Bjo Trimble

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Betty Jo Trimble (born Betty JoAnne Conway on August 15, 1933), universally known as Bjo (/ˈb/, BEE-joh),[1] is a significant figure in the history of science fiction fandom. Initially entering fandom in the early 1950s, Trimble, along with her husband John Griffin Trimble, is credited as being one of the most influential fans of her generation.[by whom?]

Introduction to fandom[edit]

Trimble's introduction to science fiction fandom was TASFiC, the 1952 Worldcon. She was a WAVE stationed at Naval Station Great Lakes who happened to see an announcement in Astounding Science Fiction about the upcoming convention that weekend. She met a number of other science fiction enthusiasts, including Robert Bloch, Willy Ley, and August Derleth; and 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.) When it was discovered that she was an artist and cartoonist, she was recruited to contribute illustrations for science fiction fanzines. Trimble says that she 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 Office Stories and discovered we liked each other a lot."[2]

Fan activities[edit]

Trimble helped revive a flagging Los Angeles Science Fiction Society (LASFS) in the late 1950s[citation needed]. In 1958, she put together the "Worldcon Futuristic Fashion Show" at Solacon, the 1958 16th World Science Fiction Convention. She ran one again in 1966 at Tricon, the 24th Worldcon, incidentally giving fandom a glimpse of three early Star Trek costumes. Trimble started and directed "Project Art Show", the first modern convention art show, in 1960. The success of Project Art Show led to art shows becoming a profitable part of most conventions, large and small.[3]

The Trimbles' 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. They 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, portraying crew members (both human and alien) in the Recreation Deck scene (at the time, the largest number of persons ever appearing in a single Star Trek scene).[4] Her other film credits include makeup design for Flesh Gordon; and a role as 'Ma Cant,' a satirical version of Superman's Martha Kent, in a film short called Superbman: The Other Movie.

Trimble is author of the book The Star Trek Concordance, which contains cross-referenced details on the episodes of the original Star Trek, its animated incarnation and, in later editions of the book, the Star Trek films.[5]

Trimble received the Big Heart Award in 1964, and (in her persona of Flavia Beatrice Carmigniani) the Society for Creative Anachronism's Order of the Laurel, an art award. Bjo and John are also both members of the SCA's Order of the Pelican for service. (She and John were Baron &and Baroness of the SCA's Barony of the Angels [Los Angeles Chapter of the SCA] from September 2008 until January 2012.) She also received the International Costumers Guild's Lifetime Achievement award. Trimble was Guest of Honor at 1995's DragonCon, the 6th North American Science Fiction Convention, as well as at many other science fiction and Star Trek conventions around the world. Bjo and John Trimble were the Fan Guests of Honor at the 60th Worldcon, ConJosé.[6]

The Trimbles, who own and operate the business Griffin Dyeworks & Fiber Arts, live in Southern California.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gerrold, David. The Trouble With Tribbles: the birth, sale, and final production of one episode, 1973
  2. ^ Interview: "Bjo Trimble: The Woman Who Saved Star Trek - Part 1" Startrek.com August 31, 2011
  3. ^ Tymn, Marshall B. The Science Fiction Reference Book: A Comprehensive Handbook and Guide to the History, Literature, Scholarship, and Related Activities of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Fields Mercer Island, Washington: Starmont House, 1981; pp. 110, 114
  4. ^ Mitchell, Charles P. "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" in A Guide to Apocalyptic Cinema. Greenwood Publishing, 2001; p. 219.
  5. ^ WorldCat listing for The Star Trek Concordance
  6. ^ Biography of the Trimbles on archived Con Jose website
  7. ^ Trimble, Bjo. "About Griffin Dyeworks & Fiber Arts" bjotrimble blog

Other sources[edit]