Greetings friends and neighbors.
Nothing extra flashy today (at least not in this post), just a simple birthday wish from a son to his father. In a blog with so many posts dedicated to birthdays and anniversaries, I would be extremely remiss if I didn’t wish happy birthday to my dad, Bob. You see if it wasn’t for my dad, I might not be doing this blog, or at least not having such a strong focus on a large portion of this blog. It was my dad who introduced me to Godzilla movies.
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but on this date it bears mention, to say the least. I’m not entirely sure of the year. I was either 10 or 11 years old. I do know that it was in the summer time, because he had no argument from my mother letting me stay up a little later than normal, even on a Saturday. You see, ever since I can remember, I’ve loved dinosaurs. Dinosaur books. Dinosaur toys. Dinosaur models – I’m sure some of you in my “age group” had Aurora’s Prehistoric Scenes Kits models. You get the idea.
Somehow, I had yet to see a movie with a dinosaur, or any giant creature for that matter – unless you count Disney’s One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing, which I really don’t.
So on this summer Saturday evening, my dad said, “I’m going to let you stay up tonight. There’s a movie coming on that I think you’ll like.”
He told me that there were all sorts of giant monsters like dinosaurs and he thought that I would really like it. I figured, what the heck I get to stay up late! So at 8:30 PM, I sat on my bed with a bowl of popcorn, my room lit by the 12 inch black and white TV screen that rested on my night table.
I saw a six fingered hand pop out of a swamp, spelling out the words “Chiller Theater“. Moments later, the screen went black and then lit up again, only this time with the words “Monster Zero“. I sat and watched, eating my popcorn, digging the astronaut stuff (which at the time, was my other favorite thing), when all of a sudden this giant three headed monster flies across the screen. That’s right. The first kaiju I ever saw was King Ghidrah. When it came time for the aliens to collect Godzilla and Rodan, I was very confused. I kind of had an idea what Godzilla was since he looked like a dinosaur. But in that bubble with his wings all folded up, I had no idea what Rodan was. I thought it was a giant clam, until they were freed from the bubbles on Planet X, and he opened his wings and flew. The rest, as they say, is history.
There you have it. One of the best gifts my dad ever gave me. The gift of Godzilla. My dad even brought me to see my first Godzilla movie in a theater – Godzilla vs. Megalon. Somewhere, I still have that four-page comic book that they gave out at the theater and I wouldn’t part with it for anything.
My dad passed away a few months before my graduation from high school. I think about him every time I see Monster Zero.
Happy birthday, Dad. Thanks again for Godzilla.