The First Star Trek Convention, or How I Got my Geek Cred

Geek Culture

As it turns out, I did not go to the first Star Trek Convention ever held. But I went to the second, in 1973.

I know this because last week’s New York Times Sunday Magazine ran a piece on Joan WInston, who organized the first fan convention in 1972 and who died during 2008. That prompted me to climb up in the attic and pull out my bag of Star Trek memorabilia to see what I had. I offer it here as a glimpse of the writer as a GeekKid. I was 16, and I took a bus — by myself — from the suburbs into New York City , where I shared a hotel room for the weekend with a Star_trek_convention_me_and_spockStar_trek_convention_me_and_spockbunch of kids I’d met the previous summer at a National Science Foundation astronomy course that had been given at the Museum of Natural History.

Note that there are no references to "The Original Series" in these artifacts because there were no other series. In fact, in 1973 Star
Trek itself was only available in reruns. And yet, tens of thousands of us gathered to … I don’t know, find support for our budding geekiness.

The last Star Trek Convention I attended was here in my hometown. It was a small affair, and featured a couple of Ferengis from Deep Space
Nine as its guests. My oldest was only a baby, so I’m sure he doesn’t remember it. The torch of fandom has yet to be truly passed to the next generation in my family.

Star_trek_convention_program_73Star_trek_convention_program_73  Star_trek_convention_program_uhurucStar_trek_convention_program_uhuruc   Star_trek_convention_program_crowdcStar_trek_convention_program_crowdc
(I’m in the crowd there somewhere in that newspaper clipping– I think in the bottom left corner.)

Interesting side note: The first time my husband took me to meet his parents, someone pulled out a photo album. And there was a photo of his little brother sitting next to the exact same Mr. Spock paper mache manequin. I knew then I was marrying into the right family.

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