July 12th, 2005


This Day in History, 1984: Ferraro Named VP Candidate

Twenty-one years ago today, Walter Mondale, the leading Democratic presidential candidate, announced that he had chosen Representative Geraldine Ferraro of New York as his running mate. Although Mondale-Ferraro lost, it was a first in American history, as she was the first woman to run for Vice-President on the ticket of a major political party.

On a personal note, because Ferraro was the Congresswoman from the district right next to mine, the campaign decided to kick off their tour with a rally in front of Queens Borough Hall, within walking distance of where I lived. Although only fourteen years old, I attended that rally, admittedly more as an observer than a participant.

What I saw fascinated me. The owner of our local hobby store had advised me to watch the rally in person, then on the TV news, and note the differences. In person, the streets were filled with so many people that it was almost impossible to see Mondale and Ferraro at their lectern. Whenever they spoke, the crowd cheered loudly all around. I remember one woman standing near me who clapped and shouted after almost every sentence Ferraro spoke. But across Queens Boulevard, a line of protesters stood, with signs decrying Mondale and Ferraro's support of abortion rights. The rally lasted for the better part of an hour, if I recall correctly.

What did the TV news show? A few seconds of Mondale, a few of Ferraro, with the camera pointed solely at them as they spoke. No way for the home viewer to know just how many people had turned out in support of their ticket. No way for the viewer to know that protesters had turned out as well. It was one of the first times I remember being present at a news event and discovering just how much is often left out of news reports.

Announcement: "Hal's Worlds" Published

Last weekend, at Readercon, Wildside Press officially released a new book, Hal's Worlds: Stories and Essays in Honor of Hal Clement edited by Shane Tourtellotte. A copy of the cover of the book can be found here.

If you're reading my journal, you probably already know about science fiction writer Hal Clement and how much he meant to me. If not, you can find Hal's obituary from the October 31, 2003 Boston Globe here.

Allow me to quote from the back of the book:

A warm tribute to the late Hal Clement, the writer, and Harry Clement Stubbs, the man behind the pseudonym, this book brings you remembrances by friends and colleagues, a previously uncollected Hal Clement short story, an original story by Walter Hunt, an interview by Darrell Schweitzer, a reminiscence by his widow, Mary Stubbs, and many reminders of the many ways he affected the lives of fans, students, and fellow writers.

The contributors to the book begin with the members of the writers' group he mentored, Hal's Pals: Leslie A. Greenleaf, Jr., Sherry Briggs, Tania Ruiz, Anne Warner, Steven F, LeBrun, Matthew Jarpe, Ramona Louise Wheeler, and Lance Dixon. From the professional community come: Ben Bova, Allen M. Steele, Walter H. Hunt, Anthony Lewis, Jeffrey A. Carver, Michael Swanwick, Stanley Schmidt, Julie E. Czerneda, Isaac Szpindel, Jack Williamson, Michael A. Burstein, David Gerrold, J. Michael Straczynski, Darrell Schweitzer, and Joe Haldeman.

All proceeds will go to Milton Academy, the school where Harry taught science for thirty-eight years, and Joslin Diabetes Center, important to Harry because he had the disease.

I'm very proud of my essay in this book, "Memories of Hal." I hope people will consider getting the book to honor Hal and support the two charities named.