Ozark Science Fiction Association

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OSFA, Ozark Science Fiction Association, was a St. Louis-area club which was founded in 1965 to unite the various small fan groups in Greater St. Louis.

After a chance meeting in a bookstore between Jim Hall and Ray and Joyce Fisher, Hall and his son, Dave Hall, hosted a meeting in their home to organize OSFA. Other fans attending included the Fishers, Hank Luttrell, Rich Wannen, Harold Steele and his son, Jack Steele.

It grew to be a fairly large club, with 50–60 members and fairly oriented towards fanzines. At first, meetings were at members' homes with 20-30 people present. They later moved to the Main Branch of the St. Louis Public Library and then to the St. Louis Museum of Natural History when Donn Brazier, a member, was a curator. Joyce Fisher described the museum meeting place as "a charming room dominated by a fireplace and shelves of curious exhibits."

An invitational club, The Saturday People was a fanzine fan spin-off of it. A comics club, GraFan, was affiliated.

Later members included Leigh Couch, Norbert Couch, Chris Couch, Lesleigh Couch, Mike Couch, Pam Janisch, Sue Robinson, Jim Reuss, Bob Schoenfeld, Doc Clark, Chester Malon, Donn Brazier, Paul Willis, Sim Pierce, Jim Theis, Gary Mattingly and Ron Whittington.

OSFA sponsored Ozarkon and the St. Louis in '69 Worldcon bid and the resulting convention, St. Louiscon, the 1969 Worldcon.

St. Louiscon proved very stressful and after the Worldcon, the club lost key members like Joyce Fisher, who moved to New York; Hank and Lesleigh Luttrell, who went off to college; Dave Hall, who gafiated, and Rich Wannen, who was drafted. Additionally, the influx of younger members changed the club and it developed a reputation for rowdiness, which alienated the older members. The club lasted into the early ’70s — the last Ozarkon was in 1972 — and organized fandom in St. Louis did not again arise until later in the ’70s when the St. Louis Science Fiction Society was formed.

In 1967, its president was John Steele; Douglas O. Clark was prez in 1970.

Its clubzines were Osfan and Sirruish.

J. T. Rikosh Award[edit]

OSFA awarded the monthly J. T. Rikosh Award, which seems to have been a kind of booby prize like the Vorzimer Award or the Fan-Dango Award. According to Osfan 13 (November 1970, p. 28):

This award, named after that noble OSFA artist, Jay T. Rikosh, is presented once each month at the official meeting of the club to a person justly disserving of such honorium. The award is presented and awared to any fan disserving of and herewith are presented the reasons for such presentation. For conduct above and beyond the call of Reason, Sanity, Sobriety, and Sincerity and while being totally inane, quite sublimely. Due to the high rank and distinction of recieving this award no fan may recieve this award in any two consecutive months. If the fan or person so chosen to be honored is not a member of OSFA (The Ozark Science Fiction Association) they will be presented with an honary membership in the club for the duration of their thirty day term as Rikosh Award winner. Furthermore, the winner of the JTR award has the full permission, of the noted artist of reknown, to use the name of Jay T. Rikosh as their own during the month that they bear this honor.... This will be a monthly award of great distinction (infamy) that will be both an honor and sort of an embarressment to win.

Of the three local winners thus far, Jim Theis, Ronald Whittington, and Robin Gronemeyer, they have one thing in common that earned this award for them. They are popular members of the club that did or created, or acted in a dunderheaded fashion. The award is never given to someone that is disliked or unpopular. It is a peculiar kind of popularity award, but it is that. Much like to all of you possible and potiential award winners out there.

Club 19651970s
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