NPR Covers Larry Tucker Funeral

NPR’s Michigan Radio outlet has posted text and audio of its report about Larry Tucker’s memorial which aired March 11.

Leah Zeldes, who persisted to get Tucker the veteran’s burial he was entitled to, and Kevin Jacobi of Muehlig Funeral Chapel, part of the Dignity Memorial network which offers free funeral services to homeless veterans, feature in the report.

After the rifle shots rang out and the procession headed back to town, Jacobi says he worries this is happening all over the place: Homeless vets die, and nobody’s there to bury them.

“You know, how many homeless people have a file folder in the backpacks with their DD214 paper in it?”

I tell him I don’t know what that is.

“It’s the honorable discharge paper that you need to be buried in a national cemetery.”

With an estimated 4,200 homeless vets in Michigan, he may be right to be worried.

Copies of Uncle Albert’s Are Surfacing

Two fans have already responded to Leah Zeldes’ plea to help preserve copies of Larry Tucker’s audio and video fanzines. Mike Griffin and Jim Meadows have volunteered to let copies be dubbed from their cassettes of a couple issues of Uncle Albert’s Electric Talking Fanzine. More are needed to fill in a set.

Meadows says he has been making good use of his copies as a fanhistorical resource all along —  

I work as a reporter at a public radio station in Illinois (WILL at the University of Illinois in Urbana). A few years ago, when Bob Tucker died, I did a feature story on his death, noting his status as a local author (the Bloomington-Normal area, where he lived for many years, is just one county over from us). I also attempted to sketch in Bob’s reputation in the sf fan community, and used an excerpt of Tucker giving a convention speech that appeared in Larry Tucker’s cassette zine. Much later, maybe a couple of years, I got an email from a son of Bob Tucker (maybe David Tucker?) asking about that speech. I dubbed off the speech and emailed it to him, and he expressed thanks for being able to hear his father’s voice again.

Send Cards and Letters to Larry Tucker

Larry Tucker, the long-time Michigan fan who has been in a nursing home since he suffered a serious stroke two years ago, was hospitalized at the beginning of April for colon surgery. Reports immediately after the surgery were favorable. He was expected to be returned to his nursing home after a week recovering in the hospital.

Tucker chaired the 1978-1980 ConFusions in Ann Arbor. He is best known for creating Uncle Albert’s Electric Talking Fanzine (on cassette) and a similarly named video edition. He was a fannish video pioneer, as Leah Zeldes explained to readers of “The Clubhouse” on the Amazing Stories blog  —

Larry, an avid and talented video buff at a time when video meant U-matic tape, chronicled most of the early cons, as well as making a variety of other fannish videos, notably “Big Bird Eats Moon,” which chronicled a Stilyagi lunar eclipse party as told by a cultural anthropologist; “The Thing That Ate Gorgonzola State University,” real-life interviews with students about the news that the earth was being eaten by a black hole; and the full-length feature “FAANs,” starring just about every well-known Midwestern fan of the period: the ultimate sf con as a parody of “Jaws.”

These days Katherine Becker of Ann Arbor’s Stilyagi Air Corps visits Tucker and keeps up his connection with fandom. She relayed news of his surgery to Leah Zeldes, who in turn would like to encourage people to drop Larry a line at his permanent address:

Regency at Whitmore Lake
8633 North Main St
Whitmore Lake, MI 48189

Leah says –

I don’t think he can read — the stroke he had two years ago was pretty devastating — but Katherine will read the mail to him when she visits, and post them on his wall. It would be nice if he got a bunch of cards and letters, not just now but on an ongoing basis.

Leah would also like to locate more copies of Larry’s videos so they can be digitized and preserved. She obtained a copy of “FAANs” and has someone working on it, but says his other tapes are in an unknown state. If anyone has copies of “The Thing That Ate Gargonzola State University,” “Big Bird Eats Moon,” “Uncle Albert’s Electric Talking Fanzine” (audio tape) or “Uncle Albert’s Video Fanzine,” send a note to File 770 – mikeglyer [at] cs [dot] com – and I will put you in touch with her.

Our Amazing Future

Steve Davidson’s next upgrade to the Amazing Stories site is likely to be an event calendar listing conventions, readings, classes etc. There is a fan who knows something about building the base!

Meanwhile the Amazing blog offers something new every day.

Mike Brotherton has a very clever post about How To Host A Big Bang Theory Party.

Coincidentally, I saw his name earlier today on Technorati when I was looking at the rankings trying to understand why my blog scores much better in the realm of Comics (336th) than Books (827th). Brotherton was leading the “Top 10 Fallers” list for having lost the most Books Authority points – but his blog remains among the Top 100 in the category, with five times more Books Authority points than File 770.

I hope people will take Leah Zeldes’ advice about preserving fanhistorical material in their possession. One thing she recommends is —

If you don’t want to do the work yourself, there are tons of fans out there willing to help. Most notably, the Florida Association for Nucleation And Conventions (F.A.N.A.C.), Inc., has a wonderful collection of scanned photos and printed materials and a small but dedicated cadre of volunteers devoted to putting things online.

Dial-a-Meal Getting Closer

Dining Chicago has Leah Zeldes’ latest report on food fabricators titled “Push-button food emerging from the science-fiction kitchen”. Looks like another technology visualized by classic Star Trek is close to realization.

You’ve heard about the paper food that the molecular gastronomists at the West Loop’s Moto print out … well, that may soon be old hat.

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology research group has designed the Digital Fabricator, a personal, three-dimensional “printer” for food. The device would layer ingredients from an array of food canisters into a mixer and then extrude them, with sub-millimeter precision, into a heating and cooling chamber.  

 [Thanks to David Klaus for the link.]