Challenger Logo by Alan White   A Science Fiction Fanzine   Autumn/Winter 2003-2004

The Challenger Tribute:

P.L. Caruthers-Montgomery

In January,1972, my great friends Meade and Penny Frierson showed me a photograph they had received in the mail. It depicted a handsome young fellow in bell bottoms and '70s sideburns, sitting with a striking redhead in a shag haircut and a short skirt. The redhead was toasting the camera, an expression on her face that said volumes. On the back of the photo was an inscription in a loopy feminine hand: "P.L. Caruthers and friend". But which, we wondered, was P.L. Caruthers?

We found out. "P.L." stood for Pamela Lynn, and Southern fandom was never the same. That's how you tell the great ones, you know. After they've come, and after they've gone, things are never the same.

About P.L., I could never tell enough. I met her at the Memphis bus station in March of '72. In August, she bedazzled the DeepSouthCon in a Clockwork Orange-ish derby. She kept bedazzling us for the next 30 years. She was a long-time member of SFPA. She was president of the Southern Fandom Confederation, and did a great job, too. With her husband, legendary Southern fan Larry Montgomery, she won the Rebel Award. I made the presentation, and felt entitled. After all, I was the one who invited Larry to the DSC where he ended a long gafiation ... and met P.L.

I loved P.L. very much. It was out of sheer affection that I teased her in SFPA with "The Ballad of Eskimo P.L.", and in "I, Cloddius" there, named her P.Livia to my Auguystus. She was a personality among personalities, a constant comrade in our fannish family, the Redhead of all Redheads - and so, when Larry reached me during Torcon, and told me that P.L. had passed away, sickeningly young at 51, it felt like someone had torn out a piece of my heart.

Lord Jesus, You take care of our lady.


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