Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Exploring the Wild Storage Locker

Digging through the locker was almost as bad as I thought it would be. It was very hot and very dusty; on the bright side, there were only cobwebs and dust, no spiders -- in particular, no black widow spiders. I hate spiders to begin with, and I'm afraid the conditions in the locker looked to me to be a good breeding ground for black widows, which do exist in these parts. So before going into each area, I would poke at it with a broom and brush as much dust and cobwebs out as I could find, then gingerly pull boxes and check them. The only spiders I found were little, non-black-widow, relatively harmless ones.

What I didn't find were copies of my first fanzine appearance, a column I wrote in a 'zine called Sensawunda, edited by Ben Adams and for which I wrote and for a while was nominal publisher (that is, I paid for the printing and Ben edited it). The first piece of fanwriting I had published was under the heading of "Longtalker's Lair." (I was a huge Elfquest fan in those days, and "Longtalker" was my EQ fan name -- even back in 1984, I knew myself that well.) In it, I gushed enthusiastically about my trip to L.A.con II, the 1984 Worldcon -- which was my first science fiction convention of any sort. I also talked about my plans to attend the following Worldcon, Aussiecon Two. I did not make the trip (and forfeited a hotel deposit because I couldn't figure out any way to get it back, it having been done by international postal money order -- I had no credit card in 1985, as I was only 18 years old). I had hoped to display copies of Sensawunda in the FGoH exhibit at CascadiaCon.

I did, however, find a whole bunch of other things, some of which will make their way into the exhibit depending on how much space I have and how easily I'm able to put them on the display. I found a lot of photographs from a period of time for which I was missing photos, so I can fill in the chronology. I was unable to find any production stills from The Zombie Legions and Those Darn Daleks, the two Doctor Who movies I directed (and in one case starred in and in the other co-wrote) in college. (Exception: I did find one set of photos from the Dalek Household Helper advertisement that forms part of the first episode of TDD.) I'm starting to think we didn't take many photographs during production, as we were too busy working on actually filming the episodes. (If they can fit it into the schedule, TZL and TDD will be on the CascadiaCon program, probably on Monday because I was really late getting the tapes to them.)

I found what I think is a complete run of MythInformation, the clubzine of the MythAdventures Fan Club. I founded MAFC and ran it for five years, and it was as head of MAFC that quite a few people first encountered me in the years before 1991. I also edited MythInfo during the later part of its run. After my 5 1/2 years running the club -- I'd committed to at least five years when I agreed to run the club during initial negotiations with WaRP Graphics, as the club came into existence via the comic book, not directly from the Robert Asprin novels -- I turned in the keys, and those of us who had worked on the club up until that time turned things over to a new bunch of fans: the club's first local chapter, located in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. As far as I know, they managed to produce one more issue of the clubzine before folding, and as I sent them most of the club's merchandise and signage and associated stuff, I have little of it left today.

I also found archive copies of my first at-con newsletter, SiliConnnections, which I edited at SiliCon '89. During the period 1989-1992, I was the go-to guy for doing at-con 'zines at Bay Area SF cons. Some people assumed I was going to do the at-con 'zine for ConFrancisco, but I never wanted that job -- I already had nine other jobs on ConFrancisco, and couldn't stomach any more besides that.

Also in the locker were more pieces of one of my better costumes -- one that I'm planning on displaying anyway, so I can now add some of the accessories, and I also found a reasonably good photo of me wearing the costume. It's not one I could wear today, as I weighed maybe 200 pounds at the time I first wore it. And I'm not going to say any more about the costume until after NASFiC, at which time I may be able to find a way to put the contents of my GoH Exhibit up on a web site somewhere.

Probably the only things that saved me from heatstroke were (a) I've lost 70 pounds in the last seven months (from 340 down to 270; still too heavy, but a big improvement), and (b) the locker itself was shady inside, although still hot. But whenever I stepped outside to have a better look at something, or when I moved boxes outside so I could have more room to work inside, the blast of heat from the central Sacramento Valley summer felt like walking into an oven. Foolishly, I had not brought any water with me. Although maybe that wasn't so foolish -- it acted as a limiting factor on how long I could work.

After about four hours, I had gone through most of the boxes, sifted out such things as I think have a chance of being useful in the exhibit, and decided that this was enough. I somehow managed to get everything back into the locker. (It usually seems to take more space going back in than it did coming out.) One of these days, I need to get some shelving and re-box much of the material in there. The boxes are stacked too high, and after years of storage, they are collapsing under their own weight. Of course, after all these years, I find that much of the stuff really wasn't worth keeping at the time, and I should throw it away. But that sort would take even longer and would require a trip to the recycling center afterward as well.

After finishing with the hot and dusty locker, I headed into town and checked into the Holiday Inn Express Yuba City. A shower followed by a dip in the pool have rarely felt so good. Holiday Inn Express is not a luxury hotel -- although it's probably the best hotel in Yuba City, which tells you a bit about Yuba City -- but after my trip to the UK, it certainly feels luxurious. The room is about 2.5 times the size of the rooms in which I stayed; there is a small refrigerator and microwave oven; and the internet access is included. (To be fair, while in Glasgow I stayed in the university dorms, where I had access to a shared kitchen and where internet access was included.) I understand that UK hotel rooms are all much smaller -- availability of space being the primary driver, I reckon -- but the rates charged for internet access in the UK seemed way too high to me, although I did pay them. I'm spoiled by conditions in the Bay Area and other places I've traveled in the US, I guess.

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