The SCA's Tournament in Oakland this last weekend was a lot of fun, even if I did freeze to death and then catch a cold, besides. It was the first Tournament that I've been to, and I was surprised by its size; there must've been 70 or 80 people there, including virtually all of the Bay Area's Young Fandom, and a few of the older fans, too -- the Andersons, and Bill Donaho as a Red Monk. I don't know who all the others were, but I gather that the majority were either school friends of the younger fen, or parents of the regulars. It was a massive turnout, anyhow, and everybody was in costume, including me, though I was more anachronistic than medieval, with my "Flash" sweater and a USMC trench knife and my regular street trousers and shoes -- I was cold enough without parading around all afternoon with bare legs or in thin tights. At one point, three girls on horseback stopped to watch the proceedings from the bridle path that circles the Tournament area, and one of our knights persuaded one of them to lend him her horse for awhile. He galloped back and forth across the field several times, giving a really good show of horsemanship; even if his costume wasn't as heavy as a real medieval knight's (not full armor, but chain mail & surcoat), he did an excellent job of controlling the horse at a full gallop while holding a shield and spear in one hand. I took no part in any of the jousting, but was content just to be a spectator like most of the other fans present -- I think only Fred Hollander, Poul Anderson, Owen Hannifen, and Johnny Chambers actually fought, out of over 20 fans there (unless there were some new Bay Area fans I didn't recognize in the lists). The action went on from about noon to 3:30, when the joust was interrupted for rest & intermission, but I gather that most people left then, driven away by the bitterly cold wind that had been blowing for the last hour or more. I was happy to see the Trimbles again, for the first time since they settled in Oakland. The latest Mathom House has all the makings of a real fan center, as is normal with all Trimblehausen. Len Bailes, Al Lewis, Jean Berman, and I stayed there for the weekend, and Bĵo was her usual active hostess self, even though she's going into the hospital to have her baby by Caesarian in another week. After the Tournament on Saturday, the Trimbles hosted a general Bay Area fan party that lasted until after 3 in the morning, at which I amused myself by reading an old Rafael Sabatini romance that was new to me, and listening to fans talking about me after I dozed off on a bed in the middle of things (hi, Bruce). I'm glad I went, even if I did catch pneumonia.
-- BEING COMMENTS ON LAST WEEK'S DISTRIBUTION
Dian Pelz -- That's a really attractive cover. Apa L has never been used as much as it could be for experimental art and the like, and it's good to see something like this once in a while. I remember that Bĵo did some experimental dittography a long time ago, but since then, we haven't seen much more than standard fanzine art forms. Some of Jim Schumacher's ditto-litho/mimeo experiments recently have been pleasing, but yours really catches the eye. ## Have you ever seen green fire, colored by copper oxide? It's a startling shade of brilliant emerald. ## The best line that I've heard in ages is, "Ronald Reagan is a THRUSH agent", even if THRUSH does disown him.
Terry Romine -- Yes, I would like to rerun your illos in ditto for The Best from Apa L, to give it a little more color than it's had in the past. The print run probably won't be as large as the two previous issues -- I'm currently considering a run of about 75 copies -- so I could get away with rerunning your ditto masters on mimeo paper, I think. ## Umm, no, I don't think I care too much for your illo here, sorry. Let's see what else you come up with in the next few weeks, though.
Tom Digby -- I think that all "popular" derogatory names, and swear words, tend to be short & pithy, probably because they can be verbally hurled with great effectiveness, being sharp and unmistakable. They suit the emotional need of the user better than a word more euphoniously graceful.
Jean Berman -- The Lab clean-up session almost sounds like more fun than the kite-flying party that preceded it. I suppose such things should be held more regularly, since it's probably the only way the Lab will ever be kept clean. I know that just about the only time I ever give my home a really thorough housecleaning is when I'm hosting a party the same evening.
Bruce Pelz -- I think the difference between a Disney and a Trnka treatment of The Hobbit is that Disney would do a commercial exploitation, a degradation, of it, whereas Trnka would do an artistic interpretation of it. I might not like his interpretation, personally, but I feel he's entitled to his own artistic opinion of it, and I'll be interested in seeing what it is. The Disney staff, on the other hand, would doubtlessly go about the job with an eye to making it as commercial as possible, which does mean "cute". One thing I'm wondering, though, is how much control Trnka does have of his work? All of his previous work has been done under his own control in Czechoslovakia, but according to the article The Hobbit is to be produced by William Snyder, whoever he may be, so Trnka may have to subjugate his own artistic ideas to someone else's commercialism. I don't know. Has anyone heard anything new about the film version of The Hobbit since that article in DIPLOMAT last year?
Bĵo Trimble -- Your "Amy Fanderbilt" sounds like a good idea, and sounds like the sort of thing that should be so permanently valuable that it should really be printed instead of just dittoed or mimeoed. ## There's the fan who insists on being allowed to "help" you do something, when he's either incompetent or doesn't know enough about what you're trying to do to offer any effective assistance, and when it'd take longer to teach him what to do than to finish the job yourself. Some of these people just won't take "no" for an answer, and will start "helping" you on their own if you don't give them something to do; and invariably just get in the way. How do you tell them, politely but so bluntly that they can't miss the message, that they're clumsy and incompetent and should just sit still without touching anything? ## One of my pet peeves is the fan who borrows one of my paperbacks or prozines, which I try to keep in mint condition for collector's purposes, and promises to take good care of it; and then returns it all dogeared, with a cracked spine and creased cover or pages, saying, "So who cares if it's a little bunged up? You can still read it." It's not the ruined book I mind as much as the fact that the fan is in effect saying that he doesn't consider the promise he made to me worth the trouble of keeping.