The Days of Old

A ValSFA/ValAPA Memoir

By

Dwain Kaiser

 

Comments, Observations and Sheer Bullshit From Days Long Gone

Yet Not Forgotten

It has been said that if you remember the 60's you were probably not there. Well that's probably not completely true, but then it's not completely a lie either. It was a very interesting period of time. With some (okay, to be honest, with a LOT) of help from old fanzines, apa mailings, minutes and what remains of my memory I'll attempt to recreate some of it, my little slice of 60's fandom, ValSFA & ValAPA, friends, feuds, things best forgotten and other events never to be forgotten. Maybe even a side trip (if you'll forgive the expression) to conventions attended, LASFS meetings, BrandEx, Ad Astra, WesCoSFS, the Hill, the Lab and other such places, events, happenings and hallucinations It'll be feeble but the best I can do. I'll attempt to use as much original source material as possible (with all possible credit). I'll warn everyone now that it might not be completely true but it sure as hell was how I saw it at the time.

"A fanzine is a beermat with pretensions." Johnny Berry

The Mothers of Invention Balloon Farm Freak Out or King Arthur and the Red Indians #2, N'APA #32

 

A Very Disjointed Part 1

 In The Beginning

Reprinted from: Alice in Fagland #1 or…Hello Bhaby, Here I Come…
Editor: Dwain Kaiser Published in APA L No. 70
Issue Date: March 3, 1966
( Uncorrected from the original publication)

The First meeting of the ValSFA took place last Friday, with ten fen showing up, a very enjoyable, and long lasting auction, the election of me to an office (that of Sec./Tres., which just shows that the members don't know yet that I can't write, or court).. Jim S. is our Chairman, Fred Whitledge the head of a Committee of One, the Committee being of course our COMMITTEE TO GET THINGS DONE.

The auction brought in about two dollars for the club, and over twenty going into the pockets of those members with things to sell… PLAYBOYS, ERB, COMICS, COMIC STRIP MATS, etc., all went for anywhere from a nickel to two-fifty each (the last was a first edition ERB book, with dustwrapper, Llana of Gathol). A good amount of stf material was sold off, with a pair of shoes, and copy of FANNY HILL thrown in for the hell of it…

Gil Lamont, Don Fitch, Jim S., Russ Brooker, Fred Whitledge, Allen Smith, Larry Hutchins, Steve Bailey, Terry Romine, and John Kaiser (Jr.) attended… Most of the members also contribed to ValAPA, which had 48 pages totally, with a Pederson cover…. 21 pages were taken up by a certain famous Westercon one-shot, but the rest was written for the apa… Fourteen completes in all….you completests can just *bleed your hearts out*.

I'm also writing the minutes of the meeting up, and might send them through APA L in a few weeks. They will for certain be going through ValAPA, so you members of that group don't have to worry.

Which reminds me of the fact that I'm the idiot that ended up stuck with ValAPA… Membership is limited to members of ValSFA, so to join ValAPA you must have attended at least one ValSFA meeting. This will keep up your membership for a fairly long period of time, or until I get tired of you hanging on and say you must attend another meeting. Twenty copies of your zine are required, which will then be stuck together to make as many complete copies of the ValAPA disty as needed, the rest of the copies of your zine you can take back, leave at the meeting, throw away, or do whatever you want with them. There will be a ditto, or mimeo, or both at all meetings of ValSFA, so check with the person holding the meeting, or me, to see about getting your stuff run off I you don't have any means of doing it yourself…

The next meeting of ValSFA will be at Jim Schumacher's house: 418 Kenoak Dr., Pomona…the date of the meeting is: March 11. After that Gil Lamont has the meeting, and then back to me… Everyone is welcome to attend, why you would want to I don't know, but if you have nothing better to do, feel welcome… We'll enjoy seeing you.

Meetings are bi-weekly (for Digby…that means once every two weeks…not twice a week…)

A Few Comments:

The "John Kaiser (Jr.)" mentioned attending the meeting was a joke refering to the cartoon series of that name by Lynn Pederson starring Dwain Kaiser as "John Kaiser of Mars". As soon as I have a scanner available I'll try to reprint the series (they ran in many of my zines, in a number of different apas and genzines, almost a 100 in all.)

Having a ditto available to run zines off at the meeting turned out to be a Huge Headache.

 

PART 2

A Hero of ValSFA

The Birth of a Legend

 

The hardest working "member" of ValSFA was my Heyer ditto. It was a true Hero of ValSFA!

It attended just about every meeting, carefully carried by car or motorcycle. What a sight it must have been strapped to the back of my Yamaha, feedtray blowing in the wind. Instead of being able to enjoy the meeting, kick back and enjoy some good conversation, it was put to work. Running off zines brought in late, very late, or being typed up right at the moment and "just wait awhile and it'll be ready to print". That was after spending much of the previous week running off those ValAPAzines that were ready to be printed before the meeting. This hard working machine printed more than 1/2 of all the pages in ValAPA.

Jim Schumacher has remind me that we had always been told (as young and foolish fans) that ditto printing wouldn't last but a few years and then fade off to that great Spirit Duplication Fanzine Heaven in the Sky. Most of the ditto printed zines in ValAPA are as readable today as they were when they were printed (and please, no smart remarks about that statement).

Reprinted From:

 It's For The Birds #2
(No date, but slightly before the first ValSFA Meeting, early '66) Intended for TAPS
Editor: Dwain Kaiser
Slightly Corrected from the Original Publication

Time goes by quickly, it seemed just yesterday that my parents decided to move from Las Vegas to here, and that I had decided to put out an AS as a membership saver. Well, what with moving and all, I had cut the time too close and didn't get my AS out, but wrote a letter to the next TT instead. Then down here I was first stuck without a machine, and then when I did have one to use at a local high school, during night adult education classes taught by Fred Whitledge, a local fan, I just never got around to finishing up the zine. I did run off the cover, but that was all.

Last week, I attended a swap meet, a few weeks ago I had picked up a couple of quires of stencils at 10 cents a quire (I don't use stencils too often so I didn't pick up more, later I was sorry I didn't clean him out of all the stencils he had), so I was hoping for another good deal.

I found one, and as a matter of fact this is being run off on it. Dwain Kaiser (or should that be *D*W*A*I*N K*A*I*S*E*R*) trufan, publishing giant and all that rot, over 100 pages of zines in a month) finally picked up a machine for himself. A Heyer Model 70 ditto. It's a ghreat machine, the best I've ever had a chance to get my hands on, and I've used both Ditto Brand, and ABDick dittos before. It has paper feed tension, fluid control, pressure control, giving just about as much control over what you run off as possible, also allowing the use of color runs (such as my APA L cover, done by Lynn Pederson 100+ times to begin with, and then still another 125+) of well over 250 readable copies, which is pretty damn ghood for a ditto, and for colors which fade out quickly, and have been run several times before to boot.

The machine also has such standards as a paper counter, an adjustment for the lines which I can raise or lower a page as much as 20 lines (typing lines) in either direction.

But anyway, this is boring the hell, I'm sure, out of all of you who don't give a damn what I do, let alone how I do it, but I hope it proved interesting for those with dittos, or those who are interested in hearing about such.

Forgot one thing, the Heyer cost me exactly $20.00, with 100 legal length ditto masters tossed in. Not bad, even if these legal length ditto masters are older than you could believe.

Anyone out there know when the Heyer company put out the Model 70? It doesn't seem to be a old machine, but rather a fairly new one, and much bigger in size than the average ditto, or at least bigger than any I've gotten ahold of.

A Few Comments:

 I certainly loved run on sentences back in those days.

I wonder why I never named that overworked ditto machine?

After moving from Las Vegas (where my zines were printed on a machine in my Journalism class) I had no way of printing up anything. I used to go to Fred Whitledge's Adult Education Office Machine Class at Fontana High School. While Fred taught class I printed up my zines. All I had to do is provide my own paper. Fred even provided me a ride since at that time he was living in Montclair and Upland was mainly on the way there. Fred was always willing to go out of his way to help a fellow fan.

My yardsales visits, swap meets & bookstore weekend trips were almost always with Fred Whitledge in those days. Fred loved a good bargain and was always collecting something (science fiction to boys adventure series to pipes to watches to….) Much of the older part of my sf collection, much of what I know about collecting and book hunting, came out of those Saturday and Sunday trips. Thursday night was poker night, first the LASFS meeting, then poker until the sun rose. Thanks to Fred I missed many a Friday day of school, well worth it as far as I was concerned. He was a dear and close friend of mine for many years and to this day whenever I walk into a new bookstore I still can't help but think to myself, "I bet Fred would like to know about this place."

Fred would have liked Valhalla. He'd be posting listings/indexes of western authors, and reprints from old '30's fanzines.

On page two of my zine I mentioned, "I'm also willing to do ditto work for those fen who need it." That was one offer that was certainly taken advantage of.

Part 3

A Few More Thoughts Concerning The Early Days

Reprinted From:

Apple Valley #3
March 11, 1966 (For ValAPA #2)
Editor: Dwain Kaiser
(Uncorrected from the Original Publication)

Table of Contents: *Sigh* I remember how I did this, my typer sitting on my lap, while I was sitting on the floor, half reading the zines names, and half less importantly trying to hear what was being auctioned off…

(Later in the issue)

As the Green Glass Grows: If the club exists for just a few years it would have fulfilled its promise… I never even thought of the club lasting for a couple of years myself… Certainly, when I thought of the idea of a local club, I thought it would be nice if it lasted, and carried on after I was no longer a Valley fan, but I never expected it.

As a fan who enjoys LASFS, and fandom, I hope to add new fans to fandom through our group, and perhaps add to the number of LASFS fans in this area. If one fan of worth is added due to the ValSFA, it can never be said we didn't do our bit to improve fandom.

I'm being as sercon as bloody hell right now… The ValSFA is also a excuse for some active fen to get together, talk, chitter-chatter about those fen who didn't show up to the meeting, and in general do the things fen all over do… I think the club will last as long as the members enjoy the group. It may be for a year, or ten…it depends on the membership.

As a completist collector myself, ValAPA as a ploy to bug them was in my mind when I thought of it. Then of course I was wondering if I could get a regular apa off the ground… APA V (APA Las Vegas Science Fiction Society) never worked due to a lack of interest, lack of time, and lack of enough publishing fans. We have a lot of local publishing fans, and the hour, two, or three, it takes to do a ValAPA zine is more than made up by egoboo, and the idea of having something completists will go nuts trying to get… The ploy is fannish.

(Later in the Issue)

Don't worry about any comments on Pomona Fandom…. I've seen the whole thing done on other groups of fans in LASFS… The Cats for one… Soon the LASFSans won't bother about where you come from, but about your fannishness, the kind of zine you put out, just what kind of guy you are in general. When suddenly springs up a whole bunch of fans from a certain area, or such, a lot of people have to give them a sort of name…"one of the Cats", a "member of Pomona Fandom" etc. Soon they will know you well enough and skip the titles.

A Few Comments (1999):

When you're a hyper young fan you're a hyper young fan. LASFS and APA L just didn't kill enough time (even adding in APA45, InterAPA, genzines, etc.), So the ValSFA was born. It must have been something in the area, since this just continued the growth spurt that fandom was going through at the time.

Putting out the Table of Contents was always a chaotic activity for whoever was Distribution Collator (DC). It wasn't unusual for a ValAPA to come out after midnight.

My comments to Russ Brooker (Opus) concerning the acceptance of ValSFAns was basically right. It took a little longer than I figured on but as a segment of LASFS was just as weird as anything we had out here (or more so) so in the end it worked out. Even more amazing was the fact that one day Jim Schumacher would become President of LASFS! Now there's a story for later.

Don Fitch made an interesting comment on the above:

Reprinted from:

From Sunday to Saturday
Wednesday, 20 April, 1966 (ValAPA #5)
Editor: Don Fitch
Uncorrected from the Original Publication

I notice that Bruce Pelz has hoisted you by your own petard, or Something, by apologizing (I think) for considering Terry and Al and yourself as members of Pomona Fandom. (He insulted someone with that apology, but it's difficult to be sure just who it was.) Personally, I consider the whole ValSFA Founding Group (with the exception of myself and Fred W.) to be "Pomona Fandom" -- the name applies more to a gestalt than to any precise geographical point. The nature of this "gestalt" is more than I care (or, perhaps, dare) to go into here, but no less an Authority on Ingroups than Tom Gilbert has pronounced "Pomona Fandom" to be an Authentic LASFS Ingroup (someone may print up a batch of "Official and authentic Ingroup" certificates, Real Soon Now).

A Few Comments (1999):

As usual Don Fitch made some excellent points. I think Don was always the ValSFA's Galactic Observer. This issue contains a number of comments concerning the ValSFA, its membership, Bheer drinking, and *G*I*R*L*S* that deserves to be reprinted. (Do you mind Don?)

I'm putting my trust in everyone's good nature when I reprint from other than my own zines. Jim Schumacher has given me a blanket okay to reprint. Many of our members have yet to be "re-discovered" (so I can hardly ask them). Of our members here, are there any objections to my reprinting from your zines?