Blake Bash

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Related terms: Southern California Slashbashers
See also: Slashbash
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The Blake Bash were rotating Blake's 7 fandom house parties that took place in Southern California in the late 1980s. Since Los Angeles is geographically spread out, with guests having to drive hours each way, fans would rotate the monthly parties throughout Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Orange Counties. As The Professionals fandom became more popular in the early 1990s, the group, numbering around 50 fans, decided to alternate the parties between the two fandoms rather than splitting. And, as more and more fandoms were added to the community, the name changed to the more generic "Southern California Slashbashers". Two popular events shared by the entire community were the Escapade slash convention held in Santa Barbara and Lily Fulford's Guy Fawkes party in Long Beach.

As of 2014, the group still meets today, almost 20 years after it began and numbers around 20 fans. However, as the group has aged and the Internet has made fandom more visible and diverse, access to the group has become restricted. New members must be sponsored by an existing member and carefully screened for compatibility in both fandoms and philosophy. The Yahoo Group mailing list is set to private and cannot be found by searching. In 2014, local fans set up a more open and accessible Meetup group for slash fans in the Los Angeles area.

In her February 2012 interview during the Escapade Oral History Project, long time member Kathy S. said:
It is about fandom, but it is more about friendships that you make in fandom and that you keep forever. Yes the common thread is fandom and usually slash fandom, but not always slash..the more important thing is that you're a fan... a willingness to share our passions....we share life, the good times, the bad times and we are there for one another...we're a support group and a family. And I think that is what fandom in general is....it is an experience that I would never ever give up. It has enriched my life. It has give me an appreciation for the world and a wider vision. And that is the true value of fandom. It makes you look at yourself and realize what is really important and to be able to share on many many levels. And that is what fandom is....and what Southern California fandom is.... ...the Southern California group is still going strong. We still meet every month, the core group now is — we’re down to about fifteen or eighteen, still sharing, still talking about fandom. When we get together, we talk about fandom, but we talk about other things, things that interest us. One of the women is very much into costuming, so she will bring examples of her current costuming and we share. We share life and I think that’s what’s really important about our group: we share life, we share our passions, we share the good times, we share the bad times, but we’re there for one another. We’re a support group, we’re family. I’m probably closer to people in fandom than I am with some of my own family, and I think that is what fandom is, not just the Southern California group, but fandom in general. I’ve made lifelong friends on three continents, and it’s an experience that I would never, ever give up, because it has enriched my life. It has given me an appreciation for the world, the wider vision of the world, and I think that, more than anything, is the true value of fandom. And it makes you look at yourself; it makes you realize what is truly, truly important, and to be able to share on many, many levels. So that is what fandom is and what the Southern California fandom is. [1]
Morgan Dawn remembers:
I was relocated to the Southern California area in the mid 1990s having to leave my family behind. I knew literally no one in the area. But every month I could drive - sometimes two hour each way - to meet with fellow fans. It was a lifeline for me and I was impressed how the group managed to navigate tensions and disagreements without splintering or blowing up. [2]

References

  1. Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with Kathy S
  2. personal recollections of Morgan Dawn