The Heinlein Centennial
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Author:  JamesGifford [ Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:40 pm ]
Post subject:  The Heinlein Centennial

Did you attend? Did you want to attend? Let us know your stories. I'll post some retrospectives from the organizing end as I have time.

(What Centennial? This one: !)

Author:  DanHenderson [ Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Heinlein Centennial

I attended! It was actually the only science fiction convention I've ever been to, so I didn't have anything to compare it with. I loved the whole experience, especially the sessions led by Robert James on various aspects of Heinlein's private life, but I was frustrated that there were so many sessions I couldn't get to because they conflicted with higher-priority sessions. I do hope the DVD is comprehensive so I can see some of those missed sessions, but I don't recall noticing every session being recorded.

Other highlights for me include meeting Spider Robinson and getting my hardback copy of Variable Star autographed, and being in Kansas City again after a long absence. I lived there in 1994-95 and have a cousin there, with whom I connected for a great BBQ dinner at Jack Stack's. I also took time to go to the WW I museum and Harry Truman's home and museum. The WW I museum is superb and it didn't exist when I lived there.

I'm sad that there wasn't time to make the pilgrimage to Butler. I hope to do that sometime in the future.

I'm looking forward to reading other people's experiences.

Dan Henderson
Sunnyvale, CA
First Heinlein: Have Space Suit, Will Travel in 1957

Author:  karendiaz [ Thu Apr 10, 2008 11:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Heinlein Centennial

This is the email I sent to on August 13, 2007.
(My first Heinlein novel was The Number of the Beast in 1981.)

Two memories in particular stand out for me. Just before the Gala Dinner, I went to Dr. Amy Baxter's discussion. I loved hearing her personal recollections about Ginny Heinlein. She was so gracious and let us look at and touch Mrs. Heinlein’s rings. When she pointed out that she was wearing Ginny's emerald necklace, I got choked up! It was almost as good as meeting Dora in her rubies! One of my favorite photos from the weekend was of me with Dr. Baxter!

The second memory was at the end of the Gala, when two people took the stage and sang "The Green Hills of Earth." I'd never heard it sung before. I couldn't remember all the words to the poem, but I sang along to "We pray for one last landing on the globe that gave us birth. Let us rest our eyes on fleecy skies and the cool, green hills of Earth."

To hear almost every person in that room singing those words - to know that I was in a room with others who, like me, had been profoundly influenced by the words and life of this extraordinary man was one of the most uplifting experiences I have every had.

I am very grateful to everyone who was involved with this event. I know I'll never forget it.

Thank you!

Karen Diaz
Merritt Island, FL

Author:  JackKelly [ Thu Apr 10, 2008 1:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Heinlein Centennial

I attended the Centennial with my 18 year old son. In the "old" forum, I wrote a rather extensive review of the event that I won't try to repeat here. Suffice it to say that it was the culmination of my 40+ year fascination with Robert A. Heinlein. I've said many times that I'm not a sci-fi fan in general, but I enjoy good literature, and Mr. Heinlein belongs right up there with the best American authors, is probably the second-best author ever to come out of the state of Missouri, and the very best modern era American science fiction author.

This was my first-ever visit to Kansas City. We didn't get away from the hotel much but from what I did see it was very pleasant. We particularly enjoyed the barbeque.

The highlight of the convention to me was the panel discussions. I agree with the above poster that it was frustrating to not be able to attend them all. I particularly enjoyed seeing and listening to Mr. Heinlein's sister-in-law Dorothy Heinlein (I think), Dr. Robert James, James Gifford, Frederick Pohl, Dr. Yoji Kondo, Amy Baxter, Spider Robinson, Bill Patterson and many others.

And, of course, the Gala Dinner and the celebration that followed will remain in my memory for a lifetime. The appearance by delayed video of Dr. Arthur C. Clarke may have been his final public words before his recent death. The video of Virginia Heinlein reading Mr. Heinlein's "This I Believe" essay was moving. It was all very well done.

Author:  PeterScott [ Thu Apr 10, 2008 6:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Heinlein Centennial

Without a trace of schmaltz - no more than Bob was wont to employ, anyway - I can honestly say that in my dotage one of the main memories that will console me for the failing of my body functions and the abuse of my caregivers will be that weekend and the heroic couple of years leading to its production. Magic smiled upon us; it was an event Heinlein would have been proud to be associated with and one he would have had a grand time participating in.

Author:  Starhaven [ Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Heinlein Centennial

Thank you Mr. Kelly for those wonderful Centennial pictures. What a pleasant reminder they were. Somehow, you managed to capture by longhaired companion in the regency coat and me in the Top Hat and Opera Coat mixed in that collection. That was a fun surprise. High formal wear has been my choice of style for conventions since my first. Oddly, that was Worldcon in Kansas City, where my first and, regrettably, only meeting with Bob took place at his Blood Drive Formal Party. It was a very poetic way to return to such a wonderful city.

Thank you again, and to all that made it possible.

Richard Jones
Woodland Washington

Author:  JackKelly [ Thu Apr 17, 2008 1:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Heinlein Centennial

There is a wonderfully comprehensive set of 288 photos of the Centennial, taken by a French fan, on The fan contacted me asking permission to use one of my photos in a French publication.

Looking through the photos I was struck again by the eclectic crowd gathered in KC - everything from millionaire entreprenuers to Hollywood producers to university professors to astronauts to accountants to gun lovers to old hippies to bikers. Where else would such a diverse gathering ever occur?

Especially interesting to me are the photos taken in Butler of the Heinlein birthplace home and the Butler Library. If you've never seen the exhibits on display at the library, you should look.

Author:  freesharon [ Fri Apr 18, 2008 5:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Heinlein Centennial

Author:  PeterScott [ Fri Apr 18, 2008 5:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Heinlein Centennial

Author:  JamesGifford [ Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Heinlein Centennial

We managed to visit on Monday, since the Centennial business wrapped up early and our flight home wasn't until the evening. It meant a lot to be able to do one darned thing that didn't have to do with turning a crank. ;)

This photo spread greatly resembles my own (since it was likely taken within two days of our visit) but I suppose I really should put up a gallery of my shots. And the slowly-progressing HC video as well...

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