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Midnight snake - I love that story. Hilarious!


"Live Forever!"
 
Posts: 6481 | Location: 11 South Saint James Street, Green Town, Illinois | Registered: 02 October 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In the "old days" (by which I mean a decade or so ago), Forry kept extremely unpredictable hours and scared the life out of Jeff Roberts and me late one evening.

Jeff and I had been out carousing in Horrorwood and were a bit wired up when we returned (very, very late) to our temporary abode at the Ackermansion on Glendower. We both slid down into the basement (where Forry's open-air "office" resided in a corner alcove of heavily weighted bookshelves, underneath a priceless original three-sheet of ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN).

Jeff and I finished checking our e-mail at Forry's computer and were about to go back upstairs when we slowly, quietly turned a corner and Forry was standing there, leaning up against a bookshelf, holding that plastic "Forry Mask" upside down in front of his face. (It really wasn't a Forry mask; it was just a cheap Halloween mask that happened to look exactly like Forry.)

Jeff and I barely had time to leap out of our weary skins when a voice behind the mask asked, "In the mood for food?" By the time we recovered from the shock, Jeff and I both broke into convulsions of laughter. The mask slowly came down to reveal a beaming right-side-up Forry face. "Seriously," he said, "would you two fellows care for a midnight snake at the House of Pies?"

He did that frequently in those golden days (golden for us, at least, and for Forry, too, I believe). He'd retire in his upstairs bedroom fairly early in the evening, then wake up, hear a bustle down below, and rise up to see if the atmosphere was right for a "midnight snake."

My first "In the mood for food?" occurred way back during my first visit to the Ackermansion (again, the one on Glendower) back in 1995. It was the day after the big (and, in some ways, disastrous) FM Con in Los Angeles. Selected items from Forry's collection were being loaded back into the house that day, and he had invited some of us from out of town to stop by for a tour and a chat.

We spent about three hours there that afternoon and ended up spread out on the floor, listening to all of those oft-tales of Karloff, Lugosi, Price, Cushing, Lee (who was by then on the outs with Forry) and so many others. All of a sudden Forry stopped, as if he had run out of material (he hadn't, of course), looked over his appreciative audience of twenty or so fans and gently inquired, "In the mood for food?"

All of us loaded into our cars (he and Pam Keesey led the way in his), and we followed that "SCI FI" license plate down Los Feliz Boulevard to the Smorgasbord, an old-style cafeteria that's long since closed. I remember that my friend Kevin Hammond, an Alabamian then living in L.A., sat across the table from Forry and listened to even more fascinating tales. I even had a chance to tell him my own personal story of Peter Cushing's consideration and generosity toward me in helping me secure a HOUSE OF THE LONG SHADOWS signed by Price, Lee, Carradine and himself.

When the long, leisurely meal was over, Forry collected the check (for all twenty or so of us!) and slipped his credit card out of his wallet. Kevin and I instantly pulled out twenty-dollar bills and slipped them across the table to him. "Oh, Forry," Kevin said in an insistent but respectful tone, "let us help out with that."

Forry rared back, feigned an overexaggerated look of offense and horror, and thumped the two twenties back across the table to us as if they were infected with Kryptonite. Then he waved his forefinger across the table at us and growled (in that fake "old man" voice he loved), "Respect your elders!"

I've ended up using that very act myself on several occasions, whenever I dine with young whippersnappers that I realize are running low on funds.

Sweet, sweet memories ...

Terry Pace
pillaroffire@bellsouth.net

"God, here and there, makes madness a calling." -- Ray Bradbury
 
Posts: 92 | Location: Muscle Shoals, Alabama | Registered: 30 June 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for sharing such sweet memories with those of us who didn't have the opportunity for the midnight food call.Sounds like so much fun. What a guy.
 
Posts: 376 | Registered: 31 July 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Terry’s post brings to mind a rush of memories which grow sweeter by the year... Ray whisking us to the foot of the “Laurel and Hardy steps,” where Forry and Ann Hardin climbed to the top while Terry and I only made it half-way… Ray holding court at numerous memorable dinners at which I learned more about the creative process (and about simple human decency) than would be possible in any classroom… the touching asides and hilarious (sometimes off-color) comments from both Forry and Ray as they reflected on their combined 100+ years in the fantasy field and the army of remarkable people they had encountered and/or worked with. And the quiet, reflective evenings in the grand old house on Glendower Avenue, surrounded by the history (and the people) we all loved. If it all sounds a little too idyllic, a little too perfect… well, it was even better (Forry told me so himself on more than one occasion). Golden days indeed, fleeting but treasured.
 
Posts: 5 | Location: Buffalo, New York 14304 | Registered: 23 April 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A great privilege to hear such stuff.
 
Posts: 6064 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Amen, Torgosi! It was terrific talking to you over the telly today and reliving so many precious memories. We must do it much more often.

I've been considering all day some of the many, many ways Forry was honored by all of his many honorary "nephews" all over the world -- not just there at the end, but throughout his life.

I remember the sadness you and I suffered when we were rummaging through the Garage Mahal and noticed the sad fate of Forry's original CLOSE ENCOUNTERS poster. Even more sadly, that priceless poster had to be trashed soon afterward. (I still regret to this day not asking Forry if I could swipe, or at least buy, Barry Atwater's Ann Radcliffe Award for his performance as Janos Skorzeny in THE NIGHT STALKER. You and I found it underneath a pile of trash that day. If I had forced the issue, at least we would have known it would have gone to a good home ... God knows where it is today.)

Back to the CLOSE ENCOUNTERS poster: Most importantly, I remember the sweet, simple tribute Steven Spielberg had inscribed to Forry at the bottom of the poster: "A generation of fantasy lovers thank you for raising us so well."

I was forunate enough to attend the star-studded American Cinematheque tribute to Forry at the Egyptian Theatre on Feb. 11, 2004. I have the program on audiotape and have plenty of great still photos, but I had not invested in a videorecorder just yet. Ray, Joe Dante, John Landis and William Schallert were among the guest speakers, and greetings were read from Ray Harryhausen and other luminaries.

George Lucas sent a wonderful message that read:

"Dear Forry,

You are, without doubt, the most frightfully fun film fan I know!

It's your love of movies, your passion and your unwavering enthusiasm that make you eternally ageless. Like the best horror stories, you are more intriguing and unforgettable with every passing year; like all good sci-fi, you inspire wonder and amusement in everyone who has the privilege of meeting you.

I'm so happy the American Cinematheque is honoring you, because your dedication to the movies is what legends are made of. I only hope you will never stop dreaming and believing in the magic of the movies because by doing so you inspire all of us who strive to tell stories for, as Norma Desmond said, those wonderful people out there in the dark.

Yours truly,
George Lucas"

I've spent most of the day poring over my own Forry Archives here in the 18-room house that you and Forry fondly dubbed Ackermansion South. Anita and I originally set aside 159 Forry photos to scan in for tribute and memorial purposes, and of course for posterity (Forry would have pun-loving fun with that one ...). I finally narrowed them down to about 75, and I wouldn't part with a single one of them.

In looking over all of the many, many photos Forry had inscribed to me over the years, the one that really tugged at my heart was a full-length 8-by-10 image of the dashing young FJA in his trend-setting costume as "4SJ, A Visitor from the Future" at the first World Science Fiction Convention in New York City in 1939.

The inscription reads:

"Terry,

When I was 22!

Hope to know you till I'm at least 100!

Love,
4E"

I just received Ray's Christmas card yesterday, but we didn't open it as a family until tonight. The moving, meaningful sentiment about appreciating "minutes in time" hits so tenderly close to home during this period of love and loss and bittersweet trips down memory lane ...

Terry Pace
pillaroffire@bellsouth.net

"God, here and there, makes madness a calling." -- Ray Bradbury

This message has been edited. Last edited by: William Lantry,
 
Posts: 92 | Location: Muscle Shoals, Alabama | Registered: 30 June 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here's a nice little article posted on SciFi.Com's website, "25 Things We Miss about Uncle Forry".

http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?category=5&id=62651

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Richard,
 
Posts: 777 | Registered: 26 January 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Also, Time magazine features our uncle in the milestones section.


"Live Forever!"
 
Posts: 6481 | Location: 11 South Saint James Street, Green Town, Illinois | Registered: 02 October 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks to Dandelion, I was able to call Forest one day a couple of years ago and he mentioned that on that day several pretty Korean girls had come to tour the AkerMansion. Although I am sure that they were not blonde, Forest sure seemed delighted to have them as his guests.

I wish now that I called him more when he was up and about and doing well. What a truly genuine person, like Ray, who really enjoyed those who enjoyed him.
 
Posts: 1525 | Location: Sunrise, FL, USA | Registered: 28 June 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Today's L.A. Times has it annual obituary tribute, in its California Section. Under Writers and Editors they list Forrey:
Forrest J Ackerman, 92; author, magazine editor and collector of memorabilia was considered the grand old man of science fiction (Dec. 4)

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/la-...6594846.story?page=3


John King Tarpinian
You know what you are, Mr. Bradbury? ... You are a poet! -- Aldous Huxley
 
Posts: 2664 | Location: Glendale, California | Registered: 11 June 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hope he makes Time and Newsweek!
 
Posts: 6064 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here is an article about Forry from his hometown paper, The Los Feliz Ledger

http://www.losfelizledger.com/January09/RealEstate_Jan09.htm


John King Tarpinian
You know what you are, Mr. Bradbury? ... You are a poet! -- Aldous Huxley
 
Posts: 2664 | Location: Glendale, California | Registered: 11 June 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A memorial tribute to Uncle Forry will take place Sunday, March 8, at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.

Terry Pace
pillaroffire@bellsouth.net

"God, here and there, makes madness a calling." -- Ray Bradbury
 
Posts: 92 | Location: Muscle Shoals, Alabama | Registered: 30 June 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Shall I see you there, William?
 
Posts: 5 | Location: Buffalo, New York 14304 | Registered: 23 April 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Came across this photo I took of 4E last year.

Looks like he was saying Goodbye already. Then maybe it was simply Hello. Or...Hey, 0ut There!

Image4E.jpeg (131 Kb, 12 downloads)
 
Posts: 3954 | Location: South Orange County, CA USA | Registered: 28 June 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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