Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Uncle Forry's Dracula Ring to be auctioned...
I have been a life-long fan of classic science fiction and horror films. In the 70s, every Saturday afternoon from 1 to 4 PM, I could be found glued to the TV set, watching Channel 56's Creature Double Feature. I still read an occasional SF novel (there's a new C.J. Cherryh "Foreigner" book out I need to buy) and love to watch the old flicks on the new widescreen TV...
But while I was a big fan, there was only one GREATEST fan of science fiction, and that was Forrest J. Ackerman. Uncle Forry, as he was known to all who knew him (or of him), was there at the beginning -- from the first issue of "Amazing Stories" and going to see the silent classic "Metropolis" over 100 times -- heck, he even coined the term "sci-fi" -- he was the greatest champion of the joys of science fiction, fantasy and horror that ever lived. He was the creator and editor of "Famous Monsters of Filmland" and ran that magazine for its first 25 years of publication. Over his lifetime he gathered literally hundreds of thousands of pieces of memorabilia which he kept in open display at his home, the "Ackermansion," and fans from around the world were welcomed with open arms to view that wondrous treasure trove and hear stories about such greats as Lugosi, Karloff and Chaney from a man who knew them personally.
Strangely, I have never read an issue of FM, but I always read his articles in the sadly-missed "Scarlet Street" magazine. During the few years I lived in Los Angeles, I didn't get to see the collection, but I did get to meet the man himself at a screening of Ib Melchior's "The Time Travelers" -- possibly the best time travel movie ever, and one in which Forry made one of his hundreds of film cameos. I got Ib Melchior and Uncle Forry to sign my VHS copy of "The Time Travelers" at that screening -- it is one of my dearest possessions.
I read in the paper this morning that Uncle Forry's prized possession, a ring worn by Bela Lugosi as Dracula, was to be auctioned off in the next day or so. Yes, Uncle Forry died last December, but this news just really hit it home -- the classic age of sci-fi really has passed away. Frankly, I would have thought that the ring would have been buried with the man. I really hope that it is being auctioned at his express wishes to help plump up his estate for his heirs.
Thanks for the memories, Uncle Forry!