Originally Posted by BethS
What was in the original column that started all this? Does someone have a scan of it somewhere?
No, but I will type in excerpts from issue #200's article: "Resnick & Malzberg Dialogues: LX: Literary Ladies (Part 2)" which takes up eight full pages (I can't find issue #199 with part 1 at the moment).
All ellipses are theirs. Anything I left out is marked with <redacted>. All transcribing errors are my own.
At the very beginning of the article is one of those large-type excerpts in boxes, which I quote in full:
She was competent, unpretentious, and beauty pageant gorgeous ... as photographs make quite clear. Tell the succeeding generations all about her, please. -- Barry
(Note that "she" is never named in this extract.)
The article starts out as a straightforward nostalgic reminiscence. One page in Barry Malzberg brings up Beatrice Mahaffey:
Almost synchronous with her [Catherine Tarrant's] entrance was that of Beatrice Mahaffey as Raymond Palmer's assistant editor when Palmer left Amazing to originate a series of his own magazines (beginning with Other Worlds) and I will leave it to you to introduce her; you knew her from the SF community of your early years and were, with so many, an admirer. She was competent, unpretentious, and beauty pageant gorgeous ... as photographs make quite clear. Tell succeeding generations all about her, please.
Ah, Bea Mahaffey...
She was the only pro I knew in Cincinnati when we moved here from the Chicago area more than a third of a century ago. She was incredibly generous with her time and reminiscences, and I spent a lot of time with her, on the phone and in person, duting the first few months when I was learning my way around town.
Anyone who's seen photos of Bea from the 1950s knows she was a knockout as a young woman.
<four paragraphs with a possibly apocryphal story about Isaac Asimov redacted>
Another story is from nonagenarian Margaret Keiffer, who lives just a couple of miles from us. She's the widow of super-fan Don Ford, who ran the 1949 Worldcon, and founded both Midwestcon and First Fandom. Don also created CFG (the Cincinnati Fantasy Group), the venerable local club to which Carol and I belong. According to Margaret, during its first few years of existence CFG was populated exclusively by men. Then Bea joined. Then the members' wives got a look at Bea in her swimsuit at the 1950 Midwestcon. Then the club's makeup changed to the 50% men and 50% women that has existed ever since.
There may be more that I missed. The article goes on for six more pages.
I note that jealousy is slyly ascribed as the motivation of the women who joined the fan club rather than the possibility that women joined because they saw a woman was a member and so realized that they might be allowed.