Shortly after Ray Bradbury's death, Earl Kemp asked me if I'd be interested in some photos he'd taken of Ray at a couple of LAPB shows in recent years, which of course I was. When they turned up, I realized some of them also showed Forry Ackerman. These are those photos:

Ray Bradbury...

...signing at the 2007 LAPB.

Forry Ackerman, William F. Nolan, Ray Bradbury at 2008 LAPB

Seen from opposite end of table

Since they show both gentlemen in their declining years - Forry mere months or weeks before his passing - I thought it would be only fair to also show them in their prime. Fortunately, I have access to a bunch of photos of American fans from the 1930s and 1940s, as preserved in the photo collection of E.J. 'Ted' Carnell (supplied to me by Peter Weston) to choose from.

Bill Crawford, Forry Ackerman

Ray Bradbury, Forry Ackerman (seriously!) - photo from FANTASY FICTION FIELD #24 (Apr' 41)

Ackerman was a charter member of the Los Angeles Science Fiction League (as it was then called) from its beginning in 1934. Bradbury didn't appear until 1937. Then still a teenager, he turned up at the October 7th meeting, held in Clifton's Cafeteria at 648 South Broadway, with the words: "Is Mr Yerke here?", having been sent an invitation to attend signed by T. Bruce Yerke. Above is a contemporary photo of Ackerman from Ted's collection, date and photographer unknown. The copy of MARVEL TALES in Forry's hand is the fifth and final issue, dated March 1935. This may or may not be when the picture was taken. Below is a photo of Morojo, Yerke, and Pogo. If that's the same bush/tree in the background it's possible these two photos were taken on the same occasion. Morojo was Myrtle R. Douglas ('Morojo' being the pronunciation of her initials in Esperanto), while Pogo was her cousin Mary Corinne 'Patti' Gray. Ackerman was almost certainly either the photographer or - more likely - the one holding the spoof newspaper.

Morojo, T.Bruce Yerke, Pogo

There's a rather splendid and very sharp photo of a group of LASFS members in Ted's collection (thumbnail version below), half of whom are female - very unusual for the time. Inevitably, date and photographer are not noted, but by consulting the standard reference - Harry Warner Jr's ALL OUR YESTERDAYS (published by Advent - Hi, Earl! - out of Chicago in April 1969, and the source of all the historical info on this page) - we can narrow it down a bit. Walter Daugherty is in the middle of the front row, but while AOY says he "came to prominence" in the club in 1940, it doesn't actually say when he joined. Bradbury looks to be in his early twenties in the photo, and according to AOY, he moved away from Los Angeles and dropped his membership in 1942. So, unless someone can say otherwise, I'm guessing it was taken 1941/2.

The Los Angeles Science Fiction Society, circa 1940-42

Finally, here are two larger details cropped from that group shot. The first shows the dashing young Ray Bradbury and, no, I don't recognise the names of those either side of him. Francis Towner Laney didn't arrive in L.A. and join the club until November 1943, and I've never heard any mention of a local relative, so Virginia was probably no relation.

Virginia Laney, Ray Bradbury. Mark Blanck

And heeeeeere's Forry!

Morojo, Pogo, Forry Ackerman