|Terry Jones (AP photo)|
In a statement released by Britain's film academy (BAFTA), a representative says the 74-year-old has primary progressive aphasia, which erodes the ability to use language. As a result, Jones can no longer give interviews.I met him, sort of, in Atlanta a year or two ago. Yes, it was at DragonCon, but I didn't see him in a panel. I ran into him walking down a street in Atlanta.
News of Jones' illness came in a statement announcing he is to receive an award for outstanding contribution to film and television from the academy's Welsh branch.
I was on Courtland, walking toward the Sheraton for an event -- or to wait in a long line for an event. And Terry Jones was coming the other way, toward the Hilton/Marriott area, walking at a fairly brisk pace. I saw him when I was about, oh, 20 or 30 feet away. I knew I was reacting to seeing him, but lost all control of my facial features.
I could feel the smile spreading across my face and I knew my eyes were opening wide, but I couldn't do anything about it. I mean, it was Terry Jones.
He noticed. He looked me in the eye and grinned. As we passed, I said, "Good afternoon, Mr. Jones." Only it probably came out something like "derp durr hurr."
I so wanted to shake his hand, to hear him speak, but he had somewhere he was going, and there were opportunities to see him in panels and at autograph sessions. I regret not scheduling something like that. And, so it appears, I'll never have the opportunity.
It's sad to hear of his health issues. It's a joy to remember all the great entertainment he's provided. I wish him well.