Back in the 80's before Blockbuster Video was around, mom and pop video store were everywhere and the biggest renters were horror films. Grim, disgusting films; some of these still are not out on DVD or Blu-ray yet. One friday night, my dad took me to a local store where I'd rent 6 to 8 movies for the weekend to have something to do while my parents were off partying. I remember picking out House on The Edge of The Park and my dad looking at it and laughing. He said he knew the actor on the back of the box. My dad was an apartment manager in New York back in the early 70's and he lived next door to David Hess. They were good friends. This was the first time I remember thinking my dad was 'cool'.
A few years later (1994 to be exact)and I met David at a Fangoria Weekend of Horrors and I told him about my dad and showed him a picture. He remembered my dad very well and begged for his phone number to get back in touch with him, which I happily wrote down. I ended up having dinner with David and we talked for almost two hours about my dad. He told me a story about there being a firehouse next to the apartment building and how one time, as a prank, they snuck over and dragged a firehose from the truck and put it into a apartment window of a jerk tenant and turned the hose on. He had many stories about my dad that I could hardly believe cause I only knew him as 'my dad' and not a normal guy.
Anyway, the two of them kept in touch and David even came to my dads funeral to pay his respects. He was an extremely nice, sincere guy who was nothing like the terrible characters he played in films. I, myself, had gotten to know him over the years and while I haven't talked to him in about a year or so, he was like a distant uncle to me. The last time I saw David, I stayed at his house for three days when I was in San Francisco for a comic convention two years ago.
I haven't been intently following the interworkings of TWoP - I read some recaps, and visit their board once an eon - but I do recall maybe two or three times where it seemed the site nearly blinked out of existence but was saved by some sponsorship deal ...