I’ll write more about Gafilk a bit later, but I wanted to share this with you. Every year, I write a short introduction for the front of the program book. This is what I wrote for this year.
Sixteen years ago, Gafilk was born.
Stop and ponder that for just a moment. Sixteen years ago was the last century. Sixteen years ago was the last millennium.
Children born the same weekend as Gafilk I are now in high school and able to get drivers licenses.
The first Gafilk banquet wouldn’t be for another 3 years. Nor would the first Super Secret Guest. The My Filk game show wouldn’t début until the following year. A number of people we could not today imagine Gafilk without we hadn’t even met yet. Some of the people we could not then imagine doing Gafilk without are no longer with us.
The best things about Gafilk as we know it today, the traditions we honour every year, didn’t come about because of careful planning and deliberation. They were happy accidents. “That was fun,” we’d say. “Let’s do it again next year!” And next year, and next year, and on and on until today. As our first Super Secret Guest, Lois McMaster Bujold once remarked, “It only looks inevitable in hindsight.”
But there’s one thing we had at that first Gafilk, sixteen years ago, that we still have today. It’s the same thing they had at the first filk con, and at filks dating back to before most of us can remember:
Put the chairs in a circle. Gather your musical family to sit in the chairs.