In Memoriam


By Tim Bolgeo

In 1986, when there be fan wars in the Big Nooga, a group of hardy fans decided to start a new Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention. The new convention would be based on old fashioned ideas that we all enjoyed in southern conventions: camaraderie, good times, a limited size event, and bheer in the bathtubs. Eight stalwart fannish friends came together and started organizing what would become LibertyCon in September of 1986 just after the 1986 World Science Fiction Convention in Atlanta, Confederation.

Klon Newell served on the Board of Directors of LibertyCon (LC) as the first Director of Programming from LC1, July 10-12, 1987 to LC8, July 8-10, 1994. He served with distinction and professionalism. After Klon retired from the board, he took over the position of head huckster for a few more years. Until age and illness overcame him, Klon was always one of our primary ambassadors for LibertyCon for fandom all over the country. All of us used to kid Klon about looking like Santa Claus with his white hair and beard. But that mild exterior hid a sharp mind and a devilish wit.

Kerry Gilley was a huckster who started off with us at LibertyCon and helped mold the organization on what we became. Kerry joined the Board of Directors of LibertyCon as the Director of Programming from LC12, May 22-24, 1994 to LC23, July 9-11, 2010. Like Klon, Kerry was an excellent head of programming and served the Board well. Kerry had a strange sense of humor at times that some people had problem understanding. I used to pick on him and told him that his humor was tacky. Kerry just laughed. He was harmless. More importantly, he was a fierce friend to those who even tired to meet him halfway. People used to underestimate Kerry because his speech impediment. But Kerry had a sharp mind and could really sting you with a quip if he wanted to.

Both Klon and Kerry were close friends of mine. Well actually, they were closer to brothers who I miss more than any of you will ever know. They were also honorary uncles to my children and both used Casa Bolgeo, as their Chattanooga Home. I know that I will see them again sometime in the future.

It is my great honor to announce that the Board of Directors of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention of Chattanooga have voted to honor these two elder members of our organization by dedicating LibertyCon 30 to their memory.

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