Len Moffatt Memorial

More than 60 fans attended the LASFS’ memorial for Len Moffatt on Saturday, January 22 at the clubhouse.

June Moffatt and her daughter Caty Konigsberg were there from the family.  Charles Lee Jackson II served as MC, introducing participants. Arlene Satin, LASFS President, and Karl Lembke, Chairman of the Board, were among the club officers who spoke.  

Ed Green said, “Len Moffatt was by any measure a great man.” Milt Stevens, who met Len at the first LASFS meeting he attended in 1960, when Milt was 17, noted while many fans got into feuds over the years, Len didn’t — he was laid back. Another fan added that when difficulties broke out Len would be the peacemaker.  

During the program Barry and Lee Gold led everyone in singing a filk song written by Len Moffatt, “The Old Fannish Trail” (to the tune of “The Old Chisholm Trail” [YouTube]). The verses contain many in-references, so the Golds added a page of footnotes to the lyric sheet. One of the more self-explanatory reads:

You can blame Claude Degler
For the Superfan plan
And you can blame “sci-fi”
On the Ackerman

The Golds also had us sing Lee’s composition about beloved LASFSians who have passed away, “When the (Patron) Saints Come Marching In” (to the obvious tune). In LASFS lore “patron saints” are members who have contributed a significant amount (originally $500) to the club building fund. The first verse goes:

Oh, when we’re at the LASFS Club
There are people we don’t see.
But Death did not Release them.
hey are ours eternally

 – playing on LASFS’ rule that once a member always a member because “Death does not release you, even if you die.”

David Gerrold’s tribute to Len, posted on Facebook while the memorial was under way, was read aloud by Karl Lembke. 

Barbara Harmon remembered when she and her late husband, Jim, double-dated with Len and June.

June Moffatt, who wore her Loscon propeller beanie to the event, spoke briefly. Then John Hertz, also wearing his beanie, was called up to pose with her. Hertz smiled, “I can think of few people who I am happier to bear a family resemblance.”

For the occasion Marty Cantor published a special collection of Len’s Califania Tales, nine autobiographical articles that originally ran in Marty’s No Award. There was a free copy for everyone there. It’s quite a well-designed zine. Len would have appreciated all the Rotsler cartoons adorning his work.

Some of the other fans present were Leigh Strother-Vien, Francis Hamit, Matthew Tepper, Hare Hobbs, Bill and Jane Ellern, Bill and Beverly Warren, Don Fitch, Woody Dodge, Marc Schirmeister, Stan Burns, Roger Hill, Gavin Claypool, Frank Waller, Joyce Sperling, Jerry Pournelle, Cathy Beckstead, John DeChancie, Tom Locke, Regina Reynante, and Connor Freff Cochran.

Update 01/24/2011: Corrected name of Marty Cantor’s fanzine.

2 thoughts on “Len Moffatt Memorial

  1. The notes to Len’s song were Len’s notes, not mine. June emailed me the lyrics and notes, so that’s how we published them. (If I’d written notes to that song, they’d have gone on for several pages.)

    I can send you the lyrics of both songs (and Len’s notes) if you wish.

  2. Um, Mike … the nine sections of Len’s autobiography was pubbed in my zine NO AWARD, not my older zine, HOLIER THAN THOU.

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