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The Challenger Tribute
Sunday, February 04, 2007
  Winter 2006/7 - MICHELLE ZELLICH

I have adored Michelle for decades – well, for two decades, anyway, ever since my New Orleans bid against her St. Louis for the rights to the ’88 worldcon. On our side, we had the City that Care Forgot – the French Quarter, jazz, the spirit of Louis Armstrong, the spell of the Old South, plantations, music, mudbugs, romance, Mardi Gras – and they had Michelle. We won, but we were lucky.

Then, as now, I thought her a sweet, lovely, warm, wonderful presence, and now she is something more. For many years Michelle and her husband Rich have chaired Archon in St. Louis, one of the country’s most important regionals; in 2007 they and the convention will host the NASFiC, the year’s most important North American con. Michelle also edits The Insider, an excellent genre-spannning genzine.

Con runner, zine master … and a sublime foot masseuse. At the last worldcon Michelle was downright therapeutic. My feet hurt. My feet hurt badly. My feet felt like someone had been driving spikes into them – from the bottom. I admitted the same to my lovely friend – and she offered to rub them for me. Rosy may curse me for an inconstant dirtbag, a rat’s ass, a slime, a virus, a dog, a snake, an eel, a giraffe … but I gratefully let Michelle do her thing.

But la Zellich was no coquette. She attacked my podes like a strangler. My tarsals were mere pizza dough under her thumbs. I yelped – but the pain I felt was only the goodbye spasm of my former ache, fleeing in terror. The divine lady from St. Louis left me with feet that felt … fabulous.

Thought I was something special, until I spotted Michelle giving a footrub to Larry Niven. Hope he appreciated it!

Rich Zellich, treasure that woman!

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Winter 2006/7 - MICHELLE ZELLICH

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