The LASFS outing to Busch Gardens is this Saturday! For all those who like to relax in colorful settings, have picnics in floral parks, drift in boats through rivers and lagoons in habited by flamingoes, swans, geese, and other waterfowl, chance having large red or blue macaws land on your shoulders, see trained bird shows, feed peacocks, pheasants, and other large & interesting ground birds, see cages of rare fowl, and have all the free beer you can drink all day, plus a free tour of a brewery, it's a trip that's well worth while. Busch Gardens is in Van Nuys, out in the San Fernando Valley, and is almost impossible to miss: just take the San Diego Freeway north to Roscoe Blvd., and get off going left, under the freeway overpass. The Busch brewery is visible for at least a quarter of a mile before you reach the Roscoe Blvd. offramp, so all you have to do is look for the gate to the Gardens, in back of the brewery. The only charge is a $1 parking fee per car, so car pools could cut down on the costs considerably. (Food, soft drinks, and souvenirs are on sale inside; only the beer is free.) The Gardens is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. It's advisable to be there at 10:00, because the parking lot fills up fast, and because Busch Gardens can take almost all day to see everything (unless you want to rush around, and who does?) Since the Gardens closes at 4:00, the evening is still free for any other fannish parties that may be scheduled. So, then, shall we meet at the main gate at 10:00 a.m., to keep the LASFS party together? If you can't make it by 20, come on out anyway;you'll probably run into us sooner or later. Or just make sure you're at the Busch Bavarian pavilion in the middle of the Gardens on the hour; we'll check there every hour to pick up any latecomers. This outing is for the whole LASFS -- the last couple of outings were attended only by the old-time members, which was pleasant, but which made them in-group gatherings which they weren't intended to be. I hope some of the UCLA group, the Long Beach crowd, and other newcomers to the LASFS within the next few months show up at this outing.
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Fri., Nov. 8th, Disneyland trip. Fun, though I had to attend on my own; I was delayed in traffic, didn't reach the park until just after the meeting Chuck Crayne had arranged, and didn't run into the fans all evening. (Since the LASFS group was about ten strong, that tells you how crowded Disneyland was.) I don't know if Disney's death is finally catching up to the park, or if we just hid a bad night, but I've never seen so many attractions closed down for repairs all at once. The Peter Pan ride was out; the Small World was out until 10:15, opened for about 15 minutes, and broke down again; the Pirates of the Caribbean ride broke down for 5 minutes while I was on it; and the Into the Atom snowflake ride had a missing sound track and parts of the exhibit darkened out. There were also a number of other rides that were just closed, presumably because it was after dark. There was enough left to guarantee a good time, but enough wrong to sound a distinctly loud sour note and make you wonder what this portends for the future... The prices on the celluloid stills had been raised again, too. It's now $2.00 for the originals (with or without backgrounds), and $3.25 for the "classics" (up from $1.35 and $2.00). Enough to make you uneasy.
Sat., Nov. 9th. Al Lewis, John Trimble, & I finished moving me into my new apartment. Good-bye, Santa Ana.
Sun., Nov. 10th. We started moving Al into his new apartment, in Panorama City. Al has a nice shopping center just across the street, but I have the nicer apartment.
Mon., Nov. 11th. Al had offered to take us out to dinner in payment for the moving, so a half-dozen of us gathered at the Trimbles'; John, Bĵo, George Barr, Al, his date (a pretty young English teacher named Linda), and myself. We decided on a Japanese dinner, and all drove down to Little Tokyo, where we had a delicious beef sukiyaki dinner at a small, upstairs restaurant liberally decorated with aquarium tanks. (The dinner was cooked at the table, on portable burners; very colorful.) Al handed out invitations to a TV premiere on Wednesday, that he'd been handed in a supermarket by a studio man looking for "average viewers". After the dinner, we wandered through Little Tokyo a bit, looking into closed shop windows. We were looking into a Japanese newsstand when we suddenly realized that the box of trash on the sidewalk behind us was filled with magazines. We started rummaging through it, then just picked it up and hauled it back to the car -- ragpickers in our best evening dress. We made a brief stop at the new civic center to chase around the fountains at the music pavilion and the Water & Power building, and finally returned to the Trimbles' to sort out our findings -- mostly a stack of last week's or last month's magazines in Japanese. There were also some children's games, such as cardboard parcheesi boards; 33-1/3 rpm records with a child's language lesson in English (a string of gibberish, then "cha-air", "tay-bul", etc.); and a paperback that from the illustrations must be an s-f juvenile novel. A highly enjoyable evening.
Tues., Nov. 12th. A company dinner, about which the less said the better. Only the speaker's sudden realization that 1/4 of his audience was asleep, and the other 3/4 were beginning to walk out on him, brought it to a close.
Wed., Nov.13th. The Trimblehaus was the gathering place again for the evening's outing, as Bĵo, George, and I left for the TV premiere, where we met Al & Linda. The show wasn't really a premiere, but an audience reaction sampling. Two pilot films, and five commercials were shown; we recorded our feelings about them on various questionnaires and on a wired hookup to our seats. The hookup had a range from "very dull" to "very good", and we were to indicate our reactions at any moment during the programs by constantly turning the dial. One of the shows was a quiz show, "The Generation Gap", which pitted a team of teen-agers against a team of adults, and asked such questions as (to the teens) "_________ was here" (World War II graffiti), how to open a can with an old-fashioned can-opener, and what radio show was Sen. Claghorn on; or (to the adults) identify the Beatles by full names, tell what a new math equation means, and tell what a surfer is doing (in surfer terminology) in a film sequence. It was interesting, and it was nice to see an M.C. who didn't patronize or insult his panelists. The other pilot was from a new situation comedy, "Three's a Crowd", based on the old movie "My Favorite Wife", and was really a bomb, with the most cardboard characters I've ever seen. Guy marries girl, she's apparently killed, he falls in love again & remarries, and first wife turns up. The running plot involves the guy's attempts to keep both marriages going by not letting either wife or circle of friends find out about the other; the implication being that bigamy is okay when the husband is too wishy-washy to make up his mind which of two girls he likes best. I hope our reactions scuttled it; in the worst taste since "Flying Nun".