Part 2 (1944-47): The LASFS Years.
After a long absence, one presumably resulting from her college work, Tigrina returned in VOM #36 (Halloween '44):

"Greetings, Fantasy F(r)iends: Remember me? Although I lost contact with fantasy circles for two years or so, I continued my interest in fantasy, attending all the "spook shows" that I could, listened to various "creepy" radio programs, and reading as much as possible literature dealing with fantasy. Now that I am not quite so closely supervised, it was inevitable that I should resume active interest in the wierd and fantastic, and yearn for contact with those of similar interests, so I rented Box 13 at the local post office (it was easy--no one had used it for years--and they say people aren't superstitious any more!) - and here I am!

After reading back issues of "The Voice of the Imagination", I was amused, amazed, and dismayed by the many conjectures and opinions concerning my character, physical appearance, etc. Evidently, some of you do not even believe that I exist. I assure you that I do, although I have often wondered why, and so, I imagine, have some of you. The various rumours, expressions of criticism and approval concerning me, which are printed betwixt the lurid covers of "Vom" surprised me. Regardless of your varied opinions, uncomplimentary or otherwise, I am glad to greet you again through the medium of "The Voice of the Imagination".

I suppose that this letter will be the occasion for loud "Ha-ha-I-told-you-so's" from an individual entitled Bob Tucker, I assure you, Monsieur Tucker, that my letter is not a result of rising to your "bait" (worms don't interest me!) and as it is extremely unlikely, at least at the presentime, that I shall be able to attend any Fantasticonventions, I shall probably never "keep company with any half-baked fans out of sheer gratitude" as you so quaintly express it, nor am I in the habit of keeping company with friends for reasons of sheer gratitude anyway. I associate with my friends because of mutual enjoyment in companionship. Your letter was amusing, nonetheless, and I enjoyed reading it.

I was amused at Sam Youd's aversion to me, and his calling me an "affected young school girl". Perhaps I am affected, and it is true I am young in years, but I am no longer a school girl. So you would like to give me a thrashing, eh wot? What on earth for? What ever have I done to you? Do you feel the urge to beat up everyone whose opinions perhaps vary with yours? Come off it, old man, and let's be friendly.

LeRoy Tackett expresses his doubt that I know as much about the occult "as I claim". More erroneous legends have arisen concerning me! Since when did I profess to be a walking encyclopedia on occult matters? I merely expressed an interest in occult subjects. There is, a difference, you know. Nevertheless, I will be glad to exchange information with you concerning occult experiments."


"It says here in the crystal ball that soon you feelings will be hurt by a brunette. I wonder who that
would be?" - THE DEVIL GOES TO WITCH HAZEL INSTEAD OF VICE VERSA by Tigrina.

In VOM #37 (Xmas '44) she was announced as "the Enigma of Palo Alto, Cal.,":

"How appropriate that I should receive the Halloween issue on Friday the 13th! The grotesque, gargoyle-like faces on the cover appealed to me greatly. Bravo!! Let us have more of these imps and demons by Alva Rogers and T/3 Harryhausen! Which of these charming monstrosities was drawn by who? Or did both artists collaborate in the drawing of each of these ...er ...creatures? ((Terror on top by Rogers, beastman on bottom by Harryhausen.))

I recently read for the first time Henry Kuttner's "Open letter to Tigrina" in the June 1942 issue of "The Voice of the Imagination". Ironically, Mr. Kuttner's "Open letter to Tigrina" was read by practically everyone except "Tigrina", until now. I wish to express belated gratitude to Mr. Kuttner for taking the time from his writing of weird fiction in order to give me his opinions and advice.

Many of you held an antagonistic attitude toward me in bygone days. I can see how you came to the conclusion that I was a spoiled young schoolgirl. Consider my position, however. There I was, for the first time away from the confines of home life. What was more natural than that I should immediately take advantage of my new "freedom", and delve heart and soul (?) into the study of Black Magic, etc., and all the things that had been so strictly denied me? I was like the youth who, being denied the use of liquor at home, went to his first cocktail party, imbibed with great gusto, not discriminating in his choice of liquors, and who, as a result, became slightly confused. Today, I remain just as interested in the Black Arts and other subjects pertaining to the Left Hand Path, but not solely for the purpose of "gaining power and revenge". Many of you seemed to think that my interest in the Black Arts and Fantasy and was a result of a desire for vengeance and power. This was not so. I have been interested in occult matters and fantasy ever since I can remember.

It has always been a great source of disappointment to me that, although I am intensely interested in the occult, I have never witnessed any so-called supernatural phenomena, have experienced no dreams that foretell the future, or occurrences of similar nature. If such things as ghosts or other denizens of the spirit world do actually exist, I wonder why they have not manifested themselves to me in some manner, since I am so interested in the occult. I hasten to add that I am not of a superstitious nature, interpreting each everyday occurrence as a personal sign or omen, nor do I see "ghosts" in every dark corner and deserted lane, but I do endeavour to be receptive to such phenomena, should they exist, and care to make themselves known to me. It occurs to me to enquire in all seriousness if any of you Fantasy friends have had any strange unexplainable experiences. If so, why not relate your adventures via "The Voice of the Imagination", and lot us less fortunate ones share some of these mystifying occurrences second hand?"

Ackerman renewed his acquaintance with Tigrina when he visited her in Jan '45, a visit recounted by them under the title 'That Saga's Here Again' in the next SHANGRI-L'AFFAIRES.

The following month her letter in VOM #39 showed her wanting fannish company and seeking a place of her own:

"I enjoyed Walter Liebscher's breezy summary of Slan antics in his neck-o'-the-woods. Alas, I grieve when I think of the enjoyment that I miss by not residing in a region abound- ing with Fantasy fans.

Francis Laney and James Kepner aroused my curiosity when they mentioned the weird song, "Strange Fruit", and I made enquiries at the two music stores selling records here in town. It seems as if I shall not have the chance to hear this unusual recording for awhile, however, since it will not be available at either of the music shops for quite some time.

I am neglecting my correspondence a bit lately, due to the fact that I am seeking the impossible the non-existent - the unattainable - namely: suitable lodgings. Here is proof that I am indeed a devotee of Fantasy, if I can entertain the fantastic notion that I might be able to obtain a roof over my head during these wartimes! Of course, I prefer a large rumbling house, with a creaky door, a la Inner Sanctum, and complete with hot and cold running ghosts, but during these days, I'll be lucky to get standing room only under a park bench."

VOM #37 had contained a piece by Bob Bloch titled 'The Birth of a Notion' in which he argued that the world needed more Ackermans in it and it was therefore Forry's duty to breed. It ended with the words "Give Ackerman an Ackerwoman!". Though obviously tongue-in-cheek this spurred Tigrina to come to the defence of her friend in VOM #41 (Apr' 45):

"In regard to the cleverly written article, "Birth of a Notion", I disagree with the idea entirely. Of course, I am well aware that it was meant to be humorous, but even so, I suspect an underlying current of seriousness there. Just why should Ackerman burden himself with a wife and children? Of all the #%&" nonsense! With these added responsibilities, he would have to curtail his active interest in Fandom to a great degree, and spend most of his time with his nose to the grindstone, eking out a living for his dependents. Acky may have a nose for news, but it wasn't built for a grindstones!

Apart from a book review or two this was to be Tigrina's final contribution to VOM. She concluded it:

"Fantasy, to me, is an escape and refuge from the troublesome, work-a-day world, and I am sure that it is the same for many other fen. Since Forrest Ackerman is a steadfast leader in Fandom, and a prolificontributor to Fantasy, the problem then, is not to "find Ackerman an Ackerwoman", but (although this is not a "problem", since the great Forrest J shows no inclination of forsaking Fandom) "how to retain such a valuable personality in the realms of Fantasy".

Tigrina contributed The Bixel Street Blues to SHANGRI-L'AFFAIRES #25 (Apr '45) Where VOM was Ackerman and Morojo's fanzine, SHANGRI-L'AFFAIRES (or 'Shaggy' as it was also known) was the LASFS clubzine and, theoretically at least, its journal of record. Visiting Bixel Street and the clubroom was certainly on her mind because in the LASFS Program Schedule released that same month was this announcement:

It is anticipated that Tigrina, fantasy fanne from Northern Cal, will be visiting the club on either the evenings of 9 & 16 Aug, or possibly both. She has expressed a desire to meet all possible fans in the So Cal sector, and it is hoped that many of you infrequent attenders can choose one of these evenings for a visit.

Tigrina was actually already a member of LASFS at this point. In #26 (Jun '45) it was reported that although unable yet to attend meetings - Palo Alto being 400 miles from Los Angeles - she had nevertheless been paying her dollar a month dues for the past quarter.

This was also the month when, in a handwritten letter in Walter Dunkelburger's FANEWS, Ackerman proposed to her, a marriage proposal she gently rebuffed.

STEFNEWS was a single-sheet newszine launched by Jack Speer of Seattle in July 1945 featuring brief news of fannish affairs across the country, as reported by local fans who were attributed by their initials only. FTL is Francis Towner Laney and EEE is E. Everett Evans, for example. Several issues in August chronicled Tigrina's visit to Los Angeles that month and its aftermath:

TIGRINA BANQUET: EEE-FTL

Tigrina is in Los Angeles for a two-week visit. The Laniac reported on 4 Aug 45:

"It was 4e's banquet, to greet, honor, and meet Tigrina, who arrived in town today. It was held in one of the banquet rooms at Clifton's and was attended by the following people: Ackerman, Tigrina, Mel Brown, Jerry Hewett, Alva Rogers, Jimmy Kepner, Niessen Himmell, RAHoffman, EEEvans, FTL, Jackie Laney, Sandy Laney, Quiggie Laney (FTL's wife and daughters), Forry's uncle and aunt, and his grandma (Belle Wyman). After the meal was finished, 4e had brought forth a cake lettered 'Welcome Tigrina' which was served with ice-cream. A souvenir folder was autographed for the fair visitor, and there was considerable chit-chat after the meal which was highlighted by Hoffman's accounts of his doings in Europe, which last included the procuring of a large number of rare stills from early Fritz Lang scientifilms....

Tigrina wore a pea green outfit which included a hat with a veil, which she remembered to raise before eating. (I had remarked to Evans that her lifting or failure to lift this veil would indicate how excited she was.) It is fortunate that Ackerman did not wear a veil!"

- #7 (12 Aug 45) - see also FANEWS.

LASFS: EP-FJ

"Forry and Tigrina visited the Dollens Fantasy Studio at Palms, Calif, met fan James Hummel there, inspected Sam Russell's fantasy book library located there, and listened to Mpls-male fan recordings. 13 Aug Joquel entertained the two and others at his El Monte home, where Tigrina pianoed 'Gloomy Sunday', 'Hymn to Satan', the 'Bixel Street Blues', and 'Esperanto Blues'."

- #8 (19 Aug 45)

LASFS: FJA

Tigrina has tied herself to Los Angeles with a secretarial job at the Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers in Hollywood.

About four years ago Tigrina met her first fans at a gathering I took her to at the Psmiths in Berkeley. Last night (23 Aug) at the LASFS, five of us got together again: Lou Goldstone, George Ebey, Nick Kenealy, Tigrina, and myself."

-#9 (26 Aug 45)

PLANS: FTL

Two VOMs, July and August, will be issued simultaneously, mailed about today, Forry hopes. Delay due to ten-day holiday taken introducing Tigrina to LA fandom and Hollywood, influx of visiting fans, and about twenty hours a week additional "on-duty" at the Fort since V-J Day. (He still comes into town every night, hasn't quarters on the post now).

- #12 (16 Sep 45)



Tigrina and Sgt Ackerman (1945) - photo Mike Rosenblum album, but also appeared here.

Ackerman served in the US Army from August 1942 until January 1946, stationed at Fort MacArthur outside Los Angeles. He drove into town several times a week and remained a regular visitor to the clubroom and a mainstay of LASFS during this period.

Having secured a job in the city, Tigrina moved to Los Angeles and soon became a regular at club meetings. The LASFS clubroom was at 637 ½ South Bixel Street, but there were several fans who lived in the vicinity. As a consequence the club room was the social centre of a whole community of fans, and individuals could be found there working on fanzines and the like at any hour of the night or day. More on the venue can be found here.

What appears to have been Tigrina's first regular appearance at the clubroom was recorded in SHANGRI-L'AFFAIRES #27 (Oct '45) in Francis Towner Laney's FRAN SLANTS:

This is one of those things: Someone conceived the quaint idea of having a gala publishing night here at Shangri-La, a night when the clubroom would be sacred to the holy rites of publishing an issue of that once sterling fanzine, SLA. Well, I'm working. On my immediate left is that doughty fellow, Prince of Pockerannas, ye olde foole, Tripoli (Nickname for EEEvans, for obvious reasons - Rob). He has a harrassed expression on his usually benign pan, for he is attempting to use my 1915 model LCSmith. Also he is one of the few people in this room who is actually working. Across from me catty-corner is that newest arrival, Tigrina. She too is working. You can tell that neither EEE nor TNT have been here for long; - Me, I have to work. I'm the director and have to set a good example.

Distracting the would be workers from their many tasks are the following charter members of the LASFS drones: Forrest J Ackerman, Russell J. Hodgkins and wife, Alva Rogers, Jimmy Kepner, Pete Grainger, Sam Russell, and my delightful little children.

Hewett, for once, is at the mimeograph or he was when I started this sentence. Hoffman the rah rah boy is doodling a Hoffmania.

Ah these cooperative publishing projects. I'm particularly distressed at the hideous example being set by that false fan, Forrest J no period. he is just talking....

I'm not getting anywhere at this rate: no one could work in this mad-house, particularly on this foul typewriter.

Editor Gerald Hewitt, only 14 years old, was particularly pleased by her arrival:

Well, I am amazed. I am dazed. I am with glazed eyes. I got help on 'Shaggy'....

Laney, that **** old **** of the fanzines, was the main attraction and elemental force behind this astounding occurence at 637 ½ Burbee Street; he dashed around like an amiable lap-dog and addressed us in his gently bellowing voice, telling everyone just what he could do. Finally he decided there was something he could do, too. As the full comprehension struck him with all its dazing force, he was forced to sit down, and slowly assimilate the stupidindous facts. Then, with a brave shrug and a shuddering inhalation, he set down and went to work, too.

The only persons present who did any actual work were the afore ahindsaid Laney, TIGRINA (lovely as the petals of the desert rose), EEEvans, SDRussell, Tigrina,(graceful as the nodding lily), Forrest J Ack-Ack, Robert Hoffman, Tigrina (radiant as the morning sunrise), and Pete Granger and I. Oh, yes, Tigrina arrived here today for the meeting. Charming girl.

She was soon made club secretary and summarised club meetings for the record under the title TigrinAccounts. In October, FANEWS devoted several pages to a report on LASFS affairs by her, while at the club's Halloween Party (account here) she told people's fortunes.


THE ACOLYTE #9 (Winter 1945), cover by Alva Rogers, scan by Joe Siclari

Francis Towner Laney was editor of THE ACOLYTE, a fanzine with often superb covers that was devoted to the stable of authors who wrote for WEIRD TALES. This was bound to attract Tigrina's interest, and it did. Laney had arrived at LASFS while Tigrina was occupied with her studies and is best remembered these days for AH! SWEET IDIOCY! (now available as a free ebook), the fannish memoir he wrote in 1948 after souring on fandom. Famously, it contains a few unpleasant passages of over-the-top homophobia, but the vast majority of it is an evocation of Los Angeles fandom in the mid-1940s that can't be bettered. He provides this portrait of Tigrina within:

"LASFS seemed to be taking on signs of life, as new faces and returned veterans appeared to be on the premises. One of the first arrivals was Edythe Eyde of Palo Alto, a rather handsome young lady who through her VOM-publicised romance with Ackerman received more notoriety and less fame than she deserved. Tigrina, as she preferred to be called, took a genuine interest in weird fiction and cinema, was a not incompetent poet and, in a pedantic sort of long-winded way, a pretty good fan writer. She was rather short, neatly built, and with a whooping laugh that sometimes embarrassed her. Everyone around the club seemed to like Tigrina, and she managed to stay around for close to two years without becoming embroiled in any fusses, apart from one memorable occasion when E. Everett Evans unadvisedly patted Tigrina's little posterior one night after the meeting, and came within a hairsbreadth of having his face slapped as T told him off in a way I hugely loved. Right there in the clubroom, too."

Laney may have been right in saying she received "less fame than she deserved". In ALL OUR YESTERDAYS p.117, Warner describes her unfairly and inaccurately as "a semi-fan who hovered over the outskirts of fandom".


cartoon by Tigrina, December 1st, 1945. (VOM #48, dated Nov' 45)

STEFNEWS #23 (2 Dec 45) noted that recently demobbed Gus Willmorth's new address was 645 South Bixel, making four fannish domiciles on that street. It also reported that S/Sgt Forry Ackerman's 29th birthday (24 Nov 45) had been celebrated the evening before at Clifton's Cafeteria. Present were Tigrina, Willmorth, Sgt Peterson lately of Las Vegas AAF, Evans, Liebseher, and the Ashleys, and the group later saw 'Isle of the Dead' and 'Zombies on Broadway'.

The following appears to be one of the group shots arranged at the club whenever they held their annual Xmas party. In the LASFS Photo Album this is incorrectly identified as '1943', but since Tigrina, E. Everett Evans, the Ashleys, and Jack Wiedenbeck didn't move to LA and become club members until the second half of 1945 it has to have been taken at that year's party.


Rear: Sam Russell, Elmer Perdue, Alva Rogers, Forry Ackerman, Walt Leibscher, E.E.Evans.
Middle: Rah Hoffman, Phil Bronson, Al Ashley, Tigrina, Jack Weidenbeck, Virginia Daugherty,
Walt Daugherty. Front: Toople Ashley, Beverley Bronson, Abby-Lu Ashley, Morojo.

FANEWS once again carried several pages on LASFS doings from Tigrina, and what appears to be a report on the above party by Ackerman. In FANEWS #248, editor Dunkelberger reported:

Forrest J (no period) Ackerman is again a civilian and at: Box 6475, Met. Sta., Los Angeles (14) Calif. We have nothing to go on but we're backing a hunch that we'll soon hear wedding bells from LA.

STEFNEWS #32 (3 Feb 46) also reported Forry's demonbilization:

S/Sgt Forry Ackerman returned to civilian status Sat 26 Jan. We quote: "Whoopie!!!" Everett Evans gave him two white shirts off his back to replace the khaki.

Ackerman, Tigrina, and Joquel attended a broadcast of the radar-to-the-moon experiment of 27 Jan. Don't jump to conclusions if you see Tigrina wearing a diamond ring. She won it for the best question of the week contributed to a local radio program. Also, back on 20 Jan, when she and Ackerman and Russ Wood attended a broadcast of 'Money'on the Line', she carried off another $221.

Tigrina was appearing on the radio quite a bit at this point. In his news items column in SHANGRI-L'AFFAIRES #29 (Apr '46), Ackerman included this:

PRINCESS FOR A DAY

Tigrina recently graced the stage of the Orpheum Theater In LA when she was one of six contestants chosen on the "Queen for a Day" radio prize show. Though she was not crowned Queen, she did get a royal hand from the audience... and an assortment of gifts from the master of ceremoneys, including cash!

Another report on Tigrina's appearance can be found here.

STEFNEWS added that she had spent three to four minutes on that coast-to-coast Memorial Day broadcast "talking about the Pacificon, and especially the costume party". It was publicity the convention needed. PACIFICON was the first post-war SF Worldon. Originally planned by LASFS for 1942, it had been suspended with the outbreak of hostilities but now it was back on, planned for July.

PACIFICON was held over the weekend of July 4th-7th. Tigrina attended and helped run it. She and Virginia Daugherty organised the Masquerade Ball ('Impromptu Entertainment - Awarding of Costume Prizes') which took place during the evening session on the third day of the convention, Thusday 6th July. Tigrina also took part in the masquerade in what would now be referred to as cosplay. Here's a description of her costume from the SHANGRI-L'AFFAIRES report:

Tigrina describes her costume as Dracula's Daughter, but it didn't follow any movie. It was all black, spangled with black sequins. A headpiece like Batman's was at first accompanied with a black eyemask, the only mask at the masquerade. Elbow length gloves, bra, and tights from waist to ankle, with over all a peekaboo cloak. She sang a couple of songs of her own composition, accompanied by Milton ((Rothman)) assisted by Rooster.

Reports on the convention can be found here:


Pre-con dinner at Clifton's Cafeteria: Max Sonstein, Lou Goldstone, Tigrina, Gus Willmorth, Forry
Ackerman, Ralph Rayburn Phillips - photo from ALL OUR YESTERDAYS - Harry Warner Jr.

Tigrina continued to pull in loot by competing on radio shows, as witness this report in FANEWS #281 (Aug 46):

Early in July Tigrina reviewed a motion picture for a radio show and received as a gift a wrist watch. On July 21st she took part in the "Darts for Dough" air show and won $18 and a gold Gruen "curvex" wrist-watch, complete with gold band. Her theme song is now "Time on My Hands" while Forry calls her "Tick-Tock Tigrina, the 'Tock, of the Town".

and this one in STEFNEWS #60 (8 Sept 46):

LASFS: T-GW

"Several fans and authors were present to lend moral support as Tigrina competed with three other contestants on "Get That Story" last Wednesday evening and won a sum of thirty dollars for her efforts. Don Bratton, Theodore and Lisa Gottleib, A E van Vogt and wife, Sam Russell, and Forry Ackerman were among those attending. The program was followed by a visit to "Au Bezar du Grand Guignol", a small hideaway Hollywood book store, on the part of Ackerman, Tigrina, Theodore, Lisa, and Sam Russell".

Ackerman mentions in SHANGRI-L'AFFAIRES #33 that Tigrina had been doing some professional modelling, an issue that also included an account of a visit to Tarzan and John Carter creator Edgar Rice Burroughs:

In October, Tigrina wrote an account for FANEWS of that year's LASFS Halloween Party, something also covered in STEFNEWS #68, along with her 25th birthday:

LASFS
T - JS

The LASFS celebrated Hallowe'en with a costume party at the club room. Bob Patrick, Everett Evans, Helen Wesson, and Tigrina wore outstanding costumes. Featured entertainment was Tigrina's reading of Charles Lloyd's "The Cockroach," a horror story from the English "Creeps Series." Gordon Dewey and Dale Hart carried away book prizes from a fantaquiz conducted by Forry Ackerman. Helen Wesson was later quoted as saying the meeting was a "flop."

In celebrating her 7 Nov birthday, Tigrina was escorted by Forry Ackerman to see the stage play "On Borrowed Time," starring Boris Karloff. After the play, Karloff autographed a photograph and his two anthologies, "Tales of Terror" and "And the Darkness Falls" for the two fans.

Tigrina's report of club affairs in FANEWS #295 the following month included among other items the news that she had appeared on the radio show "Heart's Desire" on November 15th, securing for herself a coffee table! Her report in FANEWS #302 (her last) included an account of the 1946 Xmas Party.

At the end of the year the club voted on who would be its Director for 1947 Tigrina was sufficiently involved with the club at this point to put her name forward for the position. She stood against EEEvans and Gus Willmorth. As reported in SHANGRI-L'AFFAIRES #34 (Dec '46). Evans won.

Tigrina had been club secretary almost since joining LASFS, and had written the club minutes that appeared in SHANGRI-L'AFFAIRES, first under the title 'TigrinAccounts', then 'Just a Minute!'. She was now confirmed in that post for a second time. The minutes she wrote can be found here for the months indicated:

and here are other fanzine contributions by Tigrina:

Poems in THE ACOLYTE:

Material in VAMPIRE:

Material in TYMPANY:

Jean Cox officially took over as LASFS club secretary at the end of June 1947, while Tigrina moved on to other things. Would she perhaps have stayed on to see out her term before allowing herself to be drawn away by other interests if she had been voted in as Director? We shall never know.

Part 3: What Tigrina Did Next:

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