I turned 44 recently. When you get to be my age, you stop caring about things like surprise parties, recognition and gifts... it's just another day. That specific kind of joy shifts over to celebrating other peoples' birthdays (say, your kids, or maybe your dogs).
But then.... something completely unexpected happens and you feel like that long lost kid again. You get giddy, your heart speeds up, and you either sit there in stunned silence or laugh maniacally (or both). Let this entry stand as testimony that, on November 27, 2013... I was a kid again.
I got home from just another day at the office. Waiting for me was a large, flat object wrapped in brown paper (which was covered in various nonsensical phrases; thanks Logan and Kendyl).
Kids say the darnedest things.
The paper came off, and a powerful and immediate state of shock and awe kicked in.
Any Outer Limits fan will immediately recognize the two faces of Martin Landau in "The Man Who Was Never Born," an undisputed highlight of the series (and one my absolute favorites). See that signature below Landau's face? That's right, gang: it's a Woody Welch original. Yes, that Woody Welch, the eminently talented LA artist who graciously granted me an interview a few months back. How did this happen, you ask? It seems my wife Teresa contacted Woody secretly and set the whole thing up. Not only did he take time out of his busy schedule to create this amazing work for me, but he did it gratis. I mean seriously, who does that? What's the angle? No angle. Woody's just that kind of human being.
Followers of my Twilight Zone blog (all four of you) may recall that, a few years back, I lost my home office/man-cave when we unexpectedly had to move. My movie posters, Dali prints and other cherished wall hangings are currently in storage, awaiting that future day when I'll have such a room at my disposal again. I think it goes without saying that they'll have to get in line behind this amazing painting.
I'm tentatively* planning a trip to L.A. in a couple of months for the Creature Features TOL gallery event (date to be announced). I expect Woody will be attending too, since he'll be providing original works for the event. I'm looking forward to shaking his hand and thanking him in person. But for now, a heartfelt thanks here in these pages will have to do.
Thanks, Woody. It's pretty hard to make me feel like a kid again, but you did it. I can't possibly thank you enough.
* Did I say tentatively? How about extremely tentatively? Or maybe "wishing on a star" is more accurate. With Teresa in nursing school and a newly-teenage daughter stalking my wallet, money is ridiculously tight. I'll continue hoping against hope for now, but.... damn, I don't know right now.