Williamsburg Film Festival
I shall remember this festival with great love and gratitude. You came, you saw, and you conquered two old cadets attempting to revive an old radio and TV show..and what fun that was!
Most of all, there was that incredible moment of seeing Frankie Thomas march into the large room in his original uniform, ready to fight off another bad guy on a far planet. It didn't matter if the uniform colors had faded and changed, northat he had white hair and a few wrinkles..he wasthere... Tom Corbett! Space Cadet!!!
I was happy to have some of you
participating in it by filling in roles.. I don't think Astro could have
been done better... my wife blossomed into an actress... Captain Strong
grew a beard and mustache and Southern accent... it was magnificent...
even to the soundman delivering a soap opera theme instead of our Cadet
music by hitting the wrong button.
The re-creation had it all... despite the inadvertent error of having a soap opera theme instead of our own cadet march for one of the early bridges, there was wise guy Roger sounding off, Cadet Chuck Lassen, as Astro, being methodical, and Larry Floyd as Captain Strong leading the way..the "heavy", Gene Blottner, being nasty and deadly, while his concerned daughter, my wife Barbara debuting her first role, and good old Tom, making his sly joke about Roger at the end..all three cadets having survived one more adventure.
I don't know if we shall ever do such a thing again. In 1993 we did it in Newark, and we still had the entire original cast and director. The years take their toll, so we just had Frankie and myself available for Virginia..and we both cherish you fans remembering us, those who were able to attend, and those who could not.
We're all home now...we'll be looking over the shots we took with our cameras... and long as we have breath, we'll brag about bringing Tom Corbett to life once more.
I had dinner with Frank last night..he was rested and well and the same guy I've been buddies with for over a half century..he'd wish you "Spaceman's Luck!"... we had a great time.
Bless all of you. Stay well and
be happy. As Roger Manning would advise,
Space Ranger Mike E. here. Talk about a great time, I just can't say enough about our Shore Leave at the Williamsburg Film Festival!! Rangers, Kim, Clyde and I had simply a SUPER TIME with the other Cadets and our Cowboy Pals at Williamsburg! We arrived on Friday and got right into the swing of things! We teamed up with Cadets Ed Pippin and Chuck Lassen and stormed the dealers room. Once there, we joined Grand Cadets Frankie Thomas and Jan and Barbara Merlin. After numerous hugs, kisses and handshakes with our dear Friends, we talked and had a few laughs! Frankie and Jan autographed lots of cool stuff that we had brought and we got an extra treat. We got to meet Frankie's Step-Daughter, Julie, who has been keeping a loving eye on Frankie, due to his short stay in the hospital. Frankie could not have been on better hands!!
This was Ranger Clyde's first visit to Williamsburg, but I'm sure that it will not be his last! Ranger Clyde got to meet, for the first time, Grand Cadets Frankie and Jan and was on Cloud Nine for the rest of the trip!! Ranger Clyde is a guest member of the XV20 Crew, as he is first and foremost a Space Patroller. Well, that is until he went to the Radio reenactment of one of the Tom Corbett Radio Shows put on for all Cadets and Cowpokes to enjoy. And enjoy we all did!! Now Ranger Clyde is a FULL Cadet in the Solar Guard!! Just look for Cadet Laser posts on the Bulletin Board! Cadet Chuck took part in the Radio Show and played the part of Astro. He did a super stellar job!! We could sit back and be taken away to that distant worlds along with the Cadets of the Polaris and join in with their adventure far out in space!! We all wish that the program would not end!!
During the intermission between the question and answer session and the Radio Show, Cadet Ed held the drawing for The Space Cadet Quilt. To my GREAT SURPRISE, I won!! And believe me, the fix was NOT in!!! What a GREAT WORK OF ART!!! Kim and I are THRILLED!!!! This will go in our Rocket Room back at Space Ranger Earth Base #3!! Our thanks to Cadet Rae for making this MASTERPIECE!!!
Also there were Stars who played in the Rocky Jones Space Ranger TV Series, Jimmy Lydon and Donna Martell. Jimmy played Biffin Cardoza from the Planet Hurculan, who became Rocky's co-pilot on the XV3, Silver Moon. Donna played Mowanna, Daughter of a Chieftain on a far away planetoid. As a gift to both Jimmy and Donna, we the Crew of the XV20, Crimson Star, presented them each with a Space Ranger Jacket, Hat and T-shirt. They were thrilled, as thrilled to get them as we were to present them with those goodies!! We hope that both Donna and Jimmy wear those tokens of our affection for many, many years to come!! Thanks to them both for making our childhood so much fun!!
Friday night, Cadet Mike Turco brought his computerized telescope and set it up in the parking lot of The Holiday Inn for the cadets to gaze at Jupiter, Saturn and several other night sky views. The Crew of the XV20 thanks Cadet Mike Turco for sharing the Solar System with us!!
After the Closing Banquet, we all had to say our good-byes. We hugged again and wished each and every one a safe trip home!! With any good Spaceman's Luck, Ranger Kim and I will get back out to California this Fall to visit our Dear Friends again! If so, I'll file another report, with photos so all my Friends at The Academy can join in on the fun.
Till next time, keep
your sites on the stars Cadets!