The OAF (Oklahoma Alliance of Fandom) 40th Anniversary Reunion, where Buddy Saunders, Bart Bush, Don Maris, John Wooley, Steven Fears, Jerry Weist, Bud Plant, and other key figures of early comic book fandom gathered to share memories, re-establish friendships, and even buy and sell comic books, original art, and other memorabilia.
I was born the year OAF was formed, but I was treated like an honorary member of the fabled fan club (which once boasted such legends as Al Williamson, Alex Toth, and Reed Crandall among its membership). Buddy was kind enough to invite me to the invitation-only event, since he knows I have a strong interest in comic book history.
Bart Bush, who was one of the primary editors of the OAF fanzine (which was published to inform club members of meetings, conventions, and comic book news), discusses early fandom with Buddy and Rick Kelsey (a friend and fellow writer who accompanied me to the reunion).
Robert A. Brown, one of the founding members of OAF and an editor of the OAF fanzine. Back in the day, OAF had more than 200 members and was responsible for hosting a number of major conventions, including Wintercon and various Multicons. Guests at their shows included Buster Crabbe, Jim Steranko, Spanky McFarland, Will Eisner, and other famous figures.
Buddy checks out some of the merchandise available for sale at the reunion.
Buddy Saunders with his lovely wife, Judy. Buddy owns Lone Star Comics, and during the late '80s and early '90s, I managed one of his stores. These days, in addition to numerous other writing gigs, I crank out comic book descriptions for his website, mycomicshop.com.
There were a number of activities scheduled at the OAF reunion, including an auction, movies, and a trivia contest. However, impromptu talking, laughing, and networking were obviously everyone's favorite way to spend the day.
Comic book historian Rick Kelsey discusses early comic book conventions with Steven Fears, a frequent contributor to the OAF fanzine. I was flattered to discover that Fears still suscribes to the Comics Buyer's Guide and recognized my name from reading some of my reviews.
As the saying goes, a good time was had by all, including me, who had fun being an OAF for a day.