Yesterday, the world lost a creative genius when Ray Harryhausen passed away at age 92. Like millions of other people, he was one of my heroes and he will be greatly missed. Since his passing there's been an outpour of appreciation and celebration of Ray's life and talents. Instead of repeating what has already been said I've decided to take a different approach and reminisce a bit about one of my favorite fandom events; the night I watched King Kong with Ray Harryhausen!
Souvenir program from Wonderfest 7
I met Ray Harryhausen for the first time in 1996 at the 7th annual Wonderfest Hobby Expo in Louisville, Kentucky. Even though the meet & greet lines were long, Ray took the time to sign and chat with his fans. Everyone including myself walked away with big goofy grins on our faces as the realization sunk in that we met the great special effect wizard, Ray Harryhausen.
Souvenir T-shrit from the event.
Before the film started, I snapped this photo of Ray sitting between his wife Diana and Bob Burns. In front of them is the original King Kong armature looking like he wants to be picked up.
Ray talking about Willis O'Brien and demonstrating how to animate the armature was one of the most exciting things I've ever seen!
Ray Harryhausen was such a wonderful person filled to the brim with creativity and ingenuity. I'm thankful for all of his films and very grateful to have met a true Wonder of the World! Rest in peace Ray and thank you.