Movies are magic. WES SHANK knew this, even as a teenager, when he finally saw THE BLOB(1958) on screen in 1965! He discovered that it was made near his hometown and met the filmmaker IRVIN “Shorty” YEAWORTH at VALLEY FORGE studios. He acquired a 5 gallon can of silicone mass that portrayed the molten monster in the film. This began a lifelong passion for saving and sharing screen used props. WES traveled all over the country sharing his infectious love for classic SCIENCE FICTION films and was dearly loved at film festivals and conventions like MONSTER BASH, BLOBFEST, and RETRO CON. MR LOBO was also booked as a special guest at many of those shows but we will always associate WES with BLOBFEST.
We started our relationship on the wrong foot when, caught up in the zaniness of Blobfest, I put a little bit of slime in Wes’ pocket–not knowing his key fob and phone were in there. Luckily, his electronics were OK, but I could see that he was still understandably miffed. So, in hopes of smoothing things over like silicone…I bought Wes a drink and we ended up laughing about it and having a great conversation about movies and memrobillia. The incident ended up being an ice breaker and certainly began my deep admiration for Mr. Shank and his efforts. I believe archivists and collectors are heroes who keep our past vital and alive.
WES really wanted the 60th anniversary of THE BLOB at BLOBFEST to be special. He always talked about it. Even though it hard as it was hard for him, he was deliberately absent the last couple years of BLOBFEST to let the demand and the excitement build for this years show. He wanted to make seeing the actual BLOB a special treat again for show that is in it’s 19th year! His showman instincts were right–people were incredibly excited that WES and THE BLOB were back at BLOBFEST for THE BLOB’s 60th! And it was our BIGGEST show ever!
“It was nice to be back at Blobfest. Both Judi and I felt it was the best one yet! Our new location on the second floor was wonderful, and we enjoyed the steady stream of traffic. Thanks to all for all the help and cooperation.
…we would enjoy returning next year.
Wes & Judi”
Part of the Build up for the 2018 BLOBFEST was a bigger media push, an ABC-TV affiliate, channel 6 in Philly, met with MR. LOBO, DR. FRANK N. STONE, JOAN HOMICK, DIXIE DELLAMORTO, CINEMA INSOMNIA producer PAUL SANDERS and WES SHANK with “THE BLOB” to make an informative and fun package for their FYI segment. It ended with all of us running out of THE COLONIAL THEATRE together in mock terror!
WES was all smiles as he told his story and displayed THE BLOB for the TV cameras…stressing that special industrial silicone will never harden and that the scariest thing about THE BLOB is that it will outlive him! Chilling to think about now.
That same day, I invited WES to come on our Special SLEEPLESS KNIGHTS pODDcast that we called our BLOBCAST…
We are PRESENTING this BLOBCAST episode with WES again this week in honor of a great man who will be dearly missed, but who has left an indelible mark with fans everywhere.
Take a moment this week and listen to WES SHANK in his own words talk of THE BLOB, BLOBFEST, and his passion for THE MOVIES…(Pictures by podcast producer PAUL SANDERS)