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Thursday, May 6, 2021

Road Trip to see Sam Jones – He saved every one of us edition.

It has been a while since I’ve done one of these road trip write ups. With the Coronavirus cancelling everything there hasn’t been much to do or talk about. But now that I’ve got my second shot and things are loosening up a bit, I thought it was time to get back out there again and have some fun. Don’t worry though I’m still wearing my mask and keeping my hands washed. We still need to be careful you know.

When my friends Eric and Angie, of Midnight Magazine, let me know that the great Sam Jones was touring comic book shops to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the Flash Gordon movie I knew that I had to see him. I mean this was one of my favorite flicks as a kid and Flash was right up there with Luke Skywalker for me. I might be an old fat bald guy but I’m still that kid at heart and damn it I’m going to meet him!

Plans were made and I started looking around for what I wanted to get signed. I have a cool DVD release of the movie and it came with a nifty insert card so that was perfect. I also decided to get an 8x10 off of his table as well. Now that I had a plan on what I was to get autographed I needed to think about the picture. I needed a perfect shirt for this, and I found one on Amazon. It is a replica of the red and white shirt from the first encounter with Ming in his throne room. Yeah guys I was that nerdy and wore the shirt to meet the actor! I did mention that this was a big deal to me so deal with it.

I got up bright and early Saturday morning and headed off to Eric and Angie’s house. We were going to carpool over to the comic shop and get some food afterward. It was a decent morning, and the drive was fine. I arrived early and was able to sit around chatting with them about the day’s plans as well as just talking movies and comics. I miss my friends, and this has been or at least felt like a long winter. After shooting the shit for a while we piled in the car and headed off to the comic shop.

Comics, Cards, and Collectables used to be one of my frequent haunts thirty plus years ago when I was in College. Yes, in addition to being a movie nerd I also used to be a comic book nerd! I had never been to his new location, so it was interesting to see as well as a bit nostalgic being in a comic shop again. The signing took place in their backroom which is more like a warehouse. Mr. Jones hadn’t arrived yet, so I took that opportunity to browse a bit. I picked up a couple of old Starlog magazines including one of their poster books. They were in the dollar bin and were in excellent shape. Mostly I just had fun digging thru comics and magazines looking for treasures.

The guest of honor arrived, and I waited patiently for my turn. When my number was called, I brought my DVD up to his table and picked out the picture I wanted him to sign. I can honestly say that Sam Jones is one of the nicest guys that I’ve ever met. Making sure everyone who was there had their time to talk to him and he commented on everyone’s items. A lot of times at these signings the celebrity gets into an assembly line mode but not here. It was fun to hear him talk to the fans and ask them where they got their item and talk about the similar things he has seen in the past. He was engaging and charming, which made getting to meet him all the cooler. Oh, and before anyone sends me an angry message yes I’m not wearing a mask in the picture with him. We took them off before the pictures were taken and put them right back on afterwards. Safety first you know!

After getting our stuff signed and talking to the other folks at the shop we headed out for a nice lunch of Mexican food at a local place. Then Eric and Angie took me over to a new record store that not only had some cool music for sale, I picked up a couple L.A. Guns CDs… yes actual physical media, but also one of the establishments that sells Midnight Magazine. I picked up a few other goodies, hung out for a while longer talking movies, and then headed home.

All in all it was an amazing day meeting one of my childhood heroes. Here is hoping that the rest of this year gives me more opportunities to get out into the world, hang out with my friends, and do fun stuff like this. To get there we need to continue to be careful, wear your masks, get the shot, and generally think about others when you are in public. If we all keep vigilant we will get thru this and get back to normal.

 

© Copyright 2021 John Shatzer

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