Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo!: The Incredible World of Japanese Fantasy Films by Stuart Galbraith IV is a fascinating book on the Japanese monster movie genre that is now sadly out of print. This isn't going to be a review of that book. Rather, this is a story in which the book plays a crucial role.
My father passed away in May 1998, and that was probably the lowest point of a period of about two-three years that I would not number as among the great times of my personal life. Still, eventually I had to come back up, and I had already started that climb. It was slow, but it was happening. In this environment, I had a birthday. It was my 26th birthday, for the record.
I had the day off, and I went out with my mom and my sister. We ate out, went shopping, and just had the chance to spend time together. One of my informal presents was receiving a copy of the book Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo! at the bookstore. Since I wasn't driving, I was eagerly perusing my copy shortly after purchase.
I was floored. My name was on the Acknowledgments Page! I had corresponded with Mr. Galbraith a little, but I had never dreamed I had helped him enough to warrant getting my name in a book! And yet, there was "Chris Elam" listed among a great many names I recognized and respected.
I have had many birthdays in my life, and hopefully will have many more to come. The surprise and delight I experienced on July 25th, 1998 when I first learned that my name was in an honest-to-goodness book will probably rank it as among the most memorable. The book thing was shocking enough, but to find out on my birthday? Crazy!
Thank you, Stuart Galbraith IV, for unwittingly making my day 13 years ago. Thank you Mom and Amy for being there to share it with me. And thank you to all my friends and readers, for sharing this birthday with me.