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Plaque Dedication for George Reeves, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
Saturday, August 16th was a beautiful day for the "Adventures of Superman" plaque unveiling in Tarzana; a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley region of the city of Los Angeles, California.
Why Tarzana you may ask? In 1953 - when the Adventures of Superman was a big hit on the small screen - the site was chosen to film scenes for the episode, "The Man who Could Read Minds." It would go on to become the only location shoot for the series to feature all the principal characters from the show; Clark Kent (George Reeves), Perry White (John Hamilton), Lois Lane (Noel Neill), Jimmy Olsen (Jack Larson) and Inspector Bill Henderson (Robert Shayne).
Now, fast forward to present day where that same location is now the permanent site of the Adventures of Superman plaque which was designed by Steven Kirk and Armand Vaquer.
The event, which was organized by Jim Nolt of The Adventures Continue, was very exciting and had over 100 fans, friends and celebrities come out to be part of the day.
Most of us were at the site by 8:30AM, but the morning really kicked off when actor Jack Larson (Jimmy Olsen) arrived and stepped out of his car. In a very touching moment, a little boy wearing a Superman suit came up and asked him for his autograph which was a Super way to begin the morning.
Jack was then escorted up to the microphone where Jim Nolt was addressing the crowd. When Jack took the microphone, someone asked "Which house was it that you tackled the burglar?" to which he responded, "I couldn't tackle anybody now." We all laughed.
Other speakers at the dedication were Stephanie Shayne (Robert Shayne's daughter), actress Beverly Washburn, Laura Siegel Larson (Jerry Siegel's daughter), and Jacqueline Hamilton (Granddaughter of John Hamilton).
Each speaker came up and talked about their memories of Superman, experiences from the series, and what the character & show had meant to them.
Following the unveiling of the plaque, we all stood around talking and taking pictures while admiring the new landmark. Then it was time to go to the Beverly Garland Hotel where there was a luncheon and more guest speakers.
Upon arrival at the hotel, we waited in the hotel's restaurant - Warren's Blackboard - where my wife, Helen and I sat with Armand Vaquer and talked with him for a while before being joined by Jeffrey Breslauer, Naomi Conners, Steve Brant and a few others. What a Super nice group of people.
We also met a photographer by the name of Steve Friedman who was very pleasant. He gave everyone waiting to go into the luncheon a 3D post card which he designed himself featuring a picture of George Reeves flying. The graphics were absolutely amazing.
After we were done with our drinks, I saw actor Greg Moffet ("The Stolen Elephant") outside and went to speak with him. Author Gary Grossman then arrived followed by actress Beverly Washburn whom Helen and I have known and been close friends with for several years.
With all of the George Reeves Super Friends around, it made the fifteen minutes of waiting to go into the luncheon seem like only a second.
Once inside, everyone signed in and received a special commemorative coin honoring the event. There was also a box which everyone drew from for an opportunity to win a free copy of Gary Grossman's book, Superman: Serial to Cereal.
After checking out a table featuring various pieces of Superman memorabilia (sadly, it wasn't for auction or sale), I spotted actress Ruta Lee (teenager in "My Friend Superman").
I had the chance to talk to Stephanie Shayne,
and Helen and I presented Beverly Washburn a copy of Transition.
Helen flirted a little with Larry Ward!
I spotted actress Ruta Lee (teenager in "My Friend Superman").
I could not resist and, referencing the Tony's Diner scene from her episode, I went up and asked her, "If I put some money in the 'Platter Box', will you dance with me?". She laughed and told me that no-one has ever said that to her before. We had a very nice conversation. Sorry, I do not have a picture.
Helen and I then sat down to eat. The lunch was very good and featured rosemary chicken, oven roasted potatoes, broccoli, and for dessert, a chocolate banana-cream pyramid.
After lunch, the following incredible group of guest speakers took to the podium and talked about their experiences with Jerry Siegel and George Reeves:
There was also a video greeting from Alejandro Vacio and a closing video dedicated to Jack Larson's character of Jimmy Olsen entitled, "Jimmy!".
After everything had wrapped up, we gathered together once again at Warren's Blackboard where a lot of us said our goodbyes while others had drinks and/or dinner.
Sunday offered a tour of the Pasadena Playhouse for those who were still in town but sadly, we were not able to attend due to our flight back to New Jersey leaving out that morning. However, we did have an opportunity on the way to the airport to stop by George Reeves' former residence at 1579 Bendict Canyon Drive.
What an Amazing, Super time Saturday August 16 was. Who would have thought that back in 1953, while they were filming those scenes that 61 years later, there would be a land mark commemorating The Adventures of Superman.
The plaque dedication and luncheon was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we had an amazing time during the event. Who would have ever thought that when they were filming those scenes back in 1953 that 61 years later, there would be a permanent landmark placed at the site to commemorate the episode and the Adventures of Superman.
A special "Thank you" goes out to Armand Vaquer and Steven Kirk for the plaque, Brad Shey who produced Jimmy!" (the video), and the man who had the vision for all of this, Jim Nolt.
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