Posted By Kathleen David on May 27, 2009
I want to wish Harlan Ellison a very happy 75th birthday.
Harlan was Peter’s best man at our wedding. The day after we went off on the Disney Cruise and we sent Harlan and Susan to New Orleans for a couple of days. The original plan was to have the Honeymoon on the CBLDF cruise but that didn’t happen and thinking back on it, it was a good thing it didn’t because we wouldn’t have had many moments alone.
I can’t tell you which Harlan story I read first. I do remember that it was a collection of short stories that I got out at my local library. The first story I remember and probably one of my favorites was “Repent Harlequin! Said the Tick-Tock Man.”
My first meeting with Harlan was at DragonCon. It was brief and he was brusque but someone had just dumped a pitcher of water over his shoes. Yes, I did witness that exchange and it did happen. He and I conducted our short business and I left.
My next meeting was at an I-Con. It was my first convention as Peter’s girlfriend and I was a bit nervous. I was introduced, by Peter, to Harlan and Susan who were perfectly polite but a bit reserved. I couldn’t blame them considering what their good friend had gone through. They were looking out for him.
It was when Neil, Harlan, and Peter did “the three high verbals” in Boston that I found myself accepted by the Ellisons as part of the gang. Once Peter and I got engaged, I was serious quizzed by Harlan about my intentions because he was looking out for Peter. I passed and he agreed to be Peter’s best man.
Over the years I have become better friends with Harlan and Susan. I have gotten to know them and they know me better. The last time that they came in for ICon, I went to hear an hour with Harlan and Peter, which I knew was going to be amusing, and Harlan listed me among his friends and I teared up a bit.
They sent Caroline her pink blanket which became Caroline’s comfort. It is now pink tatters but she like to go to sleep holding onto it. We showed it to them the last time they were at I-Con. They were amazed at how loved that blanket it.
I grateful I know Harlan Ellison and can call him friend.