Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Coveted Thelma Award, part two

Having forged a couple of long-lasting relationships at the writers' workshop in L.A. -- Reaves and I have written a shitload of stuff together, TV, books, short stories --

Hmm. Maybe "shitload" isn't the descriptive word I want ...

Oh, well. Anyhow, we became friends and collaborators and we now visit on the flintphone fairly often. (that's the computer webcam connection, more about the name later, if I remember.)

George Guthridge and I wrote s few short stories together. He lives in Alaska now, and we talk from time to time.

When Sue Petrey died, I put together a few of her unpublished short stories for Ed Ferman, then the editor at F&SF.

I haven't kept in touch with the other folks, save now and a rare then.

For a time, there were gatherings of the Silverlake group. Somewhere along the way, somebody picked up an old steel advertising sign with a picture of a woman featured on it who became, for some reason, "Thelma." This became the "coveted Thelma Award, and was given to the person who, because of its size and shape, would have the most trouble getting it home. it was about the size of a tabloid newspaper or thereabouts.

At the end of the workshop, Thelma came home with me.

Sometime later, I managed to pass it along to somebody else, having dressed her up somewhat by attaching the sign to a corkboard in a wooden frame, using white porcelain knobs, thus making it even larger and harder to haul it around.

The award vanished along the way, and I have wondered for years who wound up with it.

There was much silliness amongst this group of folks. At one point, I did a cartoon of a hooded and robed Donald Duck-like character, complete with evil grin and a longhandled axe, on a letter I sent to Richard Kearns.

The Duck of Darkness ... Quack, quack, quack, quaaaaaaaaack ...

Dick, who was working at a print shop, copied the image and sent me a ream of paper with my name and address under the image. I used it for a letterhead until I ran out, or moved, whichever came first.

Later, I did a small sculpture of the Duck of Darkness, and painted it, using a coppery paint that stayed tacky, which I thought appropriate, and sent that to Reaves. He kept it on his fanboy toy shelf for years ...

We miss you, Thelma, and all the fun we had ...

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