Glimpses of the Past

After a long absence Bill Plott has returned to the Southern Fandom Press Alliance, an apa he helped found.

He’s also created a one-shot, The J. T. Oliver Photo Collection, available at eFanzines, from an assortment of photos Plott was given when he visited Oliver in Columbus, Georgia in the 1950s. 

There’s a remarkable photo of Lee Hoffman, looking quite the belle, with J.T. Oliver and Paul Cox. Belle is not a word I’d previously associated with Hoffman. They were all Georgia fans, the two men from Columbus and Hoffman from Savannah.

The album also includes pictures of Bob Tucker in a bow-tie, flashing a suave smile. Ray Bradbury appears sans glasses. And Henry Hasse poses with his dog (a note on the back saying, “The one on the left is me.”) Hasse co-authored Bradbury’s first professional sale.

Plott weaves a narrative around these photos to explain who’s in them and why they mattered to fandom.

And he includes a link to a website about Lee Hoffman maintained by her nephew, Gary Ross Hoffman. Well worth a look. Ever wonder about the spelling of her fanzine title? The answer is there —

I called my fanzine Quandry. Some time earlier, I’d come across a paperback by Robert Benchley titled My Ten Years In A Quandary. I’d had to ask my mother what “quandary” meant. She explained and I liked the idea. But I mispronounced the word. When I titled my fanzine, I spelled it the way I said it. Surprisingly few people pointed out my error but I was embarrassed by the ones who did, and considered correcting the title. However I liked the look of the word “Quandry” and I thought “Quandary” rather ugly. I stuck with what I had.

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