Walt Liebscher was one of the most prominent fans of the early 1940's: editor of one of the top fanzines of the times (Chanticleer), a member of the Battle Creek Slan Shack with Al Ashley, E. E. Evans and Jack Widenbeck, a close friend of Bob Tucker (with whom he popularized the cult of the Rosebud), a dedicated fantasy bibliophile, and much etc. After his move to Los Angeles with the rest of the Slan Shackers late in 1945 he gradually faded from the fan scene, though he has remained in peripheral contact to this day, occasionally attending local conventions and such. The poem on the next page originally appeared in Boyd Raeburn's A Bas in 1956, and as far as I know it's Liebscher's last fanzine contribution, though more recently he'd had fantasy stories published in such professional zines as Rogue.

(The poem, by the way, has been set to music -- by Liebscher, who performed it one night in 1958 during the Solacon. It is, if anything, even more enjoyable heard that way.)

I Want To Pass Away In Pasadena


Sung tremulously:
I want to pass away in Pasadena
In the middle of the Rose Parade
I'd just love to pass away in Pasadena
And then my fame and fortune would be made
I want to jump off a platform
Higher than a steeple
I want to do myself in
In front of a million people
That's - why - I
Want to pass away in Pasadena
In the middle of the Rose Parade
(Spoken, to schmaltzy background)
Oh, I can just see it now.
Millions of people straining their eyes
to see the hundreds of gaily festooned floats
slicing through the early morning smog of New Year's Day.
And of course my float will be the biggest and
highest of them all. Millions of lapis lazuli orchids
rippling over a rose colored fountain.
Liberace playing the Warsaw Concerto on an organ
fashioned of three million one hundred and sixty nine
bird of paradise plumes. And there am I, standing
on a chrysanthemum tower, 700 feet high, clad in a
long flowing cape of sea green purple forget-me-nots.
I can hear the crowd roaring as I doff my cape with a flourish,
standing there adorned with nothing but a sky blue pink
orchid covering my breathtaking manhood. Suddenly,
with a movement as lithe and soothing as a ripply grey dawn,
I'll plunge a golden dagger in my heart, and as the scarlet
glory of my virgin blood ripples down the glorious muscles
of my washboard stomach, I'll jump and soar down to my
death, through a thousand layers of aspidistras, on to a
damp sponge soaked in ambrosia and fairy dust.
That's - how - I'll ...
Pass away in Pasadena
In the middle of the Rose Parade
What a heavenly way to die
In Pasadena in the middle of the Rose Parade.

(data entered by Judy Bemis)