conservative while the others seemed to be more ambitious. Roy and his wife I could
understand since they were used to that sort of thing and I suppose Valma is almost
always ambitious when it comes to food. On the occasions when I am the results have
not always been pleasing.
                        The fanzine that Roy produces, DYNATRON, would have been one
of the first I ever read, coming shortly after YANDRO and ALGOL (when it was still
a fanzine). In it I have always thought the name Roy uses.for himself (HORT) was
only to be taken in jest for his personality always comes over so pleasantly, even
when he's doing a hatchet job. And he is the same in person and (here is a fully
unpaid political announcement) I'm sure he would make an excellent TAFF winner.
Somehow we steered clear of fandom while we talked and ate but Roy is, like myself,
a public servant and the frank and honest exchange of views was most fruitful. I
guess that public services are more or less the same the world over but the system
the Americans use in handing out holidays sure had me confused. I wouldn't mind the
amount of time off that Roy gets but I gather I would have to had been in my job a
lot longer than I have been to gain such a pleasant recompense.
                                                              The first event for
the afternoon was the auction and it was under the control of Bob Vardeman. He was
also the auctioneer and a splendid job he did of it. There was a lot of art sold
off, most of it was not very good and received a like reception, but some was good
and the audience bid the price way up beyond what Valma or I would have been willing
to pay. The stacks of paperbacks were also met on their merits; some of the rare
items brought high prices and Bob, being a sharp business man, would sell books in
lots and the poor person who wanted the mint condition "Little Fuzzy" or "Spawn of
the Death Machine" would also have to pay out for unwanted things like the latest
"Perry Rodan". For myself the most interesting items were stacks of fanzines, most
were vaguely interesting but hidden away in them were copies of "Gegenschein" 2
from Eric Lindsay which I had lost somewhere and a couple of issues of "The Mentor"
by Ron Clarke. So as each bundle of fanzines came up I had to ask Bob if any of
these treasures were in them and he seemed to make sure that the worst crud
surrounded the ones I wanted. Something like $3 isn't too much to pay for three
fanzines which I, at least, regard as rare but being lumbered with all that other
stuff was a bit daunting, especially if I was faced with carting it around with me.
But nobody else seemed too keen to take it off my hands.
                                                        Valma and I were sitting in
the front row and on the fIoor in front of us were George & Lana Proctor. Towards
the end of the auction we got into a conversation about fanzines, probably because
George couldn't understand why I wanted all that crud that I seemed to be collecting.
From fanzines to comparisons between Australia and Texas is only a small step when
those talking are Texans and Australians. In the course of this report I'm sure I'm
going to bore you readers to distraction by saying that so-and-so is a nice/pleasant/
interesting person but there are only a limited number of ways to say that we were
really glad of the chance to meet so many nice people so you might as well get used
to the idea. Anyhow, George & Lana are two very nice people.
                                                            After a while Ed Bryant
came along and we got onto writing. The more I consider it the moreI stand in awe
of the writers of fiction, not because they aren't people like anybody else but
because they really get in there with their typers and their ideas and write. I don't
even envy them their fame as writers, I only envy them their capacity for mind
boggling amounts of HARD work. Okay, so I've written a play or two and more than
enough music but I don't regard any of that as HARD work, that's what the writer
does in describing backgrounds and filling in atmosphere without being too
obvious. People like George and Ed, I salute them but they can keep it.

For dinner a whole bunch of convention members invaded the Pancake Inn and somehow
convinced the staff there to line up a lot of tables so all fifteen or twenty of us
could have the pleasure of eating at the same table. Somehow, earlier on, Valma and
I had mentioned such great Australian comedians as Paul Hogan and Aunty Jack (if
that's the right word in her case). Describing ethnic humor is always difficult
especially when it comes from Australia where it seems to be, in comparison with most
other forms, rude, crude, vulgar and rather brutal. It is not easy to get over an
idea of why Aunty Jack saying "I'll rip your bloody arms off" throws us into