LASFS Member Craig Miller posted the following in his Facebook page on the occasion of the first LASFS meeting at its new building, at 6012 Tyrone Ave. It is reprinted here with his kind permission. -- Karl Lembke, ed.
I posted this on my FB page about last night's "First Meeting" event and it was suggested I post it here, too. It was intended for people who might not be familiar with LASFS so there's no doubt information that you already know.
When I was 13 years old, I spent an afternoon with Ray Bradbury, talking to him about his life and work. While I was with him, he told me about this club he belonged to that he thought I should join: the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society. A few weeks later, I went to their meeting, had a good time, joined, and got involved. I'm not very actively involved anymore but last night I attended the group's first meeting in their new, larger "clubhouse".
A few weeks after my day with Bradbury, I attended my first LASFS meeting, then held in the downstairs level of an old rooming house in the mid-Wilshire area. I was certainly the youngest person there but was pretty much accepted as just an...other fan of the genre. I joined and started attending the weekly meetings. became active, and was involved for the next umpty-ump years (including ten years as chairman of the groups Board of Directors).
LASFS was founded in 1934 and is, as they say, "This world's oldest science fiction club". Over the years the organization has been home to countless fans of the genre, budding and professional writers and illustrators, and pretty much every "name" in the field has come by if not joined.
The group managed to buy its first "clubhouse" in 1973, a small building on Ventura Bl in Studio City. This clubhouse, in Van Nuys -- the third to be actually owned by the organization -- is significantly larger than the last one, in North Hollywood, which was bigger than the one before it. A great spread of food was put out for attendees and there seemed like 150 or more people were there for the event. I spent time with lots of old friends and a good time seemed to be had by all.
The clubhouse still needs lots of work. Nothing's been done to the outside of the place, including removing the signs for the previous occupants of the building. Inside, a lot's been done but a lot still needs doing, too. They need a sound system for the meetings. A curtains to separate the meeting room from the socializing rooms -- now separated by an open archway that allows easy access of people but noise as well. And the mountain of boxes of books and periodicals need to be unpacked into the new, greatly expanded library facility. They may even have enough room to put out all of the books they own. (And unlike a lot of places, it isn't a collection. It's a lending library.)