Monday, August 2, 2010

"For one who has not lived even a single are a wise man, Van Helsing."

Pardon me here, people. This is an awkward follow-up to the previous entry. Since that post, I have been digging among the archives and found some artifacts relating to that time and more. Hence the reason for the candid shot of Vincent Price and myself at the aforementioned dinner. Better now than later.

However, this places me still in the realm of my adventures with the Count Dracula Society. So let us step into the Tardis and head back to the end of 1969 as I prepare for my first trip to London. I am armed with letters of introduction and the home addresses of both Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. As a dedicated Anglophile, I am foolishly considering this trip to London to be permanent. Donald Reed, the president of the Society, has graciously furnished me these letters in my capacity as Vice Chairman of the Count Dracula Society to be a liaison to these two great actors who are being honoured for their work. Peter Cushing and his wife Helen live in Kent. Christopher Lee is in London living in Cadogan Square, his neighbours including Boris Karloff and horror author Dennis Wheatley (of whom Christopher Lee will produce and star in his "The Devil Rides Out").

I venture out into the foreign city to locate Cadogan Square. Finding myself in the moody and mysterious Square, I locate the residence of Mr. Lee. Pushing the buzzer, I find myself speaking to his wife. Lee has just arrived from making a Fu Manchu film and he has the flu...Flu Manchu? Our conversation will have to be the next day and on the telephone. The telephone will likewise be my first contact with Peter Cushing and it will also be with his wife. She is absolutely delightful; extremely pleased that her husband's work is so well-liked by the appreciative Americans. I can understand why after her passing, Peter was so affected. But for the time being, the omens seem to be working against my purposes. Meetings will come later.