May 16th was the 20th anniversary of what was a very sad day for me – and many, many others in the world. The day Kermit lost his voice. Yes, it was the 20th anniversary of Jim Hensen’s death. On one site that talked about his death, a guy relayed a story about how a year after his death, he found himself in Hensen’s workshop with many of his employees. They were drinking and laughing and swapping stories when he asked “was he as nice of a guy as he seemed?” The entire place went silent. The beers was put down. The laughter stopped. The mood turned somber. One of the guys looked at him and said simply, “yeah, he was.” And they all left. He could tell how heart broken this crew still was at the loss of this great man.
May 18th brought us the 30th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St Helens. We all read stories about it. Thos of us who lived through it and either witness the devastation first hand or learned about it. The amount of local coverage is always amazing. I read a story one year about a family who was camping in what was considered the “safe zone” only to find themselves buried in ash. They thankfully found a shed they could hide in until they could hike out. Or this year was about a reporter who was frustrated when the local press pulled out for safety reasons. He went up to the mountain himself. As he drove down a road, the mountain erupted and the road disappeared. He video taped his mission to stay alive. He still has difficulty understanding how he was not killed. He credits his car for protecting him -and just luck. Or the story of Harry R Truman the 83 year old man who refused to leave his home on the shores of Spirit Lake despite the numerous please. He and the lake totally disappeared after the blast. The lake is now covered in logs deposited there due to the blast. Fifty-seven people in total were killed. Had it erupted a day earlier, that number would have been higher as more loggers would have been working that day. A moment in time that will forever be remembered by those who lived through it as both awe-inspiring and scarier than hell.
May 21st offered two 30th anniversary celebrations. The first was one most people noticed thanks to our friends at Google. Yep – PacMan was popular. God, I recall the mania surrounding that game! The hours spent playing it. The cartoon – who remembers the cartoon of PacMan and the Ghosts and Ms PacMan?? I think that was the amazing thing – PacMan was everywhere. Everyone had PacMan. It was on t-shirts. It was on TV. It was amazing how obsessed everyone was with it. It was bigger than a game – it was brand.
The other 30th anniversary was the release of Empire Strikes Back – the movie most would argue was the best of the trilogy. I remember going to see Empire in the small town theater where we lived. The line was two blocks long. They had two screens in this theater and were showing it on both screens. It was incredible. But not as incredible as seeing Star Wars at a drive in. Nothing like seeing space battles with stars as a backdrop – but I digress. And what a great cliff-hanger too – Hans being frozen in carbonite – Luke learning Darth is his father and Leia is his sister – and the future of the rebellion is uncertain. A perfect setup for that last movie. Good stuff. Oh, and you can’t forget the controversy surrounding Mark Hamill who’s face changed after the filming of New Hope due to a motorcycle accident. Some believed the scene at the beginning where he is knocked out by the Wampa was added to explain his facial changed, but that was not the case. What a great movie!
Oh and how can the week be discussed without the amazing participation in the 5th anniversary of HNT. It was fun going back and seeing everyone’s first time on HNT. And the recreations too – but the differences were amazing. Sometimes it was merely the backdrop or people had different hair. Other times, it was the change of camera angles and cameras. Overall – it was fun and everyone looked great. I know there is always a bit of discussion as people ebb and flow into HNT participation – where are the lines. What is too sexual? What is beauty? What is the point? Why are people doing it? Are they doing it for the right reason? I always think of HNT as those annoying essay topics professors in college would give you on tests or for papers. So fucking open ended you can’t tell if you are reading too much into it – or too little into it. You can’t tell for certain if you are on track or going off on a tangent. And that IS the beauty of it all. Seeing how people interpret the theme. It’s less essay and more art project. Where there IS no wrong answer. Just a celebration of what people have come up with this week – the stories going along with them. The thoughts people had that led into that photo. I’m always impressed. And everyone – every week – looks gorgeous regardless of theme. And I admire anyone who puts themselves out there – risking a bit of themselves. I’m always impressed.
(and yes Os, I stole a picture. I’ll send you compensation later.)