Written by Fred Patten, and published on the LASFS Rex Rotary, November 8, 1966. Intended for Apa L, 108th Distribution, LASFS Meeting no. 1526, November 10, 1966. Address: 1825 Greenfield Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90025. Phone: GRanite 36321.
|New York in 1967!||Los Angeles - Tokyo in 1968!||Salamander Press #215.|
As some of you may know, I've been trying over the past couple of weeks to line up a showing of Jiří Trnka's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" for the LASFS, for the benefit of those who wanted to see a sample of the kind of work done by the man who's animating "The Hobbit", or those who just wanted to see an excellent film. (As good in its own way as the 1935 live film.) However, it seems that Trnka's film is being shown in another month on the USC campus, as part of an Art Film program; so those who're interested in seeing it can come to USC, instead, and I'll stop trying to find a free print for the LASFS.
This program is the International Animation Art Film Program, or something with a similarly resplendent title, and every other Wednesday evening it shows two cartoons -- one feature-length and one short -- from some foreign country. They've already done England and France, and they did Japan last night -- "The Adventures of Sinbad". On Nov. 23, it'll be Russia's night, with "The Magic Horse"; and then on Dec. 7, the last show of the program, it's Czechoslovakia and two Trnka films -- the feature-length, animated-puppet "Midsummer Night's Dream", with the Richard Burton narration, and a short Western, which is also a stop-action puppet animation. Each showing is 50¢, at 8:00 p.m., in FH 133, Founders Hall, 3401 University Avenue, at the corner of Hoover Blvd & 34th Street. Anybody for a theater party for the remaining two shows? There was a minor fannish gathering for the Japanese showing last night; the first fannish film party in a long time. Hey, Bruce, there's another Blackguard project for you. Why not arrange some theater parties for utterly horrible films, the sort where everybody can have fun making spot wisecracks without danger of bothering anyone trying to listen to the dialog? Remember Ursus vs Curses? There should be some more of those Italian abortions around somewhere. You & Dian follow the movies more than I do; what can you scare up for us?
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The fanzine for Forry (Hmm, gotta think up a good title for it soon) is off to a good start. On hand so far are two good Harness illustrations, a photo of Forry from Walt Daugherty that'll be the frontispiece, a poem from Ray Bradbury, and a 5,500 word short story plus a reminiscence about Forry from Harl Vincent; not to mention promises of material from all sorts of people. I don't expect anybody to do an original short story, of curse, but I hope you're planning to do something. The sooner your piece is done and turned in, the sooner we can get it ready for publication. (I hope so much material isn't turned in at the last minute that we don't have time to publish it all.) And don't forget to send your $5 in to Walt Daugherty for the dinner.
The material on the next couple of pages was prepared a few weeks ago, to go with our 2nd Anniversary photocover. When the photocover missed the deadline, these stencils were temporarily pigeonholed, while I decided what to do with the photocovers. I considered saving 'em until our next big Meeting, but that's almost two months off; let's see if we can get another photocover done up by then.) They've already become dated in one respect; the old Lab Val is no longer still for rent -- and from what Ted says, the new tenants are noisier than any fans could be. Forgive me if the following information seems a little too simplified; I was trying to slant it so that the large number of guests who were supposed to be getting this at the Anniversary Meeting could understand what it was all about. (a futile membership-boosting gimmick.)
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This year's Anniversary Dist'n covers feature places, not people. The twelve buildings shown on this week's front and back covers have all featured prominently in the social life of the LASFS, at one time or other. Some have been Freehafer Halls; places where the LASFS has held its Meetings. Others have a less formal claim on fannish history, but are better known as social centers of fandom over various periods of time -- the private homes of some of our members where the weekend parties were usually held, or where fans tended to congregate outside of the LASFS Meetings themselves. One way or another, each of these buildings has some claim to fannish fame. After 30 years of taking pictures of club members, it's about time we make a photographic record of some of our gathering spots, too.
1. is the Silver Lake Playground, of course, at 1850 Silver Lake Drive, where the LASFS has met weekly (with a few exceptions) ever since April 19, 1962. This was just a "temporary" meeting place when we moved in; a way station until we found another fan whose home we could turn into LASFS HQ. But it's worked out so well here that, with any luck, we'll be staying until we're finally able to afford that clubhouse of our own. Virginia Mill found the Silver Lake Playground for us, after we had been forced out of Mathom House by legal action and were enduring a wretched makeshift existence in the "concrete bunker" that was the Alpine Playground; we shall always credit this in Virginia's favor.
2. is Kal's Coffee Shop at 3rd & Vermont, another familiar sight to all of us (though we're more used to seeing it after dark.) After we're forced out of Silver Lake by its 10:00 p.m. closing hour, most of us congregate at Kal's for another hour or more before going home. Indeed, some of us who can't get away until 9 or 10 in the evening just head directly for Kal's, without bothering to come to the regular LASFS Meetings at all. The club originally frequented Kal's from the beginning of 1959 up through October, 1960, when it served as a similar after-Meeting meeting place while the club was meeting regularly at Zeke Leppin's home. After we moved into the Fan Hillton -- and then Mathom House -- we had a 24-hour LASFS home, so there was no need to go elsewhere after the Meeting for an evening snack. After we lost Mathom House, though, we needed an outside watering hole again, and by the Fall of '62, shortly after settling in at Silver Lake, we returned to Kal's. the tenure there at the time of that waitress par excellence, Phyllis Elzey, went a long way toward drawing us all back. Come back to us, Phyllis, wherever you are.
3. is the current -- and last -- of the Labyrinths, the Labyrinth DuQuesne. This is the fourth in the series of slan shacks started by Jack Harness and Owen Hannifen. The address is 330 South Berendo, and it's the upstairs right apartment. Jack and Owen took residence in July 1965, and the after-Meeting card parties immediately moved there. After the Thursday night Meetings -- or after the group at Kal's breaks up -- you can go over to the lab and play cards, make out, and/or just fangab until daybreak Friday, if not later. And I won't try to count all the weekend fan parties that've been held at the Lab. Owen moved out several months ago (which is what makes this the final Lab; it takes Jack and Owen together to make a slan shack a Labyrinth), and was replaced by Barry Gold; now Jack is planning to go to England on his pilgrimage, and Barry is talking about renting a penthouse of his own after Jack leaves, and the Labyrinths may become a thing of the past.
4. is the Booby Hatch, or Galt's Gulch, or other names of Ayn-Randian significance. It's the slan shack at 3177 West 5th Street, which came into existence in June, 1965, when Don Simpson, Phil Castora, Ed Baker, and Hank Stine all got together to rent it. Hank and Ed have since moved out to be replaced by non-fans, but we're still welcome there for our parties, costume sales, and similar events. The Booby Hatch has twice served as a Freehafer Hall, when we held our Thanksgiving and Christmas LASFS Meetings there last year. Our Halloween Costume Ball was there last year, and you can still see the bullet holes where we came under fire from evicted party-crashers. (Come to this year's Costume Ball and try your luck!) And the Friday-night movies are still being shown, if you feel you can sit through the first five episodes of "G-Men vs. the Black Dragon". Within walking distance of both Kal's and the Lab DuQuesne, it helps make what is known as the "Fan Square Mile".
5. is Margrave Manor, the residence of Bill & Jayne Ellern at 975 North Oakland in Pasadena, from June, 1963 until this July, at least -- Bill is currently trying to sell it. The weekend parties that haven't been held at the Lab have been held at the Manor, and vice versa. I don't suppose there'll be any more parties there between now and the time the Manor is finally sold, but who knows?
6. is the Trimblehaus, at 12002 Lorna in Garden Grove, where John & Bĵo Trimble lived from last September until they moved out this September. It was a little far from the regular fannish scene, but there are always fans wherever the Trimbles are. Over the past year, it's seen numerous pool parties and barbeques, and been a regular stopping-point for fans visiting Disneyland or Knott's Berry Farm. When the New York fans came out here for the Westercon, they stayed at the Trimbles; Tom Schlück, our recent German TAFF representative, was their house guest for several days. How can L.A. fandom survive without a Trimblehaus in the area?
7. brings us into Fandom Past, and this is the Half World, Zeke Leppin's old home at 2548 West 12th Street. The LASFS met here regularly from the beginning of 1958, after we lost our lease at the Prince Rupert Arms at the end of 1957, until October 27, 1960, when the club moved into the Fan Hillton, which was to be the LASFS' permanent home. Every Thursday evening, the LASFS took over the bottom floor of Zeke's; the upstairs living quarters were sometimes rented out to fans, including then-Bĵo Wells. I think Zeke's lime punch and his budgerigar were prime influences on our decision to leave.
8. is Mathom House (222 South Gramercy Place), where John & Bĵo Trimble, Ernie Wheatley, Jack Harness, and the LASFS moved after a callous landlord tore down the Fan Hillton to erect a laundromat. We moved in at the beginning of October 1961, but the LASFS last met there on Feb. 15, 1962, due to police enforcement of a city law prohibiting meetings of public organizations in residentially-zoned areas. (From here, we endured our brief tenure at the Alpine Playground, then finally settled where we are now.) Mathom House continued to serve as our after-Meeting gathering place and L.A. fan center (the residents could legally invite in as many house guests as they wanted, provided we didn't hold formal, dues-collecting Meetings there) until the end of June, when the Trimbles had to move elsewhere to care for John's dying mother, and Ernie and Jack decided they'd rather have separate apartments of their own. L.A. fandom hasn't had one formal LASFS clubhouse cum fannish social center since Mathom House thus broke up, over four years ago -- no fannish residence since has been large enough or stable enough for us to want to put all of our eggs in one basket again.
9. is the Empire (more mundanely, the Tudor Apts., 738 South Mariposa Avenue). Bruce Pelz and then-Jane Gallion moved there when the Fan Hillton was torn down in October, 1961; Jack Harness joined them when Mathom House broke up; and Owen Hannifen was invited into the party when he moved to Los Angeles in April, 1963. Four fan-inhabited apartments in the same building, and fans kept crossing in and out of the rooms like a sequence in an Abbot & Costello comedy. The LASFS held at least one Meeting in Bruce's apartment. By September, 1963, Bruce and Jane had gotten married (not to each other) and moved to larger quarters elsewhere, and Jack & Owen decided to become roommates in a bigger flat. This leads us to:
10. The Labyrinth, at 3056 ½ Leeward Avenue (upstairs right apartment). Jack & Owen lived here between September 1963, and August, 1964, and the Lab became the closest thing to a fan center we'd had since Mathom House broke up. Fans wandered in & out at all hours of the day & night, playing cards, publishing fanzines, and performing similar fannish actions. Floor space and sleeping bags were available to any out-of-town fans visiting the L.A. area, and the LASFS held at least one Meeting there. The long, drawn-out nature of the apartment, with its narrow hall, gave it its name of "the Labyrinth". A satellite meeting place was Gail Knuth's apartment a few doors away, where we sometimes met for smaller card parties. After a year, Jack & Owen discovered another apartment of the same size for less rent, and moved to:
11. Labyrinth Three. "We're going to call our new slan shack the Labyrinth, too", said Owen; "Labyrinth Three." "What happened to the second Labyrinth?" everybody asked. "No, no; Labyrinth of Space, and then Labyrinth Three; and the next one will be the Labyrinth of Valeron..." (The first Lab thus retroactively became the "Labyrinth of Space".) Jack & Owen hadn't been in Labyrinth Three (2843 Sunset Place; downstairs right) for more than a week, though, when they found out why the rent was cheaper. They moved in in August 1964; by October, they had been almost literally thrown out by cockroaches. Labyrinth Three was never actually a fannish social center, due to its too-brief existence; but as part of a numbered sequence I couldn't just leave it out of this set of photos.
12a. The next Labyrinth had to be the Labyrinth of Valeron, of course. Lab Val was at 619 South Hobart Street, Apt. 3 -- the upstairs right, again. Jack & Owen were still the main tenants, but Don Simpson lived there, too, off and on. (Who knew what was in the broom closets?) It was at this point that the Lab became a regular after-Meeting gathering place for LASFS attendees, and a regular Meeting or two was even held there. Lab Val came into existence in October, 1964; by June 1965, the landlord's refusal to attend to needed repairs caused Jack & Owen to move to the current Labyrinth. (Doc Smith got that last book written just in time.) Incidentally, Lab Val's been vacant ever since Owen & Jack moved out; if any of you want a largish apartment with sloping floors and a hole in the roof for only $150 a month, you're welcome to it. Help rehabilitate an old fannish address!
12b. At the time Lab Val was established, Jack & Owen began a campaign to get other fans to move into the three other apartments in the quadruplex, so that fans could take over the whole building. The only ones to take them up on it were Ted & Lin Johnstone, who moved Tara Hall into Apt. 4 (downstairs right), where they still reside today. Ted's home has never been a big social center (though the LASFS did meet there once), but as long as it's in the picture, I might as well get mileage out of it. In fact, that's Worsel, Ted's mint-green Cadillac ambulance, parked out in front. (Ted bought Worsel from Frank Coe, under whose administration it was known as "Doctor Destrukto's Getaway Car".) Who but a fan would conduct his social life under a pen name, write fiction under his real name, and drive a mint-green ambulance?
I'd like to take Tom Digby for his time and expense in driving around with me the other weekend, taking these pictures for this anniversary cover; and Seattle fan Wally Gonser for printing the covers at his special fan rates, on almost no advance notice, and rushing them back down to L.A. Thanks, the both of you.
I seem to've accumulated a fair number of old Dist'ns (besides my Apa L collection, I mean), and I'm putting 'em up for sale. Let me know what you want from the list below and I'll set it aside for you: Dist'n #54, 58 (incomplete), 59, 60 (incomplete), 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 74, 75, 78, 84, 88, 93, 97, 100,101, 102, 103, 106, and 107. The two incompletes are only missing 3 or 4 pages out of over 70 each. 40¢ each for the incompletes, 75¢ each for any Dist'n up to #84, and 50¢ each for the rest -- or do you want to bargain?
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Ah; today's mail just arrived, bringing more material for the Forry-fanzine, from Isaac Asimov, William Nolan, Chuck Nuetzell, and Robert Moore Williams, ranging from short one-page testimonial letters to long reminiscences about Forry. I think we've already got at least 20 pages' worth of material, easily.
Sally Crayne -- Your hot winds are called Santa Ana, because they come from the direction of the Santa Ana Valley. Neither have anything to do with Gen. Antonio de Santa Anna, who didn't even spell his name the same way. I recall that the Santa Ana winds were used in one of my high school science classes as a meteorological example of the kind of winds known as boras, that result in coastal areas due to the meeting of the air masses over land and over sea, which are usually different temperatures. In fact, the Santa Ana winds were mentioned in our textbook because they were such a good example of the phenomena. (At one time, I was going to be a meteorologist when I grew up, and I read up on all the different kinds of winds, cloud formations, and the like. Meteorology doesn't pay enough, though.) Heck, in checking, I see that they're even mentioned in the ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA article on Winds: "Notable examples [of the bora] occur ... in southern California, where a wind known as the Santa Ana blows down the mountain passes and out to sea for a distance of up to 50 mi." (1960 ed., v.23, p.660) I should've checked the encyclopaedia first, and saved myself a long d.c. ## There are several large volumes of old photos and maps of the Southern California area, though I can't cite any specific titles offhand. Every time we get one in at the library, everybody in the Catalog Dept. takes a look at what the area used to be like in the 1880's & '90's. (The 1880's were the beginning of the organized real estate promotion of Southern California; a lot of communities such as Pasadena and Claremont, were built as what are now called "senior citizen's cities" and advertised as such on the East Coast and in the MidWest ("Come to beautiful Southern California to retire"), which is why so many of the oldest homes in the smaller towns look like New England houses of the last century. Local libraries faunch after these old real estate promotional booklets for their Special Collection or Californiana dep'ts.) The downtown Public Library has a lot of this material. If you want some interesting material on local history, you might look up information on old Gaylord Wilshire, who was more-or-less responsible for Wilshire Blvd. (He didn't have anything better to do that afternoon, so he went and laid down a street.) I suppose you could say he combined the talents of P.T. Barnum and L. Ron Hubbard; I can't think of any better comparison.
Don Fitch -- If there're any fans of Shakespeare who are also Diplomacy fans, they'll go nuts over that new Shakespeare board game that's being released for this Christmas' market. I can just see the move orders: "F North Sea convoy A Elsinore to Dunsinane. A Naples to Milan, supported by A Venice." (Actually, from what I can see, the game's more like Monopoly, but I'm sure that won't stop anybody.)
Mike Ward -- A very good capsule Con report -- and I'm glad to see that you haven't dropped out of Apa L yet, after all. It was nice meeting you at the Con (fanzines always read better if you can visualize the person putting them out), and I hope you come to Southern California after you finish school.