Isaac and Me

Two years ago, I was preparing a talk about Isaac Asimov, to commemorate the centennial of his birth. Richard Lederer and I shared a stage at the American Mensa Annual Gathering that summer, and then I gave the talk as a solo several times over the next few months.

When I was putting the talk together, I wanted to include the only known picture of Isaac and me together, but couldn’t find it. I dug through all the albums in the house, the boxes of unsorted pictures, what negatives I could find from the right era, but no luck. The best I could find was a photocopy of Isaac’s obituary I wrote for Mphasis (the newsletter of Greater New York Mensa), which included a black-and-white printing of a photocopy of the picture. So that’s a photocopy of a photoprinted copy of a photocopy: several generations removed from the original, and not the best resolution.

Recently, Mom was going through the built-in bookcase, and the pictures on it and in it. As she was dusting the top, she took down a plastic photo holder that has a large picture of Mom, Laurie, and me. I happened to walk through the room, and saw there was another picture looking out the back of that photo holder: a big picture of me, and smaller, at the bottom, facing back… the picture of me with Isaac that I’d been looking for! It’s a first-generation print off the original negative! The negative is probably gone, but I’ve finally found the “original” of the picture. So I’ve scanned it, saved it, and present it here: Isaac Asimov and me in the editorial office of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, taken some time in 1991.

Isaac Asimov and Ian Randal Strock, 1991.

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