Steve.Savitzky.net / BIOS / colleen

Colleen Savitzky -- Secret Mommy of Fandom

I've often said that Colleen is one of the Secret Mommies of Fandom, but it really isn't much of a secret. Between her habit of "adopting" strays, her vast collection of recipes for every conceivable allergy, and her perennial question of "have you eaten today?", an unknown but large number of fans in the Bay Area and elsewhere already call her "Mom". The rest probably haven't met her yet.

She also has an uncanny knack for spotting people with guitars and introducing them to the local filk community; Kathy Mar and the Bohnhoffs are among her finds. (I'd add myself, but in fact she wasn't a filker at the time -- it was the SCA that she introduced me to, with the enticing promise that it was a good place to meet single women. She's also a bit devious.) In the SCA her "mommy first aid" kit was justly famous, and her pavillion home to a shifting population of medics, constabulary, musicians, foodies, and similar ne'er-do-wells.

Her home in San Jose is host to a similar population of gamers, computer geeks, foodies and filkers, and is called Grand Central Starport for good reason. Most of the walls are lined with books, and the rest with artwork accumulated over the course of a third of a century of con-going. The Cookbook Corner, Tea Corner, and spice collection are remarkable. There's even a song about the place -- "Bigger On the Inside".

Colleen has run filking at Baycon and Silicon, Con Suite at Consonance, and Filk Lounges at several Worldcons. She has run or assisted with Hotel Liaison at several cons, using a combination of "chocolate diplomacy" and tea to get the hotel on her side, and can often be found outside the coffee shop dispensing comment forms to happy or disguntled fans.

She is often called the Flower Cat, and for about two decades ran a small business called Flowers By Colleen that mostly paid for her corsage and bouquet habit. Recently, between arthritis and other problems, she has become a RollyCat, and as adept at demanding good treatment for fans with disabilities as she is at demanding good food for fans with allergies, and water for filkers. She hasn't let her disability slow her down -- with her scooter (named Rosebud) I now have a hard time keeping pace with her.

Her hall costumes are less well-known, but have included a pink elephant, and Miss Piggy starring in "Playboy Piggy", "Jurassic Pork", and "Piglet O'Hara". Her daughters, ChaosWolf and Neko-Chan, are very well-known -- they've been going to conventions all their lives (the Wolfling was born during Westercon 38), and working as gofers (more recently, staff) ever since they were able to pass as being old enough.

Along with her husband Steve, Colleen was inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame in 2008; she's also a member of the SCA's Order of the Pelican. Both of these honors are for service to their respective communities.

When not at a filk concert she can usually be found in the hotel lobby, grinning like the Cheshire Cat that she is, at the center of a happy conversation. Walk up and introduce yourself.


Stephen R. Savitzky <steve @ theStarport.org>
Last modified: Sun May 9 18:30:30 PDT 2010