Written by Fred Patten, and published on the LASFS Rex Rotary, December 8, 1965. Intended for Apa L, Sixtieth Distribution, LASFS Meeting no. 1478, December 9, 1965. Address: 1825 Greenfield Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90025. Phone: GRanite 3-6321.
|Al Lewis for Director!||Bill Ellern for Treasurer!||Salamander Press #139.|
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Knott's Berry Farm has a new attraction called "Jungle Island". Steer clear of it; it's a complete waste of money.
Len Bailes, Luise Petti, and I went down to Garden Grove last Sunday, to visit the Trimbles and to introduce Len to Knott's Berry Farm. The weekend had originally been planned for a small fan trip down to San Diego and Tijuana, but various conflicting projects cancelled it out. The Trimbles, for their part, thought it was about time they cleaned out their swimming pool; I wouldn't exactly say it's been a while since the pool was used, but we had to evict three large frogs from the filter housing before we could turn the pump on. Leaving Luise behind to talk with Bĵo, Len and I continued on to the Berry Farm.
The Berry Farm is still pretty much the same as usual, and we spent two or three hours wandering through the various shops and displays. Dr. Mal de Mer, the pitchman, was selling 50¢ kazoos this time; his spiel is always worth about 10 minutes' watching. The new Jungle Island mentioned above, a pallid parallel to Disneyland's Tom Sawyer's Island, is on the opposite side of Beach Blvd. To the Berry Farm itself; it consists merely of some dirt trails weaving through a small grove of scrub trees & bushes, liberally sprinkled with old twisted tree trunks and branches that have eyes and teeth attached, turning them into "wood-imals". It would make a pleasant rest area if it were a free attraction, but at 25¢, it's definitely not worth it. I did get a pleasant surprise as I went into the new bookstore for the first time, though. (The bookstore is one of the newer additions to the Berry Farm, opened by Mr. Knott as a dispensary of rightist literature since his wholesale adoption of the John Birch Soc'y a few years ago.) The material isn't entirely of the ultra-right, and I found a good unbiased history of the United States flag that I'd been unsuccessfully looking for in quite a few normal book stores. (Among other things, it completely disproves not only the Betsy Ross legend, but the existence of any standard thirteen-stars-in-a-circle Original National Flag at all; it traces this legend back to the famous "Spirit of '76" painting, in fact created as late as 1875. A surprising bit of information to find for sale in as Old-Glory-conscious a place as a John Birch bookstore.)
So we left about dark, and went up to UCLA to watch "The Mikado" on Len's dormitory's UHF tv set. It's a strange thing about Knott's Berry Farm; superficially it's as enjoyable a place as is Disneyland, only a few miles away, but while at Disneyland you're tempted to try out each ride and exhibit at least once, and you can spend the entire day just sitting around and drinking in the atmosphere, at Knott's Berry Farm you soon lose interest after hitting the high spots, and you return home rather than lingering to absorb any atmosphere (of which there isn't very much). Walter Knott is no Walt Disney, of course, but there seems more to it than just that -- but I can't put my finger on it. How do all of you rate the two parks?
--BEING COMMENTS ON LAST WEEK'S DISTRIBUTION
Ted White -- How do you define a "closed society"? Apa L has no fixed membership roster, but by and large the same people contribute to it each week; this tends to make Apa L a "closed society", and the influx of new out-of-town contributors seems desirable. On the other hand, FAPA, with a distinct membership roster and quota, and activity requirements, is constantly renewing itself as old members drop out and new ones replace them. The list of fans active in Apa L does change, but Apa L appears so frequently, and "membership" is so amorphous, that it does often look at any given time as though we're a closed group. I tend to agree with Fred Whitledge, that a truly closed organization will wither away after awhile, but I do not accept FAPA as an example of a truly closed organization. ## As to an apa without limitations, I forget how many copies of a contribution are required by NAPA, AAPA, etc. 100? 500? Apa L is supposed to have no limitations on memberships, if by member you accept every attendee of a given LASFS Meeting -- but, as long as there are outside contributors to claim copies of the Dist'ns, and unless we want to run off 60 or 70 copies to Make Sure that everyone will get one, Apa L will remain somewhat "limited". ## Most of this ComiCollecting jazz is very phony and very chucklesome. DC seems to be quoting a $100 value for all of their comics published before 1950; I was frankly surprised to see that SUPERMAN issue quoted on the 80-PG. GIANT cover at only $30. Gold Key is saving money by reprinting 20-year-old stories "By Popular Demand", while its average 8- to 14-year-old market can scarcely be aware of these old stories, much less be demanding their reprinting. Jerry Bails solemnly informs all Comics Fans that, if interviewed by newspapermen about our hobby, we must refer to ourselves as "panelologists" -- students of literature expressed in panel art form -- to lend dignity to our field. (I can just picture a newspaperman trying to keep a straight face if I told him I was a panelologist, a student of a serious literary/art form.) My opinion can pretty well be summed up by Tammananny Tiger's "Bazzfazz!" (More contemptuous than, and not quite so much outraged as "Rowrbazzle!") ## Your Special Handling packages have been arriving here on Thursday afternoons, which is cutting it rather thin. ## The January F&SF is not here yet, but you know about Los Angeles distribution... By the way, the LASFS' 1500th meeting will be coming up during the next year -- May 1`2th, if we don't change to Friday before then. Back when we held our 1000th Meeting, F&SF very kindly publicized the occasion and congratulated us on our anniversary. Any chance of our getting a similar puff in the issue due when our 1500th rolls around?
Andy Porter -- Considering that I don't get home from work on Thursdays until 5:00, giving me at most 2 ½ hours before leaving for the Meeting, and that in those 2 ½ hours I can count of Durk Pearson and Len Bailes coming over to run off their Apa L zines, not to mention my having to run off RR on those times I don't get it finished by Wednesday night; no, I don't think I'd have time to run off umpty-dozen pages of other peoples' Apa L zines (all of which would naturally arrive here at the very last moment). ## I simply can't train myself not to think of New York as one of the New England states. Probably an engram left over from learning about James II and Sir Edmund Andros in school. ## Yes, out-of-town contributors have to join the LASFS to establish their ties with the club. Apa L is still theoretically limited to LASFS members, or guests present at LASFS Meetings. It's a club benefit/activity, not just another apa that anyone can join, even if it is unofficial. That's one of the reasons we've been getting along so well over the last year, because the LASFS and Apa L complement each other rather than competing with each other. And, as the current theory goes, the best way to maintain this happy state of affairs is to leave the two groups technically separate, so that Apa L is not subordinate to LASFS Directorial orders, and membership whims. Loosely speaking, I guess you can call your LASFS membership an admission fee to Apa L, then.
Dave Fox -- How about putting a key to that alphabet of yours through FENACHRONE? Is it Khorlian?
Duncan McFarland -- Welcome to Apa L, even if you are four weeks too early. ## It's nice to know that the Ford collection is being preserved. Do you know if there are any plans for what to do wit it, even if there are no immediate ones? Sold to the highest bidder, donated to a University library, established as a fannish library, or what? ## An ob is an obligation; I thought everybody knew that from Eric Frank Russell's "...And Then There Were None" (ASF, June 1951). If you got an ob on me, then I owe you a favor or service in return for something you did for me.
Tom Digby -- If anyone does figure out how to put a tree through Apa L, I hope they'll keep it to themselves. We had trouble enough with don Fitch and his gardenia corsages. ## It would be a help to all if (a.) all contributors would take the trouble to go through the copies of their zine and pull out all defective sheets, and (b.) the collators would take a little more care in collating, making sure that they don't miss any zines and discarding any defective sheets. A week seldom passes but what I don't get a complaint of someone with a right to a *Complete* Dist'n ending up with one that's missing a sheet entirely, or has one page blank of a two-page zine, or something of that sort. "Hey, not that I'm complaining, but how come my copy ended up with three copies of THE GALLANT GALLSTONE?" Because one of the collators got careless and picked up three copies at once, and that means that two more otherwise complete Dist'ns may be missing this zine. You're usually one of the collators, Dig; you might try to keep an eye on things so that you can catch anybody who's obviously being sloppy about the assembly.
Bill Glass -- This is reasonably intelligible, to anybody who's read the right issue of the comic book it's based on. Aside from the eccch humor of your names and a couple of inconsistencies in characterization between your cast and the ones in the legit comic, you've basically got a good storyline worked out so far. I'll be interested in seeing how Stan Lee's own version goes. If we've got to have amateur comic books, I prefer the serious ones to the humor/satire; there are occasionally some successful moments in the serious ones, whereas I've never read a single humorous one that didn't strike me as a typical piece of pretty poor high-school type of satire. (No, I'll take that back; Al Kuhfeld's hilariously blasphemous GOD COMICS succeeded magnificently. But that's still only two triumphs out of an overwhelming number of failures.) While most fan-drawn superheroes are only pallid imitations of the professional ones, an interesting and distinct new one will turn up every so often -- just barely often enough to keep you from losing interest in the entire field, it sometimes seems. Anyhow, an attempt at something new is preferable to a semi-burlesque of an already-established set of characters.
Milt Stevens -- I learned more or less the same thing in a Children's Literature class in college; Alice in Wonderland set a precedent in being the first book written for children, rather than to children, that did not pontifically preach a moral. Some of the children's literature transitional between the moral tale and pure entertainment, is worth reading to watch the development of present children's' books. The Water Babies is a notorious example.
Fred Whitledge -- Feiffer's The Great Comic Book Heroes was a disappointment in that I had been looking forward to reading a history of the comic book industry, in some detail; and got only pleasant but generalized nostalgia. Another case of the material being good, but not as good as you'd been led to believe. ## The $15 deluxe edition of Lupoff's book on Burroughs is obviously just to milk the completist collectors. So it's printed on a different kind of paper stock, so it's got a different binding, so Dick signed each numbered copy -- so what? There's no material in it that isn't in the $7.50 trade edition. But completists, being completists, will have to have both, and Dick will soon sell out the 150 copy deluxe edition. ## The LASFS Library is supposed to have a complete set of Apa L Distributions. Ed Baker, as Librarian, should know if it's really complete or not; how about it, Ed?
Ruth Berman -- Any chance of your coming down here during the Christmas Vacation?