As you must know I am deeply saddened by the passing of Peter Benchley. I still recall vividly standing in line at the bus stop, awaiting transport to Blake High School, when a kid I knew started talking about this new book that he considered quite awsome. The book was called "Jaws", and I immediately began a search to find a copy, which didn't take long, as everyone was carrying this now Number 1 best-seller. One look at the cover and I was a goner. Truly one of the first books I'd read that I didn't want to put down, and couldn't wait to resume when I did.
This, of course, is about the book, not the movie. We all are more than familiar with the blockbuster, iconic status of the film by Benchley, Gottleib and Spielberg. I mention all three men because they each played such an integral part in what we know today as one of the greatest movies ever put to celluloid.
But it was Benchley, and no one else, who one day in the early '70s decided to put pen to paper and create icons named Brody, Hooper, and Quint, assuring himself at that moment of iconic status himself. A great man, who did many great things; who strived for the education of the masses to understand all aspects of life, and not just kill because of lack of knowledge. As you may recall there was a massive shark killing endeavor on the heels of "Jaws" which saddened Benchley greatly.
Peter Benchley, who also gets credit for me even writing on Crazed Fanboy, as well as knowing Nolan and everyone here, and quite possibly even my marraige and career in retail. Peter Benchley, who never met me; whom I never met, who wrote a book made into a movie, that a kid in Tampa decided to tape to a cassette player he'd snuck into the movies. A kid who brought the tape to Plant High School Drama class.
A kid who played the tape when he got to class, piquing the interest of another kid who immediately recognized his favorite movie of all time.
A high-schooler named Matt who walked over to another kid named Mike and introduced himself with something along the lines of "That sounds like Jaws!!!". A meeting that would turn into an unforgettable friendship, spawning friendships with Nolan and many others. And leading me to a life I more than likely would not have known had it not been for one day, in the early '70s, when Peter Benchley sat down, put pen to paper, and directed my way. Mine, and countless other people.
God bless you, Peter, you really are my hero.
RONDO AWARDS VOTING
Just a friendly reminder to any and all crazed fanboys, horrorheads, and monster kids that voting ends Saturday night, February 18th for the 2005 Rondo Hatten Awards.
In case this is the first you've heard about it, which I guess could be considered a miracle, especially if you grace these pages on a regular basis, the Rondos celebrate the best in classic horror/sci-fi/fantasy throughout the genre perspective; whether mags, music, columns, writers, web pages, etc. Really, the whole kitchen sink, only without the dirty dishes.
Go to www.rondoaward.com now and vote, before it's too late to have your voice heard.
Till next time, take care and God bless