John Hertz Reports:
A Very Merry Unbirthday

By John Hertz: The birthday party for Forry Ackerman that Ray Bradbury hosted on Saturday, November 22nd, at Bookfellows (also called Mystery & Imagination bookshop) in Glendale was full of people, books, a cake, Ray, a theremin, and a giant card we all wrote good wishes on. Forry’s 92nd is Monday, November 24th.

We sang Happy Birthday to Forry by phone, for which he thanked us from his home, the mini-Ackermansion. He is physically weak but his mind is sharp.

The cake was chocolate. It had a big photo of Forry in a blazer with his First Fandom badge, and a big photo-montage of monsters. Ray spoke eloquently. So did George Clayton Johnson and other friends.

That night was a small unbirthday party for another member of First Fandom, Len Moffatt, who was only 85 on Thursday, November 20th. I asked Ray if he’d like to sign a card for Len, and he said certainly, so I went across the street and made one at a copy shop.

Len’s wife June had contributed a 1972 photo of Len for the cover of APA-L 2271 last Thursday, so I used that. APA-L has been published every week for only 44 years.

The photo was from Westercon XXV where Len was Fan Guest of Honor. It shows Horrible Old Roy Tackett, Len as the clown Pike Pickens, Stan Woolston, and in back Dan Alderson. After Ray, I went over to Forry’s so he could sign it. A nurse’s aide let me in.

Forry said “I’ve always enjoyed you over the years,” which I told him was mutual. I took the card to Len’s party and confessed it was another ruse to dodge the no-presents rule. At his 80th it had been a balloon.

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