Written by Fred Patten, and published on the LASFS Rex Rotary, October 25, 1966. Intended for Apa L, 106th Distribution, LASFS Meeting no. 1524, October 27, 1966. Address: 1825 Greenfield Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90025. Phone: GRanite 3-6321.
|Los Angeles in 1967!||New York in 1967!||Salamander Press #212.|
Due to our hurried schedule at last week's Anniversary meeting, I didn't have enough time to deliver the full presentation speech I had so laboriously prepared, in presenting this year's Evans-Freehafer Award to Bruce Pelz. Fortunately, I had it all written out beforehand, so nothing was lost; I simply transcribe it into Apa L this week.
"This is the 8th annual presentation of the Evans-Freehafer Award, which is given every year at our Anniversary Meeting to the member of the club who has done the most to benefit it or its members during the preceding year. To add a little history, for the benefit of our guests and those of us with short memories, the Award was originated in conjunction with our 25th Anniversary Meeting, back in 1959, by Walt Daugherty, one of our oldest members, who felt that service to the club, whether conscious or unconscious, should have some tangible reward.
I say service conscious or unconscious, but mostly I mean unconscious. The Award isn't something that we actively work for; we don't go around plotting fantastic deeds of service to the club all year long in the hopes of getting our names on the trophy at this Meeting. The sort of member that usually gets the Award can pretty well be summed up by the records of Paul Freehafer and E. Everett Evans, the two club members the Award's named for. If the honor of naming it after them hadn't been a posthumous one, they'd doubtlessly have each won it at least one apiece by now.
Paul Freehafer was one of the early livewires of the club, back in the late '30s and early '40s. Due to his bad health -- he died of a rheumatic heart before he was 23 -- he was never active in an overly physical sense. But he had a strong and warm personality that helped the club just because it made him the sort of person that people like to be around. At a time when the club was engaging in petty politics, he was one of the few who was both active and welcome in both camps; it may be overdramatizing to say he was responsible for keeping the club from splitting up, but he certainly helped in minimizing the split as much as possible. He was handy when it came to publishing the club's fanzine. As a Director, he made the Meetings enjoyable to attend. He wasn't particularly known to national s-f fandom; he never went out and created any one big project to act as a memorial to his name, such as publishing a FANCYCLOPEDIA or organizing a WorldCon bid. But he was a major factor in making the LASFS of the period an enjoyable group in which to belong. When he died, everybody felt it, and his name is still remembered when those of other transient members of his day, who attended as many or more Meetings than he did, have been virtually forgotten.
Ev Evans came a little later in our history. He was a nationally known fan; he was active in the MidWest before coming here, he published a well-known fanzine, he organized our yearly WesterCons, which've come to be as big as some WorldCons, and he had enough stories published professionally to be known to s-f collectors who knew nothing about s-f fandom itself. But again, it wasn't particularly for specific deeds that everybody liked Ev; it was because, without particularly thinking about it or working at it, he was always doing something to help the club. Whether it was seeing that our publications got out on time, turning his home into a weekly social center -- the post-Meeting card parties there were a regular social activity for years -- or just being friendly to guests and new members to make their introduction to the LASFS that much easier, Ev was always around, providing the necessary elements that've helped the LASFS remain going as a successful loose social group for 32 years now.
So now we come to the historical period of the Award. Most of the time, it's gone for similar small but steady services rendered over the course of the year; sometimes done without even the club in mind. That's the case again this year, when it's being presented to Bruce Pelz.
Bruce has been a member of the club for about ten years now, and at times he's seemed to be more against us than for us. When he's not serving as an officer, for instance, he's usually happy to adopt the role of our Devil's Advocate. In the last year, though, Bruce has been our Director, and there's no doubt that he's been working for us, rather than against us. For this past year, we've all benefited from well-run, orderly Meetings -- and those of us who remember some of the laissez-faire or just plain incompetent Directors we've had in the past know what a boon this really is. Bruce has done more than just chair the Meetings, too. Arranging our programs has technically been in the province of the Program Director, which post has been vacant for some time now, and not the Director of the club; but rather than sit back and say, "It's not my responsibility", Bruce has quietly -- for him -- gone about and organized his own panels, auctions, demonstrations, and other events to make our meetings worth attending. He's one of the regular contributors to Apa L, and has made that unofficial publication of the club that much more enjoyable to all of us. And last, but by no means least, he's taken on a major portion of arranging the extracurricular activities of the club, such as the various weekend parties. Our new fannish Miniature Golf Tournament, currently being held every other Sunday, for instance -- this is a good example of the sort of thing that's done without specifically holding the club in mind, as Bruce did not set the event up as an official LASFS function. But he announced the Tournament through the club's facilities, and of the 17 people who've turned out for it so far, none would ever have heard of it if it hadn't been for their social contact with Bruce through their membership in the club. So, in a roundabout manner, this event is a club function, and Bruce did a good deed for the club in arranging it. If you'll look back, I think you'll see that everything that Bruce has done -- and he's done a lot -- has been done either consciously or unconsciously with the attitude that the welfare of the club will benefit from it; he hasn't once put himself first and the club second. Is there anybody here who can say that the club would've been as well off as it has been during this last year if Bruce hadn't been here? Well, then you know why he deserves this Award."
-- BEING COMMENTS ON THE PREVIOUS DISTRIBUTION
Len Bailes -- If you can turn out four pages like this once a month instead of a page of nothing d.c.'s every week, I'll consider it a well-done trade in schedules. ## And what happened to the kindly old pickle barrel at the A&P?
Bruce Pelz -- I don't object overly to your Dist'n circulation lists, as long as you don't concentrate on them to the exclusion of everything else. They are handy as information, but they aren't particularly readable; publishing these is a lazy way of getting out of doing brainwork. Let's have less lists -- only one a week at the most, even if this means that some week's lists never see print -- and more original material. ## Run the MENACE through Apa L?
Dwain Kaiser -- If that cover means anything, nobody's told me about it. Yes, tho; the cover is an "official" part of the Dist'n in the way you mean.
Don Fitch -- A good trip report; even better because it was so unexpected after all this time. Gee; this is the first time I've ever seen 10 a.m. look like 'loam'. Is that what happens to your spelling when you become a gardener?
Dave Van Arnam -- I'm tempted to enter your kitten-naming contest, but the thought occurs to me that I might be the Only One and win by default, and I don't really want a kitten. Not with a hulking big Weimarner next door. How would you deliver the kitten cross-country, anyhow? Smuggle it aboard Bruce's chartered plane the next time he comes to NY?
John Ryan -- This "Gully Foyle" reprint is really great, and there's already several people asking if we're going to get any more. (Though I'll be interested to see how many of 'em take the trouble to ask it in print where you can see it.) I presume, from the manner in which everything was reproduced so sharply, that the photoprint was made from a black-&-white (pen & ink?) copy rather than a colored copy? What's the status of this strip? Is it appearing in newspapers currently, or is Mr. Pitt still trying to sell it to your Australian newspaper syndicates? ## I was particularly impressed by the fact that, not only has Mr. Pitt followed the original story as closely as possible in his drawings, even the dialog/text is adapted directly from Bester's book. The only criticism I can find to make (surely it can't all be perfect) is that Gully Foyle looks a little too clean and neat for the position he's supposed to be in; and this is relatively minor, of course. Would you know what Alfred Bester happens to think of this conversion of his book into comic-art form?
Ted Johnstone -- How do you stand on your U.N.C.L.E. writing now? Are you still supposed to be writing more novels to a schedule, or have you filled your commitments with this last book and are you going on to other writing projects now? Owen was telling me about some ideas for your "Star Trek" script (I didn't quite get it straight as to whether these were your ideas or his ideas that he was trying to sell you); they were very amusing, but I get the impression that you might have a hard time trying to get comedy-satire on "Star Trek", which is doing a good job of taking itself seriously (and is just about the first s-f TV program to have enough to be worth taking seriously). Well, good luck on whatever you try.
So now the photocovers show up, five days late. Grotch.