Written by Fred Patten, and published on the LASFS Rex Rotary, May 18, 1966. Intended for Apa L, Eighty-Third Distribution, LASFS Meeting no. 1501, May 19, 1966. Address: 1825 Greenfield Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90025. Phone: GRanite 3-6321.
|San Diego in 1966!||Los Angeles in 1968!||Salamander Press #174.|
I didn't get to the LASFS Picnic last weekend, but there was more than enough else going on closer to home to take its place. I hope the Picnic was as much of a success as my day was, in fact.
For the previous week, Felice Rolfe had been planning to drive down to Los Angeles with a group of the younger Bay Area fans, and I was supposed to expect them all at my house on Saturday morning, unless I got word to the contrary. Such word arrived Friday morning, just as I was about to leave for work, when the telephone rang. "Is this Mr. Frederick Patten?" the operator asked, in an unusually hesitant voice. I confirmed that it was, indeed. "Thank goodness! You don't know what a time we've had trying to reach you! Palo Alto has been calling since last night, but every time we tried to put the call through, we got a wrong number. Have you been having any trouble with your phone at your end?" I hadn't, other than the usual problems resulting from being a part of the General Telephone system when everybody else is on Bell -- about a fifth of my calls fail to go through, and I have to re-dial. "Well, in any case," the operator continued, "I'm sure Palo Alto will be glad to get you. Will you hold the line for a moment please?" I held the line for a long moment -- and then for a longer one. Finally the operator came back on: "I'm sorry, but now Palo Alto seems to be busy at its end. Would it be all right if I called you back in about ten minutes?" I agreed to stay home that much longer, and finally, just as I was going to have to leave for work, the phone rang again -- not from Palo Alto, but from Garden Grove. It was Ron Ellik, with whom Felice had just finished talking, having given up hope of ever reaching me. To cut matters short, Felice's car had broken down and she was unable to drive to L.A. with the other members of Bay Area Fandom, as planned, so she was flying down herself that evening, and wondered if someone could meet her at the Airport? I told Ron I'd handle it, and left for work, never finding out whether or not that telephone operator ever did manage to clear the channels between my house and the rest of the outside world. (From what Felice says, things were even more exasperating from her end of the phone; I hope she'll write up her experiences with it.)
I got to the Airport about 8:30 that evening, just in time to meet Felice and her two children, Sue and Benjy. (In a way, it's a good thing that the rest of the fans didn't come down, because the kids were enough to fill a house by themselves.) This was the first time I'd seen Felice in a fair while -- especially without a lot of other fans around to compete for conversational time -- and I wish we hadn't both been so dog-tired, so we could've had more of a chance to talk. We finally got everyone bedded down about midnight -- Sue insisted on draping her sleeping bag over the reclining chair in my living room.
I awoke the next morning to the sound of the Saturday morning kiddie programs on television; something I haven't watched in almost ten years now. Did you know that the Beatles are starring in an animated cartoon series now, a sort of human answer to the Chipmunks -- if they're still on? (I suppose they must be; I know their comic book is still coming out.) One thing I am tempted to get up early enough to watch regularly is a program featuring the old MGM cartoons -- Tom & Jerry, Droopy, etc.; all highly superior to any of the Hanna-Barbera animated cartoons made especially for television. Benjy managed to talk me out of all my extras in the Marvel Super-Hero Bubble Gum Card set. Along about noon, Jerry Jacks arrived, and I phoned Len Bailes to find out that he was sick and not going anyplace that weekend; and we all set out for Ron's house for a lawn-leveling and manure-spreading party.
Fortunately -- as far as I'm concerned -- we spent a full afternoon in just pulling weeds, and everybody collapsed before we got around to the manure-spreading part of the job. The whole party -- which by now included Ron, the Trimbles, Luise Petti, Al Lewis, Fred Hollander, and John Hartman -- adjourned to the Trimblehaus for a couple of hours in the pool, and a delicious steak dinner. Later on in the evening, after a couple more hours of chatter and looking at slides of the recent MARS desert wild-flower trip, a group of us -- Felice, Bĵo, Flieg, John Hartman, Jerry, and I -- went over to Knott's Berry Farm on an impromptu carrouselling expedition, which grew into a general tour of the Farm (or as much of it as we could see before it closed for the night) for Jerry's benefit, since it was his first time there. The party finally broke up about 10:30 p.m. or so, and Felice and her kids went over to Ron's for sleeping space for the rest of the night. That was the end of the weekend festivities for me; Felice went on to Al Lewis' and the Pelzes' on Sunday before returning to Palo Alto, and Ron presumably continued his gardening. I stayed home and worked on The Best from APA L -- which may, if I'm not careful, end up consisting of reprints of some of the best Apa L covers, "The Man from H.A.S.I.", and 92 pages of little green dinosaur. (I've been threatened with mayhem from several quarters if I don't reprint just about everything that Johnny Chambers has done.) Well, I'll try to arrive at an equitable balance of things.
-- BEING COMMENTS ON LAST WEEK'S DISTRIBUTION
Andy Porter -- Heck, TAPS didn't originate the moral crud and little shit ingroup. I think it started in the Cult, though I'm under the impression that Bill Donaho and Gordon Eklund have been facetiously calling each other shits and moral cruds in SAPS for quite a while now. (Proving, I guess, that SAPS is full of big shits and moral cruds. Oh, well...)
Fred Whitledge -- Terry Romine did not receive a copy of the 81st Dist'n because, as far as I could tell, he didn't have anything in it. If that "In Memory" to his sister was his work, I'm sorry; I thought both sides of that sheet of paper were by Al Smith. I admit that Al should've gotten a Dist'n; but when you asked for copies for both Al and Terry, and I said we'd have to wait and see if there were any left over after everyone at the Meeting got one (there weren't any), you said that in that case you'd give Al's to Terry, since Al wasn't as interested in Apa L as Terry was. I took this to mean that the copy would go to someone who was neither at the Meeting nor was represented as a contributor, so I crossed them both off the list, since there were already more people at the Meeting than copies of the Dist'n to go around. I admit the confusion was partly my fault, though I can't help thinking that it wouldn't have happened if each of them had identified their contributions clearly. One of the biggest headaches I have in assembling Apa L is in trying to identify the untitled, unnumbered (or undated), and/or unsigned contribution -- not to mention the anonymous or pseudonymous fanzine.
Jerry Jacks -- There's a third fairly well-known work on a Southron victory in the Civil War: Sir Winston Churchill's "If the South Had Lost the Battle of Gettysburg", an article written from the point of view of a historian in a world where the Confederacy won at Gettysburg, and went on to win the War, trying to postulate what would've happened if the South had lost at Gettysburg, and how such a loss would have affected the outcome of the War. (His conclusion: the South would've won the War eventually anyway.) This is one story, and a comparatively minor one at that, in a collection of "If" stories by prominent historians, scholars, and mainstream novelists, that appeared during the late '20's or early '30's; I'll try to locate the specific title for you. (Other If's included the Dutch keeping Nieuw Amsterdam, the Moors defeating the Spaniards in Spain, Friedrich III's living instead of dying three months after ascending to the German throne [Friedrich was considered a liberal reformer, opposed to the more militaristic policies of his father, Wilhelm I, which his son, the famous Kaiser Bill, also followed; many historians believe that if Friedrich III had had more time to put his policies into effect, the course of German militarism that led to the World Wars might have been stifled], and others.) There's also the brief description of a Southron victory in Murray Leinster's "Sideways in Time", though since Leinster has too much going on in that story to concentrate on the South, he doesn't bother explaining convincingly how the South could've won. (He says Pickett's Charge succeeded at Gettysburg, and the South went on to win with European help; this is like saying, as Kornbluth did in his World War II story, "Two Dooms", that if we hadn't dropped the atomic bombs on Japan in August 1945, we wouldn't have been strong enough to conquer Japan, and the Axis nations would've rallied to finally win the War. Yeah?) ## Yes, Gettysburg was probably the turning point of the War, and the possession of Little Round Top (which the Union occupied on the second day of the battle, it having been left inexplicably unoccupied during the first day) was probably the key factor in the outcome of that battle. Ward Moore does not simply have the South occupying the hill "without saying why", though; he postulates that the South occupied it from the first day as a normal procedure of their maneuvering for the best position against the Union troops of Gen. Meade -- which they certainly should've done -- and then goes on to explain in his story how it was through the actions of his time-traveling protagonist that the South was kept from occupying the hill, leaving it for the Yankees to grab the next day, thus changing history. ## A Southron victory at Gettysburg or the capture of Washington wouldn't've necessarily meant the surrender of the Union altogether, though if things had gone that badly for the Union, Lincoln would no doubt have lost the 1864 elections to McClellan's negotiated peace platform. ## Maryland might've gone over to the South in the event of a Southron victory, true; but Kentucky and Missouri would've definitely gone over. Don't forget, the Confederacy claimed both border states from the beginning of the War (which is why the Confederate battle flag had 13 stars, instead of only 11 for the 11 states that our Union-oriented history books say was all of the South), as well as the New Mexico Territory (including present-day Arizona) and the Indian Territory (Oklahoma) for being below the old 36°30' Missouri Compromise line; and it never recognized the secession of West Virgina from Virginia. Even without any of the speculative additional land grabs that Kantor and Moore postulate, the Confederacy would've emerged with a tremendously larger territory than most people realize, if it had been able to dictate its independence to the Union on its own terms. ## The Confederacy would undoubtedly get Washington, D.C., if Maryland seceded, which it may well have done in the event of a Southron victory; and Columbus, Ohio, would do as well as any other spot for a new Union Federal District. I agree that Russia would probably have disposed of Alaska even if the U.S. did not purchase it; Kantor is wrong here, and Moore didn't mention it at all. One thing I wish Kantor had considered was a probable victorious South's relations with Maximilian's puppet Empire in Mexico. He ignored it, while Moore had his triumphant South invading and annexing all Mexico. I feel that this would've been unlikely, since even if the South had won the War, it would've been too sick of fighting to immediately take on all of Mexico. I suspect that Maximilian's Empire would've fallen apart even if the South had won the War, and remained neutral to it; Maximilian had no appreciable support outside of the French troops that Napoleon III had lent him, and by 1865, Napoleon was in no position to continue his Mexican Adventure no matter how the American Civil War turned out. The American ultimatum to France, after the Union had won the War, was just a convenient excuse to withdraw, much as the atomic bomb provided a face-saving excuse to the Japanese Government for surrendering, which it had been on the verge of anyway. In actuality, the Confederate Government refused to recognized Maximilian's regime -- thus turning down formal recognition from the only foreign government that ever offered it (discounting the belligerent status accorded it by Britain and France).