The WSFA Journal, February 1988

The WSFA Journal





FEBRUARY 1988     EDITOR: Joe Mayhew. [censored], Bladensburg, MD 20710     ISSN 0894-5411



January 1, 1988

At Gilliland House, Mike Walsh Presiding. Attending: Joe Mayhew, Alexis & Doll Gilliland, Tom Schaad, Bob MacIntosh, Ginny McNitt, Keith Olson, George Koelsch, Cat Slusser, Alison Munn, Steve & Elaine Stiles, Don Bieniewicz, John Pomeranz, Kathi Overton, Kent Bloom, Mary Morman, Dan Hoey, Chris Callahan, Dick Roepke, Vicki Smith, Peter Theron, Roxana Llovet, Keith Marshall, Candy & Dave Gresham, Mel Scharadin, Steve Smith, Lee Strong, Barry & Judy Newton, Jack Chalker, Eva Whitley, Steven Fetheroff, Erica Van Dommelen, Walter Miles, Brian Lewis.

The meeting was called to order at 9:15. The minutes of the previous meeting were read from the WSFA JOURNAL. Bob MacIntosh reported the Treasury had $ 14,111.16 and he filed the following FINANCIAL REPORT:

               DUES            $   433.00
               BANK INTEREST   $   676.97
               DISCLAVE'86     $ 1,354.79
               DISCLAVE'87     $ 4,000.00

          Total Revenue        $ 6,464.76
               FIRST FRIDAY    $   985.69
               THIRD FRIDAY    $   982.39
               FIFTH FRIDAY    $   374.63
               SPEC. PARTIES   $   679.67
               WSFA JOURNAL    $   346.29
               LAWYER          $   233.89
               COMPUTER        $ 1,044.87
               OTHER EXPENSES  $   269.68

          Total Expenses:      $ 4,917.11

               1987 Excess     $ 1,547.65

Special Note:

Included in the Category "SPEC. PARTIES", are the New Year Eve party, the July 4th picnic and the boat trip-brunch.

Included in the category "OTHER EXPENSES", are Treasury expenses (from the previous Treasurer), Poker Tables and the Flowers for Polly Freas' Funeral. (Robert J. MacIntosh, Tres.)

CONCERNING DUES: The dues year runs from January 1st to December 31st. We are in a new dues period. Those who have not previously become Associate Members (necessary prior to becoming voting members - each year) may do so by paying the DISCLAVE'88 fee which is at present $20.00. The Charter (voting) membership fee is an additional $5.00

PUBLICATIONS The JOURNAL solicits Con reports, information from the DISCON III bid Corporation - anything but Fiction or Slander.

DISCON III: The Corporation will hold its annual elections at 1:00 on Sunday, January 24th at Peggy Rae Pavlat's House.

DISCLAVE'88: Tom Schaad is looking for an Art Show Director and someone to edit the Program Book.

DISCLAVE'89: Mike Walsh announced that Lucius Shepherd will be his Guest of Honor.


NEW BUSINESS: Mary Morman proposed that WSFA acquire a MacIntosh Computer System for its publications. She was summarily made a member of the existing ad-hoc committee by its only other member, Joe Mayhew, who also made her its chairman. She will report back to the club at the first WSFA meeting in February.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:41


January 15, 1988

At Heneghan Normandy House, Mike Walsh presiding. Attending: Joe Mayhew, Ray Ridenour, Walter Miles, Keith Marshall, Jul & Mark Owings, Bob MacIntosh, Jack Heneghan, Elaine Normandy, Charles & Alexis Gilliland, Robyn Rissell, Lawrence Watt-Evans, Lee Uba, Abner Mintz, Erica Van Dommelen, Steven Fetheroff, Dick Roepke, Tom Schaad, Terilee and Jim Edwards-Hewitt, Pat & Laura Jones, John Pomeranz, Steve Smith, Linda Melnick, Art Coleman, Bill Jensen.

The meeting was called to order at 9:15. The minutes of the previous meeting were summarized and Bob MacIntosh reported that Joe Mayhew had closed out the DISCLAVE'87 account, turning over the remaining $1,776.60 just prior to the meeting, raising the Treasury to $16,930.15. Parties were suggested.

DISCLAVE'88: The information flier is expected to be out this month and Tom hopes to have a 'mailing party' at the first meeting in February. Two major positions still remain open: Art Show & Publications.


The Secretary will be producing an interim WSFA list, so the addresses can be checked before being published in the JOURNAL. Please try to remember your correct address. In some cases you will find it pinned to your rompers.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:32.



A biased view by Joe Mayhew

The Federal Government got cold feet on January 8th and decided to let everyone stay home, as the blizzard had made DC's roads unsafe. So, I waited until 1:00 before starting for HEXACON 10, up at the Shawnee Inn, north of Lancaster, PA. I'd driven up to the previous 9 Hexacons in similar weather and found a clear lane all the way. Hexacon had worn out its welcome at the downtown Brunswick and its Chairman, Sara Olmstead had found a new place which was way out in the country - near to nothing. It turned out that while we were cavorting in one of the hotel's properties, a KKK meeting was being held in the main lodge. How nice. The building where the convention was held was built as a summer resort around a swimming pool and a tennis court. All of the rooms in it were suites - large but ill-furnished. Upon arrival, the first thing one noticed was how cold the building was. That was also the second thing one noticed. By late Saturday morning, the heat had finally caught up with the building and then one could concentrate upon other features, the leaking roof, the unseasonably high prices for what one got, the fact that it was a long way to the nearest hamburger, and the nice Klansmen in the Lodge's lobby, talkin' race and such. Nice folks.

Ray Snyder did a find job on the Con Suite, it was well stocked with sodas and munchies. Some of the other features did not go off quite as well. The Dealers shared the Tennis Court with the Art Show. As some of the flood lights were out, the dealers did their best business during the bright of day but Friday and Saturday from dusk on, it was hard to see what anyone had for sale. I suspect that hurt business. The Art Show was supposed to be run by Ricky Jacobs. As he did not show up or tell anyone he wasn't coming in advance, nothing was done about it until Saturday morning, when they asked me to see what I could pull together, no hangings, no paperwork, just some art work. Some kindly fen helped me drag chairs, sheets of plywood and tables into a serviceable display area for the smallish (even for Hexacon) show on hand. I cobbled together a registry for the works and with home-made bid sheets, we muddled through. Ricky (his given name) Jacobs had put together the Hexacon Program book. He neglected to mention a time for the art auction (despite the fact that he was supposed to be running their art show) and I couldn't find either Sara or Bruce and Flo Newrock (who always seem to be running it no matter who is called "Chairman") in order to set a time, and so around 3:00, I set the time for 1:00 on Sunday. No one seemed to object. Sunday morning I was busy getting ready for the auction. I had taken the registration table to sort the art out for the auction, and was hoping that I would see the Flo and Bruce Newrock so they could tell me what the fiscal facts were - who was going to mind the shop, pay checks, how, etc. We had about 30 items to sell, I had pulled them and had made a list of the items being sold. All I needed was the con rules. Bruce and Flo showed up around noon and came over. I asked about the rules, but Flo could only concern herself with the registration table. Where was it? I told her I had taken it (knowing they didn't register on Sunday) because I needed a clean table for the auctionable art work. She did not seem to be able to get beyond the fact that I had taken the registration table. I pointed out a table which I had, in the meantime, cleared, saying that she could take it if she needed a table. Well, why hadn't I used THAT table. I explained that it hadn't been free when I needed it. She went back to square one. Why had I taken her registration table. And so on. I had lost patience. The When I agreed to patch together their Art Show, the Chairman, Sara Olmstead, had asked me whether I would run their show the next year (I had run it before and, had pinch-hitted for Cecilia Cosentini for several of the years when she had 'run' their show (often while in NYC). I told Sara I'd like to think about it, and would get back to her. She showed up just before the Newrocks on Sunday and told me that the Newrocks had appointed Nova (Odenwaller) Gregg to run it for them. That seemed either muddled or rude. Now, with Flo nagging me relentlessly about something trivial, it seemed that it might be deliberate rudeness, and I said that if she pursued the matter further, I would drop their art show where it lay and go home. She kept it up, and so I put on my coat and packed up. The paperwork was ready for the auction, 'Fritz' had volunteered to help auctioneer (I thought she might be good) and so I didn't think it would hurt things much if I made my gesture by leaving. packed up, and about an half hour later, as I walked out the door, I noticed that Flo hadn't moved either her previous registration table, or replaced it. I'd like to know what she had needed it for? Nova told me that she had auctioned the material herself but could not find the control book (which I had left laying on top of the artwork to be sold). Perhaps it was straightened out later.

I don't think I'm interested in HEXACON 11. They plan to go back to the same hotel. The previous cons were fun - in some years, in spite of the con chair, program, etc. This year, I enjoyed mingling with the fen who came and stayed up til the wee hours each night, carrying on, cartooning, gabbing til very late indeed. Somehow, the cold hotel, its prices, the remote location, and other factors make it less attractive. I don't expect gratitude, sanity, etc. It's just it wasn't FUN.


A   F I F T H   OF   W S F A   H O M E B R E W


The 'Just Because They're Going to Boston Doesn't Mean We Can't have a Fifth Friday Party' committee are pleased to report that, despite the informal (aka = thrown-together at the last minute) nature of their event, the party was a success.

The official Start-up time as at 8:00, so the party began promptly at 9:06. The total attendance was approximately 20 adult, child and feline WSFAns. The party was held at the Vaughan-Nichols home. No WSFA event had ever been held there before, but those who got there had no trouble finding it and those who didn't get there, didn't get there.

Diets were ruined -- a tip of the hat to fudge and wine maker Dick Roepke, for his excellent contributions to the cause. Backs were rubbed with delight. Cat stories were exchanged, "T'was a dark and snowy night when Puss came to the crawlspace..." Several passable cat and dog imitations were performed by WSFAns who were neither dogs nor cats. Musicals were discussed and a general consensus was reached that a lot of us (surprise, surprise!) liked Sondheim and Lloyd Webber.

Hardly a word was spoken about the Redskins -- We're applying to Guinness' Book of World Records for the category "Least amount of hot air released about the Redskins at a Washington Area party on the eve of THE SUPERBOWL."

After a Tom Lehrer sing-along, at 3 AM the party began yawning and the diehards made their way to home and bed. A good time did indeed seem to have been had by all.


D I S C L A V E   S C O O P

Ann Williams, Prince George's County Sanitarian (Restaurant Health Inspector) inspects the restaurants in the vicinity of the the Carrollton Sheraton. She'll be reporting on the health and cleanliness of your favorite spots. Don't miss it.

A B B E   P U B L I S H E R S

Bob MacIntosh gives us the following information concerning Abbe Publishers Association of Washington, D.C.:


This is no sham or put-on. but it has no guarantees either. Abbe Publishers Association of Washington, D.C. (Virginia Division: 4111 Gallows Road, Annandale, VA 22003) desires to get into science fiction by publishing an anthology of short stories written by unpublished authors (no published fiction in this case). It will cost you nothing but the time to write the story. However, there is no front money upon acceptance of the story, and no guarantee that the book will ever make money. If you are interested, contact me, Bob MacIntosh for details. If you have a story you'd like to be considered, send it to either [censored], Annandale, VA 22003 or to the other listed address, but identify it as beng for consideration in the anthology. (This is not associated with WSFA in any way other than I receive permission from the publisher to query WSFA members first before seeking solicitations from the general public.).


I M M O R T A L   N A M E T A G S ?

Mary Otten, photographer/artist, and Devra Langsam publisher/editor, are getting together a "book showing all the beautiful, weird, funny nametags fans wear, own, and love." They think it will take up to four years to assemble (getting the copyright permissions, etc). They'll be contacting people at cons - chasing them down in the halls, and hoping to trap some at Devra's POISON PEN PRESS Huckster's table. They intend to give credits to owners and to list artist's addresses (if desired). Apparently they don't intend to give royalties to artists for publication rights, but feel the publication with a contact address will be like a free ad.

Con nametags are a unique fannish art form. I suspect that the Smithsonian will discover them before long. If you are interested in more information contact Devra at: POISON PEN PRESS. 627 East 8th St. Brooklyn, NY 11218.


(This essay first appeared in the WSFA Journal for Nov. 1968)

2 0 7 8   -   A   R E C O R D   R E V I E W


They don't make 'em like they useta. Things and stuff used to be pretty straightforward. Honest. There was a time over there on the other side of the generation gap when Also Sprach Zarathustra was a great titanic groan of a composition by Richard Strauss, and one would purchase this terribly heavy album (they were really albums in those days) with five breakable but thick, hefty shellac-type records -- and the cover (which depicted a sort of 'modrin' Michelangelo figure reaching to the sky and suffering a lot) would say what it was and who wrote it and who played it, and inside the cardboard cover would be this learned essay on the music and the program, and once in a while they would print a note or two of the score.

Now I read in the TIMES, Papa Strauss is being marketed as "MUSIC FROM 2001".

I suppose Red Skelton and David Rose might have started all that. Through the mists of time, and with the failing memory of advancing age, I can recall a pimplier time when Fibber McGee & Molly and Gildersleeve and Charlie McCarthy and Captain Midnight and The Lone Ranger and "I dood it!" came on in their way like The Laugh In comes on now. People let their children stay up just a bit late to wait, anxiously with the rest of the country for that moment when they'd all be convulsed by a catch-phrase like, "I dood it!" or "A flock of them went over that time!", or "I'll just look in the closet, Molly!", or "Buzz me, Miss Blue!", or any number of others. And like fools we'd sit there and laugh, even as one does now at "Heah come de judge!"

And in amongst all this humorous business would be a few innocuous (by comparison to today) commercials, and some music.

One night, long ago, on the Red skelton Show, David Rose conducted his orchestra through a loud, bouncy, brassy, percussive composition, and the country sat up and listened. They wrote in and wrote in, and Rose played that piece week after week after week, and recordings were pressed and distributed, and I believe the thing made whatever then passed for the "charts". Khachaturian was able to afford better cigars (assuming he smoked), for the Sabre Dance from his Gayne ballet had become "pop music". I suppose a few unwary record-buyers were led from the Sabre Dance into other compositions from that rather pleasant area of what must be called - however inaccurately, "semi-classical music". But it was a less devious age then than it is now.

Nobody had the wit to package Gayne as "MUSIC FROM THE RED SKELTON SHOW"!

And imagine what rhe promoters of such stuff could have done with The Lone Ranger!! It would have been one Helluva big album:

    Rossini: The William Tell Overture
    Gómez: El Guaraní Overture
    Liszt: Les Preludes
    Schubert: Rosamunde Music
    Weber: Der Freischütz Overture
    Wagner: Rienzi Overture
    Beethoven: Symphony N° 7
    Mendelssohn: Hebrides Overture
    Borodin: Polovtsian Dances
and probably a few more I disremember at the moment.

But think what opportunities have been missed! Wagner's The Flying Dutchman could have been packaged as "MUSIC FROM CAPTAIN VIDEO". Jim Blish could have done the album notes.

Beethoven's Fifth Symphony could crept up the charts as "MUSIC FROM SPYSMASHER" and Franz Liszt's Les Preludes would certainly have prospered doubly as "MUSIC FROM FLASH GORDON"!

Prokofiev could have become a household word (Gesundheit!) if he had been marketed as "MUSIC FROM THE FBI IN PEACE AND WAR"! That has a certain dramatic ring to it which is missing from the original title, Love for Three Oranges.

Sibelius' VALSE TRISTE would have swept the country as "MUSIC FROM I LOVE A MYSTERY"! Oh it goes on and on. Really, it does!

But suppose Mr. Kubrick had chosen another record as background music for 2001 instead of dear old Strauss. This one for instance; THE OKEH LAUGHING RECORD (4678-A) General Phonograph Corporation, N.Y. (no date - probably around 1920) 10", 78 rpm.

It begins with that hiss which is the sound of deep space -- the white noise radiated from uncreated stars and unborn times.

But If you push the needle onto the recorded groves the hiss is overridden by a tremulous blast of a distant trumpet -- the sound of Gabriel at both Creation and Judgement. A lone trumpet echoes hollowly across pregnant eternity, and one can see in his mind the roiling blackness of creation and the will-o'-the wisp glimmer of coalescing stars and galaxies and universes and all that implies. One's mind soars and sinks into that black vastness, borne solely by the single trumpet plus the obvious significance of its being slightly off key. The banal (a word to this day applied to Mahler) quality of the melody reminds one that we are dealing with small beginnings and the insignificance of man against the backdrop of eternity.

But then comes the kicker -- then comes the shock, and we realize we are dealing with a creative, albeit sardonic, film producer.

Because at this point, you see, the Fat Lady begins to laugh.

It is a cosmic laugh. It is the laugh of one who is "turned on" to the great universal Joke. Psychedelic Laughter*. And the business of creation takes on a different color as the laugh echoes out across time and space and Gabriel, who is himself close to God -- like unto a general of a numberless, eternal Praetorian Guard -- sees the joke, and from his distant perch atop creation the sound of his trumpet burbles into short, gasping blaats. Creation blindly, blandly ignoring this cosmic humor, goes on...committed as are ( we are reminded by the symbolism) Earthly mammalians in the throes of what we are pleased to call "love".

There is a silence, short of duration. And we are reminded of the impossible brevity of life amidst that time whose beginnings and ends are so remote as to be beyond measure and imagination. There is a short blast on the trumpet: and the Fat Lady laughs. And the slab appears after a short burst,and The Angel is again convulsed. Man-like shadows gather about the slab as the Fat Lady laughs. One pokes at the slab and the Trumpet blaats and the Fat Lady laughs with greater gusto

As man proceeds into space we are reminded of the inevitability of destiny by a short "toot" of that initial theme which accompanied creation. And the Fat Lady laughs on so infectiously that Gabriel -- or is it God? -- must put down his trumpet and join in with a voice which is deeper, and a laughter which is altogether of a different viewpoint.

As the great ship proceeds into the outer reaches, the laughter of the Fat Lady and the Angel becomes lewd laughter, and one is again reminded of that which we are pleased to call "love".

Then the Angel ceases laughing, but the Fat Lady howls on and we envision rolls of fat jouncing jelly-like, bringing to mind again the roiling of creation.

The Fat Lady continues to laugh and the Angel ** raises the trumpet to his lips. T-Toot!

This announces the transformation of man into a state resembling god-hood.

And the Cosmos is pervaded by the high and low toned laughter of the Fat Lady and the Angel, and the needle proceeds from the recorded groove to the center of the record even as does man to the center of his beginnings, and the great hiss of space sounds and ssounds and sssoundssss and ssssssoundssssssss.

Altogether it's a Hell of a score. Run right out and buy it. Recommended.

    *A thoroughly contemporary "in" touch.

    **Played by George Sanders.