TOPCON GEEK EXPO NEWSLETTER: VOLUME 1 – ISSUE 10
WHERE GEEKDOM BEGINS
Now there are some that might argue that my Geekdom began when I purchased my first Batman comic at 6 years of age, grant it I was hooked and I purchase Batman comics right and left whenever my allowance came. When the 1960’s Batman television series came out I went absolutely nuts. But all in all I wouldn’t have called myself a “Geek”, I was in a gestation period. My true delivery into Geekdom started on May 24th of 1977 when my best friend asked me and my fiance if we would like to join him and his wife the next day, May 25th to go have dinner and see a movie. I asked him what movie do you have in mind and he said, “there’s a new sci-fi flick down at the Trail Theater it opens tomorrow night.”
Now I’ve always enjoyed science fiction, I was a Star Trek fan, absolutely loved Lost in Space, was nuts over The Time Tunnel, Land of the Giants and movies like The Day the Earth Stood Still or Forbidden Planet. I asked him what was it about and he replied, “Some sort of space adventure.” Since the next day was payday I said, “Sure why not let’s go have dinner at Mexican Castle and then go to the movie.” A pat on the shoulder and a hardy, “see you tomorrow night” and my fate was sealed forever.
I’ll be the first one to tell you that I had no idea whatsoever what I was walking into that fateful day of May 25th 1977 but I knew something was different the minute I entered the lobby of the theater in downtown St. Joseph, Missouri. There were giant cutouts of characters from the movie and there were cardboard spaceships hanging from string from the ceiling. There was also a table set up just to sell souvenirs from the movie. I had never been to a movie in my entire life where there was a souvenir table set-up so I wandered over to have a look.
I was glad we had got there early after eating a fine Mexican dinner over at the Mexican Castle because the theater was packed, there was a line stretching outside almost completely around the block and we were fortunate enough to be there early enough to get really good seats and not have to stand in that humongous line outside. My fiance, my friend and his wife went to find their seats and I stood looking at that souvenir table. What a strange collection of souvenirs, I cannot even begin to describe to you the strange-looking key chains, stuffed dolls and little rubber figurines that were on that table but what did catch my eye and was in my budget was a souvenir book telling you different things about the movie. Since we had a bit of a wait before the movie started and since I am an avid reader I purchase the souvenir book for a whole $1.50.
I found my friends and fiance in the theater and I sat down to look over the 20 pages of this 11” x 14” souvenir book of this of this odd science fiction movie called “Star Wars”. My fiance looked down and said what’s that I said, It’s a book that tells everything about this movie that we’re getting ready to watch.” She laughed and said we’re getting ready to watch the movie why do you need to read the book? I shrugged my shoulders, “I don’t know just curious I guess.” I read the whole book cover to cover before the previews of upcoming movies ever hit the big screen.
I sat the book on my lap as the curtains went up the words scrolled up the screen and I heard for the first time “Dum diddy dum diddy dum de dum dum de de dum diddy dum diddy dum dum dum… I knew suddenly that I was in for a Sci-Fi experience unlike anything I had ever known in my life and at that moment a Geek was born. From that very moment on nothing less would do, everything would have to be bigger, better and bolder or it would not be worth my attention.
I held onto that souvenir book through the years as one of my most cherished possessions. I almost lost it in 1993 when my home was swallowed by a flood. It was one of the few things I was able to salvage out of the many things I lost. I’ve held it back, protected it and stored it away In a box. I found it during our recent move and pulled it out and set it to one side. Today I found the time to sit down and carefully wipe away the dirt and the mud from that flood so many years ago.
The book is in surprisingly good shape for what it has been through and the many miles it is traveled through the years. I have scanned it so that I may share it with you. Most of you will not recall or will have never seen this piece of Star Wars historic memorabilia and I am proud to be able to share it here with you. I have a new hope that as you look at it that it brings back those memories of a time long, long ago when you first sat in that darkened theater and saw that giant battle cruiser move across the screen and your breath was drawn in and held, and that a chill ran up your spine as you realized that that battle cruiser was nowhere near as large as the movie and the legend you were now a witness to and a part of.
May The Force Be With You.-The GYPSY-