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June 16, 1999

I suspect that most of you reading this column already know that today marks the fortieth anniversary of the death of George Reeves. I also suspect that most of you were either very young, or perhaps not even born yet, on that fateful morning of June 16, 1959. In our lifetimes, we've learned many things about George's life. We know where he was born, have a sketchy narrative of his youth, are familiar with some of his friends, and, thanks to Michael Hayde, can almost follow his daily schedule during the first season filming of the Adventures of Superman in the summer of 1951. We have also been able to chronicle some of his activities between 1957 and 1959. But sadly, the events in the most crucial hours in his life... those that took place in the early morning hours of June 16, 1959, remain a mystery to us all. And so, forty years after your passing we continue to wonder and think of him fondly. George, we miss your talent and generous nature... we miss your beautiful smile and gentle ways. And we know that no matter how you died, you left the world a better place. Thank you, George Reeves, for enriching our lives.

Below is a sample of the mail I received recently regarding George's death and other matters:

Dear Jim,
As an early Father's Day gift, my wife and son presented me with a copy of Jay Alan Henderson's Speeding Bullet. There was a special sigficance reading about the event so close to the fortieth anniversary. Like so many of the other faithful George Reeves fans, I can remember sitting on the back step of our home in Morristown, Indiana less than a month after my sixth birthday, with the newspaper in my hands (my older sister had taught me to read by the time I was five) trying to understand how it could have happened. I could read the words, but there was just so much of it that didn't make any sense anymore then than it does now.

One important thing that reading Speeding Bullet did for me was to renew my childhood belief that the man I saw on that little black and white DuMont television screen was a genuinely kind, benevolent, and, in his own way, "super"-human being.

Thanks again, and keep up the good work,
Steve Beckley
via the Internet


Dear Jim,
I am absolutely ecstatic to tell you that I have received my four copies of Variety that contain the George Reeves memorial tribute. When I opened to the page that the ad was on, a shudder went up and down my spine! It is totally awesome! The photo alone was stunning. I feel so proud to have been a part of this celebration.Thank you for taking the initiative in getting this very necessary and long-overdue tribute started. My only hope is that George Reeves knows how much of an influence he has had on myself and on others. The ad states it best when it says that he has been an inspiration to us all! Thanks also to all George Reeves fans for contributing to make this memorial possible. May the memory of George Reeves live on in all of us forever!

Yours respectfully,
Paul J. Leonetti
Brooklyn, New York

Dear Jim,
I saw the tribute to George Reeves in the June 1 issue of Daily Variety and thought it was a great salute to a great man.

I have always been a fan of the Adventures of Superman, since I first discovered it in the early 1960s, and of George Reeves in particular. It didn't help matters much when I found out that my father used to work out at the same gym as Reeves did and met him there. He has always spoken highly of him as a person, and it is obvious to me that Reeves left a good impression on my father as he did many others. My father isn't always easily impressed by people, but Reeves certainly did so. My father said that Reeves was doing judo workouts there at the time.

My work has often taken me down Benedict Canyon, and whenever I've passed by Reeves' home, I always salute him with "God bless George Reeves." And thank you, Jim, for your efforts in keeping the torch burning.

Armand Vaquer
Tarzana, California

Read other pages "From The Editor."
January, 1999
February, 1999
April 18, 1999

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