Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sir Graves Ghastly

Memory Lane … always littered with corpses.

He died in 2007.

I’ll tell you who: Lawson J. Deming. AKA, Sir Graves Ghastly.

He hosted a horror show for kids in the 70s, every Saturday at 2. Extremely popular in Michigan where I lived at the time. Each show featured a film of course, and then cornball kitschy sketch bits before and after commercial breaks. I would almost always be at my Grandparents house on weekends, working for them around the yard and in my Grandfather’s printing shop to earn money. I think Sir Graves even read letters from viewers as part of the show. I think I even wrote him.

Impossible to recall now how many classic and Bs I watched, or should say ‘discovered’ thanks to his program. I know this, though. I first saw The Thing on his show, and THEM, and IT, the Monster That Challenged the World, and my all time favorite, Creature from the Black Lagoon. That's some prime horror bouillon. Already a rabid monster fan, you can bet I finished my work by 2 so I could, as he would say in his welcome to the show, “cuddle up in your favorite place by the telly”. Pretty sure I cuddled up well into my mid-teens.

Thinking about him all these years later, and snuffling through web for info, I was shocked to find he was born in Cleveland and died in roughly the same area, just north of where I live now.

If you’re listening Graves, thanks. You were kind of like the 10th planet in my world back then, back when there were 9, back when ...

... I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green ...

--Dylan Thomas