Written by Fred Patten, and published on the LASFS Rex Rotary, July 7, 1966. Intended for Apa L, Nintieth Distribution, LASFS Meeting no. 1508, July 7, 1966. Address: 1825 Greenfield Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90025. Phone: GRanite 3-6321.
|Cleveland in 1966!||Los Angeles in 1967!||Salamander Press #186.|
This has been an exhausting week, and no mistake. As an example of how busy I've been, this week's RR is being dashed off at the last minute (well, it was last week, too), and it will probably be printed in red ink, since I don't think there's any black ink left in the house, and I don't have time to get any more right now. After publishing The Best from Apa L, all my supplies are low right at the present.
The Best got published in time for WesterCon after all, and I'd like to thank all the people who helped on it: Al Lewis, Len Bailes, Jerry Jacks, Bill Glass, and Ed Rosenschweig -- the last two didn't know how to run a mimeograph, but came over to my house to learn and help if they could -- and Fred Hollander and Jean Berman, who helped collate. (Thanks to Ruth, too, for offering her services.) And Don Simpson and Johnny Chambers for helping to fill half a stencil so I didn't have to spend an hour or so looking for something just that right size worth reprinting. And Brandon Lamont for re-cutting the illustrations for his Bouree Primer. And Bruce Pelz, for cutting special stencils for some of the pages. And Dian and Bĵo and Jack for cutting illustrated headings to many of the articles and stories -- extra thanks to Dian for redrawing all of the reprinted interior art from the last 52 Dist'ns. And -- oh, lots of people. Including all of you who've been buying it and saying nice things about it, of course.
Despite my optimistic hopes of getting The Best finished by early Friday afternoon, with help, I didn't get quite enough help to keep the mimeograph turning while I finished preparing the last few stencils. As a result, by the time I finished the Introduction and the title page, it was already Friday evening, the first day of the Convention, and there were still 17 stencils left to be published. By this time, I was pretty sick of publishing -- not to mention beginning to make some mistakes in my hurry to finish, which took still more time to correct -- and Jerry was impatient to leave as soon as possible. So we packed everything up, mimeograph and all, and set out for San Diego, finally arriving at the Con motel about 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, after a brief visit to Mexico -- Jerry, who was driving while I slept, missed the turnoff to the motel and continued on down U.S. 101 until it ran into the Mexican border, at which point the traffic was so thick that we couldn't turn around until we were a few yards into Baja California. We asked two separate border guards for directions, to make sure we wouldn't get lost again, and finally got to the Con, fortunately running immediately into Fred Hollander, Greg Shaw, and several Bay Area neofen, whom we pressed into hauling the mimeo & supplies up to our second-story room.
With everything right at hand, I no longer had to rush to finish The Best before I could see any part of the Con. So I slowed down, and took most of Saturday to get it done right, in between seeing parts of the Con, and had it ready for distribution-sale by Sunday morning. As the Lewis-Whitledge LASFS PHOTO ALBUM was also finished at the Con for sale on Sunday, and Jim Schumacher also brought his mimeograph for various publications, I wasn't unique in taking time out from the Con festivities to publish a fanzine. Roscoe, Johnny ran off a one-shot on the spot and sold it out at 15¢ a copy!
I didn't miss any of the Con that I wouldn't've stayed away from, anyway; the only thing I regret is in not getting into San Diego itself on Friday or Saturday, as I'd hoped to, for book & stamp & coin browsing. By Sunday and Monday, San Diego had closed up completely. I also missed the Zoo, which I'd hoped to see, because, according to the news reports, the crowds there were so great that by the afternoon no more people were being allowed into the park. I guess I'll have to make a special trip down some weekend to get these in.
I'm not going to make this a Con report -- I couldn't do it justice in only a couple of pages -- but I just wanted to say that, in general, it was a fine Convention. I was somewhat disappointed at the lack of goodies to be picked up on the Auction table, but I wasn't expecting anything, considering how auctions have been a thing of the past for the last couple of years. I did get a pleasant surprise in the form of a large supply of the Regency-Corinth pulp reprint paperbacks in the Huckster Room -- I've been looking for them here in L.A., without much luck, due to poor distribution -- and I was very surprised to learn that Earl Kemp is editor-in-chief of the series. We had our troubles with the motel management,, as I suppose everybody knows by now, but I'm not sure but what we came out of it better than the motel manager did -- or will, depending on how many people do write those letters to the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau, the head of the chain of motels, etc.
Yesterday, there was a massive fan party to Disneyland, consisting of the entire New York contingent, plus Bĵo, Jerry Jacks, Johnny Chambers, Jack Harness, Don Simpson, Len Bailes, Jock Root, and myself. Disneyland was a lot more crowded than I thought it was going to be, so we split up into three or four different groups, instead of all trying to stay together, and I think we all saw just about everything we wanted to see -- most of the New Yorkers weren't completists about seeing every single attraction in the park, anyhow.
There've been several changes since I was there last, in February, I guess it was. There are two new attractions open already: the Dinosaur Diorama tacked onto the end of the Grand Canyon Diorama, seen only from the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad that circles the park; and the "It's a Small World" exhibit, which I find delightful. Len & Jerry, who both saw it at the New York World's Fair, say it's been improved considerably through expansion of size, addition of new rooms, and being placed behind an eldritchly attractive façade. Anyhow, it's one of my favorite attractions in the park, already. The New Orleans Square is being rushed to completion, and should open later this month; it should be all ready by the time the next fan party takes Tom Schlück to Disneyland in September. I think the Flying Saucers have been souped up considerably; the last couple of times I rode on 'em, I could barely get 'em off the ground, but this time, I really zipped along -- and I haven't lost that much weight, either.
There is one change that has made Disneyland less enjoyable, though, and that's another boost in prices. The D tickets are now 60¢, and the E tickets 75¢. This is still all right for the rides you like, but for the marginal rides -- the ones you wouldn't go on by yourself, but you'll probably accompany an out-of-town guest -- you now tend to avoid, since 75¢ is a lot of money just to keep him company for a couple of minutes. Instead of using up all my tickets and going to buy more, I found myself telling Arnie Katz and Andy Porter, "You go on this one; I'll wait for you out here, and save my ticket for something I like better."