The classic pulps ala Astounding were gone by the time I entered fandom...
...long since replaced by or morphed into the digests (circa 1950) such as F&SF, Galaxy, etc.
The same spirit of sci-fi fan camarderie that existed on the letters pages of the old pulps carried over to the new digests. In addition to those, there were literally hundreds of fanzines & semi-prozines where "letter hacks" could exchange views and/or barbs.
It was, in short, very much like the InterWebs today...
...only using postage stamps.
Monster movie/sci-fi/comics fandom was probably the 2nd or 3rd greatest influence on my life outside of my family. They gave me a sense of fun, a sense of purpose, but more importantly, a sense of belonging that I would have otherwise lacked moving from town to town to town.
There are people I first "met" thru the pages of Famous Monsters that I'm still good friends with today, fans & pros I "met" letter hacking on Dick Geis' Psychotic/Science Fiction Review/The Alien Critic whom I ended up working with years later.
My first published work was in a monster movie fanzine: Gore Creatures #20.
I'm now at a stage of my life where I am one of the "old guard". Doesn't mean I'm done no more than the pros I met in my early days in fandom were done either (lotsa them went on to do some of their most impressive work in their later years).
But it does mean I see the new wave swirling around me, surging forward, and while I will be carried along with it for a ways, it's a whole new thing.
I have faith in the rising generation. I trust they will do a good job. I just hope my generation of creators will be judged as worthy successors to the old pros before us, and worthy predecessors of the new.
 But I always found 'em. >rim-shot<
 i.e., Fans who had nothing better to do than
troll the interWebs read sci-fi fanzines all day & write LoCs (letters of comment)
 This was the other major influence.
 Not by a long shot!