The week before I watched The Pope of Greenwich Village on the anniversary of Charles Willeford’s death, my pal Leo Grin happened to be on a trip to Washington, D.C. Leo is known for the great Robert E. Howard magazine The Cimmerian, and he contributed an essay to my book of Howard criticism The Barbaric Triumph — back in the old days we were constantly planning out something that would outrage the boring Old Guard of Howard and fantasy litcrit and elevate the Texas writer to a higher rung on the ladder.
Lately Leo has been hanging his hat on the web as a blogger for Big Hollywood. I am the unnamed source for his interest in Chuck (which I knew he’d like, if only for the presence of his fellow Big Hollywood blogger Adam Baldwin) and Human Target.
In D.C. he did museums, met up with locals and so on, but did manage to squeak in a fast trip to Arlington National Cemetery — Leo didn’t have time to get to Hammett’s grave, but managed to pay his respects at the resting places of Lee Marvin and Joe Louis, as well as the mausoleum where Willeford’s ashes are interred.
He sends a couple of shots, noting that the letters on Willeford’s crypt are now washed out and hard to see — unlike nearby letters, which have a black stain which makes them stand out clearly. My guess is that Willeford’s marker has been visited by people doing gravestone rubbings — maybe even a lot of people doing gravestone rubbings. That’s not something I ever wanted to do — I am happy just moping around graveyards and looking — but I understand it is a popular hobby.
And Willeford is not without devoted fans.