Peggy Rae Sapienza

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(June 28, 1945 – March 22, 2015)

Peggy Rae and Bob Pavlat at Nycon 3, 1967.

Peggy Rae Sapienza (formerly Pavlat, née McKnight) chaired BucConeer, the 1998 Worldcon. She was named Fan GoH at Chicon 7, the 2012 Worldcon.

Long a stalwart of Washington-Baltimore fandom, she was famous for getting people to get things done. Her efforts as vice chairman of ConFrancisco, the 1993 Worldcon, are widely credited with keeping a fractious concom on track. She also co-chaired the 2014 World Fantasy Convention and was a member of the DC17 bid committee.

She chaired Smofcon 9, the Washington in '77 Worldcon bid, and the 2014 World Fantasy Convention. She was one of the founders of FanHistoriCon. She was a member of the Young Science Fiction Reading Group and PSFS. She published the FAPAzines Adventures on Earth, Of Cabbages and Kings (and Baby Turtles) (also in FHAPA), and the fanzine Etwas.

At Tricon, the 1966 Worldcon, she modeled in the “A Galaxy of Fashion Show.”

Peggy Rae was a second-generation fan, the daughter of Jack McKnight, who manufactured the first Hugo Award rockets, and Buddie McKnight. She married BNF Bob Pavlat, nearly 20 years her senior, in 1964. (She had met him at her first Worldcon, Pittcon, in 1960.) They had two children, Melissa (Missy) and Eric. They jointly received the Big Heart Award in 1983. On August 14, 1999, she married fan and lawyer John Sapienza.


I Mowed Peggy Rae's Lawn[edit]

The catchphrase "I Mowed Peggy Rae's Lawn" grew from an incident at her house and has come to mean someone's fannish activity has been inspired by Sapienza.

Peggy Rae was outside tending her flower garden one day prior to a concom meeting. When Terry Sisk Grabill arrived for the meeting, rather than going into the house, she stayed outside to help Peggy Rae. As more fans arrived, many stayed outside, and one even began to mow the lawn. When Joe Mayhew showed up, he saw this scene and began warning people that if they worked on conventions with Peggy Rae, they would end up mowing her lawn.

By Nippon 2007, the concom made badge ribbons stating "I Mowed Peggy Rae's Lawn." When she was Guest of Honor at Chicon 7, one of the exhibits was a piece of artificial grass, a white picket fence, and a toy lawnmower.

Even after her death in 2015, fans whose activities were inspired by Peggy Rae continued to wear ribbons stating "Still Mowing Peggy Rae's Lawn."

More Reading:[edit]

Fanzines and Apazines:

Awards, Honors and GoHships:

Person 19452015
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