I’m running behind on memorial notices, as pals of mine have been kicking off right and left, it seems. And even though I did a Memorial March theme last year, noting the anniversaries for the deaths of Lovecraft and ERB, as well as Steve Tompkins and of course Charles Willeford, I thought I might skate through this month without any additions to the ranks.
Not to be. Norris Chambers passed away on the 22nd — at least he made it to the age of 95.
I was lucky enough to meet Norris when I was once again in the thick of Robert E. Howard activities a few years ago. On the obit link above you’ll find a small bit I wrote about Norris, involving REH writing a fan inquiry to Edgar Rice Burroughs on how to pronounce the name Tarzan, and there’s also a much longer interview — even if you aren’t interested in Howard or Texas history, check out the little intro I provide, which features one of the most Hammett-like observations I ever chanced across.
The interview with Norris was conducted largely by Leo Grin for his magazine The Cimmerian, though I was on scene to toss in some questions. But that year, 2006, Howard’s centennial, Leo was in the midst of doing an issue each and every month to celebrate — a feat never before done in Howard studies, and one that I imagine will never be repeated. (And it’s not as if the issues contained mindless filler — among other highlights, Steve Tompkins discovered that no less than George Orwell had read Howard. As I always say, if you ever get a chance to add any issues of The Cimmerian to your collection, jump on them.)
Since Leo was buried under that brutal production schedule, he asked me to edit the interview transcripts with Norris, do the intros. Sure, I was glad to help out. And now, in tribute to Norris, you can read the material in the Memorial Section on the Two-Gun Raconteur blog devoted to REH.