MONSTER BASH LETTERS
CREEPY CORRESPONDENCE ABOUT OUR LAST SUMMER BASH, JUNE 23-25, 2017!
Monster Bash, Good Vibrations
This in from attendee Matt Maieski:
Matt, thank you for the kind words and co-inspiration your e-mail brings.
We are family...a bunch of kids that grew up the same way, just in different towns.
My best to you and keep channeling the good Monster Bash vibes!
...and now, a note from Monster Bash Guest of Honor, Stan Gordon, nationally recognized UFO researcher:
This in from more Monster Bashers:
Wow….twenty years of Monster Bash! It was a pleasure to be there! I didn’t get in on as many events as I would have like to, but family/grandfather duties came first. Meeting Larry Storch was great…what a sweet man and 94 years young!! Wonderful! Again, kudos to you and all the bash staffers. You all have put on a wonderful convention. You all put out a lot of work that just seems to go by in a blink of an eye. Thanks for a pleasant weekend!
The spirit of the Bash, it's the best convention around, because it's like 1 big family.
Enjoy the rest now and congratulations again on 20 years!
Rest? What rest???? Ha!
My name is Dawn and my fiancée Jon and I just attended our 1st (but not last) Monster Bash this past weekend. We had a blast and Jon can't stop talking about everything we did, saw & learned, not to mention the people we got to meet.
Thanks again for a wonderful weekend.
I have just returned home to Minnesota after attending the Monster Bash 2017. This was the first time I had attended the conference. I have known about it for a few years, but hadn't made the trip, as I wanted to bring my family, and wanted them to be a little older. As it was, I was still nervous about the long drive of 15 hours with them (11 yrs, 9 yrs and 4 yrs). But they did an amazing job. And we were rewarded with an amazing time. I met some really friendly people, enjoyed all the great movies and Q&A's (especially the Gary's, am I right?? What a great time), and even bought a piece of Veronica Carlson's amazing artwork (is she not the sweetest woman...I was so nervous meeting her). Thank you for all your efforts, and all that you and your staff do. I was able to really get a feel for everything, and the Monster Bash family. We enjoyed it all!
I'm not a Monster Kid in the traditional sense. I was born in 1975, so I didn't grow up in the 60s heyday like you and the other Monster Kids. My first exposure was from my father (who is sadly not with us anymore), when he gave me his beat up copy of Famous Monsters 43. I still have that issue, which has been taped together, and has my handwriting all over it, as for some reason, I thought maybe the coupons in the back were still good in the 80s! (As an added bonus, I bought a really nice copy of that issue in the dealer's room, as I thought it was fitting). Fast forward to my teens, and recalling watching old 50s Sci Fi movies as I came across them late at night or weekend morning/afternoons. Then in my 20s, when Universal released all the collections for each of the monsters. I gobbled them up, and well that's when things really started to explode. I got more and more into them, connecting back to that FM issue, and how I always wished I could have watched those movies as a kid, and felt like I missed out on so much. As I started to have kids, and my love of monsters grew stronger and stronger, I started collecting more movies, and buying magazines, old and new. I came across Monster Bash and Creepy Classics magazines.
I loved reading about all the memories, and stories, and it really made me long for wanting to have a childhood like that. So I decided, my children would. I have introduced them to the classics, they have taken a liking to their favorites. My oldest son is a "big monster" fan, mainly Godzilla. The other is a fan of them all really, especially the Universal classics. My daughter seems to be attracted to Dracula most, but I think that's mainly cause she's a massive Batman fan, and she sees a connection! Ha! We do monster movie nights all the time, both in the house and outdoors in the backyard. We have our own monster festival in October, which we stared about 3 years ago. I built them a clubhouse, with beds for us all, and even has power. We've decorated it with monsters, and we have sleepovers most of the spring, summer and autumn weekends watching movies at night, and cartoons in the morning.
So I wanted to thank you, and all those involved in the magazine and at the conference. For carrying on the traditions, sharing your stories, and keeping the flames alive. That excitement has certainly passed down to me, and I am doing my best to pass that down to my children, since they are our future, and if we want to keep it alive, they are the ones to carry it forward. Apologize for this being so long, but I just feel so inspired after this weekend, to share my story. Maybe it will inspire others, but most importantly, to show my appreciation for all of you, for sharing what you have. It's really changed my life over these last few years, and brought a whole new side into not only mine, but my children's lives. When my 4 year old daughter knows it's not Frankenstein, but Frankenstein's monster, and will correct people, I know I'm doing a good job!
Again, THANK YOU!
I want to thank you for having Renee & I at your SHOW.
We had a good show and your staff were GREAT.
My Very Best,
Hi, Ron – many thanks to you and your crew for once again organizing such an amazing Bash. As Beatles fans, Glenn Odden and I were particularly happy to attend the Sunday morning acoustic show, and we also loved the presentation by Rick Goldschmidt on the Rankin Bass Productions. We had a good talk with him afterwards at his booth, and he said how much he loved being part of such a family friendly event.
The Bash just keeps getting better and better – Glenn and I have reserved our rooms for next year already. Now I have to get cracking on writing an article about Frankenstein and Research Ethics for a special volume devoted to Frankenstein’s 200th anniversary in 2018 – I hope you can give a shout out to Mary Shelley at the 2018 Bash. Maybe a birthday cake with 200 candles?
All the best,
Mad Doctor, Tim Madigan
Hi Ron -
Bill Diamond & I would like to thank you for a great weekend, we got many compliments
Thanks again - Cortlandt
Ron, this is both a Monster Bash flashback and a "flashforward" since I am new to the scene and have only participated in two Monster Bash conferences as publisher/editor of Scary Monsters Magazine and the Monster Memories Yearbook. Both Vicki and I were disappointed she couldn't make it this year.
I'd like to congratulate you, Ursula, Paisely and your "extended" family of more than 50 Monster Bash staff volunteers for a very successful and memorable 2017 Monster Bash celebrating 20 years of frightening fun! While I have a feeling of melancholy having missed 23 prior Monster Bashes, Vicki and I have received well wishes and heartfelt expressions of appreciation from many Bash attendees both during and after the show.
The highlights from the 2017 Bash are too numerous to mention here (the prize toss was a blast!). But it was great to spend significant "face time" with several Scary Monsters readers who I've never met in person, and of course with contributors like Mike Dimesa, Rob Costello, Michael Ramsey, Debbie Painter, Paul Donarski, David Colton, and Scary cover artist Scott Jackson and his wife Melissa. It also was a treat meeting and sharing the amazing experience with interesting and knowledgeable veteran Bashers like Jim and Marian Clatterbaugh, Dick Klemensen and Sam Irvin, Son of Ghoul Keven Scarpino, Frank and Linda Dello Stritto, and others! My flashforward is all about the exciting anticipation for the Octoberfest in Canton Oct. 13-14 and next year's Bash in Mars, PA -- and beyond. Who knows what scares are in store?
In terms of a flashback, in 1997 neither you nor I was aware of the indirect connection we had concerning the first Monster Bash and the issuance of the Classic Movie Monsters postage stamps. I briefly mentioned in Scary Monsters #101 my involvement, but to add a bit of detail, I worked at U.S. Postal Service Headquarters at the time and initially had the lead on national publicity for the Monsters stamps and many others. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to be directly involved in supporting the Bash unveiling of the stamps, but I did contact Famous Monsters of Filmland and set up an interview with the USPS stamp development staff and artist Thomas Blackshear, who did a phenomenal job with the monster images, and particularly the one of Karloff as The Monster on the cover of FM #218! By the way, those were some of last stamps that you actually had to lick and stick.
Again, kudos to you and the Bash crew for a job well done. Scare you later!
- Don Smeraldi
I had so much fun!
Thank you again for one of the best weekends I have ever had the privilage to enjoy!
Above: Joey Vento really cleaned-up at MONSTER BASH.
I used to dream about being Mighty Joe Young when I was little..i would do all the movements, walk round the kitchens throwing around mom's pots and pans, grunting instead of talking normally at school. The nuns were worried, I wasn't.
It was the THRILL OF MY MONSTERKID LIFE when you guys asked me to deliver that bouquet to Terry!! Later, she gave me the biggest hug when she found out that I was the "young man in the gorilla suit"! Im keeping the name "Mighty Joe's Son" by the way...it's perfect and thank you buddy for thinking of me...I was out of my chair in a flash!!
The SPOOKSHOW was a hit with everyone!! I am so honored to be in this little troupe we've created. Leo and Thom are simply the best and have become great friends!! Can't wait to see what we all come up with for next year!
Ron, our show on Sunday was actually the best we have ever done!! I can't tell you how many people loved it and it was a full house, but everyone just looks so forward to it each Bash and thank you so much for allowing us to do this! That spot is perfect for us since we don't have to get home right away, and it's made more special by all the regulars and kids that show up. There is also something magical that happens each time we do this....one kid who grew up from last year is now going to film school because he said we inspired him..AND...to my shock, a fellow came out of the audience at the end and said his dad worked with my dad on the docks!! I couldn't believe it!!! I read the story I wrote about Dad's brush with Hollywood and The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms to the audience called "Don't Defrost the Rhedosaur" and it really brought out the passion and love we have for all our dad's and mom's. The audience made sure I knew that..bless them!!!
Ive got something very special for them for next Bash, and I will keep it a guarded secret till then!! Anyway, thanks for all you do for us, the enthusiasm you show us and letting me run round with a basket of banana's!!! Bert Gordon loved that!!
"Let's Bash again"!!
All our very best, Joey, Diane & Jess Vento
Ron, I'm sorry we didn't get a chance to meet in person and chat -- I saw you several times over the course of Friday and Saturday (we left Sunday morning -- LONG drive back to Colorado), but couldn't catch you at a free moment....(as a first-time attendee, I was going in all directions at once, trying to take everything in, so I can only imagine how busy you were throughout the weekend coordinating such a perfect event....).
We came in Thursday afternoon, and, thanks to Malcolm, realized we could register, get our name tags...AND shop Creepy Classics -- I came away with #30 of MONSTER BASH, all of the Nige Burton's Classic Monsters Filmbooks (I subscribe to the magazine, but it takes awhile for it to ship here from the UK, so finding those was a BIG plus!), the new issue of FILMFAX, a few t-shirts -- and that was before the "official" start on Friday! I was in Monster Kid Heaven!
I have to mention The Monster Bash "Festival of the New Wine" -- what a blast!
So, thanks again, Ron, for such a great event, and Happy 20th!
Hi Ron. Thank you for another great Monster Bash. Wow! 20 years! Do you notice that time does go by faster the older we get. So much going on it seems the schedule guide print keeps getting smaller but maybe it is just me ;-) I made it back 800 miles to Iowa on Monday riding 15 hours on the Harley with a rain detour/delay near Peoria IL. Again Ron, thank you. All of us depend on you for our yearly classic monster and sci-fi vacation. See you next year.
IT WAS AMAZING! Thank you to you, Ron, and everyone else who gave it their all to give us one heck of a convention! My Monster Bash memories from this year will be some of my favorite monster memories EVER. The camaraderie, the friendship, the fellowship . . . the genuine love for all things monster was palpable, and I didn't want it to end Sunday night.
I'll hold on to those Monster Bash memories tight . . . until next year's Bash! I'm already counting down the days!
- Derek Koch
(I thought you might get a kick out of this poster art I whipped up. One of my favorite things to do for my Monster Kid Radio podcast is to take classic monster movie posters, and swap out the movie titles for the name of my podcast. Well, I saw you kind of do the same thing, so I thought I'd take a crack at this Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters one-sheet and see what I could do with it!)
So cool! -Ron
Thank you for inviting us to your show. My dad enjoyed it and I think that your show has to be my favorite of all the shows that I have been to. You really do have a family of people that help you and also many of the guests that I met were so nice.
Renee (Ricou Browning's daughter)
Here are a few of our many Monster Bash pics from over the years. I had met Forry Ackerman back in '93 at the 35th Anniv. FM Con, and reconnected with him at the 1st Monster Bash. I still remember how excited I was to pull up to the hotel in Ligonier, and see the monster banners outside the hotel. Then we walk into the lobby and the elevator door opens - there he is: Uncle Forry comes strolling out, as if on cue, to meet us. Forry joined us for lunch the day of the stamp unveiling and we had a great time together.
Over the next several months, we corresponded and he agreed to record an intro for my comeback CD: MANIMALS "Horrorcore" - we met up at Monster Bash '98 to cut the intro. (As I recall, Forry nailed it in just one take.) Having one of his few audio performances remains something I'm very proud of. I also met two great guys that I have to mention: Gary Don Rhodes and George E-GOR Chastain. Gary had cited my first record “MANIMALS – Blood is the Harvest” (1985) in his first "Lugosi" book and then asked me to write a few paragraphs for his "White Zombie" book - a huge honor. E-GOR did a very special poster for me in 2001 and remains one of my favorite Monster brothers - I was very happy to be there last month to see him win an MBA / Forry Award.
It really has been a thrill to be able to pass along my love of the classic Monster films to my kids, and have them meet many great guests: Sara Karloff, Bela Jr., the Chaney's, Elena Verdugo, Ben Chapman, Ray Harryhausen, Julie Adams, Terry Moore, Carla Leammle, and so many others. Of course, dear Uncle Forry is our #1 favorite.
Like many Monster Kids of the ‘60’s, classic monster films, horror hosts, Aurora models and FM magazine were all critical / beloved parts of my childhood. I also loved music and in 1982 launched a horror-rock / monster-metal band: MANIMALS. Now, there had been two bands – the original Misfits and The Cramps - who preceded us by a few years. Both were great (I played with the misfits several times over the years and Bryan Gregory used to come to early Manimals shows), however their focus was more on 50’s / 60’s schlock. In contrast, we played metal and I took a more serious, academic approach in paying homage to classic themes. I didn’t simply write songs titled “White Zombie” and “Island of Lost Souls” in ’83 /’ 84, just because they were great titles. My objective was to give my perspective on them and hopefully introduce listeners to these films / books / actors. In my own way, I was trying to spread knowledge around the classics, to an audience who was largely unfamiliar with them. As such, I admire everything that you’ve done in successfully hosting 20 years of educational weekends in all things classic horror and sci-fi.
Congratulations on 2 decades of the Monster Bash! Thank you for having the vision and drive to bring a classic Monster convention to life.
Here's a new one from Hammer actress Veronica Carlson:
"A Special Thanks....
I just wanted to drop you a line and say how much I enjoyed the 20th Anniversary Monster Bash. This was the fifth Bash I attended and I'm just started to know my way around. Thanks for all the work you and your staff put in to make the Bash all that it is.
Vince Simonelli, IL
-Gary Rabuzzi, Ohio
The Moehring Family Does the Monster Bash!
Thanks again for all you do to make this weekend so wonderful.
Correspond to the BASH by
Or, writing to:
Creepy Classics, P.O. Box 23, Ligonier, PA 15658
Or, utilizing electro-telekinesis by
thinking REAL hard!
The Monster Bash Convention