We all have heroes. Sometimes we are lucky enough to meet them and still admire them after the meeting. I met two of mine on the same day when I was in high school, and they are still two of my favorites.
My family lived on a cul-de-sac with fourteen other families and twenty-nine kids. So, there were kids coming out our ears. My closest friends and I had a ritual after school. Though we should have studied first and watched TV afterwards, we didn't. We were always ravenous when we got home from school, so that meant lots of milk, sugar-filled treats, and KBSC Channel 52 broadcasting from Corona.
Channel 52 played
Our Gang Comedies and
The Three Stooges back to back all afternoon every school day to lure their young audience in. And we were lured! We usually watched a couple of hours of their antics, usually at our house. We were especially cuckoo for
The Three Stooges. Every boy on our street knew all their lines and taunts. Of course, Moe was nearly always in a rage about something, as Curly tried to outsmart him, while making a mess of whatever they were doing. Hapless Larry, the third dunce, usually got caught up in the middle.
We loved 'em. I remember Jay Leno commenting that if you asked the average American male at the time to name three great men, Moe would be in the lineup.
So, imagine my surprise a few years later, when our high school Film Club announced that Moe and Larry were going to be the speakers at their next meeting. I immediately joined. They were living at The Motion Picture Retirement Home located just a couple of miles away.
When the great day came, we met in a small school auditorium and in walked Moe, pushing Larry in a wheelchair. Larry had had a stroke and couldn't walk, but he was all there mentally.
Moe didn't threaten to murder or "brain" anyone and kept his composure throughout their presentation. They shared some back stories about their film career and reminisced about Curly, who passed away in the early fifties. The Stooges appeared in an amazing two hundred and twenty films, not to mention loads of TV shows, including their own series.
What an afternoon it was! Yet so were all those days spent with my best friends, enjoying milk and cookies and the Stooges after school in my parent's family room.