Wednesday, 19 June 2019

AND NOW - THE BOB, STAN, ARCHIE & GORDIE SHOW...


The legendary radio, movie, and TV star BOB HOPE

BOB HOPE and STAN LEE are both gone now, which, considering that we of a certain age grew up exposed to the work of both gentlemen in their respective fields of entertainment, is a sad state of affairs.  Two people who made such an immense contribution to the quality of our lives (assuming, of course, that you were a fan of either) no longer being around is a sombre reminder of our own mortality.  After all, don't we tend to take for granted that the entertainers we enjoyed in our youth will be with us throughout the entire span of our own lives?  That they're no longer here diminishes our day-to-day enjoyment to some degree, don't you think?  Were you a DAVID BOWIE fan?  Then no doubt you lament his loss - though personally, I think he could 'sing nane' as we say in Scotland.  Still, if you're a fan, you no doubt think he was taken too soon.

Now, generally speaking, I wouldn't say that I was an 'autograph hound', but there are a few people I admired so much that, when the opportunity arose to obtain their signature or pose for a photograph with them, it was 'full steam ahead' for me.  I've met Bob and Stan, RIKKI FULTON, MAYA ANGELOU, WILL EISNER, CAROLINE NIN, ARCHIE GOODWIN, and a few minor TV celebrities (by chance in the latter case, not design).  Strangely, I never asked Archie for his autograph, nor posed for a photo with Will (didn't have my camera with me) - and Maya seemed reluctant to sign for or pose with the four or five people (of which I was one) who met her at the stage door - but I got snapped with Bob, Stan (and got their autographs), and Archie - and got Rikki's, Brian's and Will's signatures to mark the occasion of meeting them.

(I've also got ROGER MOORE's, LEO BAXENDALE's, TERRY BAVE's, JOHN NOAKES', and MARIE SEVERIN's autographs, but I never actually met them - though I spoke with Terry by 'phone on numerous occasions, and corresponded with Leo by letter.  Oh, and I've also got ALAN FENNELL's autograph, another gent I spoke with on the 'phone from time to time.  Caroline, mentioned in the previous paragraph, is the only one out of everyone named who's still around as I type this.)

Writer, editor, and creator STAN (The Man) LEE

Of course, the work of those we admire is still available for us to enjoy after they've gone whenever we wish, which is some consolation, but the act of connecting with them for however brief a moment is almost akin to connecting with their lives, experiences, and histories from before we met them.  There I was shaking hands with Bob Hope, who grew up in the Depression, played Vaudeville, entertained the troops in various wars and conflicts, was a star during Hollywood's heyday, and, in his time, was probably the most famous and successful comedian in the world - and I somehow felt that I was connected to all that in some indefinable way;  as if he himself were a conduit to his own past, and the mere act of shaking his hand or standing in his presence made me a participant-by-proxy in all he had done during his life and the periods he had lived through.

Yes, I know I'm fooling myself and that any such feeling is an illusion at best and a delusion at worst, but I just can't help thinking that way.  "By appreciation we make excellence in others our own property" wrote VOLTAIRE, and in a similar way, it might also be said that "By association we make the experiences of others our own property".  Sure, that's probably overstating the case, but it's only by such hyperbole that I can convey even the merest hint of what I'm trying to say.

Anyway, what are your own thoughts on the matter, if any?  Do you agree with my sentiments or am I talking my usual load of utter pants?  Have you ever met one (or more) of your idols, and if so, what effect did it have on you?  Were they a total disappointment, or did you feel as though you were in the presence of (and thereby connected to) greatness?  Feel free to express yourself in the comments section.

MARVEL, DC, & WARREN writer and editor ARCHIE GOODWIN

8 comments:

Colin Jones said...

"That they are no longer here diminishes our day-to-day enjoyment to some degree, don't you think?"

No, I don't think. I agree that the likes of Bob Hope and Stan Lee were giants of popular culture but their deaths don't diminish the 'Road' films or Marvel comics one iota.

By the way, Voltaire also said:

"Religion fears reason like witches fear daylight"...

...a quotation from the 18th Century but still so relevant.

Kid said...

Well, I'm sure you don't feel that way about your family, CJ, and many people grew up regarding Bob, Stan, and others as though they were almost part of their family, and lament the fact that they're no longer around in the here and now. And I meant their absence can diminish our enjoyment of day-to-day life (to some degree), not our enjoyment of their body of work. As for Voltaire's comment about religion, while it may have been relevant in the 18th century (in regard to specific denominations), it is by no means a universal truth nowadays when it comes to the concept of religion per se, though it might apply in specific cases. Incidentally, science is a religion to a great many people, so the same thing could be said of it, too. And do witches fear daylight? H'mm, that's another thing open to debate.

Colin Jones said...

Voltaire would probably have said "vampires fear daylight" if vampires had been popular in the 18th Century :D

Kid said...

And what makes you think that vampires WEREN'T popular in the 18th century, CJ? I was the chairman of the official vampire fan club back then. And are you suggesting that Voltaire's pronouncements were not quite as precisely composed as they might have been? What a chancer he was, eh?

McSCOTTY said...

I was thinking how to reply to this thread as it’s a good question Kid , but I don’t actually know if there not being here has diminished my day-to-day enjoyment. I was (still am)a massive Bowie fan so still enjoy his work although I was upset when I heard he had passed away especially as he had only just started to record new albums (and great albums they were although not to your tastes Kid) . But I think what I miss most was my associations with Bowie for example my brother was a fan of Bowie and we used to love listening to his albums and finding out about him, I also met a lot of friends (and an ex-girlfriend) through a shared interest in his music, but then again that was in the past (sadly as are some friends and my brother) so for me what has diminished is that link Bowie being there had with my past, his passing seemed to herald the end of that in some way even although I will still have the memories .

Kid said...

That's part of what I was getting at, PM - all the associations that such folk can have in connection to family and friends in our past who are now gone. While our (shared) favourite artists and performers remain, that link seems more distinct, but once they're gone too, it's like a shadow between them and our memories. I wasn't suggesting that we skulk around every day in constant sorrow, but, inevitably, at some point in the day, we'll remember we're slightly more distant from all we held dear and a touch of sorrow will brush our hearts. As usual, I probably didn't/haven't explained myself too well.

McSCOTTY said...

Ok then for me kid I agree, strange isn't it.

Kid said...

It's always strange when someone agrees with me, PM. Doesn't happen too often.

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