A Piece of the Action/Issues 41-50

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Issue 41

A Piece of the Action 41 was published in August 1976 and contains 10 pages.

first page of issue #41
  • Editor: Helen Young, Karolyn Popovich, KathE Donnelly
  • News of the Stars: William Shatner on The 20,000 Pyramid and more
  • Revival news
  • Book announcements: Letters to Star Trek and more
  • Announcement: The New Trek Times
  • Dear Grace Lee—the two questions and answers, clearly softballs and probably manufactured—What did she think about her first convention? "I'm overwhelmed with the love and the devotion of the fans to the stars and to the shows. Makes me proud to have been a part of it." And why was Yeoman Rand taken out of the show? "NBC was worried about Captain Kirk's strong attachment to the yeoman. They thought a new love affair every week would help the ratings so they brought in a new girl for every show."
  • the editor comments about the viability of small fan-run cons: "MUDD'S SUPERC0N scheduled for June 4–6 in Memphis, TN, sent out an announcement on May 16 of their cancellation, citing lack of interest since only a few fans had purchased advance memberships. They thanked all who had offered co-operation and help, and immediately commenced refunding all money. You have noticed in APOTA "Con Notes" the cancellation or postponement of several other cons recently. This points up the fact that if small fan-run cons are to continue to exist, they must have fan support IN ADVANCE. As the announcement states, a 'few pre-registrations "do not provide an adequate financial basis. We needed just a little more help than we received." Without advance funds, a con committee cannot hold their convention facilities, arrange for guests, pay for films and episodes, etc. All these require advance deposits. It is absolutely necessary that fans who plan to attend an amateur fan-run con register as far in advance as possible-tit's the only way to assure the con will be held and then will have many interesting and entertaining features. On the other side, it is equally important that amateurs thinking of putting on a con first give serious consideration to the financial aspects before committing themselves, as well as doing a great deal of careful pre-planning to ensure a successful con, and one that does not cause them to lose money."
  • there is a con report for HOUSTONCON/STAR TREK '76 (June 17–20, Houston, TX): "Friendly was the key word...George Takei was warm and outgoing, never showed he was tired of answering dumb questions--though he was overheard assuring Laura Virgil that he was "bushy-eyed and bright-tailed!" Grace Lee Whitney was truly charming; a very sweet person...she and husband Jack Dale were both very polite and more than co-operative with everyone. Johnny Weissmuller always spoke to everyone nicely around the hotel as he encountered them, and is still very much Tarzan! The people were friendly and the con committee, though disorganized, very helpful. There was a fairly good mockup of the shuttlecraft, it felt weird to be in it. The lights in the dealer's rooms were out for three hours on Saturday, and the hotel ice and coke machines always broken—just to mention the glitches. Not too many ST dealers—they were greatly outnumbered by the nostalgia dealers."
  • there is an ad for The Night of the Twin Moons: "If you enjoyed Visit to a Weird Planet, here is a whole novel by the same author, Jean Lorrah. It's a Sarek-Amanda adventure-romance... the role-reversal story you've heard so much about!"
  • art by Sue Uran and Flo Dubowitz

Issue 42

A Piece of the Action 42 was published in September 1976 and contains 12 pages.

first page of issue #42
  • Editor: Helen Young
  • News of the Stars: Gene Roddenberry's forthcoming record Inside Star Trek and more
  • there are the results of a poll done by the STSTC
  • Revival News
  • Ad for The Star Trek Concordance
  • Dear Grace Lee
  • One Small Step, One Giant Step: space shuttle news: "We have received word that the first week of the fan letter campaign, the White House recieved and reported to NASA no less than 10,000 letters! That is really in the spirit of the TrekFan."
  • Ad for new zine Spectrum
  • a long letter by Mandi Schiltz about the WSA Program
  • the art is by Laura Virgil, Russell Young, Tim Estiloz, Gennie Summers, Edward J. Wojcik, Cheree Cargilll


Issue 43

A Piece of the Action 43 was published in October 1976 and contains 12 pages.

first page of issue #43
  • Editor: Helen Young
  • News of the Stars: Gene Roddenberry testifies during House Communications Subcommittee hearings about television's family hour, and more
  • Revival News: Star Trek movie will begin filming in 1977 and more
  • there are con reports for Vul-Con #3, Intercon, Space... the Final Frontier, and "Star Trek Bi-Centennial-10"
  • a fan is trying to start a costume research library and is asking for help with donations of books and sewing patterns
  • a fan has an ad offering to paint other fans in fantasy settings: "Imagine yourself in an incredable [sic] ST, SF or fantasy adventure. Now imagine that adventure made into a lovely full color, hand painted picture for a very reasonable price. Just send exact details of the scene and a clear picture of yourself..." Prices started at 9x12 for $25.00 to 18x24 for $59.00
  • Help needed from William Theiss to start a costume research library
  • Dear Grace Lee answers the questions: do you like singing or acting better, and is that your real hair?
  • the STW thanks about 35 fans for donations of money and stuff
  • there is an ad for the 1977 Star Trek Welcommittee Calendar-Datebook
  • Book announcements: Roddenberry has signed a contract to do an ST novel and more
  • the STW is now selling silk-screened t-shirts with the STW logo on it
  • art in this issue is by KathE Donnelly, Cheree Cargill, and Flo Dubowitz
  • there is an ad for the pro book, "The Star Trek Reader" (E.P. Dutton, 1976, it was to include 21 novelized episodes adapted by James Blish): "...the publishers have made it possible for STW to participate in the distribution of this book, thus enabling us to raise much-needed operating funds. Since this will help you, the fans, we hope you will purchase a copy of 'The Star Trek Reader' thru STW." The wording of the ad is an example of the fine line the STW straddled—it was neither an official arm of Paramount and Roddenberry, nor was it an entirely independent fan organization, beholden only to itself—it depended too heavily on its relationship to TPTB. The STW was definitely a case of you-scratch-my-back-and-I'll-scratch-yours organization that other fan publications and organizations emulated but, aside from Interstat, did not come close to the STW's intensity. See TPTB's Involvement and Interference.

Issue 44

first page of issue #44
graph showing increasing ST fannish activities; one interesting note is that the numbers of zines and clubs has exploded, while the pro-books have remained flat, click to read

A Piece of the Action 44 was published in November 1976 and contains 14 pages. Editor: Helen Young.

  • The Big "E" Flies Again (report on the space shuttle)
  • Star Trek's Shining Hour by Herta Snaider (report from the launch of the space shuttle)
  • ABC Salute by Jean Lorrah (report on ABC using Star Trek clips in connection with launch of the space shuttle)
  • Ad for Inside Star Trek, an LP record by Gene Roddenberry and other stars: "Inside Star Trek is a full-length long-playing album devoted to Star Trek, in the actual words and voices of the people who made it happen. What was Spock's childhood like? Was there really a feud between the two stars? When did the network executives start to invade Federation territory..."
  • Ad for Sol Plus 3: "Though our prices have increased 120%, our contents are up 400%."
  • An ad for Tomorrow's Treks Vol 1.
  • Revival News
  • there is a graph (by computer!) showing the increasing fannish activities of Star Trek fans, see image; the accompanying explanation reads: "DIRECTORY STATISTICS Stephen E. Clarke, STW Directory Data Processing Manager In view of our proximity in time to Star Trek's tenth anniversary, I thought it would be a good idea to publish the graph below--to let everyone know how ST has grown in those 10 years. It represents the results of a STW Directory survey as plotted by computer. Note that the parameter being graphed is the number of active listings in each Directory category, not the number of items available. Inactive or disbanded listings are not included"! The significance of this graph is the increasing number of fans sufficiently interested in ST to become active, either by forming/joining a club or publishing/contributing to a zine, and demonstrates the recent, strong upward trend in ST fan activities."
  • Dear Grace Lee, she answers two questions, one about singing and shyness, the other about how to get local disc jockeys to play her new record
  • The Ubiquitous Star Trek - reporting Star Trek news and events from across the world
  • Patterns if Publicity - recognition of those Star Trek fans who requested the Welcommmitte newsletters be distributed around their areas
  • Ad for the Trek Times
  • Announcement of a fanzine auction to benefit the Welcommitte newsletter
  • Financial Report for the 1975-76 fiscal year. The report shows an operating loss of $4000
  • An ad for The Night of the Twin Moons.: "... now in its second printing... Read the novel everyone's been talking about—the central work of a brand-new Star Trek universe! The first novel by Jean Lorrah, author of Visit to a Weird Planet."
  • An ad for Universe Beyond
  • Gallery of STWers - photos of newsletter subscribers. Photos were originally printed in The Halkan Council and were taken by Shirley Huang at the Star Trek Convention 1976 and SekWester*Con 1976.

Issue 45

A Piece of the Action 45 was published in December 1976 and contains 10 pages.

first page of issue #45
holiday greetings aimed as some fans, artist is Laura Virgil
  • Editor: Sharon Ferraro
  • Revival news
  • there is a full-page Christmas and New Year greeting from STW
  • News of the stars: 3500 people attend Gene Roddenberry's lecture in Cincinnati, Ohio, and more
  • Dear Grace Lee, she says, yes, she really did kiss Captain Kirk in "The Enemy Within," she likes the blooper reel because it shows "what a happy family we were," and that her measurements are 5'7", 118 pounds, 36-26-36, and she stays thin (because "actresses have to be very slim") by consuming 800 calories a day and working out daily at the gym for an hour
  • Book Announcements: Bantam to publish Roddenberry's version of the Star Trek movie that Paramount turned down, and more
  • New products: Dr. Pepper to bring out Star Trek glasses and more, there is a full-page ad for "Starfleet Command, INC." a store that advertises, among many other things, "communicators" Vulcan ears, braid kits, phaser replicas...[1]
  • there is a full-page ad from TSR describing their polyhedra and percentile dice, as well as another full-page ad for "the hottest thing since Dungeons & Dragons, "Metamorphosis Alpha," a science fiction role playing game
  • Computing, Dear: quiz and questions by Cheree Cargill
  • art is by C. Lee Healy (reprinted from Menagerie #10 and Laura Virgil


Issue 46

A Piece of the Action 46 was published in January 1977 and contains 10 pages.

first page of issue #46
  • Editor: Laura R. Virgil
  • Revival news
  • Tribute to Trek Power, by Helen Young
  • News of the Stars: Gene Roddenberry's Spectre scheduled to be shown on NBC next spring (filming yet to begin), and more
  • Quote of the month
  • Dear Grace Lee answers two questions: how old are you? and is it easy or hard to talk to Trekfans
  • New STW Mail room
  • A salute to Shirley Maiewski, by Helen Young; she has read and forwarded or answered 25,000 letters in three years and her entire house has "been converted to resemble a Post Office"
  • there is ad for Sol Plus #3
  • an ad for The Castaways by Mary Lou Dodge
  • New products: AMT has model kits for Enterprise, Romulan and Klingon ships, and more
  • there is an ad for The Sounds of Star Trek
  • Book announcements: Doubleday has snapped up Joan Winston's latest book: The Making of the Trek Conventions, and more

Issue 47

A Piece of the Action 47 was published in February 1977 and contains 10 pages.

first page of issue #47
  • Editor: Kathe Donnelly, Karolyn Popovich
  • News of the Stars: Gene Roddenberry is doing a film for Paul McCartney, and more
  • Revival news
  • a fan, Jean Stevenson, reports on some fans' trip to the White House to meet William Gorog, economic adviser to President Ford; it was as follow-up to the naming of the space shuttle, Enterprise
  • Book Announcements: Susan Sackett's Letters to Star Trek, and more
  • the editors warn fans against purchasing "ST episodes at an unbelievable price" from a group called "Stardate 1977" out of Houston; they do not have permission from Paramount to sell them
  • Happy 4th anniversary of the Star Trek Welcommittee's A Piece of the Action
  • Dear Grace Lee answers some question about cons and her career
  • there are announcements for Star Con Denver (May 7–8, 1977), Star Trek Con (June 24–27, 1977, moved to Kansas City, MO), and Star Con—San Diego (Sept 30-Oct, 1977)
  • two fans, Tommy Craig and Malcolm Graham, present the STW Blind Services with 100 reel and cassette tapes for that library; another fan named Mike Marshall donates another 50 "C-60 cassettes" for the same purpose
  • fans can now purchase some Star Trek sheets from Wamsutta
  • there is an ad for Full Moon Rising
  • An ad for Fesarius
  • An ad for The Human Factor #1
  • Star Trek Goes to the White House, by Jean Stevenson - space shuttle news
  • an add for Night of the Twin Moons

Issue 48

A Piece of the Action 48 was published in March 1977 and contains 10 pages.

first page of issue #48
  • Editor: Laura Virgil and Cheree Cargil
  • Cover art by Cheree Cargil
  • Announcement that Helen Young was stepping down as chair and that Shirley Maiewski was taking over; there is a tribute to Helen Young by Shirley Maiewski
  • Revival news
  • Announcement of the creation of a circulating library for Star trek stories by Susan LaLoge: "Do you like to read (or write) Star trek stories? Here's an organization you've got to join. It's a circulating library, of sorts, and operated for fun, not profit, so everyone can afford it. The initial deposit is $1 for bookkeeping fee, and $2 Xerox deposit. (In case you lose a story, we can get it back into circulation without delay). Stories will come to you in turn from the person ahead of you on the list, and you will mail them to the next person. Simple, no? Writers of course get no cash reward, but if they care to type their address on the bottom of their story, will get all the advice they can stand from readers....Writers are requested to send two copies of their stories and KEEP A THIRD! (Don't learn this the hard way like I did)."
  • Patterns of Publicity
  • Computing Dear by Cheree Cargill - answers to readers trivia and technical questions
  • Dear Grace Lee answers two questions: how tall is William Shatner and was that her in an old movie? Her answers: "5'10"" and "yes"
  • The Ubiquitous Star Trek - Star Trek fandom in the news
  • an ad for Never and Always
  • the South Bay Trekkies in San Pedro, CA are hosting a one-day mini-con called "Fan-Con" on Sat. April 9, 1977. There will be a small art show and a dealer's table
  • there is an announcement that Mandi Schultz is "no longer handling the Star Trek Division of WSA"
  • fans have been asking STW if the movie needs their help as it may get it done sooner, but Susan Sackett and STW says only professionals can work on the movie
  • there is an ad for the "Roddenberry Tapes," interviews on cassette tape sold by "Media Spotlight/Irjax Enterprises"
  • there is a full-page ad (2-sided at that) for Ansehll Miniatures
  • this issue contains an ad for Star Trek Primer: A Child's Garden of Space

Issue 49

A Piece of the Action 49 was published in April 1977 and contains 10 pages.

first page of issue #49
  • there is a plea to fans to support The Fantastic Journey, a show for which D.C. Fontana has written a script; she writes "One letter isn't much for you to write. Several hundred letters could give 'The Fantastic Journey' a chance to do a full season starting in the fall. Remember eight letters expressing dislike and none expressing approval once got a show cancelled! You saved Star Trek twice. If you have found you really like Varian, Willoway, Scott, Liana, Fred, and Sil-L (the cat), and you would like to see more of their adventures, write to NBC. It would be a tremendous help, and I thank you." This request is an example of the fine line this newsletter walked regarding TPTB's Involvement and Interference.
  • a fan writes in that there was a segment on The Lawrence Welk show where Bobby Burgess and Cissy King do a dance number to the rock version of the Star Trek theme song on a set that resembled a lunar landscape with a starry backdrop
  • Dear Grace Lee has two questions from fans: one was about her and Shatner's kids appearing in "Miri" and the other from a fan wanting to know how to break into show business
  • there is a mention of the explicit het zine, Grup
  • there is a full-page (2-sided) ad for Enterprise Incidents by Jim Van Hise
  • "'Space: 1999' isn't high art, but it is Science Fiction, and it did seem to improve in the second season."—Faint praise to be sure, and this issue has a plea from some fans to write letters to save Space:1999

Issue 50

A Piece of the Action 50 was published in May 1977 and contains 8 pages.

first page of issue #50
  • Dear Grace Lee answers two questions: why do you change clothes so often at cons, and how does your husband deal with your friendliness towards fans?
  • an announcement for Vul-Con #4 to be held June 10–12, 1977 at the American International Hotel in New Orleans
  • there is a yet another plea, and capitalization on fannish currency and goodwill, from one of TPTB, Susan Sackett, asking for fans to write other TPTB and demand that a show Gene Roddenberry is involved with be made into a series. "Spectre" is the show, and she gives detailed instructions as well as asking fans to to make sure they write after the show has actually aired; "... at the moment it was only scheduled as a two-hour 'Movie of the Week.' However, NBC may consider it as a weekly series if enough people show an interest. You did it before with Star Trek -- you can do it again!"
  • the STW chairperson has this message about neutrality: "To the members of STW: I am sure you all realize what a tremendous job it is to try to take over the Chairmanship from Helen Young. I am doing my very best to try to digest the reams of material she has sent me, and to remember WHERE it was I saw something about a particular problem. I hope you will help me in any way possible, and put up with my mistakes. A point has come to my attention that I feel needs talking about. It refers to members of STW appearing on various panels at conventions. We are pleased when we are recognized in this way, and urge anyone who has the opportunity, to do so. However, PLEASE remember that STW stays neutral on ALL arguments - does NOT take sides - and does NOT run down ANYONE in fandoml We do not make comments that might be our own personal opinion IN PUBLIC. If someone' is going to be on a panel that discusses any other club, convention, or so-called "rip-off artist", we ask that you do NOT wear your STW badge, nor do you make comments in the name of the Welcommitee. It has been brought to our attention that just such a thing happened at a convention in New York last year, and it left a bad image of STW in the minds of a number of fans. Please remember our image - it is fragile enough. I thank you all, Shirley S. Maiewski."
  • there is a full-page flyer for Space Con #4
  • Helen Young, former chairperson, comes out temporarily with this statement regarding those who are in the fandom for self-interest, and how to ferret them out: "There's something that needs to be said regarding fans who volunteer for participation in STW. I think we all are proud of STW, and the way to keep it an organization to be proud of is for all STWers to be sharp and knowledgeable, capable and reliable, and at the same time friendly, interested, and helpful--not only so fans will appreciate and enjoy their STW contact, but so we'll all enjoy working with each other. We now have literally hundreds of fans volunteering to participate in STW every year—that number increases as we get better known and maintain a fine reputation in fandom. Unfortunately, some of those volunteering are doing so out of self-interest or a desire for self-importance...they're more concerned with what membership in STW can do for them than for what they can do for STW and ST fans. There are also always a certain number of totally unqualified people who volunteer, as well as a scattering of ding-dongs/turkeys/nerds...and occasionally a thoroughly undesirable person. We neither need nor want these kinds of people in STW—they cause problems within STW, and harm our reputation. We have already had some unhappy experiences with a few unfortunate choices of VWs in the past. In a few instances, prior knowledge of undesirability has saved us from signing up people who would have caused major problems. There is obviously a definite need for thorough checking and screening of volunteers If we are to staff STW with the finest people. To do this we need the co-operation of every STWer. If you know someone really desirable, send that Information to the Personnel DC; likewise if you know someone undesirable, notify the Personnel DC. A short note will do, and you need not go into gory detail--simply saying "I recommend" or "I do not recommend" would be sufficient. Especially send word to Personnel DC on someone you hear or know plans to write with the intention of volunteering. This info will help Personnel Dept. build up valuable background material) on possible volunteers... and help us sign up outstanding people and avoid signing up the BAD NEWS types... There are many ways in which impressions can be deceiving, and the double check with Personnel Dept. might uncover that the person is known personally by another STWer to be one of those classic types we don't want: The Rumor-Spreader; The Pest; The Name-Dropper; The Gossip; The I-Know-Everything-About-ST type; The Big-Talk, No-Work type; The Promise-But-Never-Deliver type; and all the others that you are as familiar with as I am."

References

  1. "Starfleet Command Inc." was apparently in trouble with the law in 1979. "Whilst going through the Star Trek Welcommittee N/L no.74, we came across an item regarding a company in California called "Starfleet Command Inc.' which merchandises ST material. Apparently this company is currently being investigated for possible mail fraud. So, if any of you have ordered items from this company and haven't received them, your complaints should be directed to the postal inspector in Los Angeles... This sort of thing is not an isolated case, and we strongly recommend you only send money to reputable suppliers." -- from Beyond Antares #29