I wish I had more to say about Robot Monster, a 3D movie released in 1953. I have tried watching it multiple times and have never made it all the way through. As I kid I always wondered why a movie named Robot Monster did not appear to have either a robot or a monster. This single line from the film’s Wikipedia entry explains:
“The budget did not allow for a robot costume as intended so Tucker used his friend George Barrows who had his own gorilla suit to play Ro-Man. Tucker added the helmet.”
I own this movie on DVD — I found it in a Big Lots bargain bin and paid 99 cents for it. Maybe this year I’ll try one more time to watch it from beginning to end.
Back in 1976, I received this plastic helmet for my third birthday.
That toy helmet is the closest I ever got to becoming a fireman. One of my best friends, however, continued down that path.
In the early 90s while I was busy delivering pizza, flunking out of college, and wondering what I wanted to do with my life, my friend Andy already knew: he wanted to be a fireman. In addition to working two full time jobs (delivering packages for UPS every day and delivering pizzas every night), Andy was also volunteering at his local fire department. I know how many hours he put in back then because the two of us were roommates, sharing a one bedroom apartment at the time.
That was back in 1992. Today in 2012, Andy is still with the Mustang, Oklahoma Fire Department. Only these days he’s not a volunteer; he’s a Lieutenant, and in 2011 Andy was named Mustang Legion’s Firefighter of the Year. I feel proud and honored to count Andy as one of my closest friends.
Last year in our local home town parade, my son Mason got to ride along with Andy in the cab of his firetruck. While riding shotgun, Mason wore a toy firemen’s helmet, similar to the one I had as a kid.