Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bill, That's a REAL Good Thing You Did... (2011 Edition)

My good friend Bill Huelbig celebrated his 57th birthday three days ago. I, um, completely spaced it this year. Yeah, I'm a pretty lame friend. To make matters worse, Bill sent ME an early birthday gift.

An attached note reads: "Happy (early) Birthday! This will inspire you when making next year's costume." Trust me, Bill.... it definitely has.

Richard Kiel, who played the various Kanamits in "To Serve Man," is probably best known as the metal-toothed villain Jaws from the James Bond films. More recently, he appeared in Happy Gilmore as Adam Sandler's ex-boss (and nemesis of golf pro Shooter McGavin). Bill met Kiel last month at the Chiller Theater Toy, Model & Film Expo. Hilarity ensued:

As reported earlier, Bill acquired Kevin McCarthy's autograph for me several years back. Bill's generosity has reared its beautiful head multiple times throughout our friendship, and I doubt I'll ever be able to repay him for all the cool things he's sent my way. But more importantly, he's a kind soul, a genuine sweetheart, and a real mensch.

Bill and I met through the Talking Herrmann forum at the Bernard Herrmann Web Pages (now known as the Society for the Appreciation of the Music of Bernard Herrmann). My Herrmann obsession was in its early stages, but Bill was a fan from way back. He sent me several compilation tapes of Herrmann's work, both well-known and esoteric, and focused my interest into a lifelong passion.

Bill, who lives across the county in New Jersey, came to Oregon for a visit.... in 2000, I think it was. I took him to Powell's Books, where he bought me a copy of Stephen C. Smith's excellent biography of Herrmann (A Heart at Fire's Center). That's the only time I've ever seen him in person, and it kills me to report that we didn't get a single picture together. He was in Seattle a few weeks back, a mere 185 miles away, and I wasn't able to meet up with him due to family commitments. I'm hoping to make it back east sometime in the next couple of years. Mark my words, when it finally happens, I WILL get a picture of the two of us.

Happy late birthday, Bill. I love you, my friend.

1 comment:

Bill Huelbig said...

WOW - now THAT's what I call a birthday present. You've given me immortality on the Internet. I feel like I just received the AFI Life Achievement Award. Either that, or won an Oscar.

And what a trip seeing those Herrmann track listings from 13 years ago.

I've long ago lost count of how many times I've said this but, once again, I can't thank you enough.