Still no Moon Colonies

Here’s how I was marking the occasion, 48 years ago:

Shot off my parents’ B&W television

While we’ve done amazing things with remote sensing and with robotic exploration, we haven’t done much more with manned exploration. Given the success of the robots, we couldn’t have gotten that much information for the same money with men. But as somebody who grew up on “the conquest of space” it’s still a major disappointment.

I have several rolls of such shots. They’re all Kodak Tri-X, bulk loaded, shot with my mother’s old Bolsey 35 I believe (I didn’t get my Miranda Sensorex until December of 1969). Developed with stainless steel tanks in a dish pan down by the laundry sink, contact printed in the waterless darkroom the other side of the basement.

The white bands diagonally across many pictures shows that the shutter speed of the camera wasn’t well-enough synced to the scan rate of the TV. The TV scan rate would be extremely accurate or the picture would be complete hash, so the shutter was off.  This was a leaf shutter, not a focal-plane shutter, which affects the symptoms.

This was roll 108; I started the numbering system at 100 to make room for filing older negatives as I found them and organized them.  This was so long ago that the negatives were in glassine sleeves.

Glassine sleeves!

A few of the individual photos:

Synchronicity

So, as you may have noticed recently I got a copy of Jerry Stearns’ old Mpls. in ’73 t-shirt from the surplus archive collection. It was in good enough shape that I scanned it, and gave a passing thought to maybe doing a modern edition—if I could get the various people involved, whoever they were, on board.

So I ran into Jerry Stearns early at Minicon, and confirmed that he thought it was a good enough idea. Also that the artwork was by Ken Fletcher (it’s not signed). And, even more useful, Jerry had with him a collection of paper prints from the same screen.  Those are much higher resolution, not as distorted, and much easier to scan.

The best scan seems to be the red channel of a 48-bit color scan of the version with blue ink on orange paper (contrast!).  With a bit of cleanup it currently looks like this:

Red channel from blue on orange paper print

So, I’m getting ahead of myself here, but it’s fun to work the scan and see what I can get. I guess I’d better talk to Ken soon!

Score from the Minn-StF T-Shirt Collection

I got possession of one of the spares of the shirt with this on it last night (the Minn-StF archives kept the best copy and however many copies they thought they needed). I had one of the original ones, back in the 1970s, but wore it out long ago. It was one of my favorites.

This particular one also has “Video Services” on the back, so I’m particularly happy to get this one now (a year ago, in time to wear in Kansas City, would have been even better, but I don’t think we knew we even had these in the t-shirt collection back then).

This may have been the first local fannish t-shirt; I don’t remember Minicon shirts before this for example.

They were made by local fan Jerry Stearns (now of Great Northern Audio Theater), as I remember it silk-screened by hand at home rather than through a commercial producer. I don’t know where the artwork came from; it doesn’t seem to be signed. Does anybody remember that?