To sum it up in one word..."WHOA"!!!!
Cannot remember a time when I was this giddy being able to not only experience the ultimate Amity encounter, but to do so with the best friend a guy could ever be lucky enough in the world to have.
Almost don't know where to start as so much happened, but suffice it to say the wifey was the epitome of grace and understanding, pretty much letting Mike and I roam and prowl as we pleased. I must confess I was wondering how that would all wash and was (am) very thankful to the wife (Denise) for her understanding. I think the slam dunk is that she is in love with Mike, but it's okay. So am I.
Started our jaunt by picking up the Mikester at the airport, where I was the lucky one being able to miss out of the ribbon cutting ceremony I so hoped to attend....thanx to my bro, who couldnt get in to Providence until about two hours later. Small sacrifice to pay, really no sacrifice at all.
On the ship to Amity, Mike and I came across a writer for Starlog magazine, who proceeded to quiz us on most things quizable. Naturally we were our sterling selves laughing in the face of his inquisition. As we all discussed what we were bringing to get signed, I was stunned to hear this guy rag on Jaws 2. "Oh, that sucks" I believe were his words. Mike and I just looked at each other in facial expressions that can only be desiphered by the tag "Loser". What happened to that guy anyway......
Next thing I knew, there we were at the island. Fitting that I began to hum some of the music to the now legendary classic we all have come to know...JAWS. As we stepped off the boat, I made sure I was looking at Mike's face to see the glory, the wonder, of finally making it to a fantasy destination of some 30 years. My friends, it was priceless.
Unfortunately, I'm a loser who forgot his camera in the other car. This despite non stop nagging from the wife to be sure I got it so I wouldnt forget it. And now, I still have not lived it down.
Once the festivities began, it's kind of like a blur. We went for a walk around Edgartown, me pointing out places of interest in the movie, and Mike buying everything in sight. Well, not everything. But he sure looked like he wanted to. Mike already gave a rundown on the cabin, which was a solid experience for me as well, knowing I was touching the desk this now famous screenplay was written on, and being in the temporary residence of Steven Speilberg. All too cool.
Having an opportunity to meet some of the stars of Jaws was a huge bonus. Seeing that it was movie magic, and not a real shark, that turned Alex Kintner into a can of spam by way of actually meeting Jeff Voorhees, who played the kid. The bigger joy came in meeting Jeff Kramer of Deputy Hendricks fame ("How come I can't do the printing?), and having Mike tell him I'm the most talented guy he's never heard of. This led to an amazing encounter that I won't soon forget, that has me chomping at the bit to get my demo finished. For those of you who know me personally, I don't consider myself a funny guy, but I guess I say alot of goofy, funny things because I had these guys behind the table laughing the asses off.
Next up was Mrs. Kintner, which Mike so thoroughly alluded to, and Marc Gilpin, who played Sean Brody in Jaws 2. As Mike and I whipped out our Jaws 2 artifacts to have them signed, Marc looked up at us in astonishment saying, "You guys made my day"! I asked him what he was doing now and he was nice enough to tell me he was involved in many ventures regarding annimation, and I believe he had some Disney credits to his resume! Impressed, I told him I was a songwriter, wrote love songs, and was finishing up a demo. He seemed genuine as he asked for a copy, and I referred him to my agent....Mike.
At long last I got the chance of a lifetime in meeting Carl Gottlieb. The man who penned the script, day by day, as Jaws was filmed. I never really considered this before, but writing a great script is no small task. Imagine doing it day by day as you go along. Inspiring. As I had Mr.Gottlieb sign my script, I asked him if I could shake the hand of the genius who penned the screenplay. He was quite humbled as he extended his hand. I was in awe.
Later that night Mike convinced me to take my guitar out to the pool area of our hotel so we could jam. As the night progressed, I learned that there were people pretty much everywhere listening to me. With many kind words that have me today embarrassed and thankful. It's always fun playing live, but when I played one of my originals and everyone applauded, asking who did that song, it was very special. As the night concluded another patron stopped by and thanked me for the best closing night he'd had on the vineyard in 8 years. No, I doubt I'll ever forget that.
Coming to a close, it was easy for me to discern what was more sorrowful, and that was that my best friend would soon be heading back to Kansas. Jawsfest was sensational, heightened by Mike's appearance, and driven home by events I'm sure we'll both be talking about for the rest of our lives.
Till next time, take care, and God bless,