Myrtle Rebecca Douglas
An Appreciation
                --520 07 0328

I Remember Morojo
by Forrest J Ackerman

February 11, 1965
Los Angeles, Calif.

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Robert Lichtman introduces Morojo:

Myrtle Rebecca Douglas
An Appreciation
&
I Remember Morojo
 

Myrtle R. Douglas was a fellow Esperanto enthusiast who Forrest J Ackerman met at a “world language meeting” according to Harry Warner Jr. in All Our Yesterdays.  He soon introduced her to the LASFS, and the rest is…well, fan history. 

She made the first costumes ever worn at a Worldcon for her and Forry at the very first one in 1939, as pictured on page 11 of Elmer and Forry’s memorial fanzine, and followed that up with costumes at the two other pre-WW2 Worldcons.  Additionally, she was coeditor of Voice of the Imagi-Nation (aka VoM) throughout its run, and as Forry writes, that fanzine might not have existed were it not for her devotion to stenciling and mimeographing each issue. 

Her Room 689 at the first Chicon in 1940 was legendary in much the same way Room 770 was a decade later.  In a posting on File770.com, Bill Warren refers to her as “Forry’s old girlfriend,” but there’s no one around to ask whether they were more than just a fannish couple.  She was an important early fan, one of the first women in fandom prominent on her own (despite the Ackerman connection), and this memorial fanzine gives details on her unavailable elsewhere by two who knew her well. (520 07 0328 was Elmer B. Perdue).

Rylan Bachman on Morojo and Esperanto:

One of the early LASFS members was a Esperantist named Myrtle Rebecca Douglas.  This fanzine is about her passing and her profound effect on other fans and notable people in science fiction.  I scanned this fanzine in particular because I am currently helping a project that is being collaborated on by Esperantists and science fiction fans. 

Every year for the past six years, director Christopher R. Mihm, his family, friends, and local actors have made an imitation 1950's low budget science fiction / monster movie.

Last year we made a movie called Attack of the Moon Zombies.  This is a movie set on an international moonbase reached by atomic bomb propelled rockets.
The welcome sign to this moonbase is in English and Esperanto, likewise the DVD has both languages. 

Why Esperanto?

We thought the pulp reading science fiction fans from the 1950's and earlier would be certain this would be the language spoken on an international moonbase where Americans and Soviets worked together in peace.  We thought it might open up these movies to a new fanbase of Esperanto speakers.  We thought we could outdo Incubus.

I'd like to think that in addition to exposing modern Esperanto speakers all over the world to 1950s-style monster movies, Moon Zombies would also give fans of monster movies some exposure to Esperanto, like the 1940s SF fans would have had.  How many Esperantists did Robert Heinlein create with a mere mention of Esperanto in "The Green Hills of Earth"?  Certainly a few.  How many will Chris Mihm's movies help inspire to learn another language? 

The Esperanto language track version of Moon Zombies has played at the Universala Kongreso de Esperanto in Copenhagen, the Annual National Congress, Esperanto-USA, in Emeryville, CA, and an Esperanto film festival in São Paulo, Brazil.  It's also going to play in Japan soon.  All reports indicate the people at those events enjoyed it.  So I think it is safe to say we have a new fanbase for movies about big-eyed atomic monsters.  Every movie Chris Mihm makes from now on will likely have an Esperanto track as well, translated by a team of Esperantists from all over the world.

His next movie is called House of Ghosts.  It's basically an imitation William Castle film, striving to be like House on Haunted Hill or 13 Ghosts.  We also plan to present it like William Castle would with his legendary showmanship for the theater audience.

We are trying to raise funds to help defray costs.  One thing we are selling are very cheap producer credits—if you ever wanted a credit in a movie and at the Internet Movie Database this is your chance.  Likewise, if you like old monster movies or want to watch a whole movie in Esperanto that isn't Incubus, Chris's previous films are something you may want to check out.  There's also a very rare example of a Criswell Predicts recording that Ed Wood fans may be interested in. 

This fundraising page has clips from Chris's previous movies and items for sale.

See also Christopher Mihm's own site.

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