Written by Fred Patten, and intended for Apa L, 2201st Distribution,
LASFS Meeting No. 3649, July 19,2007.
Golden State Colonial Convalescent Hospital, 10830 Oxnard Street, North Hollywood, California 91606-5098.
Telephone: hospital(818) 763-8247; personal (818) 506-3159 * eMail:firstname.lastname@example.org
|Nippon 2007 in 2007!||Denvention 3 in 2008!||Salamander Press #2685|
Last Wednesday, I got a request from Dr. Melissa Conway at the UCRiverside Library to notify the LASFS of a misrepresentation of the Eaton Collection of S-F that had just appeared in the fanzine Askance #3, July 2007, by John Purcell of College Station, Texas. It has a long interview with James Halperin who has just bought the Harry Warner Jr. collection of fanzines from the early 1930s to Warner's death in 2003, from Warner's church that inherited it; maybe 50,000+ fanzines including many unique copies. Purcell and Halperin talk on page 19 about Halperin's having saved this irreplaceable collection from maybe being thrown out after the UCRiverside Library turned it down. "nobody could afford the expense of taking care of it," Halperin said.
Dr. Conway wanted to publicize that this is not true. Warner had promised his collection to the Eaton Collection before his death but he had not specified it in his will. Dr. Conway said that she spent four years, including traveling to Warner's home in Maryland to try to get the fanzines from the church that is Warner's legal heir, but she was turned down. Conway and the UCRiverside Library have been trying to promote the Eaton Collection as actively wanting any and all s-f fans' collections, especially of fanzines since those have such small print runs and many are irreplaceable, and they certainly do not want any false publicity that they are refusing collections.
I notified APA-LASFS and Mike Glyer for File 770 right away. Joyce Scrivner copied it from APA-LASFS to the email@example.com site, where Robert Lichtman replied promptly confirming Conway's statement. Lichtman said, "Thanks, Fred, for clarifying this. I'm the person who recommended that Harry donate his fanzine collection to the Eaton. He wrote me for advice after the East Coast university library who'd first agreed to take it had backed out of the deal, and after some consideration I could think of no better place than UC Riverside. (My own history with them includes "pitching" the Terry Carr fanzine collection -- the first "chapter" of their overall fanzine holdings and the only one they actually *bought* -- back in 1987, and since then I've had more or less ongoing contact with various individuals at the Eaton.) Harry took my suggestion with great enthusiasm, even telling me he'd add a section to his will covering the cost of packing and transportation, but then as we all know he never followed through.
There was *never* any suggestion, so far as I know, that the Eaton "turned down" the collection -- and I can add my voice to Fred's confirming that Melissa Conway traveled to Maryland to see what could be worked out but that the church that was Harry's legal heir had giant dollar signs in their eyes over the collection's alleged value (based on something erroneous about Bruce Pelz's collection being worth $750,000) and wouldn't budge.
At worst, if Jerry Weist hadn't brokered the sale from the church to Halperin Harry's fanzine collection would, I suspect, eventually have been broken down and sold off piecemeal."
The next day, Dr. Conway sent me a copy of her letter of correction to John Purcell, and his reply to it:
I am so glad that you sent me this important information. Perhaps the quickest way to disseminate this is for me to post a statement on my LiveJournal and also through the Fmzfen listserv and the Trufen.net website as soon as possible. If it is alright with you, may I quote your e-mail so that people will get the straight story? Using all of these would probably be the best way to go. I was working off information that I had learned from others, and you know how factual information can be misinterpreted in its re-telling.
Again, I am very happy that you told me this. Let me know if I can go ahead and pass along your e-mail. I would love to get this clarification out as quickly as possible so that people aren't thinking the wrong thing.
There is a strong implication here that both Purcell and Halperin were told that the Warner Collection was available for sale because the Eaton Collection had refused it. Who said that? If it was Warner's church, the St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hagerstown, Maryland, they are guilty of more than just refusing to release Warner's collection despite his clear wishes to donate it to the UCR Library.
The biggest surprise for me in this was Purcell's reply to a letter that Lee Gold sent him:
Dear Lee, I remember Fred very well; when I lived in LA with my first wife back in 1985, I used to talk with him whenever I would attend LASFS meetings. Thank you very much for sharing this story with me; it makes me feel very good about working with the folks over at UC-R who administer the Eaton Collection and how much they care about all of this Crazy Buck Rogers Stuff. Also, I did not know that Fred had suffered a stroke; but it sounds from your e-mail that he's doing fairly well. If you would do me a favor, please tell Fred that I wish him well, and if I get back out to LA in the near future, I would like to see him again. Thank you very much for contacting me. Sincerely, John Purcell
I have to confess that I do not remember John Purcell at all, or that he used to be a LASFS attendee. (Was he ever an Apa L contributor?) Well, it seems to be a case of all's well that ends well. Harry Warner's lifelong collection of fanzines has been saved, Purcell and Halperin are exonerated of being liars, and the brouhaha has probably resulted in more good publicity for the Eaton Collection than any damage caused by the misrepresentation in Askance #3 did.
Last Thursday evening, Roz Gibson visited me at the hospital at the same time Michael Burlake came to take me to the LASFS meeting. He had brought stuff from Anthrocon 2007 for both of us; books that Gibson had given him money to buy for her, and free review copies for me from several furry publishers plus other items like a WikiFur lanyard badge that I wore to the LASFS meeting. Burlake gave me an Anthrocon report during the drive to the LASFS meeting. The meeting opened by asking me to deliver the special order obituary on Sterling Lanier's death over a week earlier, to my embarrassment since my mouth was filled with a sticky doughnut at the moment. (Why didn't CLJII announce it, as usual?) Michael Burlake not only gave an Anthrocon report, he displayed four paintings he bought at the Art Show there; two by Heather Bruton, one by Michelle Light, and one by Dark Natasha (Mleynek). He noted how the Anthrocon had been welcomed by several Pittsburgh restaurants that had Furry displays in their windows or had painted pawprints on the sidewalk leading into their entrances, an acknowledgment that Anthrocon brings an estimated $2,500,000 to Pittsburgh's economy; which is more recognition than San Diego's merchants give to the much larger Comic-Con. (From an official Anthrocon 2007 report on WikiFur: "Official attendance for the con was 2,849 people, including 202 super-sponsors. Additionally, there were 353 fursuiters in the fursuit parade. A claim was made to Guinness World Records for "Most Mascots in a parade" and is the process of being verified. The Guinness Worlds Record organization may be present next year to verify a new record.") ... I asked Burlake to read Dr. Conway's statement about the Askance #3 misrepresentation, since my voice has not been strong since my stroke.
On Sunday, Michael Burlake & my sister Sherrill took me out for an afternoon at the Burbank Town Center. We browsed at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore where I made note of interesting-looking new books to look for at the Los Angeles City or County Libraries, saw Ratatouille at the AMC Town Center 6 Theater, had dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen, and stopped on the way back at a Baskin-Robbins for an ice cream sundae dessert, returning to the Golden State Convalescent Hospital just at twilight. I had a wonderful day.
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-- Comments on Last Week's Distribution:
Vanamonde #738 - (Hertz) It should be noted that Albert Langer, the founder of Langer's Restaurant, died less than two weeks after the celebration of its 60th anniversary. He was 94 years old. It is nice that he got to see the anniversary. ## Since Lackadaisy is set in 1927, it is ludicrous to criticize it for inaccurately depicting the 1930s & '40s.
Godzilla Verses # 148 -- (DeChancie) Portugal's bank note scandal of 1925 is much more interesting, as possibly the only occasion in history when someone almost succeeded in counterfeiting enough money to buy an entire country. It was arguably not technically counterfeiting since Artur Virgilio Alves dos Reis tricked the printer of Portugal's paper money into printing about two billion dollars worth of extra genuine currency for his personal use to become a major Portuguese financier and politician. While in prison in 1927 Alves Reis wrote O Angola e Metrópole: Dossier Secreto, a sort-of defense about what a paradise Portugal would have become if he had succeeded, which is arguably an alternate-world s-f novel - about as much of one as Edmond Ruffin's Anticipations of the Future, to Serve as Lesson for the Present Time (June 1860), which predicted a Southern secession after the probable presidential election of Republican William Seward in 1868, and a successful Southern nation based upon slavery after its victory in a civil war while the losing North collapses in riot & rebellion. Both books are reportedly barely readable. (Ruffin, who requested the honor of firing the first shot against Fort Sumter in April 1861, committed suicide two months after Lee's surrender in April 1865.) Wow, has this comment wandered off-topic (Portugal's Balance of Payments Crisis of 1913)! ## Presumably the book signing party for Dean & Me was somewhere in L.A. since Mark Evanier, who wrote the report of it that I reprinted, lives here. Incidentally, on Monday Evanier posted a link to a YouTube copy of a 2.45-minute Pittsburgh TV Action News report on Anthrocon 2007, where he was a guest-of-honor: "Last week, my friend Carolyn [Kelly; Walt Kelly's daughter] and I were in Pittsburgh for the Anthrocon, a gathering of "furries." This news story will give you a brief sense of what it was like there...though of course, the TV crew sought out the more colorful, bizarre elements of the convention. As Dr. Conway (the head honcho of Anthrocon) notes in this report, only about 10% of the attendees - and it seemed like less to me - dress up in "fursuits." But if you're a TV news operation and you have your choice of showing footage of people dressed like polar bears and people not dressed like polar bears, which are you going to air? Exactly." http://www.newsfromme.com/
De Jueves #1539 - (Moffatt) Great threesomes throughout history? Manny, Moe & Jack. Houston, Lamar & Jones. Caesar, Pompey & Crassus. Three threesomes for you. ## There is a Man o' War Boulevard in Lexington, Kentucky. A proposal in 2004 to rename El Monte Avenue in Arcadia as Seabiscuit Avenue was defeated. ## Yes, Bĵo said that schools in Burbank teach who founder David Burbank was.
Faster Than a Speeding Ticket - (Cantor) Before my stroke, I always carried a half dozen ballpoint pens; two black ink, and one each blue, red, green, and the sixth varied; sometimes a second blue or red, and sometimes pink, purple, or brown. I carried the cheapest pens available, because people were always borrowing them and not returning them. ## Were Martin & Lewis the last attempt to create a vaudeville/movie comedy team? Well, no; there was Cheech & Chong in the 1970s & '80s. I particularly liked Wheeler & Woolsey, & wished that Bob Woolsey had not died as early as 1938; their movies generally look too primitive to attract a following today. The best comedy duos, or the best remembered today, were those that made movies in the 1930s & early '40s like Laurel & Hardy, Wheeler & Woolsey, Olsen & Johnson, Crosby & Hope, and Abbott & Costello. Those that survived into the 1950s looked embarrassingly too old, or they were new teams like Martin & Lewis that I felt couldn't match the comedic skills of their predecessors.
I Gizmogrify X-Acto Knives - (Gold) The BIC Crystal ballpoint pen alone sells 14,000,000 pieces every day? That's unbelievable! ## "Il y a un ichthyosaur sous mon lit." ## Did you ever see Valhalla, the 1986 Danish animated feature that a lot of Disney animators worked on? I forget exactly where I saw it, but probably at the 1987 Los Angeles International Animation Celebration. It had an English voice track, implying an expected American release that never happened. I congratulated one of the animators on such an intriguingly mysterious plot, and told her I was looking forward to the sequel to have all the mysteries resolved. She told me no sequel was planned; the unresolved plot threads were due to a very incompetent script; several animators had pointed out the inconsistencies and unanswered questions and been told by management to shut up and animate, so they did their jobs with a take-the-money-and-run attitude. Valhalla bankrupted its animation studio. The animation is beautiful (although I don't know what I would think of it compared to today's 2D technique), and if you know Norse mythology (which you do), you can invent your own answers to the plot holes. Its English-language theatrical poster is at http://www.afilm.dk/history/valhalla.html
Fish Out of Water #231 - (Helgesen) "The nation that controls magnetism will control the universe." The Moon People/Space Coupe stories in Dick Tracy were by Chester Gould, who was a firm believer in American capitalism rather than government control. The Space Coupe was invented in 1963 by Diet Smith, Gould's favorite capitalist magnate who was always donating his inventions (like the earlier two-way wrist radio, which looked eerily like a wristwatch version of today's cel phones) to Tracy and the police department for the public good.