Let's get right into Dist'n comments, and not bother with a special heading this week:
Len Bailes - I don't mind your being serious at all; your writing is usually very interesting whatever mood it's in. As to "friendship", you're right in that it's hard to try to make one word fit a complex and ever-changing emotional state. I think that your definition is a little unusual, though, if you would have love as an essential part of friendship; most people would use the words the other way around. I don't believe that, in normal usage, "friend" measures up to the intensity of the interpersonal relationship you describe. This reminds me of a discussion somewhere long ago about the differences in meaning between such words as "empathy" and "sympathy". I don't believe that that was ever clarified to everyone's satisfaction, either.
Bĵo Trimble - Speaking of definitions, I wonder how close together the terms "civic pride" and "community spirit" are? I think that civic pride does exist, but I wouldn't care to bet on the community spirit. I think a lot of we Los Angelinos take pride in our city; in its size, in the variety of things it has to offer, in its growing cultural assets such as the County Art Museum and Music Center, and the new Zoo. On the other hand, if community spirit means everybody pitching in to take a hand in building things up, it's true that there isn't too much of this; I guess a rather small percentage of people do all the actual work in delivering the goods that the rest of us take such pride in. And there's certainly little community spirit in the sense that everybody in the community has social contact with each other; how many of us in the city today even know the names of half the people living within a one-block radius of us? ## Yes, I quite enjoyed the goose that Katya served for Christmas dinner, which was the first time I ever tasted goose, by the way. On the whole, I don't care for fowl; I like turkey moderately, and dislike chicken moderately. I don't believe I've ever tasted duck. I suppose that I really haven't had much gourmet experience with fowl; turkey and chicken are about the only two kinds of bird meat that one normally encounters. I do like sea food much more, on the whole, even if sea food is more liable to have small bones hidden in it. Chinese food doesn't impress me too much; of what I've sampled, I like the sweet & sour pork the best.
Dian Pelz - I do find it hard to believe that anybody could get a yen for Chop Suey; that's one dish I don't care for at all. However, chaque à son goût, as the snail-eaters say. I do like soy sauce; the Oriental equivalent of ketchup (which I can't stand; I dislike most tomato products). ## Gad, I'm in a culinary mood this evening.
Jim Schumacher - A very amusing account, especially the way you nonchalantly toss off the idea of leaving a note taped with Blue Chip stamps. And I hope you do tell the story of that not-so-small accident; I've heard a couple of half-told accounts of it, and would like to see the whole thing. At the rate you're going, tho, I wouldn't care to bet on your surviving your teenhood. It'd be a pity if you met a spectacular end and there was nobody left to write it up for Apa L.
Sally Crayne - I'm sorry I missed that Disney Waltathon, even if I a) hadn't known that it was being shown, and b) was down with stomach flu that day, anyway. My only consolation is the sour-grapes one that at least they didn't show any of my very favorite Disney films. I barely remember what "So Dear To My Heart" was about (Bobby Driscoll and Danny, his black lamb, and Burl Ives singing "Lavender Green", that's all); "Fantasia" is always good, though I've seen it so often that I don't regret missing parts of it right now; "Peter and the Wolf" is fun (that, and his "Classical Symphony", are the only two works by Prokofieff that I can stand, to I like both of them very much); "Ugly Duckling" was a bit too sweet for me; "Mr. Toad" and "Treasure Island" are two rousing action films that I do wish I could've seen once again. "Mr. Toad" butchers The Wind in the Willows, of course, but it's so divorced from its book that I can enjoy them both as separate works. "Treasure Island" was one of the high points of Disney's live-action period, before he degenerated to the teen-age situation comedy type material he's turning out now. Talking of long Disney shows, though, once years ago a double bill of "Fantasia" and "Pinocchio", plus a few short cartoons, came around to my neighborhood theatre; I was there when the show began about 12:30 in the afternoon, and I didn't leave until the theatre closed around 1:00 a.m. ## If "So Dear To My Heart" is outmoded now, I'd like to see what'd happen if "Song of the South" was re-released today.
Howard Thurlow - I think a thousand miles and more from Los Angeles is a little too far off to qualify as a galactic observer; reading Apa L alone will not give you a clear enough view. ## I, too, am over-trusting - or careless. You should see some of the people I've invited to LASFS, solely on the basis of the fact that they have some interest in science-fiction; some of them turn out to be the sort of people I wouldn't want in my club at all. Once I ran into recently, though, I invited to the LASFS with malice aforethought; I was curious to see how long he'd be able to take fandom - I'm sure fandom would be the winner when they clashed. He was about sixteen, and one of the most opinionated persons I've ever met. I spent about 45 minutes listening to him tell me what was wrong with the s-f field today, and how he was going to fix it. For one thing, he was going to have UNKNOWN revived; he'd just discovered it, and thought it was one of the best prozines ever published, JWC was an idiot to have ever folded it. He was planning on doing this in two steps. In the first place, he was going to write to all the authors whose addresses he could find and tell them to write to Campbell demanding that he revive the zine. In the second place, he himself was going to barrage Campbell with a stack of letters, all signed with different names, so that Campbell would think that the general public is also clamoring for UNKNOWN's return. I asked him if he didn't think Campbell might be a little suspicious if such a large number of letters all appeared at the same time, especially if they all had similar postmarks, but he assured me that Campbell was much too stupid to ever guess the truth; certainly Campbell was stupid, or he wouldn't've folded UNKNOWN in the first place, would he? Besides, JWC hadn't printed any of his letters in "Brass Tacks" yet; what more proof did I need that Campbell can't recognize a good thing unless somebody hits him with it? As I say, I invited him to the LASFS, but he wasn't sure he wanted to come; fans seemed to be too stupid from what he could see, the way they always give the "Hugo" to the most rotten stories of the year. (He wanted to correct the "Hugo" awards, retroactively.)