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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Death of Childhood - Pt2

Death of Childhood - Pt2


Death of Childhood - Pt2

Posted: 12 Aug 2014 08:18 AM PDT

Today I  awoke to a world a little colder, more gray and less magical. Today I  was forced to accept my childhood was gone because yesterday was the day  Peter Pan died.

 

From my earliest memories I can  recall the laughter and wonderment at watching a crazy alien from Ork  turn the lives of a simple Milwaukee family upside down. Later, that  same quirky alien made his home in Boulder Colorado and in living rooms  across the country. Making us laugh and sometimes cry all the while  being drawn to his childlike wonderment at the world around him.

 

This  was only the beginning - later that same alien embarked on a journey  that would bring us a Genie, a Doctor/Clown, a hilarious old woman and  many many other wonderful, hilarious and even dramatic characters. I was  always in awe of Robin Williams and his ability to turn any phrase or  situation into an hour or more of the funniest things I'd ever heard.  His amazing mind, comedic timing and ability to turn on a dime and be  more profound and deep then anyone could imagine. He was my idol and in  some small manner, my friend.

 

Years later when I  was granted the miracle of finally meeting him, the energy radiating  from him was almost palpable. Here was the man I had idolized for 30 yrs  that I knew was bigger then life and a colossus, standing a mere 5'6"  (2 inches shorter then me) and just as calm and gentle as someone you'd  just met in church. I'll never forget the few short minutes I was provided  to put my arm around my idol and finally be able to tell him how I had  waited 30yrs for that moment and what a true honor it really was. How he  seemed genuinely touched and wrote on an 8x10 of himself what an honor  it was for him as well.

 

Peter Pan is gone now, Neverland is silent....the Genie and all his infinite wishes lost to the sands of time.

 

Goodbye  Robin .... you'll never know the multitude of the lives you touched,  the children you raised or the tears that are now shed for having lost  such a wonderful gift of laughter.

I meant to add these to my original ireport. Here is the pic of Robin and I in 2009 and the photo's of the photo he signed and the backstage pass. After telling him what an honor it was to meet him, he wrote on the VIP pass: "To Dan: An honor for me too. ~ Robin Williams"

 

God speed Robin - You are missed beyond words.

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Robin Williams

Posted: 12 Aug 2014 08:13 AM PDT

I had the pleasure to meet Robin when I was a boy during his run on Mork and Mindy. My sister and I were waiting outside of a press event when he came out. He broke through the line of paparazzi to come over to us. Surrounded by photographers, he joked with us for a long time. I'm devastated by the loss of my childhood idol. He was truly the funniest man I ever met.

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My #cnnireport story

Posted: 12 Aug 2014 07:36 AM PDT

Image submitted by @amanduhmaston
I felt the need to go...I never went to a star before when someone famous passes but I am so passionate about comedy and improv I felt I had to go..my actor friends would understand #riprobinwilliams #comedy #improv #robinwilliams #rip #hollywood #hollywoodwalkoffame #legend

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A Giver of Laughter

Posted: 12 Aug 2014 05:14 AM PDT

I met Mr. Williams when I was nine years old. I have a bleeding disorder and so I was part of a summer camp run for kids with chronic illness. I was asked to be part of a fundraising gala in the summer of 1999, and I was so excited to learn that Robin Williams was going to be one of the celebrity guests. I am so honored that I am able to say that I performed with such a genius of comedy. He was so nice in person, going out of his way to interact with every child there. I remember while we were back stage my sister asked him how he flew in "Hook" and he held up his fingers and said "teensy weensy wires." He then lifted both of us up in turn and helped us "fly like Peter Pan." I will always cherish the memory and I am devastated that he is gone. RIP Mr. Williams. You have touched my life.

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Photos: Robin Williams' secret act of kindness for a dying fan

Posted: 12 Aug 2014 01:52 AM PDT

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Tribute to Robin Williams

Posted: 11 Aug 2014 09:25 PM PDT

I had the privilege of meeting Robin Williams at a charity function in Banff, Alberta. He was an incredibly friendly, genuine, person. I got to witness a truly memorable moment when Robin got to meet US astronaut Buzz Aldrin. I was finishing my conversation with Robin when Buzz walked over and meekly asked Robin if he could get an autograph! Buzz said that he was truly honoured to meet him. Robin almost fell over! He gasped and bowed deeply to Buzz Aldrin saying that it was him that should be honoured to meet such an amazing person. Someone who had been to the moon! He was just an actor! It was such a touching moment between these two legends. I was so happy to have witnessed it.

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My moment with Robin Williams

Posted: 11 Aug 2014 09:00 PM PDT

In 2009, I worked as a golfer on the movie "Old Dogs" starring Robin Williams and John Travolta.

 

It was the end of a long day and the director finally said it was a "wrap." Unfortunately for me, the strap on my golf bag which was filled with heavy golf clubs broke. I had to lug my bag down a hill and walk a long distance to get to the clubhouse.

 

Everyone was passing me -- every actor, every props person, everyone. I was struggling, and sweating and desperately trying to hold the bag while walking to the clubhouse.

 

All of a sudden, someone from behind tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and saw Robin Williams! He asked me if I needed help. I wanted so much for him to help me but I just said "thank you, but no thanks" because I would get in trouble if the director saw that I let him carry my bag. He said, "That's ridiculous" and he suggested that he carry my golf bag all the way until we reached the area where the people were. At that point, he would give the golf bag back to me so no one would know…and that's what we did. I was so appreciative. He was my savior that day. I will never forget.

 

In addition to losing a brilliant actor and comedian, we lost a kind, gentle soul, a real gentleman who had a sweet heart! :(

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Salmon Headed Friend

Posted: 11 Aug 2014 06:44 PM PDT

In the summer of 2002 I was living in New York City, eagerly awaiting a visit from my sister. I found out that Robin Williams was going to be performing stand up on Broadway, and thought it would a nice treat to buy us tickets. It was only a few days before the performance, so I was excited that I managed to get two tickets, even though I knew they were in terrible seats.

 

I had also recently dyed my hair what I thought would be purple, but turned out as a bright magenta. No matter - I was unemployed; a victim of the dot-com bust and the post-9/11 employment issues. Who needed normal hair when I hadn't had a job interview in months?

 

When we arrived at the theater we discovered two important things: first, the performance was being filmed. For what, we didn't actually know. And second, our tickets were as terrible as I thought. We were in the third row from the very back.

 

It could have been worse - at least we were in the center section with an unobstructed view. And we were together, in NYC, getting ready to see Robin Williams live. We had grown up watching his standup show, "Live at the Met", on HBO, enjoying the occasional Mork and Mindy episode, and being dedicated fans.

 

While waiting for the show to start, a man appeared at the end of our row, with an official looking ID on a lanyard.

 

"Do you like Robin Williams?" he asked.

 

My sister and I were a little hesitant to answer. "Yesss..." we replied together.

 

"Do you like to laugh?"

 

"Yessss," we both replied in unison, a little more excitement creeping into our voices.

 

"Give me your tickets," he demanded. And we handed them over.

 

He handed us two brand new tickets, and while we sat staring at him, stunned, he gestured his arms at us and his meaning was clear: Go find your seats!

 

We mumbled our Thank Yous and started down the stairs, not looking at the tickets until the next landing, and only then registering that the ticket said "Row A".

 

Disbelief was the prominent emotion at the moment. Were we really going to the front row? That couldn't be possible! But as we looked at the row letters on the seats and kept walking further and further down the stairs, we realized that it was true: we had been sent to the front row, close to the center.

 

We looked around us, most of the audience now behind us instead of in front of us. It was then we spied the celebrities dotting the rows. I can't remember who we saw except for one - Christopher Reeve. Although he was far from where we sat, there was no mistaking his wheelchair and the shape of his face from where we were. We had no idea what a big production this show really was.

 

When the show started Mr. Williams walked up and down the stage, clapping and smiling, and my sister and I were right there in the front row, clapping our hardest and smiling with him. Even though we knew we were on camera, and had been planted in the front row for what the producers hoped would be excellent audience shots, our joy and laughter was genuine. As child fans of such a big personality we knew we could never be close to him, and here as adults we had the means, the luck, and the uncanny timing to be closer to him than we had ever imagined.

 

He walked along the stage and exclaimed, "Hello, my little salmon-headed friend!" putting his hands on either side of my glowing magenta hair.

 

Right then I knew I would never in my life forget that moment.

 

At the end of the show he came towards me with arms spread, and I met him with my own open arms, as he leaned down and gave me the biggest, sweatiest hug I had ever experienced. The childhood association immediately took over - when the hug was broken and I withdrew with his sweat all over my face, neck, shoulders, and arms, I thought of Marcia Brady after Davy Jones from the Monkees kissed her: "I'm never washing this cheek again!"

 

But childhood thoughts are fleeting, and the adult in me knew a nice shower was on the agenda for later that evening. It was just a man's sweat, after all. Even if that man was Robin Williams.

 

I had always wanted to try and get his autograph on two pictures of me and my sister from my apartment before the show. I even had copies of the picture made, and did some quick research on how to send him fan letters. But life intervened, and I put them to the side, figuring I would get to it some other time. And I had this small hope, ever so slight, that maybe, just maybe, he would remember me, and maybe it would give him a small amount of joy to know and understand how much that time on Broadway meant to me.

 

12 years later I remember that evening with full clarity. And i have a good story to tell, and the proof on the DVD release of Robin Wiliams "Live on Broadway".

 

You will be missed, Mr. Williams. And the laughter and joy you brought to millions will never be forgotten.

 

With love,
Your little salmon-headed friend

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Robin Williams' secret act of kindness for a dying fan

Posted: 11 Aug 2014 06:10 PM PDT

10 years ago my 13-year-old daughter died of a brain tumor. Her Make-A-Wish was to meet Robin Williams (She watched Mrs. Doubtfire a hundred times).

 

His assistant called us a couple of months before she passed and invited her to the set of House of D. She was too sick to make the trip, so to our surprise Mr. Williams at his expense chartered a jet and flew to our Greensboro, N.C. home one Sunday and spent the day watching football and playing cards with my daughter Jessica.

 

It was such a beautiful thing for this wonderful man to take time from his busy schedule to spend this time with her. He was with us when he received the call that his friend Christopher Reeve had passed. I will be eternally grateful to him. Rest in Peace

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A smile for a soldier a long ways from home

Posted: 11 Aug 2014 04:47 PM PDT

In December 2003 I, along witha couple hundred other soldiers, had the pleasure to attend a Robin Williams USO show at Bagram Airbase Afghanistan. After being away from home for 10 months, his show brought tears to my eyes. His humor was just what I needed to get through the remainder of my tour. It was and continues to be one of my fondest memories of a very difficult time. I will be forever greatful for his sacrifice on leaving his loved ones to travel halfway around the world to entertain a few troops at Christmas time. Rest in Peace Robin and thank you for your service to this country and its soldiers. I salute you.

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Robin Williams, A Huge Heart

Posted: 11 Aug 2014 04:32 PM PDT

In 2001 my nephew, David, was diagnosed with a cancer so rare that there were only fifty know cases, Hepatosplenic T-cell, gamma delta lymphoma. The median life span was twelve to fourteen months. There were no survivors. David said that he didn't want to just disappear and decided that he would help build a new Ronald McDonald house in New York before anything happened to him. We reached out to many individuals to help bolster David's spirits during his year long battle while he was in New York at Sloan Kettering Memorial hospital. One of those we reached was Robin Williams. Robin was enormously generous in donating items to the fundraising effort we put together. When David was suffering at his worst Robin would call him to perk him up. David treasured Robin's calls and it helped to push him forward. David underwent chemo therapy, radiation therapy, two stem cell transplants, a monoclonal antibody therapy, and he had his spleen removed. Not long after David left the hospital Robin invited him to his 2002 HBO special, Live on Broadway. After the show Robin spent an inordinate amount of time with David, telling him how happy he was that David was there. David responded, "You're happy I'm here?" Robin Williams play a significant role in helping David through this terrible time. David ended up surviving this cancer. His cancer is considered to be the first cure in history and today he is married and has two children. The protocol used on David has been used on other patients diagnosed with this cancer. Robin Williams touched people's lives in ways so significant and wonderful that it very well could be that he wasn't even aware of how much good he did. We'll miss you, Robin.

 

(Photo of Robin and David backstage at Robin Williams Live on Broadway, 2002)

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Why Robin Williams' death is devastating to me

Posted: 11 Aug 2014 04:24 PM PDT

Today, when I heard the news, I started to break down.

 

Robin will never know what he and Nathan Lane did for me, and I have never met the pair of them.

 

Growing up my sister loved to watch the movie the birdcage. I was too young to understand it exactly, but I knew it felt right to me. As I got older I knew that I was gay. Yet I had reservations about coming out.

 

One night I was re-watching the film, and it hit me. The scene when Williams and Lane are sitting on the bench an Williams character says " There's only one place in the world I call home, and that's because you're there."

 

That is what I wanted in life, to find a partner and have that kind of connection. I knew it was time to come out, and live how I wanted to. I called my Uncle that night and told him. One at a time I told people I cared about. most being very receptive.

 

Albert and Armand gave me meaning, and an understanding of who I really am and who I want to be. For that I will always be thankful for the Birdcage, Robin Williams and Nathan Lane.

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Super Spectacular!

Posted: 11 Aug 2014 05:59 AM PDT

So far I traveled hundreds of miles, met some very interesting people and got incredibly lucky trying to catch this summer's Super Moons...and it's all been worth it! Here's a few photos of the July 12th as well as Aug 9th and 10th Super Moons. Enjoy!

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Super Moon

Posted: 10 Aug 2014 05:59 PM PDT

The Super Moon rising over New York City.

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