Toastmaster Emeritus
Rusty Hevelin
It is with great sadness, that we have had to say good bye to our toastmaster emeritus Rusty Hevelin. Rusty passed away December 27, 2011. He was one of our founding fathers at DemiCon and loved by all.

Following is a few things that you may not have known about him.  We will continue to celebrate Rusty's life at DemiCon 24 with the Second Annual Rusty's Hevelin Ice Cream Social and DMSFS Memorial Wall.  

~ By Gay Haldeman

You may have seen Rusty Hevelin, around for years, the guy with white whiskers who looks like Santa Claus or Dumbledore or Gandalf, depending on your, um, frame of reference or religion. He looks like a nice guy who may be a bit eccentric. Usually he isn´t wearing shoes. Usually he is wearing a T-shirt. He´s always quick with a smile, a laugh or a hug.

You probably know that he´s been a dealer (or huckster in fan-speak) for many years. He´s a serious collector of pulp magazines and is the main organizer of PulpCon every year. He´s a very popular guy who´s been a Fan Guest-of-Honor at the World Science Fiction Convention (Denvention in 1981) and a number of other conventions. He´s been the perennial Toastmaster at this convention, from the beginning. Rusty has been a fanzine1 fan for years, too, publishing several of his own and contributing to several APAs2. He´s helped to run World Science Fiction Conventions and attended them all the way back to Denvention in 1941. He´s also on panels at conventions, telling folks how to enjoy their first convention, what forgotten books are still worth reading, how to take care of your book and magazine collection, or reminiscing about the old days. He´s a master panel moderator and auctioneer.

I think I´ll try to tell you a few things you may not know about him.

  • He went to his first science fiction club meeting, over sixty years ago, under an assumed name.
  • He´s a veteran of World War II, almost killed by a sniper in the South Pacific.
  • He´s the world´s best organizer of stuff. Joe calls him the "Vampire Packer."
  • He has four grown sons, John, Scott, Bruce and Will.
  • He got rid of his couch to make room for books.
  • He dated Coretta Scott before she married Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • He knew Rod Serling of "The Twilight Zone" when they were students at Antioch in the ´50s.
  • He´s traveled to all fifty states.
  • He used to be a shy man.
  • He´s never smoked and doesn´t like alcohol.
  • Several books have been dedicated to him, including my husband´s THE COMING.
  • Several SF and fantasy artists, including Don Maitz, have used him as a model.
  • He was an actor for a short time in college, where he worked with John Lithgow´s father.
  • He recruited the team that developed the first re-entry nose cone for a rocket, making space exploration possible.
  • He´s older than he looks, but younger than most of us.
  • He´s been "Tuckerized"3 in several books

Rusty Hevelin (1922-2011)

Rusty Hevelin at a Boskone in the 1970s. Photo by Andrew Porter.


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