20. A HOAX AND AN ENGAGEMENT

SEPTEMBER 1961

Joe Patrizio:

Starting off on a completely personal and self-centred note, I will proceed to give you some details of the most important thing that has happened to me since I last spoke to you all. This is my engagement to Anne Temple, daughter of William F. Temple... and you will all know who he is. I suppose that events leading up to my engagement started about three years ago when I joined the BSFA. Joining the Association brought me into contact with Ella Parker, our former Secretary, and it was Ella who got me interested enough in the activities of the Science Fiction Club of London, to come to London to work. And if I hadn't been in London four months ago I wouldn't have been at the party to which Bill brought Anne. So there you are, perhaps it's a rather round about way of reaching a conclusion, but you can see that I have at least one reason for being glad that I joined the BSFA.

As our Editor has probably mentioned elsewhere, a group of us saw our ex-Sec. Ella off on her trip to the USA, where she attended the World Science Fiction Convention at Seattle. So far we have had a number of letters from Ella, but very little information. All she says in that she is having a wonderful time, and is enjoying herself enough for six people.

It is slightly ironical that the two BSFA meetings held at Ella's prior to her going away were the two most suceessful that we have had. Ella put a great deal of work into making these meetings a success, but unfortunately they were attended only by a handful of regulars and only very occasionally did we see any other members. And it was to give members the opportunity to meet the Committee members who were resident in London, and also each other, that these meetings were started. With very few exceptions this aim met with little success.... that is until we had those last two meetings. I won't attempt to name everybody who was there, all I will say is that it was a full house, and all seemed to enjoy themselves. I, for one, am looking forward to the time when the Friday night get-togethers start up again. We, at this end, will let you know when this is to be, and we hope that you will all take the opportunity to come along.

- VECTOR #13 (Autumn 1961)

SKYRACK 36 (5 Sep 61):

I WONDER IF ELLA HAS PLAYED THAT TAPE YET? Bruce Burn, Arthur Thomson, Jimmy Groves, Ted Forsyth and I cooked up a little ploy on tape for Ella Parker at the SeaCon. Reports on how Ella took the news that the Penitentiary has been burnt down would be appreciated.

Harry Warner Jr reports:

Ella had with her a tape which impressed me mightily. She had received it in Seattle, from the London crowd. It was apparently unrehearsed, and the most fiendish piece of impromptu deviltry that I've ever heard on tape. It began with cheerful chatter about what had happened since Ella left, then someone started on a topic from which he was immediately diverted by the others in shocked manner, and a moment later Ron Bennett, I think, let slip a statement about the disappearance of Ella's favourite ATom illustration. To explain this, the crowd tried to minimize the damage that Ella's bete noir among British fans had done on the night of the big party, then it was necessary to explain about this party just in case someone should send her an exaggerated narrative about the accident to the Gestetner. This went on in growing climax for about 600 feet before it ended in a complete orgy in what was supposedly left of the Penitentiary. Ella laughed like mad at it, too, but I keep wondering if this wasn't the real reason back of her failure to return home as soon as she'd originally planned.

This is taken from his much longer appreciation of Ella in CRY OF THE NAMELESS #158:


Havre is circled in ballpoint

< PREVIOUS HOME NEXT >