Peggy Rae Pavlat Biography

At the February meeting of the Baltimore in 1998 Worldcon Bid Committee (the "Pirates of Fenzance") Peggy Rae Pavlat was elected to serve as the 1998 Worldcon Chairperson if Baltimore is chosen to be the 1998 Worldcon site. Peggy Rae beat out a relieved Covert Beach (who admits to having voted for Peggy Rae) in the election.

Peggy Rae is a second generation fan. Her mother (Buddie McKnight Evans), father (Jack McKnight) and step-mother (Ann Newell McKnight) were active in the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society (PSFS). Her step-father, Bill Evans, was active in the Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA) and was the Treasurer for Discon I in 1963 and Discon II in 1974. Her father, Jack McKnight, machined the first Hugo Awards in 1953.

When she was twelve, Peggy Rae convinced her parents that she wouldn't interfere with them having a good time at Philcon and that she should be permitted to attend this conference. She had a great time. They had a great time also.

During the late 1950s, Peggy Rae served as Secretary and Vice President of PSFS and worked on and appeared in the PSFS-created science fiction movie. Little did she know when she agreed to send press releases to "fanzines" what that assignment would lead to! Peggy Rae began publishing her own amateur magazine, ETWAS, in 1960. The first issue contained one article by Harry Warner, Jr. and another by Robert Bloch. ETWAS was published for several years. Peggy Rae McKnight met Washington-area fan Bob Pavlat at her first Worldcon, Pittcon, in 1960. Peggy Rae and Bob Pavlat were married in College Park, Maryland. Like proper fans, they attended the 1964 Midwestcon during their honeymoon.

Peggy Rae went to Goddard College, in Plainfield, Vermont, earning a BS in economics, and then lived in Pasadena, California for nearly a year. There were fans everywhere.

Peggy Rae helped at many conventions through the years, and so it was that she filled out the Noreascon II (the 1980 Worldcon in Boston) questionnaire and checked off that she'd be willing to help. She was astonished some weeks later when a letter arrived from Noreascon II asking her to do Press Relations for the 1980 Worldcon! After figuring out what should be done and recruiting staff, she discovered that this was a lot of fun as well as a lot of work!

Peggy Rae has run programming and registration for numerous Disclaves (the local Washington, DC SF convention). She chaired the 1991 Disclave and published and edited THE EDGES OF THINGS, the GOH book by Lewis Shiner and Alicia Austin.

As a teenager, their daughter, Melissa, horrified science fiction fans at numerous conventions by wearing her cheerleader's uniform to cons. Missy also will be remembered by mid-western fans for running up to Ross Pavlac and throwing her arms around him shouting "Daddy, Daddy!!!!" This led to some level of confusion among those fans who knew Ross but didn't know Bob and Peggy Rae Pavlat.

Not learning from experience, Peggy Rae agreed to do Press Relations for Chicon IV (the 1982 Worldcon in Chicago). Then she was recruited to do Programming and Special Events for the 1983 Worldcon, ConStellation in Baltimore. Several months before this Worldcon, her husband of nineteen years, Bob Pavlat died suddenly. Wonderful staff and pre-planning allowed her to continue with the Worldcon.

Peggy Rae developed Programming for ConFederation, the 1986 Worldcon held in Atlanta, Georgia.

Noreascon III (the 1989 Worldcon in Boston) asked Peggy Rae and Fred Isaacs to develop and manage the "Second Floor" Division. The ConCourse with all the wonderful exhibits and comfortable couches was their response to the challenge of "do something to make the fans want to spend there time in this large, ugly hall rather than in the hotel's lobby".

Peggy Rae recruited Bruce Pelz to create the "History of Worldcons" exhibit, Nancy Atherton to do the "History of Fanzines" exhibit, M.C. Valada to take the photographs for "The Portrait Gallery", Joe Siclari to do the "History of Bidding" exhibit, Janet Wilson Anderson and Drew Sanders to do "History of Costuming" exhibits and Mike Glyer to do the "Contemporary Fanzine" exhibit for Noreascon 3. Peggy Rae coordinated these exhibits at all of the Worldcons from the 50th Anniversary of the first Worldcon through the 50th Worldcon: Noreascon Three in 1989, ConFiction in The Hague, Holland in 1990, Chicon V in 1991 in Chicago, and Magicon in Orlando in 1992. The exhibits were also displayed at ConFrancisco in 1993 in San Francicso and ConAdian in 1994 in Winnipeg.

While setting up the exhibits in The Hague, Peggy Rae had the misfortune to put some people to work. They turned around and recruited her to Vice Chair ConFrancisco, the 51st World Science Fiction Convention. Her pleas that she lived 3000 miles away from the rest of the committee were not loud enough. She spent three years commuting to San Francisco, and got to work with a lot of wonderful people.

The Baltimore Pirates cleverly waited until four months after ConFrancisco before recruiting her to their cause. Apparently she still hasn't learned that friends don't let friends run Worldcons!

When she's not working on science fiction conventions, Peggy Rae can be found providing computer support and training for 300 unix computer systems for the Department of Labor, creating an annual Index for the Fantasy Amateur Press Association, or developing special science fiction programs and seminars for the Smithsonian Institution. She's also taken two classes in sign language at Gallaudet College.

Peggy Rae's son, Eric met his wife, Wendy, at Nolacon, the New Orleans Worldcon in 1988. Melissa (Missy) and her non-fan husband Bryan are raising the first potential fourth generation fan, Bryce Koslosky.

-Perrianne Lurie

baltimore98@access.digex.net


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