Friday, January 23, 2009

More death

Ah, you know the tailspin death news sends me into...sigh.

Big bro posted a great anecdote via Mark Evanier's site about Ricardo Montalban. Love it. What a great man. Gentleman. Shining example and sparkly soul.

You've all bought an advance copy of my Big Bro's new book already, right? Uh-huh.

The other recent death I've been meaning to post about is sci-fi Forrest Ackerman's, the great writer/editor/pioneer/activist/gentleman/mentor.

Uncle 4E had a crush on me. The first time I met him was at his tiny museum-like house in the slums of East LA that he nicknamed the Ackerminimansion after he lost his real Ackermansion. Because that's the kind of amazing, positive person he was.

Forry made up a love poem about my beauty and soul (!) in Esperanto (!!), natch. I have the whole thing on tape; I'm sitting on his lap while he says it to me (He insisted, and I refuse a 91-year-old legend nothing).

I'm afraid the videotape and photos are in storage somewhere, which just makes me feel ill. Hopefully I shall find them soon and share them, and translate his poem. He proudly took me around his pad, and showed me pictures of his wife, whom I reminded him of, and shared the awful awful story of her murder and his subsequent loneliness, because that's what strangers do. Share their grief and secrets with me.

Forry was a dear man; still bright and full of wordplay, and very lonely and in the poor house. His tiny house and lonely twin bed made me cry out of the unfairness of it all. Where were all his bigshot Hollywood friends when he went broke?

He really wanted me to come back sometime soon for tea and more stories, which I promised to do and never did. Mostly because I saw him a few weeks later at his birthday bash when I gave him a framed photo of us and I felt embarrassed he didn't recognize me. Though admittedly, I shouldn't have expected him to... I was out of context, and he was overstimulated and exhausted. Still, I never reached out again, and I should have. Odds are that even if he didn't remember me, he would have enjoyed my company again and found it a good diversion from loneliness and old age. And really, that was all that mattered.

Uncle 4E, you are missed...thank you and forgive me.

UPDATE: I'm psychic. Totally unrelated, just received this email.

According to their website, the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society (LASFS) will hold a memorial for decades-long LASFS member, Forrest J. Ackerman.

Memorial scheduled for 1pm, Saturday, January 24th, at the LASFS clubhouse, 15153 Burbank Boulevard (west of Lankershim Boulevard, east of the Hollywood Freeway)in North Hollywood.

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