Sunday, June 19, 2011

Raiders' 30th: An Unplanned Tradition

My Dad and I have been mutual Indiana Jones fans since the first film was released. His favorite movie as a kid was the 1950's jungle adventure classic: King Solomon's Mines, so my love of Raiders' could of been predestined by genetic code.

We never saw Raiders' together in the theater. Dad traveled a lot back then for work and was in Los Angeles at the time. He still tells the story how he saw it by himself in a movie theater near Beverly Hills.

As it turned out though, being away from home started a tradition. Dad may not realize it, but over the years he's happened to give me a surprise gift for each one of the movies.

It started in 1981, shortly after Raiders' was out. A package arrived from Dad in Los Angeles. Opening it I discovered a folded up poster. Stamped on the edge was: Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Excited I started to unfold it... and unfold it... and unfold it. It was huge! I didn't know it at the time but it's what's known as a "three sheet", close to 3' x 7' in size.

That poster hung on the wall above my drawing table through the rest of high school, all of college and some months after. Sadly, after years of enjoyment and countless moves, hanging and rehanging, it got so torn and beat up that I threw it out.

Now we skip ahead to my freshman year of college in 1984. Dad again in those days was still going back and forth between our home in New York and work in Los Angeles (It's the reason my family eventually moved to California).

I went to check my mailbox and found a note to pick up a package from the window. Sure enough, it was a large cardboard tube sent by my Dad.

I decided not to wait and opened it standing in the mailroom. It had a poster inside. I unrolled it to find the teaser for Temple of Doom opening soon.

I went straight back to my dorm room and hung it up. It lived on my closet door for weeks. But, I gave it away to a girl I liked.

Oh the things you do for young love. I actually took her to see the movie on a date that summer. It didn't work out. I should of kept the poster.

Cut to 1990, I was now living in Los Angeles and working on my first real art job, illustrating several children's activity books.

Days and nights were blurring together as I was trying to meet my deadlines. One evening, there was a knock on my door. Dad entered and said,

"Here's some music to work by."

and handed me a CD. It was The Last Crusade soundtrack.

The years came and went. There were a few more Indy adventures to share in. The Young Indiana Jones TV series, the ride at Disneyland and of course, all the family heading out to see the new movie.

 I got a call from Dad one afternoon,

"I'm stopping by for a minute, meet me out front."

He soon arrived with a honk of his horn. He waived me over to the car, rolled down the passenger window and handed me a DVD. It was Crystal Skull, released just that day.

If supportive fan-boy parentage has a name, it must be my Dad's. 
Happy Father's Day Pop!

A drawing of my Dad in 1982 from my first sketchbook (around those early Raiders' years).

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