Let’s conjure up another Autograph Hound Super-Sunday, since Tom Krabacher was poking around in the archives and stumbled across the post where Kevin Cook trotted out a couple of Hannes Bok letters, with distinctive doodling. One of those What the Hell moments.
What the Hell, thought Tom, I’ve got a Bok! Here’s the back story:
I never mentioned that I have a Bok signature doodle on a letter, too.
In this case one to Bea Mahaffey. A life-long Cincinnati-an, she got involved in SF fandom as a teenager in the 1940s and was a long-standing member of the Cincinnati Fantasy Group. I met her when I hooked up with the CFG around 1970, at which point she was in her mid-40s. She became a long-time friend.
But to get to the point. . . . When she was in her mid-20s she was hired by Ray Palmer to work as a co-editor of his SF magazines (Other Worlds, Imagination). One of the few women SF fans, she got to know the various writers and artists of the day.
Hence, the letter from Bok. The letter came to me via her sister, upon Bea’s death in 1987. While there is no date on it, the references to Philcon and Bea’s editorial work on the Palmer zines clearly place it in summer, 1953.
Plus a photo of Bea, fandom’s darling, circa age 22, taken at that year’s Midwestcon (Cincinnati).
And for additional context, the Other Worlds “Poochie” cover, by Bok, which he references.