The Minn-Stf Floundering Fathers Panel
HASKELL: Don't ever tell Him that.(13)-- HERE BE TAPE GAP. ROSEMARY, IS THAT YOU? --
JERRY STEARNS: He knows.
HASKELL: He only thinks he knows.
YOUNG: I wrote Harlan at Fred's suggestion--we talked this out at some
great length--and we said: "Please, just don't support anyone, all right?
Stand back, be aloof. And then we won't have to get into internecine
strife, as seems to be happening with some of the other committees that
have gone before." Well, Dallas was, of course, bidding at the time and the
next thing we know--after we had gotten this letter back from Harlan
agreeing not to support anyone--Harlan had a full page letter supporting
Dallas: "Wow, this is so great! I've never seen anything like it! Wowie
HASKELL: In his usual subdued Harlan Ellison manner.
YOUNG: Yes, quite... quite, ah, "baroque," I think is the word. I was
naturally somewhat disappointed....
EMERSON: I'd like to get back to Minn-Stf stuff, rather than Harlan Ellison
stuff. I have an embarrassing question to ask. Whatever happened to I-7?
STODOLKA: *sigh* I-7 died aborning. The director I found for the project
EMERSON: What was the project?
STODOLKA & YOUNG: It was a movie....
YOUNG: ...and a play. A multimedia project.
STODOLKA: Yes. The quotation marks multimedia project unquote. And, uh...
into which I had devoted many, many hours of scripting, and burned myself
out trying to write the thing... and ended up.... We had a place to do it,
more or less, the Pillsbury-Waite Cultural Arts Center, which has done some
very good plays lately. And we had some... staffs of people to direct the
thing... and all of a sudden, just as we were going to get down to the
nitty gritty of constructing stuff and all that--
YOUNG: Oh, you had begun, I remember that. There were sets being
created--had the design--and actually work had begun....
STODOLKA: ...she backed out, and it was just too big a project for me to
handle all alone. And that's where it went--down the drain. We depended on
people... it's got to stick together and....
HASKELL: But its memory lives on.
STODOLKA: Oh yes. Yes. It was--
STODOLKA: Perhaps it was better that it died, because it was rather a
gruesome little anti-utopian play, based thoroughly on technology which
I've seen developed since then. It's one of those things where, you know, I
postulated some stuff that could be done, and a couple of years after I
wrote the thing I saw the technology rolling--it was happening.
YOUNG: Well, you know, Minn-Stf has had a tradition of coming up with grand
and glorious ideas well before it was ever able to do anything about them.
And then eons later, so to speak, suddenly, lo and behold, there is
something on the order of MidWestSide Story, coming full-blown out of the
skulls of five billion people here or there. And I can remember trying to
start up a Minneapa in 1967, and getting no support, getting no concern or
care or desire to do such a thing, and, of course, now--
HASKELL: Blue tried again, Blue Petal....
YOUNG: And Blue tried again with Blue's APA, and--here and there--
STODOLKA: Let me tell you--
YOUNG: ...these things happen.
STODOLKA: Let me tell you, now.... A lot of Minn-Stf and Minicon that we
YOUNG: Ambition out of proportion--all out of proportion.
STODOLKA: ...were dreams--were dreams that we had long ago.
EMERSON: Music has always been a part of Minn-Stf and Minneapolis fandom,
or... when did that start?
BUCKLIN: Okay. It's kind of funny that it took as long as it did to
develop, because one of the factors that played a part in me moving out
here to Minnesota for college was the presence in the Twin Cities of a lot
of active fans. And one of the active fans who was in the Twin Cities that
I wanted to meet was Fred Haskell. And in 1965, to the best of my
knowledge, the only professional rock and roll lead guitar players I knew
of in fandom were myself and Fred.(14) And I figured Fred wasn't going to
come out to Seattle, okay--I was one year ahead of him in school--I'd come
out to college and we'd start a band. Which you figure would wind up
affecting the club pretty seriously--but, as it happens, it really didn't.
Until a long time later when Fred and I started getting together and
jamming at parties. What actually happened is that we'd hold a few meetings
at the home of somebody with a piano, I forget whom--
LINDA LOUNSBURY: Walt Schwartz.
BUCKLIN: Walt Schwartz, okay, right.
YOUNG: But we were playing music before then--I can remember doing "Yellow
LOUNSBURY: "All Along the Watchtower."
YOUNG: ...at room 4, Mechanical Engineering.
BUCKLIN: Not "All Along the Watchtower." If "All Along the Watchtower" had
been among the first music played at Minn-Stf, I would have dropped out of
Minn-Stf. But the thing is... it turns out that, okay, Jim played piano and
composed; I can play a little piano and if I can find the chords to a song
there's nothing stopping me from doing it. And Jim and I at Walt Schwartz's
place... and there was some place else that was not Walt Schwartz's but I
forget whose, someone who apparently, who I don't think has been in
Minn-Stf in years--
YOUNG: Nate, I can remember too, we went over to Scott Hall to the practice
room a few times.
BUCKLIN: That's also true, but that's not it either. All of which proves
only that I don't really have a memory--everybody hoped I did--as far as
this panel is concerned. A lot of it happened anyway. Fred's presence in
the Twin Cities helped draw me here, but Jim and I did some of the first
music making, and then, in late '69 and early '70, I and the woman I
eventually married and then divorced, Caryl Dixon Bucklin Wixon, would
occasionally go through a few things at very low volume off in a corner and
kind of hope nobody would notice it. For a couple of years after that, I
don't think there was much music at Minn-Stf meetings at all, until Jerry
Stearns started playing guitar at meetings and attracting large circles of
people and I really credit Jerry Stearns with being single-handedly
responsible for starting music at Minn-Stf meetings as a tradition. I
brought that up to Jerry and he said that's really, really weird--he
started showing up at Minn-Stf meetings on account of the music....
LIEN: Nothing is as it seems.
FLETCHER: Yeah. My memory of... one of my memories of the earliest, you
know, Minn-Stf meetings, the meetings at the University in the abandoned
classroom on Saturdays, was... you know, occasionally Nate would bring his
guitar. And it would be intriguing, you know, Nate seemingly had, you know,
hundreds of original compositions, necessarily some in Spanish too... you
know, between guitar playing and the original compositions--the ideas--it
was always intriguing. There was always something that I was at least, you
know, hoping, you know, occasionally it would happen at the meetings we'd
have. That was, at least occasionally, an element.
HASKELL: Yes... I'd like... I don't know how regular the music was but
it... I think it's always been a part of the group. And the one thing that
I'm noticing from the club today is that it's all people that I'm very
comfortable with, and I started--er, more or less--and I started thinking
about that and I realized that any group grows in a manner of... people
come in if they like the kind of people and the kind of things that are
going on and they stay around; and if they don't like it, they leave. So
the group today pretty much reflects the kind of things that we were doing,
which is why we're all very comfortable in the group. And I think that...
that all of us have always been interested in music, and that is reflected
in who has decided to stay around and who's left. I think this is also true
in our true crazy bent toward anarchy--the people who couldn't deal with
our... sort of laissez faire attitude of running the club, of "well, you
want to do something? Go ahead and try to organize it, but we're not going
to form a standing committee to investigate things." People who couldn't
deal with that left. People who liked it... well... here you are.
YOUNG: It's strange, too, because there were a number of people who came in
from time to time and said, "Vell, ve haff dis strange interesting little
plan--ve'd like to run the Minicon for you...." That really did happen. I
even forget the names of some of these people, so there's no use in trying
to recall them, but from time to time such people would appear and...
eventually they'd sort of stop showing up because... well, to say that we
had a slight, uh, slightly disorganized organization is to deal in
understatement of a Britannic nature.
FLETCHER: Like trying to push a cloud.
AUDIENCE: [Applause and laughter]
EMERSON: Fred, speaking of anarchy, how... would you tell us how the Bozo
Bus got started? Bozo Bus Building.
HASKELL: How it got started?
LOUNSBURY: It was built in 1906, David.
HASKELL: Well... you kick it a few times--
LIEN: The bricks were falling all off.
HASKELL: ...put the key in, turn the starter, and pray--you know.
WIXON: Get a bunch of ethnics running it down the street.
HASKELL: Well, as you know, uh... um... everything you know is edited... so
this is only my recollection of how things went.... And I can't give you
dates, because I was never good at that--maybe somebody will shout dates
out as we--Jim Young says '73, but that's--
HASKELL: ...apropos of so many things--
DON BAILEY: Hike.
HASKELL: But the Bozo Bus was--and I guess still is--a slum dwelling over
there by Franklin Avenue and the Freeway. And my first knowledge of it was
that a... a Minn-Stfer who we never really saw much of and still don't,
Bruce Wright, was living there, and we had a few Minn-Stf meetings there.
It developed... the first I really paid any attention to it... I was
getting dissatisfied with the place I was living in and was looking around
for a new place and I heard rumored that Jim Young was going to be moving
into this building that... that Bruce Wright was in, and that he was going
to be having Don Blyly as his roommate, and I decided that that would be a
Fine Fannish Building to live in, or, it would be nice to live near Jim,
because--I never see enough of my friends; I'm lazy and I don't get out and
visit and things--and I thought living near Jim would enable me to see him
more. Little did I know.... And we all moved... Jim and Don and I all moved
in about the same time--I'm not sure if anybody else moved in right
then--but I became friends with the people who were caretakers, and when I
found out that they were quitting the job, I suggested to them, and
suggested to Jim and Don, that Jim and Don might like to take over as
caretakers. I, of course, was not crazy enough to do such a thing, but I
felt that if I were to get Jim and Don to do it, they might encourage the
Right Kind of people to move in. Which they did.
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