[Longtime File 770 contributor Francis Hamit brings us up to date, and shares an appeal.]
By Francis Hamit: People in the fan community may have been wondering why I have not been heard from lately. Well, I’ve been very sick. In September 2019 I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis when an occlusion was detected at the C-3 vertebrae that was cutting into my spinal cord. That had to be corrected or I would die. After high-risk surgery in December of that year I had further complications when parts of my C-6 and C7 vertebrae collapsed. This was just as Covid shut everything down so corrective surgery for that was delayed until about a year ago. That required two operations. One to install a titanium box in my neck to hold my head up and the other to place plates and screws from my C-3 to my T-2 vertebrae. That was followed by four-and-a-half months in a skilled nursing facility learning to walk again among other things. A pretty horrible experience for me and for Leigh.
The attached photo is me today, in the new promotional T-shirt for my film The All American. The film project is one I started developing in 2018 and kept researching and writing throughout all of these troubles. I also wrote a 172,000-word novel that is under consideration at a publisher. The script just won an Honorable Mention at the Hollywood Script Awards so I am moving forward raising money for it. The t-shirt campaign is the first step. I need money for legal fees and other costs for a crowdfunding securities campaign. This may seem like fantasy or science fiction to some, like building a starship with your ever handy multi-tool but I think it’s the best way for me to go.
The shirt says “Ground Crew” on the back and those who buy and wear it become members of the film’s ground crew. The ground crew in North Africa with the 414th Bomb Squad were the guys who kept the aircraft flying and were so attached to them that they called them “her” gave them names and personalities and slept under them at night to protect them (This is from a unit logbook). They were real Fans. I am hoping that today’s fans will help this along but buying a shirt now and maybe some shares later on. Here’s the link: “Join The All American’s Ground Crew Custom Ink Fundraising”.
The “On a Wing and a Prayer” motto comes from the popular song inspired by the incident when the All American was struck by a German fighter and still made it back to base. Fitting for what I’m trying to do here.
I won’t be at Chicon 8 or any other for awhile. Still a long way to go before I am fully recovered. But I hope that people will buy a shirt or one of the other items I’ll be offering in an expanded definition of “authorship” towards getting this film made. I am as sane as I ever was. Remember that Gene Roddenberry flew B-17s. Respect for the Master.