Last April, I discussed a trip I’d taken to Pittsburg – leaving off at the Kecksburg UFO. That same night we saw Weird Al perform at the Palace Theater in Greensburg, PA before checking out of our hotel the following morning. Rather than drive straight shot back to Chicago, we (my kids and I) took a different route through West Virginia. The original destination was Point Pleasant to see the Mothman Museum until I discovered yet another monster along the way. With just a week before we left on our road trip, I happily added Braxton County, “Home of the Flatwoods Monster,” to the itinerary. This story will be featured in an upcoming WEIRD USA story in Scary Monsters Magazine. So here you’ll get a less detailed version of events. On the flipside, you can see full-color photos from the experience – and this is one vibrant looking creature! Continue reading
The good people at Scary Monsters Magazine have just dropped their latest masterpiece – Monster Memories #26! Aside from sporting yet another frame-worthy cover, this 145-page opus is loaded with so many great articles it’ll warrant multiple readings. My favorite comes straight of the gate with Jason Strangis’ “Fantastic ’50s” and I also loved “Monster Robots and Donuts” (best title ever) by Mark Glassy. If you’re a fan of War of the Worlds than you are gonna love this issue. Don Smeraldi’s “All is Wells in the World” is Rondo-worthy good and I just loved it! Monster Memories #26 even has a wonderful tribute to Rick Koz Svengoolie who will probably be so relieved to see a story about him in SM/MM that wasn’t written by me. Although….if you skip over to page 90 you can check out my article/tribute to Harou Nakajima. I was fortunate to have seen the legendary man in the Godzilla suit just (1954-1972) just weeks before his death at the Indianapolis Days of the Dead convention. Assisting me with this piece was the great J.D. Lees – publisher of G-FAN and the man behind G-FEST as well as Tim Bean who worked with Nakajima on several occasions including Indy. Tim and J.D – if you’re reading this, a Godzilla-sized THANK YOU and complimentary copies of MM #26 are headed your way. As for the rest of you, what are you waiting for? Go out and get yourself a copy!
On Monday, March 30th we spent the day at the Nashville Zoo before walking the streets of the city like Rhinestone Cowboys. Neither of us is particularly keen on Country music so most of the local flavor was lost on us as we strolled right past the numerous amateur crooners (who seemed to be every twenty feet) in search of a prognosticating Elvis I found via Roadside America. Unfortunately, by the time we located the animatronic, fortune-telling “King of Rock n Roll” we discovered it was broken and had to settle for just a picture.
Not long ago I posted a list of things I’d learned from attending so many Svengoolie public appearances; listing “making new friends” as Number Seven. Today I’ve been given a painful reminder that this should actually have been number one. I received a call from my friend, Bill Yingst, informing me that his beautiful wife, Joan (far right in the above photo) had died, suddenly, this morning. Joan was not only a contributor to this blog but had become a dear friend and I felt as if I’d been hit with a baseball bat.
Last weekend I went to see national horror host, Svengoolie, at a Chicago store called Cook Brothers (“We stack em Deep and Sell em Cheap!”). Though not as remarkable as his previous appearance at The Squared Circle, it did represent a bit of a milestone for me. Since discovering that he’d return to the airwaves in 2003, this would mark my 35th time seeing him (either as Svengoolie or Rich Koz) at a public event.
Anyone who really knows me understands that, interest-wise, I’m driven by two major things; zoos (animals) and genre films (horror, sci-fi, fantasy). I’ve been affiliated with my local Brookfield Zoo for the better part of 13 years and, as it was the zoo I grew up with and inspired my love of animals, consider it a sacred place. These past few years have been like a dream come true as my two worlds have finally begun to merge with regular guest appearances from my beloved horror host, Svengoolie. These happen each spring for our annual AAZK (American Association of Zoo Keepers) Spaghetti dinner as well as the zoo’s night time Halloween event, “Creatures of the Night.”