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Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 6:54 am 
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George Clayton Johnson has passed.
From "Salem-News . com "

Please read below this article, I mention meeting him back in 2006.

The illuminating, exoterical, astronomical George Clayton Johnson has died. The genius science-fiction writer behind so much of what we’ve all watched and enjoyed has passed on to his next adventure.
George Clayton Johnson wrote the very first episode of Star Trek, The Man Trap; he wrote eight original Twilight Zone episodes for series creator Rod Serling including "Nothing in the Dark", "Kick the Can", "A Game of Pool", and "A Penny for Your Thoughts".

In 1960, while he was one of the proprietors of Cafe Frankenstein (seen as sort of a "den of iniquity" by the uptight) in Laguna Beach, California, he sold the first story he ever wrote. That story served as the basis for the movie Ocean's 11, he even wrote the original screenplay.

He joined the Southern California School of Writers that included Theodore Sturgeon, William F. Nolan, Charles Beaumont, Richard Matheson and Ray Bradbury (whom he credits with having made him believe in himself as a writer). And through these fine folks, he met Rod Serling.

“Serling’s Twilight Zone scripts are, in a word, surreal,” Johnson said in a 2006 interview. “As an art form, surrealism tries to banish the distinction between the real and the unreal to provide an infinite expansion of reality.

“The Twilight Zone played just as much a part in the renaissance transformation of The Sixties as bright-colored clothing, rock music and marijuana did. It helped to jack people up to a higher level.”

George is perhaps most well-known for the 1967 science fiction classic, Logan's Run, which he co-wrote, it was a box-office hit and an Oscar winning film for MGM in 1976; and he also wrote for TV shows including Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Route 66, The Law and Mr. Jones and Kung Fu.
A free soul for life, he often spent time with Jack Herer, the Emperor of Hemp, and Captain Ed Adair. Together they smoked a lot of marijuana, and traversed galaxies, as they expanded their inner horizons.

I met and interviewed George Clayton Johnson in 2010, at Jack Herer's funeral. He spoke during the ceremony, and mentioned the relevance of wishing on a star, which he believed in. George found depth and relevance in the common elements of life, and he meant to share what he could, at all times.

George was present when Jack Herer and Captain Ed made their historic pact to “to work every day to legalize marijuana and get all pot prisoners out of jail, until we were dead, marijuana was legal, or we could quit when we turned 84. We wouldn't have to quit, but we could,” Jack Herer said.
An outgoing advocate for the legalization of marijuana, George is said to have smoked weed all day, every day, well into his 80’s.

George Clayton Johnson was a pleasure to speak with, and gave me the best compliment of my professional career. He said, "I was hoping to meet you, you are a writer of the highest order." Wow. He definitely knew just what to say.

Those that spent the time with him recently commented that he was always sharp as a tack, eloquent to the end.

He co-created the comic book series Deepest Dimension Terror Anthology with cartoonist and author Jay Allen Sanford (Revolutionary Comics), and appeared at recent Comic conventions. He had so much to give, and knew better than to waste his chance.

“For me, fantasy must be about something, otherwise it's foolishness... ultimately it must be about human beings, it must be about the human condition, it must be another look at infinity, it must be another way of seeing the paradox of existence.”
— George Clayton Johnson quoted in The Twilight Zone Companion

"I want to be remembered as a person who early on in his life took control of his life and set goals. When people gave me a lined paper, I wrote the other way. When people expect some certain behavior from me, I will frustrate their expectations."
— George Clayton Johnson


“As long as people talk about you, you’re not really dead
As long as they speak your name, you continue
A legend doesn’t die just because the man does”
—George Clayton Johnson, “A Game of Pool,” 1961.



Side note-
Many here knew of my very thorough autograph collecting many years ago of all things TZ, that eventually drifted over into Outer Limits.
I was fortunate enough to attend the 2006 TZ Convention in New Jersey.
George Clayton Johnson was among those there, and I spoke with him briefly.
I also had him sign an absolutely beautiful poster/collage of all the TZ episodes he wrote, which DrM made.
There are only a handful in existence, and George got one himself, after he asked me to get him one.
The details are a little hazy now, but I remember promising him a poster at the convention.
Later DrMoreau actually hand delivered it to George, at his house, which wasn't too far a drive from where DrM was working there for awhile.
(you can actually see that poster on the TZ Museum website, I will try to link it later...DrM can post it here if he wants)
He may be able to shed some more light on that visit, as he spent more time with him, and discussed the TZ work more in depth.

At first glance, George looked like a feeble old man. A "hippie" through and through, he was known to be a marijuana activist, and no doubt he smoked a ton for many years.
He grew thin in later years.
I don't remember much from the minute or so I spoke with him back in 2006, but one thing was for sure.
Even then GCJ was extremely sharp.
He had a warmth about him, and had a sparkle in his eye, one of the things you don't much think about until later on.
He spoke at the panel, and everyone was quietly captivated when he spoke.
He just had a rare gift, one that special people seem to have, and he was definitely one.

I just wish I had spent a few more minutes with him that day at the convention.


R.I.P. George



TZ DZ Fan

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Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 7:36 am 
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I guess now George Clayton Johnson knows if there is nothing in the dark! :cry:

Just watched this last night as my Christmas favourites of the season.
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Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 7:42 am 
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That really really sucks. I'll be looking forward to watching many of his episodes this new years.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 8:56 am 
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TZ DZ Fan wrote:
George Clayton Johnson has passed.
Side note-
Many here knew of my very thorough autograph collecting many years ago of all things TZ, that eventually drifted over into Outer Limits.
I was fortunate enough to attend the 2006 TZ Convention in New Jersey.
George Clayton Johnson was among those there, and I spoke with him briefly.
I also had him sign an absolutely beautiful poster/collage of all the TZ episodes he wrote, which DrM made.
There are only a handful in existence, and George got one himself, after he asked me to get him one.
The details are a little hazy now, but I remember promising him a poster at the convention.
Later DrMoreau actually hand delivered it to George, at his house, which wasn't too far a drive from where DrM was working there for awhile.
(you can actually see that poster on the TZ Museum website, I will try to link it later...DrM can post it here if he wants)
He may be able to shed some more light on that visit, as he spent more time with him, and discussed the TZ work more in depth.

At first glance, George looked like a feeble old man. A "hippie" through and through, he was known to be a marijuana activist, and no doubt he smoked a ton for many years.
He grew thin in later years.
I don't remember much from the minute or so I spoke with him back in 2006, but one thing was for sure.
Even then GCJ was extremely sharp.
He had a warmth about him, and had a sparkle in his eye, one of the things you don't much think about until later on.
He spoke at the panel, and everyone was quietly captivated when he spoke.
He just had a rare gift, one that special people seem to have, and he was definitely one.

I just wish I had spent a few more minutes with him that day at the convention.


R.I.P. George

TZ DZ Fan


Very nice info, TZ DZ. Thanks for posting.

-Whit

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 1:03 am 
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Mr. Johnson, great sir, we shall miss you,and think of you fondly.

R.I.P.

TZ DZ, yes great info, thanks. I am sorry for his passing, as well.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 4:22 am 
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George was my invited guest at Hollycon--Hollywood, California's only SF convention which I organized when I was a teenager. A lot of media came; mostly fellow AM and FM DJ's who I was on air with and who helped me promote the convention at American Legion Hall in Hollywood, an enormous pyramidal structure with a maze-like interior George loved.
His long hair was blonde then, he was fresh shaven, frenetic, stoned, and, in a pattern he'd follow for the rest of his life, the most accessible guest to fans. He craved them and they lingered for his no-interruption extensive hallway lectures about what he would be writing soon. These projects, including what a Star Trek movie--if it ever came about--should be if he wrote it, or years later why he hated the Logan's Run movie and what his forever unwritten sequel, "Jessica's Run," with the arch villain Hasterling, would be about.
Following Hollycon, George and I became friends and he became my mentor, coming to my one-room ghetto apartment in East Hollywood to mentor me as a science fiction writer. He marveled at the dozens of rejection slips I plastered a wall with and taught me some valuable story editing skills I still utilize to this date.
A few years later I mailed George a signed copy of a magazine with my first sale within. "Half of this victory is yours," I inscribed.
Once, George woke me from a hangover on the day after my birthday, handing me a copy of a fan-printed book containing four of his eight Twilight Zone scripts. He signed and re-illustrated a copy of Marvel's LOGAN'S RUN comic at some forgotten con for me, signed my copy of that novel some other time. After a long "feud" he ranted to me about for decades, he watched as his once again pal and collaborator William F. Nolan signed the same paperback of LOGAN'S RUN. George wasn't doing well that day. Though he also signed a print of the painting of him I hang in my office, he hardly remembered me and only shrugged his shoulders when I asked him the status of the story he was writing about me, "The Man Who Never Sleeps." Like "Jessica's Run," and so many other stories he talked up, it was never to see print.
Though George's beloved wife Lola seldom attended cons, I'll never forget the time she rushed out alone from the hotel ballroom clutching George's award with ultimate pride and collided with me. The look on her face vindicated all the love stories George ever told me about her. (My favorite? "The mortgage was late, we'd be dead the very next day. I told Lola I'd finish the story that night I was on assignment for and get a check in the morning. When the sun was up, she came into my workroom. She asked me if I finished it. I told her no, I wrote a poem instead. I read it to her out loud. She smiled and kissed me.") My heart is broken, Lola, beyond any repair. Your love for George is legend. He was lucky to have you. George Clayton Johnson will shine like a beacon among the stars.
George loved Charles Beaumont as a pal and became his hero. When Beaumont contracted brain disease in his 30s, George and others contrived to finish Beaumont's last TWILIGHT ZONE scripts for Rod Serling without letting Serling or the CBS brass know to insure the checks would go through for Beaumont's family. One day, Beaumont, in a semi-aware state, got into a cab and left for Serling's office. George rushed there to head him off, only to discover the pair in conference. Serling ushered Beaumont out and told George, "I know all about Chuck's problem. It's a beautiful thing you and the guys are doing for him, writing for free. I won't tell CBS a word."
Decades later, George wrote a story for Twilight Zone Magazine, a homage to Chuck, wherein the dead Beaumont phones the living George Clayton Johnson and they have a three minute, phone company limited, conversation about The Beyond. Years after it's publication, I rushed to a hotel ballroom during an SF con and sat in the front row of the small room seating 50 fans to listen to George read this love letter aloud. At the climax of his reading George broke down and sobbed. I leaped onto the stage and held his thin frail shaking form and told him it was all right and that I loved him. They gave George a standing ovation.
We hung out. He liked my bourbon. When I sold to Analog I gave him a signed copy. We had adventures. Once, at a hotel in Downtown Los Angeles in 1977, I found him standing on the edge of a concrete bridge between it and the parking structure. It was a fifty foot drop to the street below.
(Six months before, I'd found an unofficial path to the nearby Biltmore Hotel's roof and took George there with a half dozen fans. The fans rushed up a metal stairway from the roof to the Biltmore's helipad, higher still. "Let's go," I urged him. "No, Jonny M.," he said, gripping my arm, preventing me from joining them. "I'm terrified of heights." He always called me, "Jonny M.")
That dawn in 1977, I slowed and came up to him on that walkway's edge, his feet level with my waist. He told me why he was thinking of jumping. I climbed up, took his hand, put my arm around his waist, said, "Not worth it," and forced him back onto the walkway (we nearly toppled to our deaths). I took him to my room, gave him a drink and talked things over until we went downstairs and he suddenly walked away to a group of fans.
We had many adventures after. And some differences, including with my colleague Harlan Ellison. George described himself to me as, "Ruthless," on many occasions and as often told me in painstaking details at length how he was "ripped off" by the entertainment industry--and our colleagues. He told me Harlan Ellison plagiarized the Award winning novella, "The Death Bird" from George's original story. When I pressed George and told him I'd met and respected Harlan and Pointblank found the charge Utterly Impossible to believe, George became unresponsive. George told me--and anyone at all who would listen at any convention--that he and William F. Nolan deliberately decided to write "A Best Seller" and rented a "cheap hotel room in Ventura (California)," to pen LOGAN'S RUN, finishing it in 28 days with two days left for fun. Then, according to George, Nolan took their manuscript to San Francisco and totally rewrote and "ruined the book we agreed on" behind his back, ultimately selling it without George's knowledge of the (alleged by George) massive changes and without securing more than "three thousand dollars that I had to split with MISTER NOLAN," he'd yell, for the film Rights. I tell this only as one of many who heard it along with many fans at innumerable cons for decades. All I can attest is George and Nolan were pals, sitting at the same table at the last book show I saw them at when George was unable to remember me, or nearly anyone.
For a man who co-wrote LOGAN'S RUN and originated OCEAN'S ELEVEN, he didn't live in the fashion he deserved. Like Walt Disney or Steve Jobs, George Clayton Johnson is a brand, his Twilight Zones and the Logan's Run he shares with William F. Nolan are cultural icons instantly recognized globally.
George Clayton Johnson remains a force in my life.
He took story telling, whether on the page or the screen, whether to a fan or a colleague, to ruthless levels.
And he taught me that.
Consider this tale he told me one dark night his final Twilight Zone:
George, a small gangly boy, got a nickel pressed into his tiny hand early one morning by his mother. She told him--in no uncertain terms--to walk to the picture show almost two miles away. He lived in a hovel, far from anything. This nickel was a boon. Picture show attendance by anyone in the family was rare. Unsuspecting, he took this gift at face value and set out. He had never walked that far alone in his young life and never been given a whole nickel of his own before.
When he headed home, every step bounced with the music, every stride was the hero's swagger, the movie's happy ending etched on his face.
He saw his mother taking the diapers used by his twin baby siblings down from the clothes line. One by one she threw them in the trash. He ran. His mother said she knew they wouldn't live out the day with the pneumonia and wanted him to be away when people came for their small bodies. She went inside and he sat on the porch. Two diapers remained on the clothes line, flapping in the breeze. One for each, as if waiting for George's lost twin sibs to return.
"Jonny M., I can still hear them talking to me sometimes," George Clayton Johnson told me.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:53 am 
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I know him in a very lopsided way, mainly from A Game of Pool." But even if that were the ONLY thing, it's such a great one.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:06 am 
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R.I.P. George.

TZDZ notified me of his death, which was odd, due to the fact that the week prior to his death, George was often in my thoughts.

There is a tremendous amount of my thoughts about my several meetings and times with George that time simply doesn't afford me now. However, as my load seems to be lightening, I will post soon.

DrM


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