The WSFA Journal July 2000

The WSFA Journal

The WSFA Journal July 2000

The Official Newsletter of the Washington Science Fiction Association -- ISSN 0894-5411

Edited by Samuel Lubell

Washington Post
Joe Mayhew
Lee Smoire
Alexis Gilliland
Samuel Lubell
Mike Glyer
Warren Lapine
Sinya B. Schaeffer
Lee Gilliland
Elspeth Kovar
Yoji Kondo/Eric Kotani
Joseph Molnar
Richard Lynch
Perrianne Lurie
Michael Nelson
Coleen Cahill
and the WSFAns

Editor's note:  Exactly four years ago, July 1996, I edited my first issue of The WSFA Journal because Joe Mayhew, who was then the editor, was in the hospital.  This issue, the first since his death on June 10th, 2000, is dedicated to his memory. 

Joe Mayhew

August 1942 - June 2000


Joe Mayhew, long-time fan and for many the heart at the center of the Washington Science Fiction Association, passed away at 9 a.m. on June 10th, 2000.  Joe was an active science fiction fan all of his life.  In 1998 he won the Hugo award for Best Fan Artist, and was also nominated in 1990, 1996, 1997, 1999, and 2000. His cartoons have appeared in Asimov's, Analog, Pirate Writings, and numerous fanzines. As the Library of Congress' Recommending Officer for Science Fiction, Joe decided what science fiction books were worth preserving.  In his last years, Joe became a professional science fiction author with stories appearing in Tomorrow, Aberrations and Aboriginal SF.  He also reviewed science fiction books for the Washington Post, Absolute Magnitude, and TV's Fast Forward.

Joe chaired the 1987 Disclave and the cancelled 1998 Disclave.  He served as WSFA Secretary and editor of the WSFA Journal several times, most recently 1995-1996.  He was the club's unofficial greeter of new people and storehouse of information about the club's history, its constitution, parliamentary procedure, and indeed everything else. He was also affiliated with the Baltimore Science Fiction Society (which he helped start) and was a Fellow of NESFA (FN).

Joe died of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (the hospital's best guess), a relative of Mad Cow Disease that is considered extremely rare in the U.S. He is survived by a brother, a sister, and multiple cartoons and carvings.


From the Washington Post's Obituary

Joseph T. Mayhew

Library Employee, Cartoonist


Joseph T. Mayhew, 57, a retired Library of Congress employee and an award-winning science fiction cartoonist, died of complications from encephalitis June 10 at the Washington Hospice. He had diabetes.

Mr. Mayhew worked at the library from the late 1960s until retiring in the early 1990s from the Spanish acquisitions department. He also recommended science fiction works to the library.

He did illustrations and wrote stories for science fiction magazines, including Absolute Magnitude, and received a Hugo Award last year for his drawings. The Hugo, sponsored by the World Science Fiction Society, is also known as the Science Fiction Achievement Award and is among the field's highest prizes.

Some of his science fiction book reviews appeared in The Washington Post, and he also did reviews for "Fast Forward," a science fiction program on cable television.

Mr. Mayhew was a Washington native who grew up in Riverdale and was a graduate of Bladensburg High School and the University of Maryland. He was a Greenbelt resident at his death.

Mr. Mayhew was an art director for several science fiction conventions and wrote short plays for those gatherings.

His memberships included the Washington Science Fiction Association.

Survivors include a brother, Bill Mayhew of Beltsville, and a sister, Frances Jordan of Riverdale.




By Joe Mayhew (Journal Feb 1983)


We take each other for granted. Probably because some of us have known each other long enough to have become used to the good qualities and only think of the differences and petty feuds we nurture among ourselves. But our little snake-pit has among its deni­zens some of the best known folk in the fan world.

If you've been around for a while, you've probably had a feud with several of them, or even grown to appreciate them from time to time. The new WSFAn is probably more impressed with meeting Somtow, Jack Chalker, Alexis and the others of our group who have become well known by science fiction readers since becoming members of WSFA. But they don't often get to know and appreciate our Fan Personalities as readily. These people are well known because they are interesting folk to do things with, and they're folk to do interesting things with.

You've got to be a true fan to really appreciate Lee Smoire. Fandom is her life, and the rest is only a series of inconveniences between what really matters to her. Though at times Lee and I grumble at each other for reasons of state, Lee is, O ye who do not live the life, the real thing: a Fan. Understand and grow fond of Lee, it will drive you quite mad, but it will be worth the trip. Lee is important to Fandom and important in Fandom because she puts it all into Fandom. She's being singled out here because she's good natured enough to put up with being an example of what being a Fan actually is. For instance. Lee, under circumstances which would have floored to anyone less fannish, decided to go to Australia. Honestly broke, in debt, with enough practical good reasons to keep a mundane spirit safe at home, Lee packed up and went. A mundane would have still been thinking about it, Lee is remembering it, and the Fan in each of us is, or ought to be envying her.

Be careful, Fans are not gypsies, hippies or some other social misfit: they are simply members of a society with enthusiasm as one of its great­est values. I suppose all of us WSFAns are a bit like Lee, but few are as dedicated. In their own ways, Avedon, Charlie Ellis, Alan Huff, or Mark Owings could have been singled out as an outstanding example of what Fandom is all about, but that would be entirely another story. There are a remarkable number of others in WSFA who fall into the True Fan category. Some, like Bill Berg have been around WSFA for 30 years, others like Jane Wagner or Rosa Oliver have a more recent entry into it all. Some, like me  have GAFIAted for a while and then come back home. I think Roger Zelazny must have had Fandom in mind when he came up with his Amber family. We're interesting people to fight with, to party with and to sing songs all night in a jacuzzi with. We're a family whose home is much stranger than the worlds we read about, and like any other respectable looney bin, is a safe place to secretly rule the world from.

--             Joe Mayhew


Letter from Lee

By Lee Smoire


Hello to all of you from across the many  miles.............   I was so sorry to hear about Joe M;  Even though we  occasionally came to verbal blows (well, more like snipes, really) in the past,  I am quite fond of old irascible Joe, and hope that as it seems unlikely he will  regain full consciousness, that he is resting peacefully, and nature will take its course, and Joe will slip into his deserved peace.   Regards to Bill Mayhew and the rest of WSFA.

I still carry on  the WSFA Poker banner here; I just attended the monthly semi-fannish game here  where we use WSFA Poker Rules, of course!  Was really great seeing some of  you in October when I was in.  And was proud to have been the organizer of  the first WSFA Poker game in (what is it) 8-10 years??????  Wow!  Now  THAT'S the kind of instigation I can live with!     Jim Thomas Barry & Judy Newton, John, Bob Mac etc may be  interested in this: We here have even created one or two NEW poker  variations!  I can't remember if we had a game called Proctor & Gamble  when I was there, but we play it now, and another one which is a split pot  between Dr. Pepper and Straight 7 card Stud (Much like AC/DC is a split between  Follow the Queen and Straight 7 Card Stud).  Proctor & Gamble is: 5  cards are dealt face down around, with 3 cards in a row face down in the center  being dealt at some point while the cards are being dealt.  There is a  betting round as people look at their cards, then the dealer turns one of the  outside cards (1 or 3), betting round, dealer turns the other outside card (3 or  1), betting round, then the dealer turns the center card (2) WHICH IS A WILD  CARD (and everything like it) AND COMMON TO ALL PLAYERS., final betting round,  and then the showdown. Wild card declaration rules apply.  I didn't  make up the game, and have no recollection why it is called Proctor &  Gamble, but what the heck....who cares?   Regards, and much love to all.   Cheers,   Lee Smoire. Perth,  Australia  

P.S. I have moved house.  New street address & phone/fax 150 East Parade East Perth, WA  6004 Home: 61+ 08 9227-0787 Fax 61 + 08 9227-0004  E-mail is as above: or


Remembering Joe Mayhew


Alexis Gilliland


            We had met at Miss Cullen's, he said, describing an outfit I'd worn circa 1960, but I first remember Joe from a quarter century back when he came to a WSFA meeting at my house in Virginia.  Sitting in the president's chair, I watched Joe make his entrance, this bearded guy with an imposing physical presence and a great laugh.  He was not only smart, but erudite, not only funny but witty, not only charming but charismatic.  AND he turned out to be an enormously hard worker. 

Alas, Joe had a dark side which showed up soon enough; being funny, he could drip malice effortlessly; being erudite he could slip easily into pedantry; having an imposing presence he could be intimidating--and those he intimidated he didn't respect; finally, combining Jesuit-trained smarts with his natural creativity gave him an enormous capacity to make mischief and stir up trouble.  In those days he was hell on wheels.  We had a lot of history, Joe and I, until 1985 when he stopped acting adversely to my interest.  We didn't exactly reconcile, because we were never exactly estranged--I thought seriously about forbidding him in my house, but never did--but while he could be congenial company, I never took his gossip as gospel. 

Since he went everywhere and knew everybody, Joe was fount of marvelous stories, but he was also enormously well read, and widely informed about nearly everything.  Touching on philosophy he once told me I was a Taoist, and when I looked it up, damned if he wasn't right.  We did amateur theatrics, I in his "Trollogy" he in my "Star Wars Roots."  (His brother, Bill, said the difference was that in my play he trod the boards as the young Obi Juan Kenobi, while in Joe's play he got to be a hare-lipped chicken.)  I wouldn't have known if he hadn't told me, but Joe studied my cartooning from a distance, aspiring to be an artist but deeply concerned to be his own man.  Once, I rearranged the caption on one of the cartoons he showed me to make it funnier, and he laughed and said yes, that was funny, but it was Gilliland funny, not Mayhew funny.  The words and idea were all his, but he didn't want to use my cadences to display his joke.  The last time we discussed religion, Joe said he hoped his adherence to Catholicism would make him a better person, a little less of a thug.  A lady present assured him he was a not a thug but a real gentleman.  I told him:  "Whatever works," and Joe grinned because I knew what he was talking about. 

You want a final memory to cherish?  Forget the hospital, where people are rarely at their best.  At WSFA meetings these many years past Joe was usually among the last to leave, a great, genial presence holding court among stragglers who had straggled because he was holding court.



by Joe Mayhew (Journal July 1987)


Homo Snobians smugly asserts he is the only animal capable of abstracting ideas. Ms. Washoe's "water-bird sort of blows that idea out of the water; when a chimpanzee can learn American Sign Language and make up ( and communicate to another species) a new, untaught word, it is time to re­evaluate Homo Sapians as the unique, distinguishing quality of our species. Sapiens, or `thinking" was supposed to set Homo above his fellow creatures on Earth and give him "dominion over them" ( the right to eat them, torture them and work them without mercy). "Dominion" needs a comfortable distance- a rationale. What is actually unique about Homo which, can Justify such preeminence?

With the exception of the triumphantly ignorant and uneducated H. Snobians, who desperately cling to the fantasy that Ms. Washoe was just a circus trick done with mirrors, it is blatantly obvious to the rest of us that Homo are just better at some of the tricks we share with the rest of animal kind, not only do we acknowledge that animal species have elaborate communications systems, but, given the regional dialects found in bird calls, it seems that such communication is obviously learned and not instinctual.

While some of the trendier H. Snobians feel it is OK to prattle about the possibility of intelligence among porpoises and whales, they still continue to vomit up banalities about how superior H. Snobians is to the tasty and succulent pig, the handly little rhesus money, and the rest of the species he exercises "dominion" over. The very justification for bacon, to H. Snobians isthat Homo's superiority is not mere a matter of degree, but of type.

To H. Snobians, it is essential to believe that MAN ALONE IS ABLE TO USE TOOLS (cf. Chimpanzees, ants, etc.) HE ALONE IS AWARE OF HIMSELF THINKING (egocentrically) and tedious utter crock after tedious utter crock. Of course the rest of the species on the Earth feel, think, dream, know, plan and remember. But that's no reason to give up BACON! I have a new bastion of superiority for mankind to justify eating piggie parts, messing over rat, rhesus and puppy dog!

HOMO  PUBLICANS! Mankind publishes! There simply aren't any shrew fanzines, otter anthologies, parakeet paper­backs or gnu best sellers. Despite untold racks of Penguin books, those cute little antarctic birds don't seem to make use of them, or, conversely, produce a line of PEOPLE paperbacks for themselves. Thus the term Homo Sapiens could be retired in favor of Homo Publicans.

Man, the Editor! This brings up a problem, of course. Everyone doesn't publish, and just scads of folks don't even read. Is it OK to eat them? Should those who have never pub'ed an Ish, submitted a LOC, APAed or even xeroxed an original limerick be used in laboratory experiments? If a man can't prove he has even written on a bathroom wall, should he be cast outside the species?

Not if he READS! For reading is just as important as publishing. If no one read, where would publishing be? Clearly reading is essential to publication and thus readers are co-equal (more or less) with publishers. But what about illiterates, those who do not willingly read, or cannot do so with their mouth full? Are they of the same species and members of the club? Is it OK to julienne a couch-potato? Is it OK to test make-up on the face of a fundamentalist? Is it OK to fricassee a Trendy or parboil a militant just because they obviously eschew rationality? Lamentably, no.

They ARE, after all, biologically a product of the same species and must be held capable of reason, of reading and even of publishing -- even though those powers seem atrophic.

Now, this argument may not convince Homo Fanans, whoconsider the zine-ophobic to be sub-human. The devout word­aholic may think it wishy-washy gush designed to placate the potentially dangerous untermenschen, but the human species must include within its ranks the non-publisher, the non-reader, the mongoloid and even the Wayne Newton fan.

While it is, despite the up-dating of Homo Sap. to Homo Publicans, still clearly immoral to eat, exploit or vivisect genetic human beings, personally, I don't care whether piggies develop literacy or not. It'll do them no good. I shall continue to add bacon to my BLT whether I risk the loss of aporcine Shakespeare or not. If piggies develop a publishing I industry, I shall explore some other class distinction, such as accent or schooling to determine who is supper and who is guest.

Just as in the system of distinguishing Man by sapience brings up the rather wide range of wisdom found in the species (measured by the inverse P.T.L.-ometer), the criterion Publicans has problems as well. All publications are not of equal merit. The Crudzine ( the literary analogue to flatulence), PEOPLE MAGAZINE (the literary analogue to diabetes) and THE WATCHTOWER (the literary analogue to hemorrhoids) are examples of publications which do not ennoble their producers above the tasty porker. They are, indeed, thee type of Ish a swine would pub, given the opportunity.

Finally, the dignity of Publicans is not one for Homo to take for granted. he must not rest upon his laurels...or on his pines, for that matter, or upon any other tree, as trees would naturally view the whole pulp and paper industry, which under­lies publication, with extreme distaste.


Final Memories of Joe

By Samuel Lubell


My last memory of Joe (aside from hospital visits) is when I visited Joe a few days before he planned to go to Balticon a wheelchair.  Anyone else would have been somewhat regretful about what this meant for his health.  Not Joe.  He was as excited as a kid with a new toy, talking about what this would allow him to do.

To me that was Joe.  I cannot remember ever hearing a topic that did not excite him, an idea on which he did not have an opinion, or a subject on which Joe knew nothing.  Nor can I imagine him not caring about something or someone.  Whenever a new person walked into a WSFA meeting, Joe would be the first person to greet him or her, the first person to have a substantive conversation with the newcomer, and, frequently, the only one who remembered the new guest's name on subsequent meetings.  Joe was one of the people who kept me coming back to WSFA even after I found out that it didn't really discuss science fiction. 

Joe had been editor of The WSFA Journal at various times in the club's history.  But when I took it over (after his heart attack) he never said a bad word about anything I did, and gave generously of his cartoons, even though he was selling cartoons to paying markets. 

Joe published cartoons and stories, reviewed books in magazines and the Washington Post, and even recommended sf books for the library of Congress.  But he insisted he was just a fan and was proud to be one.

In a nutshell, Joe cared.  He cared about everything and everyone.  He was a talented artist, a skilled carver, insightful reviewer, knowledgeable conversationalist, gifted linguist, imaginative author, and a creative humorist.  We shall not see his like again.


Joe Mayhew

Appreciation by Mike Glyer (From File 770 by permission)


     Fans learned that Ian Gunn's fight with cancer had taken a serious turn for the worse when Joe Mayhew announced the news as part of his emotional speech accepting the 1998 Best Fan Artist Hugo. Both men had been nominated, and Joe almost seemed impatient that Ian hadn't been the first of them to win. Gunn died soon afterward, leaving Mayhew a passionate executor of his legacy until Gunn received his own Hugo, posthumously, in 1999. Now, Joe Mayhew has unexpectedly passed away, and fans are mourning his loss.

     Joe Mayhew died at 9 a.m. on June 10, at the end of a month-long struggle against a disease his doctors never definitely diagnosed but suspect was Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a relative of "Mad Cow Disease," extremely rare in the U.S. He was only 57. Mayhew's brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Maren, are making arrangements for a Catholic funeral at Joe's local parish.

     A teen-aged Joe Mayhew was part of the Washington Science Fiction Association that Jack Chalker discovered in 1959. "WSFA was quite active during that period and had a number of members around my age," Chalker wrote in Mimosa 20. "The teen clique became basically Tom Haughey, Joe Mayhew, Don Studebaker, and myself. Meetings were held at the home of a retired elderly railroad lobbyist named Elizabeth Cullen and were being run by George Scithers, who was stationed in D.C. at the time. It was a golden time for the club." WSFA inspired some Baltimore fans, Chalker among them, to start BSFS. Chalker writes, tongue-in-cheek, that although a friend his tried to recruit newcomers, "The trouble was, there wasn't anything there to recruit folks to. When you included Mayhew, Studebaker, and Haughey, we were more of a kind of gang of nerds than a real club."

     Mayhew grew as a WSFA leader over the next four decades, an officer, a conrunner, and occasional editor of the WSFA Journal. Evan Phillips remembers Joe as "an active fan who did some of his best work as the unseen hand that encouraged people to try things such as run a con or be an officer in a club when they didn't realize on their own that they could. Joe was constantly striking up a conversation with folks at cons, and always fitting them into fandom -- this one would be good on a panel, that one could run a con suite.... Joe was my lunchtime buddy most Saturdays and loved conversation, ideas, and Chinese all-you-can-eat."

     Mayhew more recently forged an international reputation as a fanartist.

     I ran a bid party at an early-90's Disclave where Joe came in and parked for the evening, showing off the collected "Spaceman Tad" comics he'd drawn for the clubzine. They were fabulously funny, cleverly drawn and deserved much wider circulation. Mayhew spent the evening taking care of that in his own way, lending his copies to a series of fascinated readers. It was just in the past five years that Joe became a prolific cartoonist and a fixture in every printed fanzine. 

     Mayhew worked at the Library of Congress until his retirement. As its Recommending Officer for Science Fiction, he developed the LoC's official definition of science fiction.

     Retirement gave Mayhew more time to pursue his ambitions as a writer of fiction and as a critic. His stories appeared in Tomorrow, Aberrations, and Aboriginal SF. He reviewed science fiction, most notably for the Washington Post. Mayhew told fans at a 1998 Boskone panel how difficult it was for him to review the work of friends like Jack Chalker and Gene Wolfe. (The WSFA website includes a wonderful picture of Mayhew and Wolfe posed beside "Dragon Growly," the comical monster head Joe created for the 1989 Disclave.) It was well-known that Joe disliked saying anything negative about a book, with the exception  of Battlefield Earth - and Bridge Publications retaliated against that review by pulling advertising from the publisher.

     One of Mayhew's most traumatic experiences came as the chair of the never-held 1998 Disclave. The con's annual difficulties in booking a hotel, for economic reasons, had been made infinitely greater by the notoriety Disclave gained by being flooded out by a broken fire sprinkler in 1997. Mayhew reversed another committee member's amazing decision to invite the "ASB" group back and give it an entire floor, but Disclave's economic and image problems doomed hotel negotiations. He described winding down his Disclave as "a bit like building a casket. Perhaps for a child."

     Mayhew was beset by medical problems during the last five years. He was a diabetic. He underwent a quadruple bypass heart operation in 1996. He needed treatment for tachycardia the weekend after officially announcing the cancellation of his 1998 Disclave at WSFA. Despite all of these trials, Mayhew was blossoming as one of the best fanartists ever.

     Elspeth Kovar wrote online that people noticed Mayhew's latest problem because "for the first time in anyone's memory Joe left Balticon and did not return, saying that he was overwhelmed by all the people -- and things came to a head about two weeks later and he was admitted to the hospital." 

     Michael Nelson saw Mayhew in the hospital on May 31 and wrote, "Joe is trapped inside himself. I think he recognizes people most of the time, but either he can't understand us or can't communicate, not even by blinking or other movement. Last night, he was drifting in and out of sleep every few minutes. Sometimes he would appear to recognize someone and give one of his big grins and other times he acted like a startled deer caught in a car's headlights."

     Sad as it was that Mayhew slipped away over the past few weeks, I'm comforted to know he went in the company of the friends he made in fandom. And through his artwork he'll remain a lively presence among us for some time to come.


Doing God's Work

By Warren Lapine


It is with great sadness that I pass the news onto you of Joe Mayhew's passing. As many of you know Joe has been the lead reviewer for Absolute Magnitude for several years. When I first started going to conventions to promote this new magazine that I was going to put out most of the sf processionals dismissed me immediately saying essentially, "talk to me once you've put out an issue." Joe, who at the time was the science fiction recommending officer to the library of congress, sat down with me and asked me what I knew about copyright. Precious little: Joe walked me through the process, he actually did all the paperwork and got Harsh Mistress its ISSN. Joe then proceeded to spend hours with me giving me a great deal of advice on how to proceed, his perspective as a long time fan was invaluable to me. Once I published the first issue of Harsh Mistress most sf processionals then said, "talk to me if you're still around in a year." Joe, of course, sat down with me and went over the magazine page by page. Over the next couple of years his advice was invaluable. I was very happy when I offered Joe a position as a reviewer and he accepted. It was Joe's idea that we also cover small press magazines since no one of any appreciable size was doing that. We both felt that letting people know about these magazines would make for a less inhospitable climate for them. When ever I was feeling down or business wasn't going as well as I would have liked, I picked up the phone and called Joe. He'd unfailing remind me that I was doing god's work, as it were, in the sf field and that, from his point of view, no one else was willing to put the success of the science fiction field ahead of their own and that I had to keep on pushing forward. Those talks got me through some dark hours. I will miss Joe tremendously. The next issue of Absolute Magnitude will be dedicated to his memory.


By Joe Mayhew(Journal December 1979)


The 1981 Disclave, if numbered would be DISCLAVE 25, but it will also mark the 32nd anniversary of the first Disclave, which was held on April 30, 1950. The first Disclave was a one-day affair held at the Wardman Park Hotel and featured Willy Ley, Seabury Quinn and the movie THE MUMMY'S HAND. The Waxdman Park was later renamed the Sheraton Park and was also to be the site of 8 other Disclaves (1972--1979) and DISCON II (1974).

The following year, Disclave was moved to the Statler (which would be the site of DISCCN I I) and it featured Sam Moakowits, Seabury Quinn, and Art Rapp. The film was IT HAPPENED TOMORROW. There were all of 23 fans at DISCLAVE II.

­Disclave III didn't happen for two years. It was held on March 22, 1953, in the Pan American Room of the Statler as a "PROXYCLAYE A series of papers were read by local fans to the 22 sense-of-wonder-ful fans. It was such a success that this time the gap would last 5 years. But Bob Pavlat chaired the 1958 fourth Disclave, and we were off and running again. It was held at the Arva Motor Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. "The flier said "This is a disorganized conference, no speech­es, no banquet.." There was no Guest of Honor, but then again, the rooms were 57.00 a night, and registration was FREE. So, about 65 fans came.

The 1959 Disclave was supposed to be at the Arva, but at the last minute the Motel decided it couldn't face another year of rooftop parties and Sci-fi wierdo antics. So Bob (who listed himself as "Dictator") found the Diplomat Motel. At that time WSFA was sponsoring its first real bid for the WorldCon in DC. It was to be called "CAPACON'.' The Capacon Committee had a glor­ious $65.00 in their budget (while the entire budget for Disclave 1959 Disclave was $22.00.) Despite the immense budget, Capacon 60 never took place. Pavlat's flier set the theme for the next three Disclaves. "The

program will be the same as last year. That is, none." That didn't mean nothing went on. People brought their own program - tape rec­orders, movie projector, mimeo, booze.

In 1963 Washington hosted the Worldcon and no Disclave was held. There was a con committee (Chairman, Joe Mayhew) but no one who volunteered was over 21 and so...

The World Con was a hard act to follow thus there was no 1964 Disclave. But it came back to life in 1965 -- and with a GOH! Two of them! Chris and San Noskowitzl. The Con was held at the Howard Johnson Motor Lodge in Wheaton, Md. over the 7th -8th of May with 83 fans in attendance. In 1966 Disclave returned to the Diplomat for the 5th tine and Roger Zelazny was GOH. 99 attended - and paid a $l.00 registration fee.

Gipsy feet got us again and so in 1967 Disclave moved on to the Regency Congress Inn (with Jack Gaughan as GOH) and stayed for a second year(with Bob Silverberg as GOH). But Disclave moved to the Skyline Inn for 1969 (Lester del Ray, GOE) and 1970 (Murry Leinster a.k.a. Will Jenkins, GOH) and then to the Shoreham for 1971 (Terry Carr, GOE) but in `71 it also moved to the Memorial Day weekend snot it has held ever since. The following year Disclave found ahome (for eight years) at the Sheraton Park. The 72 Con featured Ben Bova, in 73 it wasGardiner Dozois, in 74 Alexis Gilliland ran his first Disclave. It was the year of DISCON II. This time the ambitious chairman WAS over 21, and so it went on. More surprising still, so did Disclave 75! F. Kelly Freas was the GOH in 74, in 75 it was Gordy Dickson, in 76 it was Philip Klass/Wm Tenn and in 1976 a former WSPAn was GOH: Joe Haldeman. In 1978, Bob/Wilson Tucker was featured and double billed at that. Wilson was the PRO- GOH and Bob the FAN GOH .

In 1979 Alan Huff chaired the con, which was to be the 1ast held in the old Sheraton Park. Our beloved home was to be brutally torn down. C-640 would live on in our hearts. Perhaps in 1979 GOH Roger Zelazny's Shadow world, so Sheraton Park still stands.. .1 know it still does in the Con-Warp.


Remembering Joe Mayhew


Sinya B. Schaeffer


Even though both Joe and I had been working at the Library of Congress for several years, I did not meet him officially until I attended DISCLAVE many years ago, when I discovered science fiction fandom and conventions.

Joe was already heavily involved in the convention scene.  Chris Callahan introduced me to conventions and Joe introduced me to many people who attended those conventions.  After the cons we would often meet at work and talk about science fiction in general and the science fiction collection at the Library in particular.  Since Joe was then the Recommending Officer for Science Fiction, we had much to talk about.  Joe would also be carving something, perhaps a cane, or some elaborate piece of wood.

We  wanted  to raise the profile of science fiction and genre literature.  However, Joe retired from the Library and Eric Johnson became the Science Fiction Recommending Officer. 

Eric and I shared these same ideas about science fiction, so we established the What IF ... Science Fiction and Fantasy Forum, under the auspices of the Library of Congress Professional Association.  The purpose of the forum was to bring professionals involved in science fiction, fantasy and horror genres to address  the audience here at the Library on the topic of their specialty.  Joe introduced me to many authors at conventions and suggested that I invite them to speak at the What IF Forum.  In fact, my last memory of Joe was talking to him at BALTICON this Easter.  Again Joe introduced me to many authors and suggested them as the forum's guests.   Joe was, in fact,  one of the staunchest  supporters of the forum, and he was invited twice as a guest speaker for the forum, talking on "Working in Science Fiction" and "A Reading with Joe Mayhew."

At BALTICON Joe was smiling and joking with me.  He had a twinkle in his eye.  He was looking forward to his HUGO nomination at CHICON, and I wished him good luck.

This is how I remember Joe Mayhew.



            THE WSFA CAROL

By Joe Mayhew (Journal December 1981)

(Tune. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen)


The WSFA meeting poker game

in which our addicts play

whenever cash and poker chips

are present, come what may,

goes on and on for endless hours

of grim and greedy play

Oh fandoms a comfort and joy (etc.)


The Smofs who entertain us all

where WSFA gathers in

concocting schemes and fannish plots

which time and time again

result in feuds and broken hearts

(for all our skins are thin)

Oh fandom's a comfort and joy (etc.)


The minutes read, the treasurer

reports we've lots of dough.

A motion's made to spend it all,

debate is long and slow.

 The quorum flees, the meeting's o'er

despite a thund'ring "NO".

Oh fandom's a comfort and joy (etc.)


Oh stuff ye merry, Gentlefen

come on and feed your face

for covered dish and specialties

abound around the place

that is, if you've signed up with Doll,

if not please go away.

Oh fandom's a comfort and joy (etc.)


Sometimes we meet at Gilliland's

 in Arlington, V.A.

Sometimes we meet at Oliver's

down Clinton, Maryland way,

We never meet in Washington

except on fifth Friday.

Oh fandom's a comfort and joy (etc.)


Each year we put a Disclave on

around the end of May.

Our year `round bread and circuses

are paid for on that day

The True Fen all work hard on it

the dead beats come and play

Oh fandom's a comfort and joy (etc.)


There's Avedon, Chris Callahan

Somtow, Kent Bloom and Lee,

Jack Chalker, Dalroy Ward, Mike Walsh,

Mark Owings, Beverly

Joe Mayhew, Alan Huff, Tom Schaad,

and even Dave Hastie

Oh fandom's a comfort and joy (etc.)


Missing Joe

By Lee Gilliland


The Joe I knew was one of the very few people who were never boring.  Tiresome on occasion, but never boring.  One of the arts that Joe did, but few know about, was his contribution to the WSFA Christmas tree.  We still have his square earth, as well as the suicidal Smurf.  There are a bunch more, and I'll try to dig them out, although I know there is any hope to get to that before Saturday.

I really did not get to know Joe until Soccerclave, when we both discovered  that each of us had, shall we say, unfortunate attentions forced on us by our respective uncles.  He was the one person who helped me to get over the guilt and fear of the situation, and was kinda the older male cousin I needed back then.  WSFA has been, for all of us, a kind of home-grown substitute family, and Joe was the funny uncle who told us the GOOD jokes when Mommy was out of earshot. There is a hole, now, within ourselves which can never be filled or healed.  I miss him.


Smiling Through My Tears

By Elspeth Kovar


On the night before Joe died there were so many folks in his room, talking and telling stories and jokes, that the nurse at the hospice closed the door so that we wouldn't disturb the other families.  Joe would have enjoyed it.

There is still no diagnosis; the biopsy isn't due back for a couple more days, but the best guess is that he had Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease.  Which was the source of much humor during his last hours: trust Joe to die of something so rare that they don't know what it is or what, exactly, causes it.  And which may be related to Mad Cow disease.

His jokes and puns on the subject would have been the best: wherever he is, I'm certain that he is telling them, to much laughter.  Even now I'm smiling through my tears, just thinking of it.



By Joe Mayhew (Journal September 1982)


TWJ: As a dragon, you aren't well received by persons of taste and sophistication.

DRAGON: Taste and sophistication, among other forms of self congratulation, are only bearable when they creep up on you and you can't smell them.

TWJ: Oh, come on, you surely can't disapprove of good taste!

DRAGON: "Good taste" is only subjective discrimination which one is expected to learn from an arbiter who has acquired the tastes of the circle of power to which one aspires.

TWJ: What do you think of fannish taste?

DRAGON: Fandom is utterly immune to good taste.

TWJ: Because of its acknowledged sophistication?

DRAGON: Sophistication is only pretending one really does not care for the things one enjoys in private. No, Fandom's circle of power is so ephemeral and utterly silly that its standards are meaningless outside its cozy perimeter. The LOC, or letter of comment, published in fanzines is bald proof of fandom's utter security from either taste or sophistication. The typical LOC is as unsophisticated and tasteless as an infant painting itself with its own dung. Generally the writer begins by wallowing in his own imagined importance and tries to make reference to something which the cognoscenti will recognize as a status badge, but which they do not quite possess.

TWJ: Like name-dropping?

DRAGON: Only when the name is obscure to the general reader. References to impossibly trivial events which should he terribly well known to the enlightened, and to the constant feuds among the titans of their nursery.

TWJ: Put you must admit that there is a certain tradition and style to the LOC.

DRAGON: Locs have a certain homely cuteness, which like a doe's own vomit, is a flavor most appealing to its author. Fans lap them up.

TWJ: We seem to have gotten somewhat away from what I suspect the readers would like to hear about dragons.

DRAGON: What might that be? Infant Exposure as a means of Population Control?

TWJ: Dragons have a certain romance about them. People want to know ----

DRAGON: Classic Rome was known for its strong, health bodies and for its equally strong and healthy custom of exposing infants on the mountainsides. Infants, being highly bio-degradable--

TWJ: Excuse me. They'd really rather hear about you. You know, what its like to be a dragon, etc.

DRAGON: You mean they'd rather hear about me than from me. Owh well. Dragons are a bit like governments.  They are large, dangerous and generally get their own way. Isn't that really their chief fascination for most folk? The idea of getting one's own way. Talking about what one feels like in interviews.

TWJ: How do dragons fly? That's the sort of thing they want to hear.

DRAGON: I don't know what to say, Flying more or less comes naturally. One flaps one's wines until one gets the hang of it. Mother taught me when I was quite small.

TWJ: But your wings are rather little compared to your body. How can they provide sufficient lift?

DRAGON: We're not birds, you know. When it comes to flying, we've more in common with fish than birds. But wouldn't it be more interesting to talk about my opinions?

TWJ: Like Fish?

DRAGON: If you insist-- Like fish in that our smallish wines are stabilizers and we actually do most of our flying with our bodies, which is why the body is somewhat larger than the wings, I suppose.

TWJ: But you're... I mean you don't look likely to float.

DRAGON: I beg your pardon?

TWJ: The relative buoyancy.

DRAGON:. Oh that. Well, I suppose it is a combination of being rather powerful enough to swim through the air, and some of the side effects of being what you might call "Fire-breathing". I think its something to do with super-heated sasses, hut I am not a chemist, I just fly the thing.

TWJ: About being fire-breathing?

DRAGON: I don't actually breath fire. There is some confusion due to the figurative language. Speaking of figurative language, have you noticed--

TWJ: Exactly what does the term mean then?

DRAGON : I exhale super-heated gasses, from my spiracles. Umh! That sounds gross. It's a normal part of my digestive process. That's the reason for the sulpherous aroma non-dragons now and then complain of.  We, of course, don't notice it. I'd rather talk about art.

TWJ: Do the gasses ignite?

DRAGON: That must be it. One can blast it at unpleasant persons when they insist on discussing banalities. Would you like a demonstration?

TWJ: You mentioned art. Artists have been fond of representing dragons.

DRAGON: Fanciful cretins mostly. I suppose we strike folk rather as creatures of a fantastic sort and thus free for much interpretation as they feel moved to give. It is a pity this conversation is taking place over the telephone.

TWJ: By the way, what do dragons eat?

DRAGON: That is another problem with telephone conversations.


Remembering Joe Mayhew

By Yoji Kondo/Eric Kotani


I am not sure when and where I met Joe for the first time, but it must have been more than a decade ago, probably at either Disclave or Balticon.  Joe was always a serious man, even though he liked to draw cartoons for fun -- which got him a coveted Hugo at the WorldCon in Baltimore.  His manners were courtly, perhaps showing his earlier upbringing at a Catholic seminary.  Joe now goes where he has not gone before.  I hope he will find what he has sought in this world -- an eternal peace and fulfillment.


Godspeed, Joe!


Joe's Carvings

By Joseph Molnar


As you know, Joe Mayhew constructed many many original chess sets for sale at various Science Fiction Conventions, etc.  Several times when I shared work break or lunch at the Library of Congress with Joe, he was at work sculpting chess pieces out of raw clay, talking all the while.  His hands never ceased to move - seemingly by themselves.  Sometimes, they were fantasy figures.  Once, they were figures of famous SF writers done from a small photograph or newspaper clipping.  It never ceased to amaze me that Joe invariably had two or three meticulously completed pieces at the end of each 20 minute session.



By Joe Mayhew (Journal March 1987)


The very first fan I saw as I rousted my suitcase into the Sheraton's revolving door was my room-mate for the Con, Walter Miles, who was just off to visit OXFAM's Boston Headquarters. Walter was wearing his now-famous hat, which didn't look as if it cared a whit about world hunger, and was being taken along under protest.

I hied down to set up the DISCLAVE/BALTICON table in the dealer's room, replete with DISCON and DISCLAVE fliers. Mike Walsh dropped off about two tons of BALTICON fliers and that was the last we saw of BALTICON. Disclave sold some memberships and dealer tables, and DISCON sold 35 buttons. The table was manned and womanned by Kent Bloom, Naomi Ronis, John Pomeranz, Bill Mayhew, Cat Slusser, Steve Swartz, Peggy Rae Pavlat, Kathi Overton, John Sapienza, Mike and Beth Zipser, "Athelstan", Wallace Contumacious Bowdell (something Walter keeps under his celebrated hat) and Me.

I was on five program items. The first was at 7:00 PM, "How to run an Art Show." Michael Whelan, Richard Pini and Charles Lange tried to get in a word edgewise, and succeeded . I was pleased to hear that ASFA has finally decided to focus its attention on the shows which all of its members participate in.  There was a second meeting Saturday morning, which went off very well.

My next panel was at 9:00 PM. I was to moderate "Satire in S.F. and felt just a little silly trying to lead a discussion with Gene Wolfe sitting next to me. Naturally I unleashed some abstruse bullshit. The audience was exceed­ingly kind.

At 11:00 I was on a cat-story panel. I had told the programming staff that I had never owned a cat, but they said that was OK, I could make one up. Joel Something-or-other, a very important writer, ventured marvels about his precocious kitty. It could read with its asshole. I asked him who the cat's favorite writer might be, and he allowed as it might be him. I asked whether a critic who read with his asshole might not have questionable literary taste, and he told another, even cuter story about his cat. How it once barfed into his computer printer. It redeemed the cat as a literary critic.

Friday night's parties were interrupted by frequent fire-alarms. So were Saturday and Sunday's. Naughty children were suspected. I suspected it might have been other gremlins, such as the bugs in the hotel's newly installed fire alarm system, which seemed over-zealous. Whatever the cause, it sharpened the discussions about NESFA's desire to reduce BOSKONE's size to something more manageable.

Saturday at 11:00 AM Merle Insinga and I lead a jam session about Cartooning. Just about everyone there participated in the session. It was a lot of fun and lasted for some time out in the hallway, afterwards. My last panel was at 3:00. When I got there, there was the audience, but no other panelists. I started to wing it alone, asking the audience questions about the topic "Pre­serving your valuable books and art". After a bit, Elliott Shorter and the other Panelist who could make it, did. The moderator didn't come, so both Elliot and the other chap designated themselves as moderators. Elliot read the convention's Helmuth Bulletin about the Fire Alarms, and then pontificated thereupon for a while. I could see vigilante clouds rising. After a bit more of being overmoderated, I cut out, figuring they didn't need me.

Saturday night they showed the silent classic HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME with live organ music. It was marvelous fun. If BOSKONE continues to do things like that it will be very hard to pare itself down. Perhaps they ought to sell chances instead of memberships?


Joe the Fan

By Richard Lynch


A lot has been made of Joe's talent as a fan artist, and deservedly so. But I think that one of the things about Joe that might get overlooked is that he also had a very strong interest in fan history -- that is, preservation of the history of Washington-area science fiction fandom. Joe's fan activity dated back to the 1960s, and he was always willing to talk about events long past and people now mostly forgotten, and he could describe people and events in a way that made them come to life. He'd written an article, "My Own Personal First Fandom," that Nicki and I had featured in the most recent Mimosa and hoped would be the first in a series about BaltWash fandom.

             Joe was one of the first fans Nicki and I met after we moved to Maryland at the end of 1988, and one of the first friends we made here after the move. He was opinionated, but polite about any disagreements he might have with you. He could be irascible and annoying at times, but never  so much that you could stay angry at him, or he at you, for very long. He  was one of the rocks of Washington fandom, someone who you looked  forward to seeing at club meetings or at conventions. This past month has  been painful to witness, but my memories of Joe will be of happy times.

One of them was his visit to Gaithersburg on a Thursday evening in early March, just three months before he died; in response to a request for help he made the drive from Greenbelt to Gaithersburg to do some last-minute illustrations so that Nicki and I could get Mimosa 25 to the printers on schedule. There was lots of pleasant conversation and a nice dinner expedition.

Hard to believe he's gone.




by Joe Mayhew (Journal December 1,1995)

I was a Hugo Nominee! could hardly believe it, but Rick Katze was on my phone, asking whether I consented to be on the ballot in the Fan Artist category. Up until that very moment I really hadn't planned to attend ConFiction; Holland being thousands of expensive miles away from my humble proletarian rowhouse in Eleanor Roosevelt's Commie Pinko Paradise, Greenbelt, Maryland. But a little voice (my ego) told me now I really needed to attend. So, the very next day, I asked my supervisors at the Library of Congress for leave so I could attend the Con.

They asked why I wanted to go to Holland and I sez, "Because I'm a finalist nominee for an INTERNATIONAL AWARD. Damn, that sounded impressive. Did I stress that it was for my fan artwork?

Word buzzed around the corridors of power and then my Division Chief asked me whether I would like to be the Library of Congress' Recommending Officer for Science Fiction and to attend ConFiction in duty status as their representative. I was flattered and immediately accepted.

The job as Recommending Officer would not be telling people what's good to read, but rather to develop better understanding of science fiction, its place in American Letters and to get our national library's collection of SF into shape.

As I said, I was all puffed up like Tenniel's toad with the invitation at the honor of becoming LC's first ombudsman for SF. True there would be no additional pay despite the additional duties, and while the Collections Policy folks said I should feel free to spend all the time I needed to get the SF stuff going, my immediate supervisor had not been consulted in my appointment and resented my spending any time at all away from the duties he supervised (I was at the time Acquisitions Specialist for the Caribbean).

There was just one more loose end: why had the Library of Congress suddenly decided it needed a Recommending Officer for science fiction? Subsequently 1 found out that my friend and co-worker, Eric A. .Johnson's memo was to blame.

Eric is a Philip K. Dick fan. He had gone through the LC catalog and collection to find out exactly what of PhD's works were actually available. He found that LC had very few of Dick's books indeed. He wrote up a very thorough report and sent it to the Collections Development folks who routed it to the reference people, who routed it to this one and to that one, but there was no place for the memo to land. No one either had, or wanted responsibility for "that sci fi trash". The memo wandered like the little rain cloud in Ursula K. LeGuin's EARTHSEA books, driven off from place to place by hostile wizards so it was unable to rain anywhere. So they created a place for Eric's memo to land, and I was it.

Thus it was that I would be attending ConFiction as an official representative of the United States Congress. It was also about this time that the producers of the cable TV show FAST FORWARD asked me to review SF' books for them, whereupon I actually had the job of telling people what Science Fiction books I think they ought to read. By way of escalation, doing book chat for FAST FORWARD helped give me the opportunity to review SF for the Washington Post's BOOK WORLD. All of which seems to have grown out of my Fan Artist Hugo Nomination. Gilbert and Sullivan could have done something with that.

The 48th World Science Fiction Convention was held in the Netherlands at Scheveningen, the Hague's port city, in the Congresgebouw, a convention center which looked like a parking garage disguised as a museum built by a committee of hippies and civic boosters.

I arrived at the Congresgebouw in search of glory. After all was I not a Hugo Nominee, Program Participant, Artist and Auctioneer, and yea, moreover, strangely believe it, the Official Representative of the Library of Congress to the World of Science Fiction?

The Dutch, who live next door to the Germans, across the street from the English, and just a hop away from the French, are used to all sorts of pretentious nonsense and pomposities. So, when I explained who I was to the registration folks, they just smiled good-naturedly and gave me my little Hugo nominee rocket lapel pin and all sorts of ribbons.

And there were an amazing assortment of ribbons. I got one for being an artist, Hugo nominee and program participant and felt a bit grand until I saw some kid walk by with so many ribbons he looked like a regimental flagstaff. Then I noticed that most of the SMOFs looked like traveling May poles for all the ribbons fluttering from their chests. My three were nothing.

One of my cartoons ConFiction reprinted in the Souvenir booklet, showed a highly decorated US Army general glaring enviously at a Noreascon III fan with a. wide bevy of ribbons.

I knew that the NESFAns were again the guilty party, as one of them had done the ribbons for ConFiction. Since Noreascon there has been a general ribbon escalation. The next logical step might be merit badges.

Despite my Program Participant ribbon, I was only on the program as auctioneer. That was fine with me as I was primarily interested in meeting the European Fans and Smofing and Schmoozing. However, I did make it to one panel.

I was in the Green Room chatting someone up when Joe Haldeman came over and said, "Hey, Joe, what are you doing right now?"

I said something clever like, "I dunno."

Joe buddy-smiled and said, "Come on, I've got a panel right now." So I got up and followed him. Actually, his wife Gay had me by the elbow. She is probably the most charming person I know. Thus if she had suggested we walk out of the third story window, I probably would have said, "Well, sure, OK."

So we went down the hail to a program room. I started to join Gay in the audience and Joe called me up to the table. It seemed that he had drafted me to join him on a panel. It was "Homo Pacem". Until we sat down at the speaker's table neither Joe nor I knew what the panel was to be about. It turned out to be about whether man will ever outgrow war. Poor Joe, they always stick him on things like that. It worked, we got the audience involved, and with the Iraq crisis and the British Falklands experience, there was a good buzz. Good Panels usually include a lot of audience participation.

C. Howard Wilkins, U.S. Ambassador to The Netherlands spoke before the Hugos were given out. It turns out he is actually a SF reader and either was carefully briefed or is somewhat a fan. After the ceremony was over, I went over to greet the Ambassador and to tell him that the dear old Library of Congress is also becoming an SF fan, which caused a small security panic among the Con security, but not with the Embassy Staff.

I explained to some officious Brits who tried to hustle me off or chew me out or whatever, that I was also an official representative of the United States, and while the US Legislature was not always fond of the Executive Branch, that neither the Ambassador nor I were likely to engage in fisticuffs.

For years I had heard that the Hugo Loser's party was one of the best events at the Con. I had looked forward to attending it, certain that while I had gotten nominated, I really felt reasonably sure one of the better known artists: Teddy Harvia, Merle Insinga or Stu Shiffman would win. (And one did: Stu Shiffman after 11 nominations finally got his laurel). The Loser's party was sponsored by the Chicago 49th WorldCon. They gave me an embroidered drink caddie with a Hugo on it as a consolation prize. Had I chosen to cry into my beer, I would not have left a table ring.

The party was rather quiet as most of losers attended the winner's party. Oh, well, sometimes you can't win for losing.

More recently, I have begun to sell my SF writing, and given my extraordinary good fortune in being nominated for a Hugo in the Fan Artist category, perhaps I might get nominated for a Hugo for something I wrote. Considering the results of my previous nomination, perhaps the next time I get nominated for a Hugo, it will set off a chain of events which makes me Pope.

If I got that job, who knows where it would lead?


Sparky & William & Ian

Lyrics © 2000 by Perrianne Lurie

Music: "Abraham, Martin and John" by Dion

Has anybody here seen my old friend Sparky?

Can you tell me where he's gone?

With Charlie Brown and Snoopy he delighted us for decades

But I just looked around and he's gone.


Has anybody here seen my old friend William?

Can you tell me where he's gone?

For convention masqueraders he drew up rules to guide us

But I just looked around and he's gone.


Has anybody here seen me old mate Ian?

Can you tell me where he's gone?

His drawings from Australia were sent out around the whole world

But I just looked around and he's gone.


Didn't you love the work they gave us?

Didn't they try to do some good for you and me?

And we'll  go on

Some day soon, it's gonna be one day.


Has anybody here seen my old friend Joseph?

Can you tell me where he's been?

I thought I saw him walking up over the hill with Sparky and William and Ian.


Remembering Joe

By Michael Nelson


                Joe's memorial service took place on June 17th in St. Bernard's, a Catholic church in Riverdale, Maryland.  The main space was a large T‑shaped area -- three sets of pews facing a central altar -- religion in the round, so to speak.  It was a beautiful location for the service.  The large stained glass windows were made with slab glass -- pieces of glass an inch or more thick, roughly shaped with hammer and chisel and cemented together.  A marked contrast from the thin delicate pieces of glass joined by lead or copper foil in traditional stained glass windows.  I had never seen such large and detailed stained glass projects done with slab glass.  They were like Joe.  He was a big guy and you didn't expected him to be capable of creating such detailed and fine work when you first met him.  One window amused me particularly.  One of the window panels showed a pair of dice.  I think Joe would have seen and remarked on the pun -- since it was obviously a picture of Paradise.

                I didn't pay much attention during the service -- a sermon about Jesus and Lazarus Long or something.  I was thinking about Joe and what I would say if the priest asked people to come up to talk about him.  Joe was the first friend I have ever lost.  My mom died three years ago and a number of relatives have passed on, but Joe was the first friend to go.  Everything I thought of saying seemed like a cliché.  How it felt like there was a Joe-sized hole in my heart and that WSFA meetings and conventions would never feel completely right again without Joe.

                I remembered my first visit to see him in the hospital.  He was still awake for brief periods at that time.  It was like the children's book, The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein.  Unable to talk -- perhaps not ever able to understand what people were saying -- Joe freely gave the only thing he had left to give... his smile.  I think he was trying to make his visitors feel better -- to reassure them and to comfort them even while he was trapped within his own body.

                Being the wallflower that I am, I really didn't get to know Joe well until I started asking him for artwork for Bucconeer's Worldcon bid ads in 1993.  I had foolish volunteered to produce ads and flyers for Bucconeer that fall without any previous experience.  My first ad, for one of the ConAdian (the 1994 Worldcon) progress reports, had been a crude piece using a genetic WordPerfect clipart graphic.  Joe gave me a drawing he happened to have with him to use for an ad in an Intersection (1995 Worldcon) progress report.  After that, Joe produced dozens of pirate drawings -- some I had suggested, but most from his own weird imagination.  Like the Pie-rats, Bucky the Crabcake, and his "elaborate doodles" for the back covers of our progress reports.

                He would downplay his work for Bucconeer -- saying that my presentation of his drawings made them stand out and attract the attention of the Worldcon bid voters.  I would usually reply with a quote from James Thurber, "A drawing is always dragged down to the level of its caption."  Joe would insist that his exposure in our publications was the major factor for winning his Best Fan Artist Hugo Award in 1998.  I don't think that's true -- Joe's work didn't need any help  -- but that was Joe.  He could be argumentative and egocentric on the outside -- sometimes a real pain in the butt -- but he always supported his friends.

Key Lime Pie ala Coleen

8 oz package cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup key lime juice

1/4-1/2 tsp grated key lime rind (regular lime rind will due)

12 oz container of Cool Whip

1 graham cracker pie crust


Beat cream cheese until very soft.  Add sugar and lime rind, beat some

more.  VERY gradually add the lime juice, beating well.  The cheese will be

fairly thin at this point.  Fold in the Cool Whip, put in pie crust.

Freeze one hour before serving.

People are Vaguely Willing


                The 6/2/2000 First Friday opened with Judy, all in black, banging her gavel.  "It's 9:17.  I'm starting the meeting.  Everyone come down."  The Secretary said there was no old business.  The treasurer said We had "Not much, $1,769.08".  "Did we just pay a bill?" asked Sam Pierce.  "Yes," replied Bob, "Insurance."

                Elspeth said, "I was at the hospital today.  Joe is not responding.  He was like that all day.  They moved him to the ICU because of congestion.  His eyes moved when his bed bumped but not when I passed my hands in front of his eyes.  Chris and Dick showed up and I left at ten of eight.  He'd been at the ICU for an hour, not stable.  Dick called and said he did stabilize.  When he was told to cough, he did.  Visiting hours are 9-11, only two at a time, four in the waiting room.  You need to call in and check in.  I talked to the nurse.  She said he is just going downhill.  On Wednesday, Richard and I were there, he was responding.  I said something and he said yes.  Before I left he took my hand.  He was there and responded.  He did fog out."

                Walter said, "I did get 15 seconds of a regular Joe smile so some of him is in there."

                Elspeth said, "We're all so used to sitting on Joe to get a word in edgewise, that we don't know what to do when he's not talking."  She brought a box of books for people to read to him.  Mike said, "This is your chance.  You can say anything you want to him." 

John said, "He feel asleep when I was reading to him.  This is not the first time.  The EEG is not showing stroke.  Strokes would leave signs.  Doctors are not sure what happened.  Theories range.  They don't know.  They are trying to find out.  They wanted to do a brain biopsy but neck problems.  Neurologists will look into it and do a blood analysis.  Doctor said they had a woman like this last year for two moths but she got better.  He was not sanguine that Joe would get better\, but thought it possible.  The right side of the brain is not showing properly.  We talked about the onset of this;  both Judy and I thought his behavior at Balticon was strange, even for Joe.  He spoke to me emotionally about needing to lose weight or I'd end up like him.  The doctors wanted to know if he'd been overseas."

Alexis said, "Not in a dog's age.  Hague Worldcon."  John said, "So they are struggling."

Judy said, "There are a couple of cards going around."  Eric said, "I figured it out, it's really Mad Con Disease."

Judy said, "To get back to regular business, our con chair is in Dayton.  His father's birthday."  Sam Lubell joked, "I thought he was looking at hotels a little closer in."

Alexis said, "The Entertainment committee installed lights in the foyer."  Lee said, "You no longer have to duck your head when you come in."

Elspeth said, "The trustees are charged with finding a con chair.  People are vaguely willing, but no one wants to find a hotel so I volunteered to do the legwork if someone will tell me what they want."

Lee G for the library committee said, "Essentially I was trying to find a library for a joint event.  They are having problems.   But they are willing to give us a room for 35 people.  We can book authors and just have a WSFA event at the library without sponsorship." 

For the publications committee, Sam L said, "Thanks to Keith, we have all the issues of the WSFA Journal from three years ago to the present, including this one on-line."  Elspeth objected, "You put it up before it got to us?"  Keith said, "Yes, I put it up at midnight." 

Richard asked, "Do you have room for all the journals?"  Keith said, "I intend to."  Richard asked, "What about MP3s" <laughter>.  Eric asked "What about speeches?"  There was a discussion about rights but it faded out.

Eric for the austerity committee said, "I didn't bring food.  I'm sorry.  But other people did."

Judy asked, "Are there any committees I'm forgetting about?  New business.  I noticed on a calendar that we have a Fifth Friday if someone wants to host."

Mike said, "If Joe needs an operation we can do a blood drive for him."  Alexis said, "Or people who donate regularly can dedicate it to Joe."  Jokes were made about vampires and hospitals' willingness to accept fans' obviously alien blood.

John said, "We're holding our annual Fourth of July BBQ.  WSFA is invited along with both our other friends.  Each year we do something stupid that becomes tradition.  First a waterfight, then liquid nitrogen ice cream, this year..." Alexis interrupted, "A liquid nitrogen fight."  John replied, "That's cold.  No, homemade bratwurst.  <He's tired of his cats>  All food is taken care of.  Do not bring food.  There will be a donation jar.  If you're vegetarian, tough sh!t."

Lee G. asked for help from WSFA's computer people who met after the meeting to solve her problems."  Mike said that he's doing the Hugo ballots and is working on a form of online voting.  Steve said that Maryland Public TV is showing the Lathe of Heaven.  Richard returns from his trip to Eastern Europe.  Sam Pierce said, "If you submit a review to the WSFA Journal, you may get weird feedback.  I wrote a review of Catherine Asario's new book and I got a response from Asario."  Steve said, the best review of the Battlefield Earth movie is that it's Travolting.  Meeting unanimously adjourned at 9:51.

Attendance: Pres. Judy Kindell, VP Sam Pierce, Sec. Samuel Lubell, Treas. Bob MacIntosh, Trust. Lee Gilliland, Trust. Eric Jablow, Trust. Elspeth Kovar, Mathew Appleton, Colleen Cahill, Alexis Gilliland, Keith Lynch, Nicki and Richard Lynch, Keith Marshall, Walter Miles, George Nelson, Michael Nelson, Kathi Overton, Evan Phillips, John Pomeranz, Rebecca Prather, George Shaner, Steve Smith, Michael Walsh, Madeleine Yeh. Sean Regan, Jim Edwards-Hewitt.



Events, Not Entertaining


The 6/16 Third Friday in Maryland had an unusual start as Judy brought four or five boxes of free books, from Rachel Russell and Eric Baker.  The sharks quickly circled, grabbing goodies.  When the feeding frenzy was over only a few books were left that no club member would take, even for free. 

For old business, Sam announced that June had five, count them five Fridays.  Erica said that she will be out for much of July so asked if she could switch with the Gillilands.  They agreed.  She won't be here third Friday in August.  Not sure where going where.  "I'm here now.  I made it to the meeting."  Alexis pointed out that on the fourth Friday, British fan Andrew A. Adams will be at John Pomeranz's for a special dinner.  John called it a "triple A" meeting.  He suggested that we <use the handy WSFA time travel machine> and hold fifth Friday on the fourth Friday.  Kathei seconded "because I won't be there."  The club agreed.  He passed out directions.  Erica asked, if it was okay if we hadn't heard of him.  John said, "It's okay, I hadn't."  <Maybe homeless guys are passing themselves off as foreign fans to get a free meal?> 

Bob reported the treasury, "sadly" had only $1,744.08 left.  "That's what happens when you pay insurance."  Alexis said the Entertainment Committee has been distracted by events not entertaining.  Judy said, "I'd like to thank our webmaster for keeping us up to date on Joe."  Keith replied, "I'd like to thank Evan for sending information."  Evan waited three hours for author Gene Wolfe to attend the memorial service for Joe.  There was a weather system and he couldn't get off the tamac. 

Covert reported, "Between a car wreck, Scottish games, and spending 2.5 million, I haven't done anything."  Judy asked, "Couldn't you spend it on us?"  Michael said, "Buy a hotel."  Covert, "It wouldn't be much of a hotel."  Michael, "That's okay, we're used to it."

Sam Lubell reported, "I spent Saturday compiling a list of the WSFA officers from 1978 on.  This was a self-indulgent task of interest only to WSFAns.  Joe would have approved."  Erica replied, "That wasn't self-indulgent, maybe obsessive-compulsive.  But Joe would have definitely approved."

Judy said, "Bucconeer will have a memorial at Worldcon.  There is a debate over when.  Elspeth is writing something for the Worldcon program book." 

For new business, Sam Lubell suggested compiling a book of Joe's cartoons.  We could contact Baltimore and Boston to help."  Erica offered to put some money into the project.  Evan suggested contacting Ian Gunn's window about a joint book. 

A fearful Alexis said, "This celebration of dead cartoonists has got to stop."  But Bob soothed him, "We promise not to celebrate you as a dead cartoonist,  just a dead author."

Evan said, "A project like this will take time.  I suggest we wait rather than blow the budget on it."  Elspeth said, Balticon is planning on naming an award for Joe, but Michael said it was just talk.

Erica said, "On the subject of Joe, I bumped into Bill at the library.  He said if tonight's meeting got too depressing, to remember Joe's last words."  Elspeth, "Mooo"  Everyone laughed.  Elspeth continued.  "The last night several WSFAns were there, talked and laughed so loud that the nurse closed the door on us."  Erica said, "Wherever he is, he is laughing and telling jokes."  Someone added, "to everyone, whether they want to hear it or not."

Michael said, "At BSFS they said, trust Joe to die of something so obscure and hard to spell."  John said, "The biopsy couldn't be done at first because his neck was too stiff."  Erica said, "His last act was to prove Marion wrong. She thought he'd only survive another 12 hours, but he lasted 36."  Elspeth said, "Joe died as he lived, considerate."

Evan said that Bill said he would Joe's books to WSFA.  We should consider what to do with it since Joe's library is that of a person who didn't keep books he didn't like.  Chuck said the will moon NASA. 

Attendance: Pres. Judy Kindell, VP Sam Pierce, Sec. Sam Lubell, Treas. Bob MacIntosh, Trust. Lee Gilliland, Trust Elspeth Kovar, Bernard Bell, Colleen Cahill, Alexis Gilliland, Erica Ginter, Daniel Horne, Keith Lynch, Nicki and Richard Lynch, Candy Madigan, Keith Marshall, Walter Miles, Michael Nelson, Barry and Judy Newton, Lance Oszko, Kathi Overton, John Pomeranz, George Shaner, Steve Smith, Michael Taylor, Michael Walsh, and the spirit and memory of Joe Mayhew, may he live forever whenever fans gather. 

Treasurer's Report


First Friday                     $25.00

WSFA Journal               $14.96

Third Friday                   $25.00


Kudos to John Pomeranz who held the Fifth Friday on the Fourth Friday and decided to not charge WSFA anything.