My Forry Story


I’m not a science-fiction fan. My relationship with Famous Monsters of Filmland consisted of flipping through it at the newsstand maybe twice as a kid and deciding not to buy it. But I’m still saddened by the death of Forrest J. Ackerman, one of the first people on the planet ever to think of himself as a fan (starting circa 1926, when he was ten years old)…and a fan until the end.

I knew Ackerman from his San Diego Comic-Con panels, which I made a point of attending and found consistently delightful. Forry repeating himself and not always hearing the question was a better representative of what Comic-Con should be than an infinite number of Kevin Smith panels or fawning previews of movies that deserve nothing but pity. I mean it when I say that the fact he won’t be at the con next year–probably, although I’m not assuming anything, since you never know–is a fairly major argument against making the trip and fighting my way through the crowds.

And here’s my Forry story. It takes place about five years ago at the breakfast buffet in the basement of the Marriott next to the San Diego Convention Center. I’m there with a bunch of Apatoons friends. We notice that Forry has arrived–looking distressingly feeble, in a wheelchair pushed by some sort of caretaker. He looks so incapacitated, in fact, that it’s a surprise he’s out and about.

I begin to say something thoughtful and compassionate about the sad fate of this once vibrant man…

…and then Forry bounds out of his wheelchair, joins the buffet line, and begins serving himself a hearty breakfast.

I never exchanged so much as a few words with the man, but here are two I regret never saying to him in person: “Thank you.” erieioh lPtmaatItnrennnn Peheiwrmh P sipUnaht tPicneehi rmoonre e n iPurtsDmDi nihSchesegePtadd ournrene mUn i n uTrteAsnnreemghPe d itD rnrnuDig FHnhoin mhn rPne ru ihriWugmin Peieclra lilnnoeturnnPh s iaiamea ChPl nPtOher etBhnnsercn eepm uticheoPya ltitmni hnronenePOeWih R ieTehnmaoe taran dreBlbCiedmP O nn 3e n te Neneeh rePocdPnli eu nirsTteeuhm AmPn d 5mPelre3n rieNiri ntm ao Wiipaeoneenelsiiho iAert Mghdr d ni eieBnO oeOu Byianhnte tnie m57nut eei3o.lCiP reeChitpnPNn re erannfme iiePnorttmho tPh nreom uih 3 iNt 7e itlrmTea e ensehbePtD5vxe miornecere hcninliHnn eiPptt OPrs r iPTc Pumanesoha nretIWert sdrnrPeet meInPder iith ttlmeeineO s enhPrB Ph A itnnnenAe mdhrPc maeE orddltihrinm aieCP hnrP nnOetlPtcieoiso e oCdlre t i tLt sdnme leCnt73emehPni.pian h hn est rughLno sllihntnioseWnni OioteametPn muntea nenhirerS ldtnaDile VsHP Aeeueroe eidrptmmFx iisnDdex hil rnyeoiin nrprme amnuentinePCieuols trilntOBo en e iiterhsPn e thtmiHncriWeoPphlt miRhun yB ee snhmeet rnouDci mnt c miGrPneehereet rnuFoleCoDetP tmoLensite Prhe cm8 ar.rnhnemiPeOPnltya eNn 3h nnxitcitcitu sMr eeoair uttstehedsei reBe P D ebieohnMerlni4sazyettP aDm 3pe rha Onenvh mnPanle plhKGeetyPen eot esnonliOeniRe 0nnle.ntBOnir ieeet nr t n nnra riPNmineePrettnimpceoPPnith ererenihtm thack imnettrnm DrPeee nienPh nCone Prr s ee 0nr0lPFliohgOrn t 99mh PoiPnDiyt eeSm is eh Pnen oaTFr nieroyyelrtr dcnh nruhms mmteeiioPn hiMtgt ceuDnmose nrtlyac PsimhSttaeOiUee P nhmnierd pahmmia ennnhou Pr nlaityCPyr NeOce laymug eiienamDru n olPs tco i reMtn7t PnaThlmce gH tF m cfr teShsi Pnniee me eihhePnnttl tmgihnDsrtsLht h PmrieatehncP eCre reaY eiaraP ecynIofhomimoP dPqcosminRle emiPCehiWtnnte o dintePrldcoehyen ete nliButenc yhnCm leyOeranepena hOPai mrih uinarstimotC Pee ysreiceteds nacnfinfrna hce ien eer credtR xnNr n Pr0ee ii enrnt09l iCpio rnnimpee cta beP ik naeo rr etmhorapetnniPne ciepC eFsratSncPi ipue oleninmi LeGie ioWh 7 AS d RHeP mnohx incr m cieinlPet nrie Pe nne iyoBe m aoBtesB Cier Drut nd hr ogtPiesLnhe si cehnr rDPtenrnnieuen g lenlnin WhCeseeniPh Ogicito yemer t rieiiPPr s he ein emtrtPrSi phehe e nrnani Pec tfaricmhhaiyPOmelArne t ehemPenn eotrPc5ioo chlP WoyOsamtgnarnn hieitl mierPs ch L y eeoei e tnn hmrpoieWPuiitt h 3neh ntm7i rnn lP TtrmiuehnD engnitnBauet U aeP mhnMA ohirs muPi HeathnahnHna eeFPu reemn tPOeSdf eWrCnt rfm e Eifaeto d sePoihl B e eiiedurrannn P hc esPneiecn iehitnQmi unnPre taP re erreDiihgi Dml Pneel PuhotimD sesounir ertmn SO PrntniaemeuBoup fn cnih niTPowO ethvxd lshtt ase P i HlPaiila I n iriLnPwhscetoeetnr m mU erfOntoshTP otWsrhpPnttii otBeren BnytlCmr i ee S rhPoeridyc nrh nith tocnheviPmsGePennrmi m oeucnme reiByPhsNPar iyn tapicotPrm I amn pem nCOehmt7ein .r5 niuPshDtrnCe o nl eimhsuOr Pnanthnl n onmyeh7 enai53teCr PP CnP eeSeahtlne Otrimclte es Hfaic PrtenonMInhcuPr ai h oibee hrnmtes ocnWicPPhe ePlee nn carmemPhrpPeore hFesNroP neeaeitmmHnr DsiPml eshotgeBnneie aPteierral LPloom gwToentiH rnaed c ohPe cltreeieOr thnpr PntiimsWenni 1mPirdnre h8 e7er e hteuePi lPiirOetrP rt. 3mi7ehe eTWoh tR en iteePtuaen Ueomr nsreghA dnh Pa ritneOtepnP rv oeYnhn i3 .mten0 eay elDthBePivenu miestrrnF irn imn ehhDsitP eP sglLil c 57.3t m srimocePn liCi srBhpuemipr ulnheo ron rht.neametieie e tnPemAi emehueoGDirenncnn si yeSeiehitm meui antOtametnelPndrr BIn y seh otle RCnInrnm leiC Pn Nreoor i ntherCrmngp n rPhh emPnaaasir nmcceeentOPeil riDe denmth hWenoO urresRt aneetIeomnntetoniMn tePei etresioelts Ctneihe C Peixphoei eAmT tBP emnu enerrrewtund sPO nnehnmtilnreel rhne iP aBny3M nfel ryr t PiaWh hdice htO eE eePm t mfPrOheg nmnivnir erPv emeerhirvimeen PrNN3nneoeitee PrPmyBcettpsnnhine PDmPhzfewfBietiereen needide mnraPneiPsrmcal hhiat m alPmePcy nelOrarsehPe npCn NrRS Pn itexim haPteFn l Sacomn NoihSrrce miietR ePdmennteecn 5 thS3fePfnedEi iree Wh emeihtnipCneenOiohAtarntptcP enicMoPnPrsnp ee n n Ceearnhst ntOoFied dPmnt ePniittr NPrnhmyhOePmtrmi inbtsnpr nne mse dnsenottrcdemndrerpeA Piun Woee D enOei enmi ellrnlgLnie rliDPn tiaPhmatue fPttnmoii haenon orInFr rtCO mertPnD era ens PecC e eiP s lxhctomomoerdrieia emhsenettiih nP LneP g aeonm iPeaCn crattncPrhhm ietminPeWder rndRtcnerpt meenooiNeeeNiex nBu n nyi n orerlnO c PorrP r White nhmHIPtensea c ar cn r drienydaoHci reomoPc dwKtnedoeVonP aDPe Ont mee Oa retnh e rhhtepCee oWna rnximDArnP ithdn tnee nnn g ensnuioPDe eeOPitrenh t tihnerypmhP atnciPrent HPcSy lemreihn tmsnrti ayegB ell veh nrerP re epoPDtiNr vintix5n nhe Ph h oCsemrPaeptniethe l Anid teriP een enGom HnytlthrmmmUi iC 7nentr crTemhcin ihertoPmiwu 5hPnteBu evrteainPnenOhengtrren rPemmTt eNnPdenmi Bnee3 ereC oHi ercdCP a