Written by Fred Patten, and published on the LASFS Rex Rotary, November 17, 1965. Intended for Apa L, Fifty-Seventh Distribution, LASFS Meeting no. 1475, November 18, 1965. Address: 1825 Greenfield Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90025. Phone: GRanite 3-6321.
|Cleveland in 1966!||San Diego in 1966!||Salamander Press #135.|
This weekend consisted of getting my bookcase rained out. My weekend project that has taken me eleven months so far was going to be *completed* at last, except that our rainy season has come along, and this is no weather to be varnishing boards outdoors. So the whole project has been moved indoors, and is currently cluttering up the living room and kitchen; I can't think of a better incentive to prod me to finally finish the thing. Just as soon as I get through with this week's RR...
I've just seen our new "sandwich" money, specifically the quarter. This is the new silverless coinage, consisting of a coppery layer between two pieces of nickel, rather intriguing on first glance. I mentioned this to John Trimble, who said, yeah, he's already seen one that's been in circulation long enough for the nickel top coating to wear through, letting the brown come through. This puts me in mind of Henry VIII's famous shillings; supposedly silver, but as Henry was in need of money as usual, he took most of the silver from the mint and substituted a copper coin dipped in a silver bath, which didn't last long in circulation. As the nose on Henry's portrait had the sharpest relief, the silver wore off of it first, and the coin was immediately dubbed "Old Coppernose" throughout England. I hope George Washington doesn't have to go through the same ordeal because of our new quarter. Incidentally, I notice that our new metallic money hasn't lost any time in showing up, as compared with the Kennedy half dollars that are still showing a reluctance to be seen in general circulation. As far as I'm concerned, this proves the lie to all the experts who say that coin collectors make it impossible to get any new coins into circulation, because they immediately hoard up every new date that comes along -- pointing to the Kennedy half dol. as their example. The only reason the Kennedy half dol. so flamboyantly disappeared from general usage was that of its subject matter; everybody -- a public far larger than the professional numismatists -- wanted to put one away as a keepsake. The fact that it had a New Date had nothing to do with it, and now that the market's finally getting flooded, I'll bet that if the Treasury were to bring out a 1965 Kennedy half dol., very few of them would disappear into collections -- certainly nowhere near the gross disappearance of the 1964 halves. But no, the evil numismatists are glomming onto each new date as it comes out, so to prevent this we're now going to have 1964 halves for the next umpteen years to come -- and the new quarters and dimes are supposed to carry the 1965 date clear up to 1970, I understand. If you aren't going to use the current date, I say, why not take the date off the coin altogether? I don't know about you, though, but I'm going to miss our old silver coinage. As an old coin collector, I used to rummage through the 10¢ junk boxes at the numismatic shops, through all the money made of aluminum, or brass, or zinc, or steel, or aluminum-bronze; always able to feel smugly superior because we had silver coins, even down to the low denominations. Now we're just that much closer to not being any better than the rest of 'em. (I do think an aluminum half-cent piece would look pretty neat, even if there isn't much call for one.)
I noticed (even though I was in the Back Room) that there was a lot of talk at last week's Meeting about the possibility of using apa L to fatten the club's Building Fund, possibly by charging the out-of-towners a Membership Fee or something like that. Fortunately, I don't think anybody was taking these suggestions seriously, including the people making them. Among other objections, I point out that Apa L is not an official club activity, and its contributors not under club jurisdiction.
--BEING COMMENTS ON LAST WEEK'S DISTRIBUTION
Dick Lupoff -- You keep discovering 'em for us. Did you ever read a time-travel story written back about 1901, the means of travel being going up to the North Pole (which hadn't been reached then), hooking your time-car to the Pole, and spinning counter-clockwise fast enough to go into the past -- in this case, Elizabethan England, where the heroes or possibly heroines (it's been a long time since I read this one) help Bill Shakespeare triumph over evil ol' Francis Bacon? It's a vigorous (well, what passed for vigorous in the days of Victorian purple prose) and occasionally humorous blast at the Baconians, the great argument over Who Really Wrote Shakespeare being at its height back then; in the book, Francis Bacon, finally defeated on all fronts, stows away in the time-car when the protagonists return to their own age, and adjusts to modern life by becoming the "real" identity of some minor unpleasant personage of 1901. back about 1950, the L.A. Public Library used a lot of borderline weirdies of this sort to fill out their just-beginning Science Fiction section; I first encountered Astor's A Journey To Other Worlds here, along with Serviss' Edison's Conquest of Mars, numerous hollow-earth novels, Zotz!-type political fantasies, and the like. Included in the collection was the 1941 Henry Holt edition of Pratt & de Camp's The Land of Unreason, which infuriated me by including the first 14 or so pages of The Incomplete Enchanter, which I simply couldn't find anywhere (in fact, it wasn't until I entered Fandom 10 years later that I got a copy). I must've reread The Land of Unreason over a dozen times, and now I wish some publisher would bring it out in paperback so I could add it to my collection. ## Hey, I just saw your Edgar Rice Burroughs biography or chapbook or whatever you call it, and I'll certainly pick up a copy the next time I'm in Hollywood. (This week's book budget having gone for Jules Feiffer's The Great Comic Book Heroes.) I haven't had a chance to look at more than the binding and the illustrations yet, but it's a beautiful piece of work -- far superior to any of the Burroughs novels appearing under the Canaveral imprint. I did notice, though, that of the many excellent full-page illustrations throughout the book, all illustrate scenes from his Mars novels, or his Pellucidar series, or his Venus books -- there's not a Tarzan illo in the lot. Not that I'm complaining, exactly, but I do think it's rather remarkable to ignore his most famous series of stories completely. ## Speaking of famous popular literature of the past, the latest issue of SUPERMAN is a giant reprint collection of "classic" stories going back to the early days of the comic book; practically the first time Mort Weisinger has reprinted any story first published before he became the editor. The "classic" stories are edited, including such touches as the careful deletion of all appearances of the names of Joe Schuster and Jerry Siegel, the comic's originators, who had signed their names prominently on these stories when they first appeared. I wonder what the editorial policy behind this is?
Gregg Wolford -- Don't worry about finding a picture of yourself that you like; considering the otherwise total lack of response to my suggestion of a photocover featuring out-of-towners, I guess I might as well call the project off. A good thing we didn't hold up the photocovers for our Anniversary Dist'n waiting for out-of-towners to send their pictures. ## Right; Apa L has no Rules, thus no Memberships, only contributors. There are no Memberships to lose or gain; no red tape (unless you're an out-of-towner looking for an agent) to go through about Applying. That's one of the things that makes it so nice.
June Konigsberg -- I think we were lucky that so many people had left the Halloween Party before the shooting. Each additional person there would've upped the odds that much that someone would've been standing in the way of one of those bullets when they were fired. ## I deliberately wrote my version of the Shootup from memory, without checking the facts with anyone, because I wanted to set down my own uncolored eyewitness report, to have it to check later with the other reports to see how accurate my own memory and comprehension of the event was.