Quarter Century unhappy anniversary

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Keith F. Lynch

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May 25, 2022, 4:50:05 PMMay 25
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A quarter century ago this morning, Disclave was flooded, putting a
permanent end to that beloved annual convention after 47 years.
--
Keith F. Lynch - http://keithlynch.net/
Please see http://keithlynch.net/email.html before emailing me.

Kevrob

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May 25, 2022, 10:19:40 PMMay 25
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On Wednesday, May 25, 2022 at 4:50:05 PM UTC-4, Keith F. Lynch wrote:
> A quarter century ago this morning, Disclave was flooded, putting a
> permanent end to that beloved annual convention after 47 years.
> --

Oh, my!

https://fancyclopedia.org/Disclave_41

--
Kevin R

Charles Packer

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May 26, 2022, 3:57:50 AMMay 26
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On Wed, 25 May 2022 20:50:03 +0000, Keith F. Lynch wrote:

> A quarter century ago this morning, Disclave was flooded, putting a
> permanent end to that beloved annual convention after 47 years.

Interesting. The newspaper archive newspapers.com has scant mention
of WSFA, and nothing in 1997, when one would expect an item in
The Baltimore Sun. The Washington Post isn't in the archive.

Keith F. Lynch

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May 26, 2022, 8:00:09 PMMay 26
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The Washington Post didn't mention it. The Washington City Paper did,
very briefly. The Disclave flood just wasn't very newsworthy, except
within fandom. Within fandom, there's plenty of coverage. See
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disclave
https://fancyclopedia.org/Disclave_Flood
Or do a web search for "Disclave flood."

Scott Dorsey

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May 27, 2022, 7:08:01 AMMay 27
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Although the Disclave Flood has become legendary and was a major disaster
from the standpoint of fans, I am not surprised that the rest of the world
did not pay much attention to it. (Other than a few insurance companies
of course.)
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

Charles Packer

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May 28, 2022, 3:37:42 AMMay 28
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But what about the thunderstorm later that did some serious
flooding of the entire hotel? I looked in the newspaper archive
for references to severe storms, but found only that a cold
front had swept across the region. It had, though, caused a
postponement of the Indy 500 by a day.

Keith F. Lynch

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May 31, 2022, 10:33:24 PMMay 31
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Charles Packer <mai...@cpacker.org> wrote:
> But what about the thunderstorm later that did some serious flooding
> of the entire hotel?

Not the entire hotel. Just the part that *wasn't* flooded by the
broken sprinkler. The sprinkler flooded the main hotel. The storm
flooded the "bunker" or "discave," an adjacent converted parking
garage where the art show, dealer room, and con suite were.

That hotel hosted Disclave from 1984 through 1991 and one last time in
1997. It had a different name and claimed location almost every time.
(It was usually in New Carrollton, but sometimes in Greenbelt and
sometimes in northeast DC.) But it was most infamous for electrocuting
a customer in 1995. She touched her doorknob while wet from the pool,
and fell over dead. A web search on "hotel electrocution 1995" finds
it as the first hit. Apparently that sort of thing doesn't happen
very much.

In 1997, I got a (non-fatal) shock from a doorknob there.

The hotel is apparently still there. But they long since got rid of
the pool. Whether they ever fixed their wiring, I don't know.

Paul Dormer

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Jun 1, 2022, 5:43:37 AMJun 1
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In article <t76j5i$b5m$1...@reader1.panix.com>, k...@KeithLynch.net (Keith F.
Lynch) wrote:

> She touched her doorknob while wet from the pool,
> and fell over dead.

Wet from the rain, according to the two articles I found, although it
sounds as if the room was near the pool.

Charles Packer

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Jun 2, 2022, 3:29:28 AMJun 2
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I like news events whose protagonists have unusual names! They
make for easier archive searches. It's hard to beat Milika
Sloan, the unfortunate subject of that one. Those two AP
dispatches were syndicated nationwide.

It happened in the same time frame in which, I vaguely remember,
I went to a computer show there. I still have occasion to drive
by the hotel a few times a year.

Scott Dorsey

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Jun 2, 2022, 1:55:14 PMJun 2
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Charles Packer <mai...@cpacker.org> wrote:
>
>But what about the thunderstorm later that did some serious
>flooding of the entire hotel? I looked in the newspaper archive
>for references to severe storms, but found only that a cold
>front had swept across the region. It had, though, caused a
>postponement of the Indy 500 by a day.

I don't know about any thunderstorm. When the lobby ceiling fell in, I
had been awake all night and decided to just drive the three hours home
and be done with it. I can't imagine there was much damage left to do
at that point.

Keith F. Lynch

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Jun 2, 2022, 11:18:42 PMJun 2
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Scott Dorsey <klu...@panix.com> wrote:
> Charles Packer <mai...@cpacker.org> wrote:
>> But what about the thunderstorm later that did some serious
>> flooding of the entire hotel?

> I don't know about any thunderstorm. When the lobby ceiling fell
> in, I had been awake all night and decided to just drive the three
> hours home and be done with it.

Weren't you concerned that you might fall asleep while driving?

> I can't imagine there was much damage left to do at that point.

The sprinkler damaged the hotel proper (and, of course, things in it).

The thunderstorm damaged the "bunker" or "discave," a converted
parking garage that was almost but not quite attached to the hotel.
Mainly because the bunker was slightly below ground level, hence had
concrete stairs, open to the sky, heading down. There was a drain at
the bottom of the stairs to keep water from flowing into the bunker,
but the hotel had cleverly carpeted over the drain. Water could soak
through the carpet and enter the drain, but the rain was coming down
much faster than it could soak through.

The bunker housed the con suite, art show, and dealer room. The hotel
proper contained all other function space and all sleeping rooms.

Keith F. Lynch

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Jun 4, 2022, 5:15:20 PMJun 4
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Paul Dormer <p...@pauldormer.cix.co.uk> wrote:
> k...@KeithLynch.net (Keith F. Lynch) wrote:
>> She touched her doorknob while wet from the pool, and fell over dead.

> Wet from the rain, according to the two articles I found, although
> it sounds as if the room was near the pool.

Thanks for the correction.

Scott Dorsey

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Jun 6, 2022, 7:48:17 PMJun 6
to
Keith F. Lynch <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote:
>Scott Dorsey <klu...@panix.com> wrote:
>> I don't know about any thunderstorm. When the lobby ceiling fell
>> in, I had been awake all night and decided to just drive the three
>> hours home and be done with it.
>
>Weren't you concerned that you might fall asleep while driving?

Interestingly, I was very sleepy before the alarms went off but an hour
or two later I was just vibrating with adrenaline. I had been talking
with a young woman in the hall when the chaos began and never saw her again
either.

>The thunderstorm damaged the "bunker" or "discave," a converted
>parking garage that was almost but not quite attached to the hotel.
>Mainly because the bunker was slightly below ground level, hence had
>concrete stairs, open to the sky, heading down. There was a drain at
>the bottom of the stairs to keep water from flowing into the bunker,
>but the hotel had cleverly carpeted over the drain. Water could soak
>through the carpet and enter the drain, but the rain was coming down
>much faster than it could soak through.
>Please see http://keithlynch.net/email.html before emailing me.

Was there really much there to damage? As I recall it was not very converted,
it just had a carpet and HVAC. Considering how much of the main part of the
hotel was a loss, it would seem comparatively unimportant.

Keith F. Lynch

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Jun 6, 2022, 9:33:55 PMJun 6
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Scott Dorsey <klu...@panix.com> wrote:
> Was there really much there to damage? As I recall it was not very
> converted, it just had a carpet and HVAC.

The con suite, art show, and dealer room were there in the bunker.
But it's true that not much *hotel* property was at risk. Except the
carpeting itself. If carpeting gets wet and can't quickly be dried,
it will smell bad forever.
--
Keith F. Lynch - http://keithlynch.net/
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