Free associating recently, I remembered a sci fi author I had a brief, flirtation with in 1954 when I was 23. He was 29 or so. We met at a regional sci fi convention in Bellefontaine, Ohio. The hotel was Beatley’s on the Lake and everyone referred to it as Beastly’s on the Bayou.The town restaurants welcomed the sci fi group with cute additions to their menus. One offered Cranisnorfed ganiflats and crottled greeps. We all walked around pointing a gun finger at someone and exclaiming, “Zap, you’re sterile.”
Jerry was somewhat of a pianist and we discovered each other at the piano and spent an afternoon improvising duets. I was too cautious to begin a relationship with someone I had just met, so after the meet was over, we went our separate ways and I never saw him again. Later photos I found on the internet showed a very senior, bearded looking guy bearing no resemblance to the young Jerry. He was 75 when he died in 1998.
Isaac Asimov was there too. He had a habit of grabbing any young thing who walked past him and kissing her. Yes, he did that with me. I also met Robert Bloch, who wrote Psycho that Alfred Hitchcock made into the movie with Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins. We remained friends until his death in 1992. He was one of the most charming and funniest men I ever met.
Bob Bloch was living in Weyauwega, Wisconsin in those days, married to a woman suffering from tuberculosis of the bone. His bio said it was a marriage of convenience so he could avoid going into the army. She was bitter and angry the whole time and when he made enough money, he arranged for her care and divorced her. I was dating a chiropractic student going to school on the G.I. bill. The National College was just 5 minutes from my flat in Chicago. He was in the process of breaking up with me (I think he discovered his attraction to guys, that I had suspected. But I was still miserable). Then I got a letter from Bob. He was meeting up with some writers in Chicago, they were going to meet at a Loop restaurant and would I please join them. He scrawled this in at the bottom of a typed letter to the others. I joined these awesome professionals, thought I'd gone to Heaven. Wilson (Bob) Tucker, the mystery/adventure/sci writer was at this lunch. I was impressed with him. I must be in Heaven, I thought. Bob including me, his acceptance, meant everything to me and I was able to survive being dumped. Bob referred to Weyauwega as “Living Death,: Wisconsin and said the residents were so desperate for sex, they would go down to the railroad yards to watch the cars couple.
Was I ever that person?