Today in My History
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
18 June 2020
I was confused when I received a note from Amazon that a book had been sent to my Kindle and charged to me. I didn't recognize the name of the book, and knew I had not ordered it.
Doing more research, I checked the title on Amazon and discovered that it was David Gerrold's most recent book, "Hella," just published. I obviously pre-ordered it months ago when David said that it was going to be coming out. David, Star Trek fans will know is the author of the episode "Trouble with Tribbles."
I "met" David on CompuServe decades ago, when he was participating in groups I also followed, using a pseudonym. I became friends with the pseudonym and eventually realized who he was. He and I had a pun war for a couple of months.
I was first drawn to him because of his stories of the adoption of his son, and the experience of being a gay man trying to adopt. He ended up writing a book about the adoption, "The Martian Child," which was made into a movie, with John Cusack as David. I loved it when David and his son came to visit and I could tell people that the Martian Child mopped my kitchen floor.
The Martian child is now all grown up and will become a daddy in August. We missed his wedding and I've always regretted it, but it was in Las Vegas and I really didn't want to spend the weekend in Las Vegas.
I posted a note on Facebook yesterday about the book and David added a note:
I smiled. I remembered back when he wrote the Dingilliad books, three young adult books, the first of which was "Jumping off the Planet." That was a fun book to read because many of the characters in it were people from our CompuServe discussion groups. "Bev Sykes" even came in toward the end of the book (if I recall, it's page 172!) as an attorney. Naturally, I had to read the second book, "Bouncing off the Moon," to see if attorney Bev Sykes showed up again, which she did.
When he was getting ready to publish the third and final book, "Leaping to the Stars," I asked him if Bev Sykes would be in that one too. He said he thought she might be. Imagine my surprise when I discovered she was a major figure.
From time to time, as a fund raiser, David offered to use someone's name as a character if they paid him a certain amount of money. I got it for free. :)
It's fun when you know why characters are named what they are. A friend of David's, Karen Malcor-Chapman, raises horses in S. California.
The cool thing about Karen was that she was a huge Star Trek fan and so they named a planet, Malcor, after her.
I've had a lot of interesting experiences with David, over the years, but perhaps the one that was the most special to me was after Paul died. I knew he had a mail-order minister license or whatever you call it, and I asked if he would conduct the graveside services for him. He did the most beautiful job, far better than the priest who buried David (who was a family friend). I have been grateful to him for 20 years for that gift he gave us.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
"Pants on the ground"
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This is entry #7392