Saturday, July 18 was the day for the first Edmond Hamilton Day held in Kinsman, Ohio. Edmond Hamilton (1904-1977) was a colleague of Robert E. Howard, appearing in Weird Tales from 1936-1948 with 76 stories. There were six multi-part novellas and novels such as “The Lake of Life,” “The Time Raider,” “Outside the Universe,” “Across Space,” “Crashing Suns,” and “The Fire Princess.” Hamilton was the mainstay of science-fiction within “The Unique Magazine.” Hamilton married Leigh Brackett, someone unabashed in her admiration of Robert E. Howard in 1947. They spent their summers in Kinsman, Ohio and winters in southern California.
Kinsman is 64 miles from my house. It took me about an hour and 15 minutes of driving to get there through the lush, green countryside due to the coolest July on record and plentiful rain this year. I would guess Kinsman to be around 1,000 inhabitants or less. It may be the same size as Cross Plains or a little smaller. Don Sutton of the Kinsman Historical Society sponsered the event at his general store right on the town square. I have to say that the soda bar there serves up about as fine of a milk-shake as I have had anywhere. A few Ohio pulps fans including Dave Scroggs made it there. Steve Haffner of Haffner Press debuted three volumes in the Collected Edmond Hamilton series: The Metal Giants and Others, The Star Stealers: The Complete Tales of the Interstellar Patrol and The Collected Captain Future Volume One. Haffner Press books are nice sized tomes reprinting tons of never before reprinted science fiction on archival quality paper and excellent binding. Don’t let these get away!
Kay Alderdice and her husband took me over to the Hamilton House outside of town and also to the grave yard at the Presbyterian Church. A number of the locals bought Haffner Press books as many knew the Hamiltons. The slide show and presentation by Don Sutton at the Presbyterian Church was well attended with a display of Hamilton books. I had a chance to talk to Chuck Fenn who used to mow the lawn for the Hamiltons in his younger days. I learned quite a bit about the personalities of both Edmond Hamilton and Leigh Brackett including what cars they drove. The 1964 Corvette for example was Brackett’s and not Hamiltons. She also did the driving. Chuck also brought a painted map of Brackett’s Mars that someone had painted for her.
After the slide show of Hamilton and Brackett pictures, the group walked to the gravesite of Ed Hamilton and Leigh Brackett and gave a libation. This was a good start for what will be hopefully an annual event. Nice to have something like Howard Days within easy driving distance.