Marjii Ellers By Mike Glyer

Archie McLeish? No, Cary Grant. Frances Gumm? No, Judy Garland. You see, brilliant performers are supposed to have stage names. And I'm sure Forry Ackerman had that in mind when, so legend has it, he gave Marjii Ellers her fan name. Certainly, the 1998 Loscon's fan guest of honor has blazed her way through many roles in 25 years of service to the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society.

To many guests, she was the first and friendliest face they met at club meetings. Marjii has served more than half-a-dozen terms as LASFS registrar. She created the original "Thousands of Thursdays" information handout, still given to guests today.

Her decorating touch beautified many corners of the Burbank and Tyrone clubhouses. The photocollage she assembled from vintage snapshots graced the library doorway. She even appointed herself a one-woman committee to perform the thankless job of wallpapering the Burbank clubhouse bathrooms with Star Wars theme paper. (By the way, thanks, Marjii.)

Naturally, along the way she won the Evans-Freehafer Award, given for service to the club.

Nor is the "stage name" idea purely a metaphor. Marjii's creative masquerade entries have won her fame on fannish stages everywhere. Her award-winning "Queen of Air and Darkness" is one of the best-remembered masquerade costumes of all time.

As one of the club's most generous contributors, Marjii is styled a Patron Saint of the LASFS. Patron Saints receive a three-cheer salute each year at a meeting of their choice. In 1997, the club cheered her amid her struggle against cancer. Then, before the February 26, 1998 LASFS meeting, that angelic vision, Marjii Ellers, triumphantly walked in, head wreathed in gold tinsel, and announced, "I'm here for my three cheers." Fans roared with delight. We are glad she will be with us for a long time, and that she will grace this year's Loscon as an honored guest.

Photographer unknown; © 1998 LASFS.

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