(October 4, 1908 – October 27, 1974)
Alfred LaVerne Ashley was a BNF from Battle Creek, Michigan, who later moved to Los Angeles. He was a bright man (he achieved AA194) who drove a taxi so he could have more time to think of things other than work.
“The real Al Ashley, at least on paper, was one of the more intelligent, fun-to-read, and talented people who has ever been in fandom,” Harry Warner, Jr., wrote in Void 24 (1961). In the early 1940s, he was ranked among the top 25 fans in the country. He was acting president of the N3F during the Interregnum in 1943–44. He was an OE and president of FAPA. With E. E. Evans, he originated the Lez-ettes.
Al married Abby Lu Adams in Indiana in 1936, her second husband. In the 1943, they acquired the original Slan Shack in Battle Creek and lived there with other fans, until they all moved to LA in 1945. Half seriously, Al conceived of the idea for a larger Slan Center. The Ashleys hosted the Michiconferences and he authored the Michicon Booklets in 1943–45. He attended the 1942 Bloomington Conference.
“Al once made an impassioned plea for the substitution of tem for fan as the general description of us critters,” recalled Warner, derived “from the Latin tempus, as a symbol of the time-binding ability of science fiction enthusiasts.”
For several months late in ’45 worked for a sign shop in LA which had a contract with Lockheed to repaint former Air Force Connies with TWA colors. Al was put in charge of this job and given the responsibility for hiring a crew. Needless to say, his crew was made up largely of fans: in addition to myself there was Jack Weidenbeck, Gus Wilmorth, and maybe a couple of others whose names slip my memory at this late date. The job was, of course, in Burbank, so we all drove to work in Al’s car. Before going to work we’d meet at Slan Shack where Al would be drinking the first dozen or so cups of his daily quota of coffee, and we’d join him while Abby Lu bustled around the kitchen getting his lunch ready. After Al felt he had had enough coffee to sustain him on the long drive to Burbank we’d all pile into the car and make for Lockheed. The first thing we’d do when we got there was to make a bee line for the company cafeteria for refueling. As far as I was concerned Al was a good boss and seemed to be an accomplished signpainter — at least on this job. How long this job lasted for Al, or whether he continued working for the same shop after the Lockheed job was finished, I don’t know. When I quit and left LA in the middle of December, 1945, he was still working at it.
Though he cooperated with the Insurgents, he became the butt of their taunts in the Ashley Mythos and gafiated. In December 1946, Frank Robinson reported in Ember 24 that Ashley was back in Battle Creek. Sometime after that, he and Abby Lu divorced.
- The Stump, 1944 fanzine promoting Ashley as VP of FAPA, online at fanac.org.
- “What Al Ashley Did Before He Said You Bastard” by Harry Warner, Jr. in Void 24.
- Photo on page 399 of Harry Warner's A Wealth of Fable.
- Photo in LASFS Album.
- Abed & Bored [1940s]
- En Garde [1942-44] (for FAPA)
- Fantasy Amateur Lean To  (for FAPA)
- Fantasy Amateur Lean To Annex  (for FAPA)
- Meet FAPA  (for FAPA)
- Nova [1941-43]
- The Precipitant  (for FAPA)
- Stefan 
- The Stump  (for FAPA)
- These Amazing Amendments  (for FAPA)
- What is Science Fiction Fandom? 
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