Bjo Trimble

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(August 15, 1933 –)

Betty JoAnne Conway Wells Trimble, always known as Bjo (an Esperantoism akin to Morojo and Pogo), is an LA-area fan best known for her campaign to stop the cancellation of Star Trek. Born in Holdenville, Oklahoma, Betty Jo McCarthy came into fandom through TASFiC, the 1952 Worldcon in Chicago. She was a WAVE stationed at Naval Station Great Lakes who happened to see an announcement in Astounding about the upcoming convention.

Bjo attended and met other fans including Robert Bloch, Willy Ley, and August Derleth; she claims that Harlan Ellison, "this bespectacled young man who had just sold his first short story ... decided he liked me and proposed on the spot." (She declined.)

She was an artist and cartoonist, so she was recruited to contribute illos for fanzines.

Bjo was honorably discharged (for bad feet and ankles) in 1953, and soon after married Don Wells. (Her first issue of PAS-tell was under the name Bjo Wells.) She wrote in APA-L #105 that Don's "jealousy built up until it reached a stage where he'd pop into the house with a loaded .38 to 'catch me' with someone else" and that he objected to a faneditor saying that he "faunched after her art." Bjo and Don were divorced after three years of marriage.

She joined LASFS and met John Trimble under Forrest J Ackerman's piano, where several fans had taken refuge during a particularly crowded party. "John was in the Air Force, so he and I traded Stupid Officer Stories and discovered we liked each other a lot," she recalled. They married in July 1960, and LASFS gave them enough money to send them to Worldcon, Pittcon.

She quickly became one of the leading members of LASFS and helped revive a flagging club in the late ’50s. She helped start or revitalize De Profundis, Meretricious, Shangri L'Affaires, and the LASFS Newsletter. She helped organize Unicorn Productions, a fannish movie-making project which produced several movies. In 1958, she put together the "Worldcon Futuristic Fashion Show" at Solacon, the 1958 Worldcon, and ran a second masquerade in 1966 at Tricon, incidentally giving fandom a glimpse of three early Star Trek costumes. She was a member of The Petards.

In 1959, she played a dancing girl in the fannish filmThe Genie,” also starring Forry Ackerman and Fritz Leiber.

She co-chaired Westercon 23 and helped organize the Trans Oceanic Fan Fund. She lived for a time at the Fan Hilton. She ran for TAFF in 1959, losing to Don Ford.

In February, 1960, at the instigation of Seth Johnson, she announced, in Fanac, Project Art Show, the first modern convention art show, to be held at Pittcon. The success of Project Art Show led to art shows becoming a regular part of most conventions. Associated with that, she published A Sales Pitch to Convince FAPA to Sponsor an Art Show (it didn't work) and the International Science Fantasy Art Exhibition Bulletin.

In the mid-'60s, Bjo and John welcomed three daughters, Kathryn Arwen, Lora, and Jenn. In the late ’60s the Trimbles lived for a time in the Bay Area and were members of the Little Men.

Bjo’s most famous cause was the successful Save Star Trek campaign, generally credited with allowing the series to run for a third season rather than being canceled after two. She also ran the campaign to have the first of NASA's space shuttles named Enterprise. Her efforts earned her an uncredited role as a crew member in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, along with a contingent of other members of fandom who were allowed to serve as extras in full costume. Fanzines included Where No Fan Has Gone Before.

A later cause, which was less successful, was promoting the L. Ron Hubbard book Battlefield Earth for which Bjo and John founded a Hollywood-style fanclub (supported by an anonymous donor in 1983. It attempted to get a Hugo for Hubbard, but failed to get his book on the ballot. See File 770 40, p. 4 for details.

She illustrated The Universes of E. E. Smith. She was a member of SAPS, N'APA and FAPA.

Bjo and her husband were the Fan Guests of Honor at the 60th Worldcon, ConJosé.

She was nominated for the 1961 Best Fanzine Hugo, the 1963 Best Fanzine Hugo and the 1968 Best Fan Artist Hugo.

She and John were Baron and Baroness of the SCA's Barony of the Angels (the Los Angeles Chapter of the SCA) from September 2008 until January 2012.) She was a member of the Syracuse in '67 and PanPacificon Worldcon bids. She was a member of the N3F.

John Trimble died on April 19, 2024.

Entry in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.

Fanzines and Apazines:

Awards, Honors and GoHships:

Person 1933
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