The Night I Held Hands with Uncle Forry
Okay, technically I think it was mid to late afternoon but yes, he held my hand for a little bit while we sat in the back of a meeting room in a Baltimore hotel watching “The Body Snatchers.” (I think it was a Fanex – but I’m a bit hazy as to the year – probably around 1996?) That same hand that held mine briefly had shaken the hand of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi and Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov. I joked with a friend that I should have taken the opportunity to kiss his hand and a la Curly, from the Three Stooges and gnaw off his Scarab Ring (an original prop from Karloff’s The Mummy). It was an honor to sit next to Forrest J. Ackerman.
I also had the privilege of touring the Ackermansion many years ago when his collection was intact – I cannot begin to describe the amount of literary and cinematic history he had squirrelled away in every corner of his house. Amazing.
I found out today that he had passed away. If you don’t know who Forrest J. Ackerman was – please read this article: Forrest Ackerman
He is the reason that “fandom” in its many forms from Dr. Who to Harry Potter to Firefly exists today. Uncle Forry is the reason Steven Spielberg and Joe Dante and Stephen King are who they are. We all owe him a deep debt of gratitude. Thank goodness that Amazing Stories popped off the news stand and told him “Take me home little boy.”
We all will miss you Mr. Ackerman.