I attended two election parties Tuesday night. I had to use the LASFS Rex, so I drove over to Ken Rudolph's, arriving just as the first returns began coming in. Kenru was there, of course, as were Ken Goldsmith, Don Simpson, the Howorths, and I forget who all else. It was pitch dark in the front half of the house, except for the prismatic glow radiating outward from Walter Cronkite, revealing still bodies stretched lengthwise on the floor or slouched in soft-cushioned chairs. The early returns were looking good, to our general political viewpoint. Humphrey was showing surprising strength, especially in the popular vote. If he won the popular vote but lost the election because of losing the electoral vote, or if the election were thrown into the House, we could probably count on the Electoral College being thrown out by 1972. The Wallace vote was much smaller than had been anticipated; America was rejecting right-wing extremism. Rafferty was clearly losing; we can hope this finishes him in politics (though it probably won't).. The Peace and Freedom candidates were generally making a reasonably respectable showing. Since most of us were motivated by negative enthusiasms in this campaign (after McCarthy failed to win the Democratic nomination, anyway), we were pleased to see our most violent hates losing, and Nixon failing to win the sweeping mandate that he had been expecting to get. Goldsmith was arguing some political point in a loud whisper; Kenru answered occasionally; the rest of the room was quiet except for the TV speaker. I went out to the back service porch and ran off my fanzines, pausing from time to time to wander into the dark living room and watch the new statistics.
After I finished using the LASFS Rex, I drove a couple of miles to the Trimbles', to the open election party that Bĵo was hosting. The house was brightly lighted, and the atmosphere was much more relaxed. I collected a handful of cookies and a cup of tea from the spread in the dining room and ambled into the living room, where Mr. Cronkite was continuing to announce a 42% tied popular vote. Though we were all following the returns, we didn't let them monopolize our attention or conversation. Larry Niven proudly passed around an advance copy of next month's ANALOG, with a very favorable review of his Neutron Star in it. Tom Digby contributed a background monologue on the large green bubbles visible behind Mr. Cronkite (did the cameramen need a methane atmosphere?); the possibility of getting the Fourth Saturday Party on the next ballot; and related subjects. Bĵo explained what was wrong with the rapid transit proposal. Our political views and feelings of the results pretty much matched those of the party at Kenru's; Dwain Kaiser was delighted that the Peace and Freedom Party seemed to be getting at least 1% of the vote everywhere. We were all pleased by the fact that the newscast was giving us the latest statistics every couple of minutes; a happy change from past election coverages, in which you had to wait seemingly for 10 or 15 minutes at a time to find out who was leading. The Craynes, George Barr, Gail Thompson, and a few others added to an evening of good conversation, which occasionally rose to drown out the TV sound, to the annoyance of Sally, who was listening to the program more closely than the rest of us. The Johnstones arrived late in the evening; Digby promptly joined Ted in front of the TV screen for a technical discussion on the probable mechanics of the color transmission, as evidenced by the green glow on Dr. Theodore White's shirt cuffs. A bit after midnight, when it became obvious that there wouldn't be any final results til the next day, Bĵo shooed everybody home. It was the most enjoyable election evening I've ever spent -- good company, and a more satisfying outcome than I'd expected. Maybe we won't fall into either anarchy or a police state during the next four years, after all.
any thanks to Al Lewis, John Trimble, and Dave Hulan, who helped me move over the last weekend. I am now sitting amid stacks of unpacked boxes in my new apartment, trying to find things. My new apartment isn't quite as large as my old duplex, but it utilizes space much more efficiently, so that as far as storage space goes, I think that I have even more room than before. I also have wall-to-wall carpeting, automatic air conditioning and heating, and better lighting, for $5 a month less than I was paying before -- not bad, considering that on the whole, rents seem to be higher in the San Gabriel area than they were in Santa Ana. And I'm only a 5-minute drive from work. I'm satisfied.
There seem to be a number of moves taking place this month. Bruce Pelz also moved this last weekend, I understand. So did Hank Stine, and Al Lewis will be moving as soon as he can find a likely apartment. I hope that everybody is settled down again by next month, when I publish the next semi-annual LASFS Directory. We'll need it more than usual.
ike Barrier, of Little Rock fandom, writes: "I'll be in the LA area the second week of December, it now appears, after a week in San Francisco. Hopefully, I'll hit it lucky on the weather and the crowds and everything...or maybe not. I'll hold my breath. But there's no other good time to come out (good for me, that is), so I really have no choice if I'm going to come at all. And it's about time I saw California, I think. I certainly want to attend a LASFS Meeting while I"m out -- and let me know if there are any other special functions that I should know about." Gee; the next big trip to Disneyland is tomorrow evening, and the trip to Busch Gardens is the next Saturday (the 16th) -- is there anything scheduled for mid-December yet?