WAW With the Crew in '52
This was the second fan fund (following the Big Pond Fund) and was amazingly successful, setting the pattern for future fan funds. "WAW" was Walt Willis, a very popular fan living in Northern Ireland. In 1951, Florida fan Shelby Vick began a campaign to bring Willis to Nolacon, that year's Worldcon in New Orleans. He soon realized that there just wasn't enough time to raise enough money, he shifted his target to the Chicon II in 1952, and the campaign came to be called "WAW With the Crew in '52." (Willis himself wrote the pieces later published as Willis Discovers America as a sort of pre-trip report.)
There was no problem raising enough money, and Willis arrived in the US for an extended trip that not only included Chicon II, but also brought him to fan centers from New York to Los Angeles and back. He published classic trip report "The Harp Stateside", which has come to be regarded as the best fan trip report ever written.
|From Fancyclopedia 2 ca 1959|
|Slogan coined by Shelby Vick for his successful campaign to bring Walt Willis to the ChiCon II. Walt's column, "The Harp That Once Or Twice..." in Quandry had been hailed as top-grade fanstuff, and the idea of bringing him over for the worldcon was one to rally much support from fans in America. Contributions and fundraising gimmicks like the Willishes and the raffling off of the Iron Maiden mimeo brought Walt over successfully, and the campaign itself is remembered fondly as a high point of the amiable Sixth Fandom attitude. A conreport of impressive bulk, The Harp Stateside, recorded Walt's adventures here and the campaign had much to do with development of the present entente cordiale between American and English fandom.|
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