1997 Southern Fandom Confederation Handbook & History
PART II: DSCs, Rebels, Rubbles, & Phoenixes


If Life Hands You Sour Grapes--Try Making Whine:
A Brief History of the Rubble Award

Gary Robe

If revenge is a dish best served cold, then the Rubble Award certainly fits the description. The embodiment of the award is a Krystal (or White Castle--depending on the location of the DSC) Kids Meal purchased several hours before the bestowing of the award, and a medallion made from a tinfoil ashtray taken from one of the aforementioned restaurants inscribed with the target's name. That's about as cold a dish as I can imagine.

The idea for the Rubble Award sprang from the 1986 Louisville DSC. This was a very memorable DSC (which will hopefully be described elsewhere) for many reasons, but several of the best known southern fans shunned the convention because of its northern location and non-traditional timing. One especially irritating remark came from Guy H. Lillian III who said that he wasn't attending the Louisville DSC because he was waiting for the real DSC the next year. It was remarks like these led us to the idea that Something Should Be Done to people like this. [Guy says: "I can't believe I'd say anything so stupid."--We do, Guy!--"I did miss the '86 DSC in Louisville, but only because it followed hard upon the Atlanta worldcon and I was broke, exhausted, and out of vacation days." Yeah, yeah, excuses, excuses--you missed a good one.--TKFW}

The next spring at the Concave site selection and business meeting, the idea of serving a little abuse back was seized upon. Since the DSC fannish service award is the Rebel, naming the anti-award the Rubble was a natural decision. It was also decided that an anti-Phoenix award, the Sherman, would be overkill. We decided to swipe Mike Glyer's Hogu(C) Award idea and have a voting party at the nearest Krystal and to allow the "nominees" a chance to sway the result by buying votes.

The next DSC was in Atlanta, and the nominating party was held in my room on Saturday afternoon. Once we had a choice list of nominees, we informed all those in the running of what we intended to do and headed off to the MARTA train for the nearest Krystal. At the voting party, the slate came down to two serious contenders, Gary Tesser, and (you guessed it!) Guy H. Lillian III. The bargaining was intense, and when the wheeling-and-dealing was done, the vote was tied. The decision was finally made when Guy placed the final vote--for himself--using a penny he borrowed from Tesser.

The award itself was made during the intermission of the masquerade, and seemed to be a hit with the audience. In future years, the voting process has changed often, depending on the whims of myself and my backup presenter, GHLIII. In some years there has been open voting, in others the award has been a surprise to the target. One year we were all so drunk from Sue Francis' Kentucky Derby mint julep party that we almost didn't have the wherewithal to give the award. (But we didn't forget you, Ned.) There have been some great presentations and some that I might wish to take back, but the Rubble Award seems to have become A Tradition.

Some of the most memorable presentations were the ones to Ken Moore, Ben Yalow, and T. K. F. (Not Toni) Weisskopf. The presentation to Ken was memorable because this was when I realized the Rubble had become A Tradition. I could not attend the Knoxville DSC, but the Rubble went on without me under the care of Guy. The Award to Ben was just a good presentation. Ben was actually a little flattered, I think, as the only yankee so far to get this southern award. The strangest one, however, was the one for T. K. F. Weisskopf. In the pages of SFPA, Toni had made an offhand statement in a mailing comment that she preferred to use T. K. F. Weisskopf as her professional writing name, but she was still Toni to her friends. The SFPAn's at the DSC that year thought that Toni needed taking down a notch, so they overwhelmingly voted to give the Rubble to her. Toni never showed up at the party to contest the award (and I, the stinker, didn't tell her about it). The real fun began when the DSC Committee awarded Toni the Phoenix Award not five minutes before I was to go on to hand out the Rubble Award. To make matters worse, the Phoenix Award that year was a heavy acrylic pyramid that would have made a nasty dent in my head that I avoided only because part of the award that year was a Barney Rubble Pez dispenser and several refills.

The targets for the Rubble Award to date have been:



GUY H. LILLIAN III    1987         Atlanta, GA
            The only target to choose himself.

RICHARD GILLIAM       1988      Huntsville, AL
                              Richly deserved.

JOHN GUIDRY           1989         Memphis, TN
       Too obvious. Kicked a man already down.

IRVIN KOCH            1990     Chattanooga, TN
                Actually ate the Krystal meal.

KEN MOORE             1991       Knoxville, TN
                             Need I say Moore?

NED BROOKS            1992         Atlanta, GA
                    Why? Because he was there.

BEN YALOW             1993      Louisville, KY
                Damnyankee. Best Presentation.

T. K. F. WEISSKOPF    1994      Birmingham, AL
              Thank Ghu for the Pez dispenser.

GAYLORD ENTERPRISES   1995       Nashville, TN
             A corporation at war with fandom.

NAOMI FISHER          1996   Jekyll Island, SC
  For crimes against the waistlines of fandom.


All-in-all a pretty defensible list. My biggest surprise is that I have never been nominated myself. The only question remaining is who is next?

Questions? Comments? Send e-mail to: ssmith@smithuel.net

Copyright (C) 2011 Samuel A. Smith and T.K.F. Weisskopf All Rights Reserved
Last Revised: Sun Oct 2 17:40:11 CDT 2011

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