Monday, April 03, 2006

Absolutely, Positively Coolest Moment of the Century...

...well, at least of this century, and for me.

You know, aging fan-boy that I am, there've been a few cool things that have happened to me. I've met a few cast members of the original Star Trek at conventions, shook Jack Kirby's hand once (although, alas, I didn't get to talk to him, as he was talking to Jim Shooter at the time), saw Paul McCartney live in concert, met and became buddies with Tony Isabella, met Roy Thomas and hosted the trivia contest at last year's Emerald City ComicCon with Roy, Kurt Busiek and Tom Peyer... heck, I even mentioned not too long ago getting the hardbound STAR HAWKS volume as a wedding gift a few weeks back!

Well, today, I had one of the coolest things I can imagine happening to me.

I got a call from a man who was responsible for the creation of stuff that I enjoyed during my childhood years, and even beyond.

This man is not a comic book person, although he did appear at last year's San Diego ComicCon, and he was responsible for some comics-related stuff that no doubt had an influence on my interest in comics from a young age. His stuff created very fond memories for me.

OK, no more stalling... the person who called me was Lou Scheimer, the founder of Filmation Studios.

As you know, I've been doing transcriptions for BCI Eclipse, who've been releasing DVDs of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, and will soon be releasing Filmation's Flash Gordon and a host of other programs I haven't seen in years and years (including many projects that I'm sworn to secrecy on). Well, late last month, I had gone to Andy Mangels website (Andy's the producer of the documentaries, my boss for the transcription jobs), and found a link there to Lou Scheimer Productions.

So I went to the site, clicked on the link to send an email to Lou, and wrote the following note:

My name is Jon Knutson, and I was born in 1962, just at the perfect time to be interested when Filmation came out with the Superman (and later Batman and Aquaman) cartoons, and from there, a lifelong love of Filmation's stuff was born.

My brothers and sisters and I faithfully watched all your various Archie shoes, Fat Albert, the Groovie Ghoulies, Star Trek, Shazam!, Isis... there's probably not a single Filmation show we didn't watch.

I was delighted to get a call from Andy Mangels a little over a year ago, when he was looking for transcribers to work on interviews for the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe DVDs. Getting all these interviews (unedited, too) before anyone else got to see them has been a real treat, espcially the ones in which you were interviewed. In many ways, I feel I've gotten to know you!

It has been a real pleasure for me to continue working on the transcriptions for the future releases, such as She-Ra, Flash Gordon, and the other shows. I feel very privileged to be a part of this. I may not have ever had the opportunity to work at Filmation (which I had wanted to do when you guys were at your peak in the 70s and early 80s, but I was alas too young to be a part of it, to say nothing of living in the wrong part of the country), but I have the satisfaction of knowing that while having a great time working on these transcripts, I'm also helping to preserve the legacy of Filmation for future generations who weren't fortunate enough to experience your wonderful shows when they first came out.

Take care, Lou... and I hope that perhaps one day, I'll be able to meet you in person and shake your hand!

Jon B. Knutson

So imagine my surprise when on Sunday evening, I got an email from Amy Rosenberg, the "web head" behind Lou's web page, subject line "Lou would like to give you a call":

Lou would love to respond to your lovely email personally, preferably by phone.
Is there a phone number where he may reach you?

Well, you could've knocked me over with a feather! At the very most, when I sent the email, I thought maybe I might get a response that was along the lines of "Thanks for your mail, I really appreciate it!"

But Lou Scheimer... he has way, way more class than that. So naturally, I responded with my cell phone number, and eagerly awaited the call. I had no idea when it would come, I just made sure my cell phone was fully charged, just to be safe.

So I was making lunch today, when my phone rang. I looked at the incoming number, recognized it as being a Calfornia area code, and answered.

I won't even try to re-create the conversation... it was fairly short -- well, it was shorter than I would've hoped for, anyway... I could've talked to Lou for hours and hours! -- but I did tell him how this whole transcription process works, and that I've always tried to take the opportunity to tell people who created works that I've enjoyed what they've meant to me... and Lou, in turn, invited me to save his number (no, you can't have it) and to call him if I ever need anything, and if I were ever down his way, to give him a call, and we could get together!

He also mentioned that Hal Sutherland, also of Filmation, is living up in Seattle... as well as one of the other people I'd recently done a transcription of (I forget who now).

Anyway... I've been a fan of Filmation's stuff for as long as I can remember... I think I've at least seen one episode of every show that they produced -- even Uncle Croc's Block (heck, I still remember most of the theme song for that show, as well as a few other shows of theirs), and some of the shows, I had to have seen every episode of... and not just me, but my brothers and sisters as well.

The only bad thing about getting this call? I have no friends around here who I can call or get togeher with and tell what happened, and have them react by saying, "Whoa... cooooool!"

So I'm sharing it with you guys here. Oh, I'll probably mention it at work tomorow, and they'll try to act impressed, but I'm sure it won't mean anything to them.

But it means a helluva lot to me.

Thank you, Lou Scheimer, for giving me yet another treasured memory.


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