Written by Fred Patten, and published on the LASFS Rex Rotary, October 13, 1966. Intended for Apa L, 104nd Distribution, LASFS Meeting no. 1522, October 13, 1966. Address: 1825 Greenfield Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90025. Phone: GRanite 3-6321.
|Los Angeles in 1967!||Los Angeles - Tokyo in 1968!||Salamander Press #209.|
This was a one-two-three weekend for me; the first I've spent in the local area in quite a while in which social fanac kept me fully going for the whole period. It wasn't originally planned that way, it just grew. Having spent the last couple of weekdays in recuperating, I wonder how you all who constantly spend a solid 48 hours in partying at the Lab or Margrave Manor are able to do it on such a steady basis? Maybe I need more practice in keeping late hours.
My estimate of 14 tickets for our theater party on Friday night to see "The Mikado" was a good one; 13 of them were claimed. As a lifelong Los Angelino, I'm shamefully unfamiliar with some parts of the L.A. basin, and Culver City is one of them. However, it didn't take us more than an extra five minutes to zero in on the auditorium where the production was to take place, and Ed Baker, Len Bailes, and I still arrived a good half-hour early. The Robert Lee Frost Auditorium is connected with Culver City High School, and is a fantastically new and modernistic building, with soft seats and carpeted floors, more than adequate lighting, and a good view of the stage from every seat in the house. (Unfortunately, once the operetta started, an Achilles' Heel became evident in the form of poor acoustics.) By show time, the fen who'd gathered included the three of us, Don Fitch, the Trimbles and the Hulans, Tom Gilbert, the Craynes, Durk Pearson, and, out of the depths of Southern Fandom, Rick Norwood, who just arrived in Riverside for the Fall college semester. (He said that the reason we hadn't seen him at the club yet is that, as an s-f fan rather than a faanish fan, he'd rather watch "Star Trek" on Thursday nights. He's not the only one; attendance has dropped off markedly since that program began this September. However, I digress.)
Those of us who'd seen the Lamplighters' performance of "The Mikado" a couple of weeks ago were hoping for some better things from the Savoy-Artes. Instead, this production turned out to be about on a par with the other, being much better in some respects but much worse in others. The lighting and costuming were much more brilliant, and the Savoy-Artes had a full orchestra that was quite good for an amateur group, even if it did seem to be going into competition with the singers for the most volume at times. Also none of the performers were really inadequate for their roles. On the other hand, none of them really stood out, either, though Pooh-Bah was quite good, and Katisha certainly got an E for effort for trying to overcome the orchestra and the bad acoustics. There were two big disappointments; the first at the complete lack of any fan work other than a perfunctory snapping of them open and closed again; and the second at the performance of Joe Kaye as the Mikado, which was very professionally correct but came nowhere near the brilliance of the performance given by the Lamplighters' Ashton Bisbee. In fact, these criticisms can be stretched out to cover the entire performance: the Savoy-Artes were good, but too professionally blasé about the whole thing to really capture the audience; while the Lamplighters, as unpolished as they had been in spots, had obviously been trying their best. We left, comparing notes on how a really good performance could have been done if you took this bit from the Lamplighters' version, and that trick from the Savoy-Artes...
We had a bit of sad parting as we broke up, because the Trimbles were leaving immediately for Santa Cruz, and this was the last time any of us would see Bĵo in the Los Angeles area other than as an occasional visitor. It seemed that a party at the Labyrinth had been scheduled for the remainder of the theater party, but as most of you know, I'm no great party fan, so I returned home to catch up on some much-needed sleep.
Saturday was spent in discovering another new fandom: airplane/model building fandom. Al Lewis who some of you may know had been a model-builder for a long time, dropped by in the morning to store some of the Trimbles' belongings in our garage, then offered to take Ed and me out browsing to an aircraft specialty bookstore that he knew of in the San Fernando Valley. While I'm not interested in airplanes or model building per se, I am interested in national aircraft markings, which class with national flags in the heraldry of nations, which is one of my hobbies; Al knew this, and thought that a trip out to this bookstore might be in order for both of us, since I should be able to find material I'd been unable to locate elsewhere, and it'd been quite a while since he'd checked their stock. Anyhow, to cut a long story short, we all spent the whole afternoon touring this bookshop and various hobby and coin shops in the Valley. I was able to get quite a bit of the information that I wanted; Al found a new authoritative work on the Japanese Air Force during World War II; and Ed, a "Peanuts" fan, bought two 25¢ cardboard cutouts of a Sopwith Camel and a Fokker. I also learned that several old World War II airplane training manuals that I inherited from an uncle, that've been gathering dust on my bookshelves for years, are minor collectors items worth a couple of dollars each. We got into a long talk with the proprietor, who's done some business with Forry, and I got invited to join what Al later described as "the N3F of model airplane fandom". As with most specialized hobbies, there's a lot more to it than appears on the surface, and some of its aspects do look quite interesting. However, I have neither the mechanical skills nor the patience to get involved with putting model kits together, and I wouldn't have anyplace to put the models even if I could construct them, so I think this is one hobby I'll sit out (The model-constructing phase of it, at any rate; there are quite a few excellent books on the history of air power, aerial histories of most wars from World War I to the present, histories of various national air forces, etc., that I wouldn't mind having for my library if I ever get any spare cash.) we came home after dark by way of the Booby Hatch, to pick up the old LASFS bookcase, the last of Ed's belongings there, completing his move into 1825 Greenfield Avenue. The bookcase looks atrocious in our house, but it holds books; right now, that's what counts.
Late Sunday morning, I drove into town and picked up Tom Digby, and we began to drive about taking photos of past & present fannish social centers for the Apa L anniversary Dist'n covers. Barry Gold joined us as we were snapping the current Labyrinth, which was fortunate since he could personally direct us to a couple of addresses we'd otherwise have had to take time checking out on a map. We got about 15 photos in all, 12 of which will hopefully appear on the front & back covers of next week's Dist'n; they're in the hands of Seattle fan printer Wally Gonser right now, and I sure hope he can get 'em all printed and back down here by next week. We ran into enemy action at a couple of locations: the current resident of Zeke Leppin's old house, where we met for several years up to 1960, came out and wanted to know why we were taking pictures of his home; and the manager of Gail Thompson's old apartment didn't want any "Communist beatniks" taking pictures of her property. Fortunately a neighbor of Zeke's recognized us as members of "el club interesante" that used to meet there (this was very fortunate, since neither Tom nor Barry were in the LASFS back then; however, we didn't see any need to clarify the point), and endorsed us as okay. We didn't press the matter at Gail's, since we weren't planning on using the photo on our cover, anyway; we'd just thought we might as well get a picture of the place for any possible future use as long as we were in the neighborhood, as it's only a few doors away from the first Labyrinth. Barry offered to arrange to have a CalTech camera crew blitz the place; if we ever get around to doing a photo-feature on some of the minor social centers of fandom, I'll take you up on that, Barry. If I ever have to take any more photos of any old addresses that no longer have fen living in them, though, I'm going to put into the club Treasury for hazardous duty pay.
Barry and I dropped Tom off before leaving Los Angeles, drove out to Pasadena to get one last shot of Margrave Manor, the scene of so many weekend parties in the last year, and swung down to the Arroyo Seco Golf Course just in time to participate in the First Fannish Miniature Golf Tournament that Bruce Pelz had arranged. We were the last to arrive, and found a large crowd ahead of us: the Pelzes, the Craynes, the Johnstones, Owen & Hilda, J.G. & Helen, Fred Hollander, Len Bailes, John Hartman, Don Simpson and Dan Alderson. We spent the rest of the day playing four rounds of miniature golf, as Bruce organized and reorganized us into foursomes based on our scores. I missed the original planning session, so I don't know exactly what Bruce has set up here other than to have us play matches at every miniature golf course in the city in the course of the Tournament; however, I just plain enjoy miniature golf, and I was glad of the opportunity to play again after a hiatus of about ten years. I was happy to see that I haven't gotten too rusty over that long period of inactivity; Bruce's scorekeeping showed that I came out in the middle of the group, with the 8th lowest score of the 17 players -- half a point more and I'd've been 4th lowest. I'll be anxious to see how I do after I've had a bit more practice to get back into shape. Following the end of the day's round, we had a brief fling at 43-man squamish (or 17/43 of a game), and everybody else adjourned to another night-long party at the Lab, while I returned home to finish my SAPS zine, which was due up in Seattle by today. And that was the end of a loong weekend!
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There's no reason why we have to wait a whole year between photocovers, and I'd like to try to work one up every couple of months or so. we've got a lot of contributors whose pictures haven't been printed yet; a lot of fannish buildings that still have to be preserved photographically; a Halloween Party coming up with lots of costumes; and a whole slew of official and semi-official LASFS outings, such as this miniature golf Tournament -- all of which would make excellent Apa L cover material. Depending on how the printing of our 2nd Anniversary cover comes out, I'd like to set up a regular schedule to get a photocover done for at least every 10th Distribution. This will mean the cooperation of a lot of people, as I don't have any equipment for taking or processing photos myself; and it'll probably have to be financed by passing the hat around us all (we can't collect from the LASFS Treasury, since we're not an official club function); so don't just say, "Gee, that sounds great!", and then sit back and expect the work to get done by itself. What can you do to help? What ideas for possible photosubjects do you have. (A fannish baby page? Posed humorous shots?) What old photos of fannish historical interest could you loan us for printing? For a start, I'd still like to know if we can get any of our out-of-town contributors to send in photos of themselves for us to print. So far, response has been dead on this. What do the rest of you think of this idea, on the whole?
-- BEING COMMENTS ON THE PREVIOUS DISTRIBUTION
Dave Van Arnam -- I think Andre Norton already has a monopoly on "Star" titles; Star Guard, certainly. On the whole, I prefer somewhat more poetic titles myself; more along the lines of your Witch of the Doom Star.
Andy Porter -- The extra TriCon Program Book covers were on the registration desk handout table the last day of the Con, along with all the other junk to be thrown out, so after checking that nobody else wanted 'em, I grabbed the stack for Apa L.