Memories, Friends, and 8 x 10's: Harrison Ford Fandom, Observations from a Late Bloomer!

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Title: Memories, Friends, and 8 x 10's: Harrison Ford Fandom, Observations from a Late Bloomer!
Creator: Kathy Vergano
Date(s): June 1983
Medium: print
Fandom: Harrison Ford
Topic:
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Memories, Friends, and 8 x 10's: Harrison Ford Fandom, Observations from a Late Bloomer! is an essay by Kathy Vergano.

It was published in the Harrison Ford zine Rogue's Gallery #11.

Some Topics Discussed

  • being a fan and the friendships one makes
  • the nature of fandom and loyalty, the inevitability of fandom
  • Harrison Ford and his dislike of fan clubs, his conflicted feelings about fans and fandom
  • being a closet fan
  • a reference to carpentry, part of the myth of Harrison Ford

From the Essay

You know I spent almost 10 years of my life apologizing to people for being a Harrison Ford fan, which probably wasn't necessary since in those days, the 70's, the vast majority of the American movie going public didn't know who Harrison Ford was anyway.

I was a closet fan; you know, the type that explains their 14th visit to Star Wars with that wonderful --- the kids wanted to see it again-line.

I thought other, people would think I was just being silly; often they did. Try and tell someone that the reason you go to see a particular person's films is because you are intrigued by the way they create their characters; people tend to give you strange looks; they do, and if you were my age, which in 1973 was 30, then you retreat back to the closet and in my case now, at 40, I feel I lost a lot of time
Two years ago, I came out of the closet, due to finally meeting another closet fan, a gal I'd known for over 2 1/2 years - did we discuss Harrison Ford- of course not; I'd been "burned" before, so had she, we weren't going to get "burned" again nor look silly. But here we were at Raiders of the Lost Ark, a 2nd time in 5 days, the other, 4th time in 5 days, we, of course, have the kids in tow. This gal says to me, " I'm here for the special effects." I've heard that line before, I've used it; so " heart in mouth", I said— " Yeah, he is, isn't he!" (and that friends, is the most personal statement I've ever made in public regarding Mr. Ford, before or since, but it worked. It was the ice breaker!). And out of the closet came a 38-year old and a 36-year old and it was wonderful. Each of us had been fans for several years and we had different reflections on movies Mr. Ford had done, articles we'd seen, and could share. For myself, I regret that it took me so long to become an "active fan." I regret that I allowed feeling silly to dissuade me from telling people that they were often missing a really good acting performance, a really good characterization, and the chance to share that.
In the two years, since emerging I have had the opportunity to met some fans and I think we all share some very similar characteristics; granted not all of you hid in a "closet" for 10 years, nor stood in stores, trying to memorize articles on Mr. Ford because you felt foolish about sending them down the line with the groceries (apologizes to Movie Mirror and those other by gone magazines- you did often lack substance to say nothing of credibility, but you were fast reading!). We all do, me later than others, reach a point where you do want substance, quality and accuracy, and I think a majority of us share this characteristic, and so we've come together.
Another "characteristic", we share is loyalty — in an age, where you are only as good as your last movie- this actor commands loyalty- even to be a fan of 5 years standing- that's somewhat unique, and even I found folks, who've just really discovered this actor, are loyal; this is an actor who's created characters, can create characters that you want to see. And, we're patient— we wait between films, between interviews, often sadly but we wait, until this actor is ready.

I'm very impressed with the ways that his fans handle their views regarding Harrison Ford. I don't know that this is a unique phenomena, and I suspect it's illogical to assume so, but I have a good feeling about it, and I'm impressed.

I fully believe, and I do take exception to an article in Ms London that stated that the majority of Harrison Ford's fans are under age 15. I think age 33 would be a more accurate average, but given that, I'd state and fully believe, that the reason most people

give for being fans, relate directly to the man's acting style/his use of gestures, the way he handles and often creates dialogue, and the way he does create so many different characters for us. My impression is that we'll be fans even if Mr. Ford decides he's finally done what he wants to do and is now going to finish that table he left 10 years ago.
I regret for me that I wasn't an active fan long ago, I missed out, and I sometimes regret for Mr. Ford that he doesn't want a fan club, because in a way I wonder if he knows that his fans are viewing him in the way he wants, and I worry that he doesn't know, but deep down and because of his attitude, I suspect he does and I hope he's pleased.

References