Rabanos Radiactivos 111

This is one of those Oh, Ghod, Everything Is Going Wrong! Moments. As of right at the moment, the fanzine for Forry (titled FORRY!), which is supposed to be all ready to be distributed tomorrow night, is nowhere near completion. HELP!

How you can help is by coming over to the Booby Hatch (3177 West 5th Street; only a couple of blocks from Kal's) and collating. We've got 375 copies, and while not all of them have to be ready by tomorrow night, we'll probably need at least 200 of them. The LASFS coffee pot will be set up, and doughnuts and cookies and stuff will be provided; so if you aren't going to Kal's for a full meal, come on over to the Booby Hatch and do your nibbling and conversationalizing while you collate. (If you are going to Kal's for a full meal, drop over to the Hatch right afterwards.) I figure that enough of you have been trained on getting Apa L out on time that, if we set you to work on FORRY! the job should be done in no time.

How big is FORRY!? I frankly don't know as of right now, because I'm afraid that we aren't even going to have time to run off all the stencils I've typed, much less type all the manuscripta that's come in. I've been typing, typing, typing, hoping to get other fans to help out in the running of the stencils...but I haven't been able to get enough of 'em. Bĵo's come down from Santa Cruz, and she and John have been working like wildfire on the zine; Len Bailes and Ron Ellik have also put in more than a few hours each on the mimeo crank. But as of right now, there's about twenty stencils left to run, not to mention all the multicolor work we'd left holes for. We can get some more of this run tonight, and tomorrow, but whether we can finish it all in time...and if it's not ready by the time you read this, it's not gonna be ready; let's face it. How much is run off so far? About 45 pages, I guess...material by Cox, Asimov, Bradbury, the Hamiltons, Kemp, and lots of others, not to mention stuff by a lot of you; heck, I've dropped all these names before, but you can see why I want this fanzine to come out on schedule. It's probably the biggest thing I've gotten into since I entered Fandom over six years ago, and I don't want to fall down on it. Feh.

Here's a sample on the back; I don't have time to cut a new page for the backside of RR tonight.

A Very Rainy Evening and other Ackermemories by William F. Nolan

He was a mere slip of a lad of 33 when I met him in 1950. Ray Bradbury gave me the address, saying: "You'll like Forry. Nobody knows more about sf than he does." Both statements proved to be entirely accurate.

He was in a rush when we met, and understandably so; Forry was in the complicated process of moving from his crowded apartment to the house on Sherbourne known in song and legend as "The Ackermansion." Yet his collection - compared to what it is today - was relatively small: only a few random tons of books and magazines. I returned to San Diego, where I was living and working during that period, and did not see Forry again for quite some while.

Then, in May of 1952 (the same year I served as co-chairman of the Westercon), I handed him a short story of mine to "try out on the sf markets." Thus, he became my first literary agent, making several sales for me over subsequent years before I became a fulltime pro in 1956. (That Forry never managed to sell that first short story was a blessing!)

After an abortive attempt to locate work in San Francisco late in '52 - the high spot of which was my editorial association with The Rhodomagnetic Digest - I settled for an office job in downtown Los Angeles. By January of '53 I had re-contacted Forry, who invited me to a small gathering at the North Hollywood apartment of Charles Beaumont (beginning a close friendship with Chuck which has endured to his present illness).

I vividly recall the sense of awe engendered upon my first visit to the Ackermansion. In those pioneering days the kitchen was still a kitchen and not a tumbled mass of sf paperbacks, and there were no monster masks in the icebox - but the effect was staggering nonetheless. I have often since made personal and professional use of this fantastic (in the true sense of the term) collection of sf.

A very rainy evening in mid-1954 provided me with a typical example of Forry's basic kindness. I was attending a film with two friends at the Coronet theater on LaCienga, waiting in line for a ticket when a hunched figure pelted up to us out of the darkness, water dripping from his head and shoulders. It was Forry, clutching the still-unbound pages of the August '54 issue of If to his chest. He was out of breath from his rainswept run, but as he thrust the damp pages at me he managed to gasp out something to the effect that I might "just want to see these."

Indeed I did. For there, in that August issue, was my sf story, "The Joy of Living." Forry had gone to the trouble of ordering the unbound sheets air-mail from New York, then running them mto me through a downpour - in order to give me an advance peek at my name in professional magazine print for the first time.

[reprinted by permission of the author - KS]

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