Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I Meet Someone Famous

Ray Harryhausen contemplates skeleton model for his film,
The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad. Columbia Pictures, 1958.

                                           I Meet Someone Famous


                                                                Jay Agan


      It happened to me during MARCON at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, Ohio last Memorial Day weekend. He was attending the H.P. Lovecraft seminar. Most of the seminar went by interestingly enough before I noticed him. The presentation/discussion drifted to the authors' well known love of cats.

      Across the aisle, to my right a few rows ahead, a very distinctive voice made some comments. My mind went into overdrive (transmission slipping, gears grinding) trying to place it. It resolved itself as I remembered those stentorian tones from interviews on various dvds.

      He worked from behind the camera. Many of you have seen his films. Though he wasn't producer/director he might as well have been as his works were the center of the films they appeared in. He's still active today in regard to the marketing and enhancement of his & others movies. I had to meet this guy!

      The seminar over, I approached. As I did so, I heard a couple others mention his name. He was sitting there reading, as I introduced myself.

      "Excuse me sir." He looked up. "You have a very distinctive voice," I paused and, "are you who I think you are?"

      I then noticed his name tag to bear a different moniker.

      "I'm sorry. I see by your tag you're not the one I thought you were."

      "Actually, I am someone else," he replied in that unforgettable voice.

      "I understand sir. It was good to meet you." I left the room. He wanted his privacy. I can respect that.

      I don't think he had an event or seminar at the con. Was he in central Ohio on business? Visiting relatives? Who knows? Outside, I ran into one of the seminars' speakers.

      "Do you know who that was you were talking to a few rows back?"

      "No, who?" Replying with some concern.

      "--- -----------."

      "Really? You sure?"

      Another attendee walked up confirming what I said. She recalled he was sitting behind her when the speaker mentioned some work in a Lovecraft related film wasn't as good as --- ------------s. She said she heard him say, "Oh, he gave me a plug."

      I really wish I could tell you who he was. Yeah, frustrating. For all you know, I'm just making this up and I don't blame you for thinking so. At best, you're thinking he was mistaken for someone else. If it wasn't him, it had to have been his twin.

      He wanted his privacy & to be left alone. I have to leave it at that.

                                                Article copyright © Jay Agan

Addendum: As he passed away on May 7, 2013, I can now reveal that it may have been Ray Harryhausen I had inadvertantly met. If it wasn't, it sure looked & sounded like him! Needless to say, I find it interesting that he may have been an H.P. Lovecraft fan.

Photo & links added 5-9-13

Ray Harryhausen: Farewell To A Master here.

Night At The Drive In (One Million Years BC) here.

Go to Jays' Tee Vee blog main page here. 

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