Remembering Walt Daugherty

AKA Mr. Hobby...

“Mr. Hobby” was the apt title bestowed on Walt by Ron McCoy, host of KFI radio’s long running “Night Owl” talk show, which featured Walt as a regular guest.

Forry Ackerman once wrote, “I believe he holds the record on the Night Owls’ program for a one-man marathon where he spoke and answered telephone questions over the air from midnight till the end of the show at 5 a.m. (No fool he – when the cock crows the vampire goes.)” Count Dracula Quarterly 1968

Highly competitive, Walt’s attitude towards winning was to prove to himself that he had really mastered whatever activity he was in. And he did it, over and over, with drive and focus. When he’d get to the point of winning too often, he would retire from competition to the realm of mentor or competition judge to help out newcomers to the field.

The list of hobbies is amazing, especially since he wasn’t just a dabbler. He studied, worked at, did immense research and put his passion into whatever he did. And the awards he won go to prove the success of his efforts.

Walt’s over-a-lifetime passions included:

* ARCHAEOLOGY, especially ancient Egypt
* TROPICAL FISH, especially Bettas (Siamese Fighting Fish). Winner of 7 grand sweepstakes awards for aquariums plus numerous awards for individual achievement, certified judge, Archivist for IBC (International Betta Congress), awarded multiple article of the year awards from IBC, received the prestigious Gene Lucas Award in 2002 for his years of service to IBC.
* BALLROOM DANCING. Over 600 awards from age 9 to age 71, including the world ballroom dancing championship in New York’s “Harvest Moon” competition.
* PHOTOGRAPHY. Hundreds of awards as an amateur competitor, specializing in but not limited to black & white portraits. Certified SCCCC judge. Photography overlapped into his professional work as well as his skills evolved.

And then there were: STAMP COLLECTING (Space stamps) * PARAKEETS (one of the few to go from novice to champion in one year, with his prize bird King Tut) * AUTO RACING * GARDENING * QUICK DRAW (22/100ths of a second) * MODEL BUILDING * LAPIDARY * CERAMICS * FISHING * BOATING * CARPENTRY * MOSAICS * THEATRICAL MAKEUP * CARTOONING * SHERLOCK HOLMES * AMATEUR PUBLISHING... Whew! He even received a bronze medal for gymnastics demonstration (not competition, as he would promptly clarify) in the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. His next hobby was going to be needlepoint(!). He had admired the finished works in a Solvang store window on several daytrips there a few years ago, and had even bought a beginner’s kit to start learning yet one more new craft.

He was truly amazing.

Cover pic of the "Night Owl" magazine with
Walt amid a minute number of his awards.

Working away on an article
for IBC's "Flare" magazine.

LASFS (Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society) 100th meeting (1940):
L to R Top: Grady Murphy, ?, ?, Forry Ackerman, Edmond Hamilton, Charles Hornig, Victor Clark, T. Bruce Yerke, Roy Squires. Center: ?, William Crawford, Ray Harryhausen, “Cyril Mand” (George R. Hahn), ? Russ Hodgkins, Arthur K. Barnes, Robert Heinlein, Walt Daugherty, E.E. “Doc” Smith, Jack Williamson, Ray Bradbury, Perry Lewis, Harold Clark, Alex Endemano, Alvin Mussen. Bottom: Elizabeth (last name unknown), “Pogo” (Pattie Gray), ?, Eleanor O’Brien, Virginia Laney, Sophia Van Doorne, “Morojo” (Myrtle R. Douglas), Leslyn Heinlein

Russ Hodgkins and Walt doing some
amateur publishing

Dance Champion

Myron's Ballroom promotional flyer (and yes,
Walt did win the "World Dance Champion" title
in Waltz, Fox-trot, Rhumba and Tango)

Another dance contest win

Deep Sea Fishing

Stamp Collecting

Exhibit of Walt's Space Stamp collection.
Note shirt covered with stamps that Walt's
mom (a very talented seamstress) made for
the occasion.


Bettas (Siamese Fighting Fish)
A lifelong passion.

Another lifelong passion.

In Mexico 1973.

Archaeology was the biggest passion of his life, a love that never faded or diminished. He often lectured to schools and various groups about ancient Egypt, particularly King Tut, pre-Colombian Mexico, and on occasion, about the early Indian cultures of California.

Walt was "Innkeeper" of "The Scion of the Green Dragon",
a registered Sherlockian scion society formed with Mary Ellen
for our local area. Both were also members of LA area's Blustering Gales of the Southwest and The Non-Canonical Calabashes.
The above photo was taken at a meeting of the Praed Street Irregulars.

Walt with next door neighbor and able assistant Kyle Smith installing an inventive watering system for the garden of Dragon's Lair.

Sample self-published hobby booklet...
one of many "Fanzines" Walt enjoying
doing over his lifetime.
(Cover art by Mary Ellen)

He couldn't resist this archaeological
gag while preparing the garden area at
Dragon's Lair.

Surveying the completed task.
C Copyright Mary Ellen Daugherty 2013

"Watch the Vulture" logo drawn for Walt by Ron Cobb
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