The Minn-Stf Floundering Fathers Panel
part three

HASKELL: Don't ever tell Him that.(13)
YOUNG: Yeah.
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 wowie 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 backed out.
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--
YOUNG: Sky-U-Mah.
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 see today--
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--
YOUNG: Schwartz.
BUCKLIN: Walt Schwartz, okay, right.
YOUNG: But we were playing music before then--I can remember doing "Yellow Submarine" in--
LOUNSBURY: "All Along the Watchtower."
YOUNG: 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--
VOICE: 1066
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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