Forrest J. Ackerman
I was three years old when an important (to me at least) magazine was published, and it took me a while to catch on and to be old enough to read it, I wanted to be like my older brother, whom I really looked up to and felt close to until he was killed by his drunk brother in law, and he always read Mad Magazine, so my magazine of choice became "Famous Monster's of Filmland."
I read every copy I could get my hands on, and when I was done with it I would read it again, pouring over the pictures and stories, interviews with Boris Karloff, Bela Lagosi, Vincent Price and Christpher Lee among others.
I learned how those movies were made, the cast and crew, got a real close look at the Creature of the Black Lagoon and others that should have given me nightmares, and maybe they did and now I call them my stories, you never know.
But ever since those early days I have loved going to the movies, and it was because of men like Forrest J. Ackerman and his magazine that I learned how they were made and how much fun that world was.
After reading the copy that had the "Creature" I took an old coffee table that my mother had thrown away, broke off the legs and turned it over and painted it brown. Dirt brown. I took ice cream sticks and wired them together, breaking them here and there and leaving gaps, as if it was the decaying fence around the graveyard and then assembled models of the Werewolf, Count Dracula, Frankenstien, and yes, even the Creature from the Black Lagoon, as well as a few wild dogs and placed as the center piece of my room.
Sure, some kids thought I was weird but I didn't care, and then my cousin Mike did one of his own, which I borrowed the dogs from for my graveyard. 
I was saddened to hear of his recent passing, and to be honest, I thought he had passed on long ago, I didn't know until recently that he had that collection of "monster things" and I would have given anything to have met him.
When I was in the fifth grade, I took a sweatshirt and designed it the same as my favorite copy of the magazine, the one with Frankenstein on the cover and the interview with Peter Lorre, and my mother was so mad she threw it away. Now everyone wears t shirts with something to say, or that they like or admire. I feel like Forrest Gump.
I will miss him, this friend of my imagination, the collector of things that made that bump in the night that much more real to me.

Bluez   Bluez wrote
on 3/28/2009 12:40:24 PM
Your welcome, I was so blown away that he was still alive and I could have met him had I thought of it. Mike is still here though, he has a daughter and she's cool too, sorry about not putting that there right, I meant the passing of Mr. Ackerman when I said that. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on this, you are a good friend

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This isn't a journalism story or anything I am doing for "extra credit" but it wouldn't accept "writing activity" but then maybe I am just sharing my thoughts on this, it really saddened me to read about it in the paper.
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