We have much to be thankful for today.
First, I want to thank the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors,
especially Supervisor Michael Antonovich, for providing this
opportunity for us to publicly pay tribute to the Adventures
of Superman and to all those involved in its history and
production on this, its 50th anniversary.
In these past five decades, many
words have been written and spoken regarding the sets, special
effects, and other technical threads that are woven into the
fabric of this early, and special, television series. To its
fans, they are all top-notch. For if not so, we wouldn't, in
fact, be assembled here today.
But my remarks today will not center
on those technical aspects of the show. While they're important
indeed, we didn't travel from across the country and half-way
around the world to pay tribute to nails and wood, papier-mâché
walls, or superimposed film only. We're here to honor something
much more valuable, the people behind those special effects
and the writers, the producers, the directors, the entire crew.
We're here to honor people
the people who gave their time
and wonderful talent, always in support of each other, to produce
a show worthy of this tribute. And we're here, also, to say a
special thank you to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the two young
men to whom we're indebted for creating the Superman character.
I feel today like I've come to the
end of a long journey. Like so many others, I first watched the
Adventures of Superman when I was just a child, but the
images, dialogue, music, and the faces of the wonderful people
involved stayed with me through my adult years. Why? Because
what they did was good. It was good, and it had meaning... to
me and many others.
I'd like to read a note I received
from a reader of my web site just before I left for Los Angeles
on Sunday. Helen Kielkopf of Louisville, Kentucky wrote:
How I wish I could be with you for
"Superman Week" and to shake the hands of those who
gave us so much joy in our youth. There could not have been a
Not only did we feel we had a best
friend in George Reeves, whose loss we still feel, but our outlook
on life was positively influenced by John Hamilton's kindly bluster,
Jack Larson's earnest enthusiasm, Noel Neill's determination,
and the good and dutiful Robert Shayne. And we continue to recognize
a long list of dear guest stars who gave remarkable performances.
Two of them, Jeff Corey and Robert Rockwell, will stand beside
you on Tuesday.
When times are rough, I sometimes
take out an episode to be cheered by such good company. They
remain alive with us
always in our hearts
in our lives.
Very often we question the value
of our existence
have we done anything to make the world
a better place? For a lucky few, there are special moments when
they know they've accomplished great deeds. For most of us, however,
although we accomplish much, our deeds, large and small, go uncelebrated
sometimes even unnoticed. Most likely, when the people involved
in Superman went about their daily business, they thought of
it as just a job. As Jack so often says, they told him, "No
one will probably ever see this." But I'm here to tell you
and everyone else
especially George Reeves,
that what you did those many years ago was indeed seen. And it
it is remembered
and it is valued.
And so today, July 10, 2001, on behalf
of all the fans of the Adventures of Superman from around
the world, I salute you now. Thank you for your generous contribution
to our lives. Thank you all.