By Martin Morse Wooster: Long-time Baltimore fan Amy Paul died on October 4 from lymphoma. She was 54. She was active in Baltimore fandom since the mid-1980s, when she came to Baltimore after getting a minority scholarship (for white people) to Morgan State, a historically black university. She had some Cherokee background, and was very interested in American Indian culture and spirituality and regularly attended Ecumenicon, a convention for people interested in alternative religions. She often used the fannish name Reverend Blessing Bird, although I don’t know who ordained her as a minister.
One story I heard about her involved when she lived in the Baltimore slanshack Fandom Republic in the mid-1980s. She showed up with a single bed, and legendary Baltimore fan Lee Smoire asked how she was going to have sex in such a small bed. Paul responded that she intended to postpone sex until marriage. Smoire was shocked and appalled.
The Baltimore Science Fiction Society is going to have a memorial party for Amy Paul in early November.
I just got back from Amy’s memorial service at the clubhouse, which was very low key. We reminisced about her. I got in my car to drive home, and turned on the radio. Fittingly, a Paul Revere and the Raiders song was playing; Amy was a huge fan of their lead singer, Mark Lindsay.
A minor nit: the slanshack was the Banana Republic, not Fandom Republic. The explanation was that everyone there was bananas. (And, sadly, with the exception of Jul Owings and Lee Smoire, they’re all dead now.)