Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Deconstructing Harry

There are many people who will read a blog and instead of posting a comment, will just email the person back. I do that myself depending on my mood. Many people emailed me, and (again, links on the side of the page right there with Harry's, Cathy Van Patten and Stephen Mark Rainey also posted about HEF (as he signed his work). Almost everyone mentioned his deep; and resonant voice, if he and Rodger Gerbderding were in a conversation, I felt as if I were in a diving bell (or something like that). Peggy Nadramia, who published tons of his stuff in her magazine GRUE, told of how if she asked for something, his reply was always "I've got a lot going, but...better put on the coffee, Mother!" We'd be talking at a con, someone would make a comment, and Harry would say "well...there's that" and chuckle ominously. In fact, it was Harry himself who made me realize what a chuckle was when I saw it written in a story. And I forgot to mention that he could mold his face into the persona of Christopher Walken, don't ask me how. I watched it happen, and I still don't know. Alan Clark made the reminded, and Jeff Osier echoed, that there are many people who have Harry's photography or artwork hanging on their walls. That's a difference between writers and artists, its a great thing to see the spine of your novel (or if you are lucky, the front cover) on a shelf in a store or a dealer's room at a convention, its another to see something worth hanging on the wall of any room in your house. His work was very precise and he was always dedicated. He kept boxes of spare parts, things he might put in a photo, like the head of a doll or a piece of a china cat. I finally went to bed around three this morning, and as always, I put myself to sleep by flipping to some cable nonsense and eating ice cream. I stopped on an HBO rerun of a George Carlin special, it was only going to take five minutes to eat and Harry kind of dressed like Carlin, dark slacks and shirt, a little loose or, as they are marketed in the stores, "relaxed." As I reached to turn the TV off (I never use the remote because its, you know, technology), Carlin blurted out "Does God love America because its a great country or because we have eighteen fucking blends of Rice-A-Roni?" The TV blipped off, Carlin a white ghost for a second. If he had posed that question to Harry, the answer would have been "well...there's that." And then the chuckle. I'll catch up to you, my friend.