1998 Annual Gathering of American Mensa

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Program book cover

The 1998 Annual Gathering of American Mensa, known as The Buckeye Bonanza, A Flight of Fantasy, and C.D.A.G., was held in Cincinnati, Ohio at the Omni Netherland Plaza. It lasted from July 1st through July 5th. Mary Lee Kemper was the AG chairman. The attendance was 1301.

Cincinnati Area Mensa and Dayton Area Mensa collaborated on this AG, which is why the abbreviation C.D.A.G. (for "Cincinnati/Dayton Annual Gathering") was used.

This AG had what was regarded by many attendees as one of the best hospitality suites ever, located in a very large room with a sizeable array of food at all times (not just at limited "feeding frenzies"). In particular, there was an endless procession of varieties of soup. It helped that the AG volunteers had access to full kitchen facilities adjacent to the hospitality room.

The hotel layout put many (though not quite all) of the events in locations close to hospitality and registration, so there weren't as many long treks to get to things as there sometimes are at AGs. The interesting array of speakers included one worrying about the upcoming Y2K computer problem, and another discussing how to plan a great party for the turn of the millennium (either in 2000 or 2001 depending on whether you're a purist about such things).

The Annual Business Meeting was enlivened by agitation from a member who was claiming that Mensa had "sent Federal agents to infiltrate the AG!" Apparently, this resulted from some sort of legal dispute the member was involved in back in New York, which resulted in a court order or agreement that he was allegedly violating by leaving the state to attend the AG; thus, some Federal investigators came to look for him, and apparently the AG committee cooperated by giving them badges so they could enter the speaker and hospitality rooms in the course of their investigations. While he didn't get arrested, he did get kicked out of the AG for disruptive activity, but he returned for the business meeting in order to protest Mensa's involvement in a Federal "police state" and to make (defeated) proposals to impose more privacy restrictions on AG registration records, and to censure the AG committee for their part in what happened.

Downtown Cincinnati is interconnected with "skywalks", making it possible to explore a large area starting at the AG hotel without going outdoors. You can practically get to the baseball stadium, where some Mensans went to see the Cincinnati Reds play the St. Louis Cardinals during the AG, with Mark McGwire trying for the single-season home run record.


Preceded by:
1997: Birmingham
Annual Gathering of American Mensa
1998
Succeeded by:
1999: Long Beach


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