Tenth Anniversary Willis Fund

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A special fan fund to bring Irish fans Walt and Madeleine Willis to the U.S. for Chicon III, the Worldcon in 1962, on the tenth anniversary of WAW With the Crew in '52, the first fan fund. (The initialism TAWF was an obvious pun on TAFF, which had developed since.)

It was started by Les Gerber. New York fans Ted and Sylvia White, Pete Graham, and Greg Benford soon signed on, and it was announced in the Special Walt Willis Appreciation Issue (or the Willish) of Benford and White's Void (#23, January 1961) and, "following invitation acceptance by Walt," picked up in the British Skyrack #32 and #32a (May 1961). Noreen and Larry Shaw (who became treasurer) also championed the cause in Axe (see Axe #0, p. 1).

The eventual "Executive Committee" also included 4E Ackerman, Buck and Juanita Coulson, Joe Sarno (as Chicon III representative), Terry Carr, Arthur Thomson (the UK treasurer), Shelby Vick (who, Axe wrote, was "reviving Confusion — the fanzine where the first Willis fund was promoted and proposed — for the occasion"; however there seems no trace of this) and Bob Tucker. The budget was set at $1,000 USD.

In the US, the Greyhound bus company lost the Willises' luggage, setting off a scorching letter from Willis to Greyhound and a large-scale fan search of Greyhound terminals. Over a year later, one of the two pieces was finally located in Brooklyn; but although Greyhound promised to return it by air, it was stolen and never reached the Willises.

The visit yielded Walt Willis’ trip report "Twice Upon a Time," which was published in installments in Axe, Hyphen, Ankus and Les Spinge, and first collected in Warhoon #28. Madeleine’s trip report, "The DisTAWF Side," was published in installments by Bruce Pelz in The SpeleoBem and first collected in an ebook omnibus of both reports, TAWF Times Two (Ansible Editions, 2022) edited by Rob Hansen and David Langford; this includes a Walt Willis installment omitted from Warhoon #28 and previously unpublished letters.

Fanfund 1962
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