Gertrude M. Carr
(April 18, 1907 – March 6, 2005)
Gertrude Martha Carr (formerly Jacobson, née Wall) was a Seattle fan, aka G. M. Carr, GMC, Gem and (mainly by detractors) Gertie Carr. She discovered fandom in 1949, attended the Norwescon in Portland, OR, that year, and then the NorWesCon Worldcon in 1950, as well as numerous later conventions.
She was a charter member and officer of The Nameless Ones and sometime editor of Cry. Carr was a member of the First Fandom club. She was an unsuccessful candidate in the 1956 TAFF Race. She engaged in an extensive correspondence with fans and pros.
A member of the N3F and N'APA, she was a volunteer in the club Correspondence Bureau. BuHead Ev Winne commented in TNFF for February–March 1952:
As we got to know her better G. M. Carr of Seattle turned out to be the editor of a well-known zine, a top member of SAPS, a big help on a special N3F project, and Mrs. Gertrude Carr (!) Fortunately our language in letters is circumspect for we firmly beleived G stood for George ..... Here we struck a blow for many male fen with pink faces regarding (Miss) Lee Hoffman and Julian (Judy) May. Mrs. Carr had more than half an idea that ‘Ev’ meant Evelyn or something similar.
She is remembered as a somewhat controversial and difficult person, and wasn’t very popular. Walter Breen named her one of the Three Big Bitches of Fandom (but consider the source). She quarreled with Walt Willis in FAPA during the TAFF Wars. A devout Roman Catholic and a conservative Republican, Carr’s right-wing mundane politics drew her into “intermittent cuss-fests [with] anybody left of the late Arthur Wellesley,” as Dick Eney put it in Fancyclopedia 2.
She continued apahacking until 2003, when she was in her late 90s. Besides SAPS and N'APA, she contributed to the apas WAPA, BSFA, TLMA and FAPA.
A group of fanboys traveling cross-country in the wake of Detention, the 1959 Worldcon, including Jim Caughran, Jack Harness, Ted Johnstone and Bruce Pelz, made up a derisive filksong about her, to the tune of “Sam Hall,” as Pelz recorded in The SpeleoBem 6 (January 1960, p. 18). In part:
Oh, her name it is Gem Carr, it is Gem Carr. Oh, her name it is Gem Carr, She’s despised near and far, Pass the feathers and the tar, damn her eyes, damn her eyes, Pass the feathers and the tar, damn her eyes. Into FAPA she did come, she did come, Into FAPA she did come, Just to educate us scum, Beating loudly on her drum, damn her eyes, damn her eyes, Beating loudly on her drum, damn her eyes.
In 1961, she wrote:
I'm currently undergoing a siege of gafia which may or may not turn out to be the beginning of the end of my interest in fandom. It's hard to tell at this point, because fans usually gafiate from time to time (like bears going into hibernation) and it is impossible to tell in advance if or when they'll come out of it.
She remained somewhat gafiated from core fandom, but in the 1960s and ’70s became deeply involved with Star Trek fandom.
Carr worked as a bookkeeper and secretary of the Western Refrigeration Company, which she owned with her husband, Frank J. Carr (1906–1989, m. 1932), and for a time, ran Gem's Hobby, a used books and collectibles shop. She was previously married to Hance Martin Jacobson (1904–1989, m. 1924). She had a son, Eric Carr, whom she took with her to Norwescon in 1949.
- Con report on Midwestcon 8 by G. M. Carr in Cry of the Nameless 106 (August 1957, p. 3).
- Papers at the University of Iowa.
- FindaGrave entry.
- Obituary, Kitsap Sun, March 11, 2005.
- Apanage (for ValApa)
- Bait Box (1952)
- Carrzine (1954)
- Collected Poems of G. M. Carr (1957, in SAPS #40)
- Cry of the Nameless (issues #1-16, 1951–52)
- Epistles & Egoboo (for FAPA),
- Gee Zee (1957+, for SAPS)
- Gemel (at least 1979–81, for N'APA)
- Gemtones (16 issues 1950-53, for SAPS)
- Gemzine (for FAPA)
- NFFF As It Could Be? (1952, one-shot)
- Sinisterra (some issues, starting in 1950)
- Stopgap (2001–??, for SAPS)
- Tightbeam (in 1963 and 1965)
- Unasked Opinion (1952)
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