As any long time reader, surfer or dipper into The Mean Streets may have noticed, I’m not great on anniversaries — yeah, I hop on the annual birth and death days for Hammett, and usually remember Robert E. Howard’s birthday. Others get some notice now and then.
I did get a note reminding me that Dwight Frye — one of my all-time faves, Renfield in the Bela Dracula, little Wilmer in the 1931 film of The Maltese Falcon — was born a couple of days ago 120 years ago. February 22.
You get into the right circles, Dwight’s a legend.
And today I see that Morgan “The Morgman” Holmes nails down an anniversary tribute for August Derleth of Arkham House for his 110th birthday.
Instead of bestirring myself too much, I’ll just link to that one in memoriam The Augman. One of the most fascinating angles is that Morgan mentions that he “was a Derleth hater” until he read John D. Haefele’s A Look Behind the Derleth Mythos, one of the more influential critical assessments of recent years. A game-changer. No Derleth Mythos, no anniversary tribute for old Augie at Castalia House.
(I do have two anniversary-related posts upcoming in March, by the way, one of which will give you the birth date of an Arkham House author sadly missing from S.T. Joshi’s error-filled Sixty Years of Arkham House. Guess my fave bonehead mistake in that one is having it that my pal Donald Sidney-Fryer was born in 1920, making him 99 this year — if that had been his birth year. The mistake was carried over into the later three volume Supernatural Literature of the World set from Greenwood Press. Once you’re born in 1920, I guess you remain born in 1920. Jeez.)