a final goodbye, Kevin invited Kate Hatcher from the 2019 NASFiC/Westercon 72 on stage to invite everyone to come out to Layton next July for NASFiC.

Flying the Flag

Then James Bacon come on stage with this highly appropriate stage lighting, introduced a video about Dublin's Worldcon, and read a letter from the President of the Republic of Ireland inviting everyone to come to Dublin next year.

Following the ceremony, I caught up to James, who claimed that the sounding block had shattered into multiple pieces, but he was just pulling my leg. The block was recovered (fortunately it didn't roll down under the stage, where retrieving it would have been difficult), and the Gavel of WSFS given to my safekeeping, as Dublin 2019 doesn't intend to use it for their meetings between now and the convention. I'm grateful that the trust me to keep it safe. I generally keep it with the ballot boxes sometimes given to my care.

A tentative membership count (subject to clean up after the convention) of warm bodies on site for Worldcon 76 is 5,440 individual human beings who attended the convention at some time during the five days of the event. There are a bunch of other numbers I have, but I'm waiting for the post-con clean up before reporting them to the WSFS Formulation of Long List Entries (FOLLE) committee.

After the closing ceremonies, there was one final panel (the last feedback session). Lisa caught up with me there as we'd been on separate paths most of the day. There I was able to give Kuma Bear something that Registration gave me this afternoon.

Badged Bear

Kuma Bear got his very own membership badge. Lisa was very happy. Bear looks pleased, too.

Lisa was also pleased the Kevin Roche acknowledged Lisa as the person who assembled the Hugo Award trophies, not the various wags who claimed that they'd done so when 2018 Hugo base co-designer Vincent Villafranca referred to an "anonymous convention volunteer" doing the assembly during the Hugo Awards Ceremony.

Following the final panel, it was time to go. I wish I'd taken a final photo of the Hugo Award office, which was full of boxed-up Hugo Award trophies that we need to ship. One of my final WSFS tasks today was to get the correct person within the Worldcon 76 Committee in touch with the Hugo Administrators. I'm grateful to Dave McCarty and Susan de Guardiola for packing up a bunch of trophies and riding herd on them.

Amazing Boxes

Speaking of boxes, there were a lot of them in the UPS Store located on the ground floor of the convention center. There were some people very unhappy that Worldcon 76 ran Thursday-Monday even though Monday wasn't a holiday, but if the convention had run Wednesday-Sunday or if Monday had been a holiday, the UPS Store would have been closed. As it is, the store was jammed with packages being shipped from the convention. Compared to me having to find my way to the main post office in Helsinki to mail the Small Poster of WSFS home, this was much more convenient for people who needed to ship stuff home.

Thanks for all the Drinks

Heading out for dinner with Scott Sanford and with Lisa, I took this picture of the signs in the door of the Marriott bar. The hotel had these signs in their doors welcoming our members to San Jose.

Lisa and Scott had already eaten, but each had a small taco while I had a burrito at the taco shop beyond the Fairmont. We were joined by other convention membership who were also picking up dinner.

I've tried to talk with other members, particularly those I've not met before. I've spoken to a fair number of first-time convention attendees, and I mean first-time any SF con, just like how the 1984 Worldcon was my first. There were so many people having a good time. It gives me a huge lift to know how many people were here enjoying themselves. That's why those of us organizing these things do what we do.

Welcome to the Club

After dinner, Scott went off to the Dead Dog Party, while Lisa and I went to the Former Worldcon Chairs' Party. I had intended to hit the Dead Dog as well, but once I found a comfy chair, I didn't really want to get up that much.

Later that evening, all of the Former Chairs and their guests were summoned to the induction ceremony of the latest member of the Past Chairs' Club. Dave McCarty presented Kevin Roche with his ribbon.

Welcome to the Club

And gave Kevin a big heartfelt hug.

Gavel Hijinks

After which they produced the Really Big Gavel (which got mislaid a few years ago after passing between a few Worldcon) and some hijinks ensured with Kevin Roche and James Bacon.

During the Chairs' Party, I handed over the Small Poster of WSFS to Vincent Docherty, who said he had lots of luggage space. He'll take it home and then get this poster (originally purchased by Sasquan in 2015 with some of the "windfall" from that year's Hugo Awards controversy) on to Dublin for next year's WSFS Business Meeting. I meant to also include some of the bungee cords we use to secure it to the table, but presumably we can figure that out when we get to Dublin next year.

Shortly after the Induction Ceremony, Lisa and I called it a night and we returned to the Hilton. We initially had planned on sleeping in tomorrow, but we do have a breakfast appointment with friends, so it's time to try and get some sleep now.

I've completely left out the last WSFS function: the WSFS Mark Protection Committee meeting. I was re-elected as Chair of the MPC. There's other stuff on which to report, but it will have to wait until I have a few more brain cells to rub together.
Tags: hugo award, lisa, worldcon, wsfs

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