This past weekend (June 3rd-5th), I had the pleasure of making a guest appearance at the first Pittsburgh Horror Film Festival. They also showed "Hillbilly Bob Zombie" (HBZ) -- the only movie where I was the lead character. As usual, I drove to the festival site by way of Ray Basham's to pick up some additional copies of HBZ to sell along with some of my other videos, t-shirts and photos. After departing my home in coastal New Hampshire at 9:30, Thursday night, I finally made it to the festival around 2:00PM on Friday. I was greeted by Jenn Thomas and shown to the exhibit area where I was given a choice of areas to set up. I wound up setting up near Fred Williamson, who I had previously met at another convention. After getting set up, I drove over to a local car wash and washed off the road dirt so that I could park my red HHR adjacent to the entrance to show "the Santa mobile" to those attending the convention. I then presented myself for post-movie Q&A to those who were present to watch HBZ.
The weather in Pittsburgh was wonderful that weekend: sunny, breezy, warm but not hot and I'm sure that the chance for outdoor activities kept away more than a few of the people who would have otherwise attended but there were enough to buy my stuff and share some fun with. Those who know me know what a flirt and a jokester I am and I was able to blissfully flirt and tell jokes throughout the weekend. I also dressed as "the Vampire Santa" on Saturday night and "photo bombed" a few people at the masquerade ball.
It was also a great weekend of networking for me. I saw fellow actors that I've met along the way: George Kosana, Bill Hinzman, William Forsythe and, the aforementioned Fred Williamson. And I met John Martino who played Paulie Gatto in "The Godfather". John was kind enough to sing to me, his song, "Santa's Little Boy" which he wrote and recorded. It was wonderful and can be heard here. I was thankful and gave him one of my Santa photos, which I personalized for him.
On Sunday, my first film "wife" Brenna Roth (the "seed" for the "I Slept With Sal Lizard" t-shirts stopped by to visit and pick up her copy of HBZ. She also modeled one of the t-shirts for me. (If you want to know more about her involvement with my most popular t-shirt read the blog, "I Slept with Brenna Roth" on this website.)
I also met several other filmmakers and hung out with Travis Bowen and Jessica over the weekend. Thomas Berdinski was there, too! That guy is *everywhere*!
In closing, I want thank Jenn Thomas and the organizers of the Pittsburgh Horror Film Festival. I hope that they invite me back in the future. I'd also like to thank Larry French, a fellow STARFLEET member and the CO of Pittsburgh chapter, the USS Inferno, for all of his help, too.
Next up: Days of the Dead Horror Convention in Indianapolis July 1-3.
Annie Ruth Dalton 73, of Indianapolis, passed away Monday, May 9, 2011. She was born in Salmons, Kentucky on November 5, 1937 to James Andrew Owens and Pauline Pirtle.
She moved to south east Indianapolis with her two sons when she was 19 years old and spent the rest of her life at various locations around town. She worked at Hygrade Meat Company until the plant closed around 1966, and then as a record press operator for RCA until that plant closed in 1987. Afterwards, she worked at the Village Pantry at 16th and Tibbs until she retired from Marsh Supermarkets in 2001. Annie was friendly and outgoing and loved by her family, friends and neighbors.
Survivors include her husband Lathan Price Dalton (Red), two daughters: Joann Engel and Mary Helen Daws, two sons: Sal (and wife, Linda) Lizard (North Hampton, NH) and Samuel (and wife, Sandi) Owens (Lexington, SC); eight grandchildren: Matthew and Eric Owens, Amanda Hammons, Andrew Engel, Nikki Barrett, Kimberly Stark, Dustin Daws and Laura Ashley Sawyer; four great-grandchildren: Melissa, Cody, Kyla and Robert Thomas (RT). She is also survived by three sisters: Irene Harris (Franklin, Ky), Ethel Cantrell (Franklin, Ky), Evelyn Brashear (Bowling Green, Ky) and brother Bruce Owens (Kankakee, Il).
Annie was cremated and a memorial service held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, May 13 at the Gothic Cathedral located in Crown Hill Cemetery at 34th and Boulevard. with words from Pastor Don Myers and several family members.
For those of you who never got to meet her, let me introduce you to my mom:
My grandpa once told me that "every minute of everyday, we have the choice to be a 'blessing' or a 'blight' to those we meet". I think my mother was seen as a "blessing" to those who knew her. Unlike many of us, who put on a public facade and have another for our friends and out family, my mom wore her hear on her sleeve and treated everyone she met with honest kindness and sincerity. She liked to share funny stories and "cute" jokes with her friends and was loved "by everyone".
I was her first-born and from my earliest memories, I remember Mom as a hardworking woman who raised her children as a single mother. She came to Indianapolis with two children (me and Sam) before giving birth to the twins, Joann and James (who died of "crib death"). Mary Helen was born several years later.
It was interesting to hear Pastor Don say that she liked to get on the floor and play with her grandchildren. Mom was playful and loved to get down on the floor and play with her children, too. She would lay on her back and balance us on her feet and raise us into the air so we could act like we were "flying like Superman". We would tumble on the floor and laugh together. And even though Mom didn't drive, she'd gather us up and take us all over town by bus to enjoy sodas on the mezzanine of Woolworth's on the Monument Circle, or to a movie theater to see a Disney movie, or to Riverside Amusement Park. Despite our relatively low-income status, we laughed and we loved, and we had fun.
And Mom supported our dreams as much as she could. I was interested in science and thought that I'd grow up to be a scientist or a doctor so Mom scraped together the money to buy me a microscope and a chemistry set. Sam was into art and she made sure that he had sketch pads and pencils and chalks. And she made sure that we got a new "Stingray" bicycle to share one Christmas!
Don't get me wrong, Mom was also a person who believed in discipline and was not afraid to have us "cut her a switch" when we acted up.
Mom enjoyed life and even when life seemed hard and unkind, she met it with determination and cheer. She didn't let it hold her down. You might say that she was very good at "making lemonade. Like everyone, she made some mistakes and had regrets but she told me once that "regrets are best left in the past" and she tried to live in the present while planning for the future.
She was generous with her time and her love but in her later years began to experience health problems due to diabetes, hypertension, colon cancer and arthritis. And even though she still smiled as much as possible, Mom was in considerable pain at times. Diabetes had cost her one of her legs and she suffered pain in the other. My sister Mary had moved in with Mom to help take care of her and mom had a home health care giver who visited daily to spend some time with her (Thank you so much, Francis). She expressed that she didn't want to continue life under those conditions and just prior to entering the hospital for her second leg amputation, she began to say her "goodbyes" to her friends.
Mom wasn't sure that she would survive the surgery to amputate her other leg but she did make it to a rehabilitation facility. It was there and within a couple weeks of her surgery that Mom experienced pulmonary emboli and cardiac arrest. She remained in a medical coma on life support for a couple weeks before awakening to spend Mothers' Day with my sister Mary and her granddaughter Nikki before asking to have the ventilator tube removed and then "extubating" herself on Monday, May 9th. She took her last breath at 11:10 and her heart stopped at 11:35.
Mom had an opportunity that few have in that she was able to choose her time. Of course, we owe her our existence and we thank her for her love and care. As Christians, we believe in an afterlife and I like to think that Mom is dancing around Heaven, on her two perfect and pain-free legs, joined with her parents, her brother Frank and sister Helen, who passed before her.
On behalf of those family members you left behind, we all love you Mom. You will be missed.