(b. 15 August 1933, Holdenville, Oklahoma, USA)
Betty Jo McCarthy came into fandom through TASFiC, the 1952 Worldcon. She was a WAVE stationed at Naval Station Great Lakes who happened to see an announcement in Astounding about the upcoming convention. She attended and met other fans 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.)
Bjo was honorably discharged (for bad feet and ankles) in 1953, and soon after married Don Wells. (Her first issue of Pas-Tell was under the name "Bjo Wells".) She says that Don's "jealousy built up until it reached a stage where he'd pop into the house with a loaded .38 to 'catch me' with someone else." (APA-L #105) Bjo and Don were divorced after three years of marriage.
She was an artist and cartoonist, so she was recruited to contribute illos for fanzines. She joined LASFS and 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 Officer Stories and discovered we liked each other a lot."
She quickly became one of the leading members of LASFS and helped revive a flagging club in the late 50s. She helped start or revitalize De Profundis, Meretricious, Shangri L'Affaires, and the LASFS Newsletter. She helped organize Unicorn Productions, a fannish movie-making project which produced several movies. In 1958, she put together the "Worldcon Futuristic Fashion Show" at Solacon, the 1958 Worldcon and ran a second masquerade in 1966 at Tricon, incidentally giving fandom a glimpse of three early Star Trek costumes. She was a member of The Petards. She co-chaired Westercon 23 and helped organize the Trans Oceanic Fan Fund. She lived for a time at the Fan Hilton. She ran for TAFF in 1959, losing to Don Ford.
In February, 1960 in Fanac she announced Project Art Show, the first modern convention art show, to be held at Pittcon. The success of Project Art Show led to art shows becoming a regular part of most conventions. Associated with that, she published A Sales Pitch to Convince FAPA to Sponsor an Art Show (it didn't work) and the International Science Fantasy Art Exhibition Bulletin.
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. Fanzines included Where No Fan Has Gone Before.
She edited or co-edited Bjottings and Procrastinator (both for OMPA), and The Newhon Review, Where Are All the Red-Hot Shutter Bugs? and Melange (all for FAPA). She also edited or co-edited Amis, Bjo Trimble's Sci-Fi Spotlight, The Cald Newsletter, De Profundis, Equal Time, Last of a Series, LASFS Newsletter, Loyal Opposition, Maneki-Neko, Mimsy, Motley, PAS-tell, Pipress, To The Stars, Son of Convention News Notes, Space-Time Continuum, Space Write Now!, Write Now!
(She and John were Baron and Baroness of the SCA's Barony of the Angels (the Los Angeles Chapter of the SCA) from September 2008 until January 2012.) She was a member of the Syracuse in '67, and PanPacificon Worldcon bids. She was a member of the N3F.
Other Awards, Honors and GoHships:
- 1964 — Big Heart Award
- 1966 — Westercon 19, Knight of St. Fantony
- 1976 — Intercon
- 1977 — Honoree at Fanquet
- 1978 — Unicon/Fancon
- 1988 — New Zealand Natcon 9
- 1994 — Rustycon 11, Rising Star 3
- 1995 — Dragon*Con 1995
- 1996 — Astronomicon 5
- 2000 — Norwescon XXIII
- 2006 — Astronomicon 2006
- 2010 — TusCon 37
- 2013 — Special guest at Westercon 66
- 2016 — Condor XXIII
- International Costumers Guild's Lifetime Achievement award
- SCA's Order of the Pelican for service
- SCA's Order of the Laurel
- Inkpot Award