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The first week of June 2021 was a very rough one for our Farpoint Convention family. We lost our beloved co-chair, Sandra Zier-Teitler and our equally beloved Author Program Track co-manager, Jessica Headlee in the space of a couple of days. We send much love to Sandy and Jessica’s family and friends and look forward to attending the virtual memorial panels being planned for them both at ShoreLeave 2021. We will publish the schedule details for the panels when announced.
Sandy was a Fandom giant! She was a writer and editor of the seminal Star Trek TOS fanzine “Mind Meld”. Through her fandom, she met and became friends with the Baltimore-based “Contact Crowd”, creators of the influential “Contact” series of ST:TOS zines. In 2012, Sandy wrote a short article for author Steven H. Wilson’s blog remembering her introduction to the “Contact Crowd” and how that chance interaction led to many life changing events. Sandy’s friendships eventually led her not only to her late husband, Bruce, but to working on the family of conventions that started with ClipperCon, through OktoberTrek and eventually to Farpoint. Sandy’s knowledge and generosity in sharing it has helped many convention organizers in their quest to serve their own fan communities.
Jessica was a familiar face to attendees at Farpoint, ShoreLeave and Balticon throughout the last decade. She was a key programming staff member at all 3 conventions and could be seen checking on programming rooms, giving time reminders to panelists and calling badge numbers for the autograph lines. Jessica was a seemingly tireless worker and another fan whose convention experiences led to meeting her spouse, when she met Ethan Wilson at ShoreLeave in 2013 and they married in the fall of 2019. Jessica was a marine biologist and active volunteer at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.
Both of these women left us too soon and will be missed in the continuing lives of local fandom. Sandy and Jessica’s joy at being members of our community was contagious and energizing. They worked to make fandom, and the world around them, a better place. And continuing in our fandom lives, even as we miss them, is an appropriate way to honor and remember them.