The photograph above depicts a ceremony of the San Luigi Orders on 15 August 1971 at “Ivory Towers”, Woodhaven Drive, Hollywood, California. Admitted as a Commandeur to the Order of the Lion and the Black Cross is the resident of that address, Alvin F. Germeshausen (1906-82), former Director of Industrial Relations for the State of California, arts administrator and literary critic. Chevalier Germeshausen is seated, having received the accolade, while to the left, San Luigi Vice-Chancellor Archbishop Frederick C. King proposes the toast to him. To the right stands the Grand Master, Prince-Abbot Edmond II, while a group of knights and dames of the San Luigi Orders look on.
Chevalier Germeshausen – or Sir Alvin, as he was known to his friends – furthered interest in some fascinating literary figures. He was active in the “Praed Street Irregulars”, the society devoted to August Derleth’s ingenious detective Solar Pons (founded by Luther Norris at Germeshausen’s home in 1966), and wrote for its journal “The Pontine Dossier”. He contributed an introductory essay to the 1979 reprint of “The Spirit of Bambatse” by H. Rider Haggard, and was noted as an authority on the work of Edgar Rice Burroughes. He was also a member of the Count Dracula Society, whose founder Dr. Donald Reed was admitted to the Order of Antioch on the same occasion as depicted above.
(From left: Terri Pinckard (of the Pinckard Science Fiction Writers’ Salon), Alvin F. Germeshausen, August Derleth. Photo credit: The Solar Pons Gazette)