What is the significance of the cracker? Ritz is one of my favorites
Well, that's funny that you mention that. The Ritz cracker is easily the most unique item in my collection of Lobot memorabilia. Here's the story:
Austin, Texas, January, 1998. I was attending a Sci-Fi Expo and "The Man" (John Hollis, better known as "Lobot") was there, as a "celebrity". At this point, I was just a burgeoning Lobot fanboy--I loved him in Empire
, and thought he did a pretty good job in whichever Superman
movie he was in. Anyway, word came down that Mr. Hollis was going to be present at a "Dinner with the Stars" at the Holiday Inn lounge on Saturday night, and I just knew that I was going to be there, too. Fate was on my side, and after I paid for the $45 ticket, I was in like Flynn.
So, Saturday night finally rolls around (after what seemed like days of waiting), and we (that's me and my buddy Gary) head over to the Holiday Inn for our Dinner with the Stars. As it we took our seats along with other notable celebrities like the guy who played Bib Fortuna and the puppeteer for Salacious Crumb, well, I got a case of the jitters when I saw Lobot himself, and I was too nervous to sit next to him, much less say anything to him. So, my buddy Gary sat between me and "The Man". As the celebrities dazzled everybody with their wonderful tales of filming the trilogy, I was too nervous to even make eye contact with Lobot. I couldn't speak at all.
As our dinner with the stars was winding down, I began to panic when I realized that the window of opportunity was beginning to close. Nervously, I prodded Gary: "Do something! This may be the only chance in the world that I have to see Lobot in the flesh!" Gary really didn't know what to do, but right as the window was about to shut, he noticed Mr. Hollis turned away, engaged in a conversation with the the stand-in for Mark Hamill in Star Wars
. Gary's a genius, right? And while Lobot was looking the other way, Gary reached over to Lobot's plate, and swiped one of the remaining un-eaten Ritz crackers off of it. He quickly hid it under his napkin, and I started laughing, quietly and nervously. It was right on time, because just a few minutes later, the desk clerk came over and told us that we needed to wrap our Dinner with the Stars up, because they had a wedding rehearsal party coming in at nine.
So, we finished up, and everybody said our goodbyes--I still diverted my eyes from Mr. Hollis when he looked at me, though. Gary, with the Ritz cracker carefully hidden in his napkin, and I, headed back to the Days Inn, and I could barely contain my glee. Later that night, I sealed the cracker in a little plastic bag, and I've had it hanging up in my collection room ever since.
(And, to be honest, last night was the first night that I had ever taken it out of the bag since that Dinner with the Stars so long ago. Over five years, actually. I swear I could almost smell Mr. Hollis himself, when I opened the bag and the smell started wafting out. Mmmmm. . .)
So that's the story of the Ritz cracker. Don't ever look for that one on Ebay, my friends. Ever.
Keep up the good work...what is your most prized item and what is your "holy grail"?
Well, my most prized item is easily the Ritz cracker described above.
As far as my holy grail goes, oh, no question--that easily would be the screen-used headset Mr. Hollis wore in The Empire Strikes Back
. While I'd give anything (except for the Ritz) for it, I know that it's only a pipe dream--as it's hidden away in the Lucasfilm archives.
I'm hoping for the next best thing, though--I've heard, through the "rumor mill", that Master Replicas may be working on a replica head-set, for release some time next year. Sign me up. I will be first in line if that comes true.
(In fact, I love that headset so much, that I've begun the preliminary sketches for making my own custom one. I just shaved my head yesterday, to get the fitting down just right, and hopefully, I'll be able to start this bad boy here pretty soon. I'll post pics of the work-in-progress, okay?)
Anyway, thanks to both Scott and Adam for the kind words, and I'm glad that I can consider you guys my fans.