This weekend, my son and I made our annual pilgramage to G-Fest, the Godzilla convention. Originally we were intending to skip it this year as we'd recently spent a week in Walt Disney World. Then we saw the guest list, and decided there was no way we couldn't go.
We made it a day trip with a 4-plus hour drive in each direction. Yes, we did pick up a few things from the dealer's room. We chatted with a bunch of people.
We checked out the really cool models.
We looked at the impressive fan-made costumes.
But what convinced us to make the trip after all was this man here; Haruo Nakajima, the biggest movie star in the world. I mean biggest in the most literal sense. Mr. Nakajima was the man inside the Godzilla suit beginning with the original "Godzilla" (1954) through "Godzilla vs. Gigan" (1972). He also portrayed Rodan in "Rodan" (1956), Mogera in "The Mysterians" (1957), Varan in "Varan" (1958), Baragon in "Frankenstein Conquers the World" (1965), Gaila in my favorite kaiju movie, "War of the Gargantuas" (1966) and King Kong in "King Kong Escapes" (1967) among others. He was also one of the bandits in "Seven Samurai" (1954).
It was an honor for us to meet this legendary, and gracious, icon. My son kept announcing "I can't believe I'm meeting the REAL Godzilla."