The recent passing of sci-fi icon Forrey Ackerman got me thinking about the time I met him. It was at Rivercon, in Louisville, KY back in 2000. This was actually the final Rivercon convention, and Forrey was the guest of honor. I had always wanted to meet Forrey, so I wrote him ahead of time and introduced myself, and asked if he'd mind spending some time with me doing an interview. He agreed, and Saturday morning at the show my wife and I met Forrey in the lobby and we had breakfast together at the hotel restaurant.
Before I go any further I have to mention that I had only been doing my show for a couple of years at this point, and was still pretty green around the gills. I got so excited about the interview and meeting Forrey that I actually drove all the way to Louisville before I discovered that I had left my camera at home! I was sick to my stomach - the main reason I decided to come to this show was to meet Forrey, and I really, really wanted to get an interview with him.
Well, I asked around Friday evening at the show and managed to find someone who graciously loaned me the use of his camera. So after we ate breakfast I found a quiet room in the hotel and the four of us, (Forrey, myself, my wife and the cameraman), all stepped inside to do the interview.
The cameraman (whose name I don't remember - but if you happen to read this blog please write me and remind me your name - I am very grateful) had a tripod as well as a camera, which was a good thing, since as soon as Forrey started talking he sat enthralled and didn't work the camera one bit - not a single zoom in the shoot, cut, camera movement, nothing. But you know what? I didn't care, I was just glad to get the interview.
It is amazing how much healthier he looked a mere 8 years ago. He really went downhill fast once he got sick. At 84 he was still spry enough to flirt with my wife and speak Esperanto to her when I left the table to head back to the breakfast bar. Forrey did two interviews with me that morning, and I just sort of let him talk and tell some of his favorite stories. He was still full of puns and Forrey-isms, and you just get the feeling that some of these stories were ones he had told a thousand times before.
But I thought you guys might like to hear them once more time, so I dug out this interview and posted it on youtube. Here it is below ...