I started at UNC in 1986 but wasn't all that involved with Chimera at first, although Dan Reid produced a membership list from fall '86 that had my name on it along with my freshman address at Hinton James. I recall attending meetings every couple of weeks in the Student Union, and I remember going to Chimeracon V, at least long enough to hear Nancy Springer talk - my friend Matt and I were amazed at her purple boots (I've long since acquired my own purple boots). She spoke about the difficulties inherent in being labeled a "genre writer", and she signed my copy of _The Silver Sun_. I was in awe of actually meeting one of my at-the-time favorite writers and almost didn't have the courage to ask her to sign my book! While there, I bought one of the artfully done but evil-appearing T-shirts: the black design on a red shirt definitely had a sinister look to it. [ed note: some of Larry Iversen's artwork is up now, in Larry's Gallery. More added as time permits. lgh]
One of my sharpest Chimera memories is of doing fundraisers for Chimeracon VI - we were almost in the black before the con started. See Charles Overbeck's rant (Disclaimer from the back of the ChimeraCon VI program) about the Hellacious Dean Dome Cleanups. We nearly got Gene Wolfe as our Guest of Honor that year, but after accepting he changed his mind and backed out on us - and I don't think that Dan Breen ever forgave me *grin*. We bought waaaayyy too many T-shirts, and they lingered for years, passed from one generation of Chimeroids to the next...so if you've attended a later con and wondered why they were still selling shirts from VI, well, that was my fault.
If you're read Anne Worth's recollections, you'll know that she mentioned a group of friends called "The Family". My generation of Chimeroids had a similar group called "The Goblin Corps". There were six of us at first: Jo Wyrick, Angeli Primlani, Cherie Lambeth, Arlene Medder, Heather Valli, and me. After my freshman year, the group expanded exponentially and overlapped quite a bit with Chimera, but not all of Chimera was Goblin Corps and vice versa. We all had nicknames; predictably enough, mine was "Purple Goddess". (If you've ever seen my wardrobe, you'd know why!) One of our favorite activities was to put personal ads in the Daily Tar Heel - usually several per day; we financially supported them for about 5 years...Click here for enough Goblin Corps stuff to fill a Labyrinth. As with the Family, the Corps had its ups and downs, and we lost the incredible closeness of our first couple of years.
One of the more uncomfortable moments of overlap between the Corps and Chimera came with the Chimera officer elections of spring 1989, for the 1989-90 school year. In later years, people would be forced at gunpoint to be Chimera officers (hence the decline in the quality of leadership which in my opinion led to the death of the club itself), but in 1989 there was a hotly-contested race for the President between two people, both Corps, both Chimera. It was a very close margin of victory, and there was some controvery over the use of proxy votes and absentee votes. A revote was called. Sides were picked, and friendships were strained. Some never recovered.
While it lasted though, it was quite a roller-coaster (but then what from the ages of 18-22 isn't?). I will always cherish memories of how we would all cram around a single lunch table in Lenoir, as many as twelve at a time, eating, making Daleks and other stuff with the styrofoam cups, goofing off, cutting cla^H^H^H^H I mean, diligently breaking up to attend class regularly...We would take over one of the Hinton James lounges to watch afternoon cartoons like "The Real Ghostbusters" and other silly things. We kidnapped Erich Buehler once and delivered him at his surprise birthday party still blindfolded and hands tied. We would run through the maze around the Bell Tower playing hide and seek. We played "keep away" frisbee in front of Hinton James. We staged water balloon/water gun fights, played RPGs all weekend, stayed up until the wee hours of the morning talking, laughing, crying. I'm amazed that any of us ever graduated.