1970 TAFF Report

Elliot Shorter

Published 23 July 1970 in Locus 60 ed Charles N. Brown
Rekeyed by Richard Brandt

Introduction • A Shorter Odyssey

'TAFF, What's that?' I exclaimed as we sat around room 304 in City College's Finley-Center, listening to Charlie Brown discourse on the intricacies of fandom. We, the Evening Session Science Fiction Society of the City College of New York, neo-fans all back then in early 1962. 'It's the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund,' he answered. 'Which means what?' I snarled and he explained. 'Wow,' I thought. 'To be respected that much, that others would think you worthy of such an honor.' And so Time passed. Of the City College Club members, Marsha Elkin would marry Charlie Brown, Ed Meskys, who introduced us to Charlie would create Niekas and become 2nd Thain of the Tolkien Society, Frank Spellman would be revealed as the Lord Dunsany collector par excellence, Jake Waldman, Al Rachlin and Sheila Kamper would become convention fans, Bruce Newrock and Barry Green would be active in the formation and operation of the Society for Creative Anachronism's East Kingdom, Stew Brownstein would swear never to be an active fan and end up 2nd in command at a world con, Fred Lerner would create the Columbia SF Club and a bibliography group, and me, I'd just muddle around going to conventions, being in the army writing the odd loc here and there, and getting involved with Locus. And so it came to pass in the spring of 1969 that TAFF was faltering. Apathy gripped fandom. However a few fans remembered and pushed TAFF. The Locus staff collected ballots at the Disclave and administrator Steve Stiles noted that of the other ballots received, the Locus copies headed the list. But what has this all to do with me you ask. Fandom remained apathetic. The Trimbles announced for TAFF and no one else. Worry wreathed our heads. A one 'person' race would be disastrous. Who else could we get to run? What if someone nominated me? Hilarious thought! Never happen! I'd run, of course! That was in September. No one wanted to run. Finally Rotsler announced. A sigh of relief. A TAFF race. Then, horrors! Due to unforseen circumstances, the Trimbles must withdraw. Who do we get as a replacement? Bob Pavlat's name is heard in many quarters. And the comedy begins. Administrators Stiles extends nominating deadline for a month. Rumors say Bob Pavlat turns down an offer to run. Rumor confirmed. Deadline draws near. What now? One party race is death to TAFF. What to do? What to do? Chapter the next In Which a Locus Staff Member Takes a Hand.