Fan Hilton

At start of the 60s, many members of LASFS lived in so-called Fan Hilton (or, sometimes, Fan Hillton with two "L"s.) According to Ted Johnstone, it was "a big old house on [West] Eighth Street. It had once been a rooming house, and sported seven bedrooms upstairs, two huge gathering rooms, a studio, a back workroom, a large kitchen, and miscellaneous closets downstairs. It was more or less love at first sight." It was named from Fan Hill, an area around White Knoll and Figueroa Terrace where many of the residents lived prior to moving into the house.

The full-time residents included Bruce Pelz, Ted Johnstone, Bjo and John Trimble, Jack Harness, and Ernie Wheatley.

There were many part-time and transient residents, including the improbable Karu Beltran who was a magician by trade, and an accomplished sleight-of-hand artist and also an accomplished cook, which made him invaluable to the residents of the Fan Hilton. (He was once sketched by Bjo standing at the stove over a huge pot, with a tentacle writhing over the edge.) He had an old car parked behind Fan Hilton, which was said to contain at least one of everything in the world. Once, Bjo needed a mortar and pestle for a spice recipe she was working on, and Karu had one in the car's glove compartment. Another time, the fans in the Hilton wanted to watch a special TV program that had been advertised, but they didn't have a TV set. Karu excused himself, and returned from his car with one. "Just a minute, I think I've got one in my car" became a catchphrase in L.A. fandom.

The Fan Hilton was site of much fan activity, from fanzines to convention planning to parties. Many fanzines were produced in the former dining room, and duplicated by mimeograph in an area of the house that used to be a back hallway. LASFS met in the large downstairs living room.

In early 1961, fans were forced to move out, as the building was torn down for redevelopment. Ted Johnstone later wrote, "The night we finished moving out, I came back with Bruce Pelz for a last look around. The electricity had been turned off for the last time, and we went in the wide open front door with a flashlight. I stood in the hall downstairs and looked around, and thought about what a lot of fun we had had in this house, and all the wonderful things that had gone on in there in the last year and a half. Fandom was poorer for its loss."

The next stop was 222 South Grammercy.