When I got up yesterday, surveying my modest digs, I decided to lift my spirits by taking an unscheduled trip, nay, a pilgrimage, to a place I had never been. I climbed into my car, lowered my shades and began the 2 hour long trip, northeast. I drove on with a purpose. I finally arrived at a curiously quiet village, nestled in the wooded countryside (Shangri-La?), this is where the temple was.
I strode with anticipation though the narrow, winding streets in the early morning mist, until I reached the sanctuary.
I was greeted by a metallic sentry that must have stood guard against the elements for centuries (ok, maybe just a few years ).
I opened the door and was immediately surrounded by...angels? No, robots!
Everywhere, every shelf, nook and cranny, was crammed with robots, robot related books, and science fiction DVDs. A familiar voice boomed, ďWelcome to Altair 4 gentlemen, I am to escort you to the residence. For your convenience I am monitored to respond to the name, RobbyĒ; a large plasma screen TV against the wall was playing the movie Forbidden Planet.
Just as I was overwhelmed by acute robot euphoria , he entered...I thought ď...thatís him, thatís the guy!Ē . I was greeted with a smile, a face topped with a shock of blonde hair...ĒHi, welcome to the toy robot museum!Ē. As I stuck out my hand I saidĒ Joe K., Iím Tinplate6Ē...there was a moment of immediate recognition, like a secret handshake between fellow Masons that had never met; I thought, ďbeing an Alphadromer is so cool!Ē He joked, "you're pretty pale for a guy from Hawaii, my arms are darker than yours".
That is how my visit to the Robot Museum began, and it only got better. Joe is the consummate host, friendly, down to earth and knowledgeable. I felt like Iíve known him for years; well, technically I have, but, you know what I mean. We discussed robots and ray guns, among other things, taking turns as teacher and student. Then, the moment Iíve waited for arrived; the executive tour of the museum itself. I had to restrain myself from running past him like a little kid, as he opened the swinging doors that separated the gift shop from the museum proper. The small room is filled with row upon row of immaculately white Ikea cabinets, chocked full with all manner of toy robots neatly arranged for maximum viewing pleasure.
I began my reviewĒ...got it, got it, need it, got it...oh my gosh, Iíve gotta get one of those!Ē.
The tour ended at the shrine itself , a modest set of shelves, punctuated by a special group of robots and souvenirs from past Botstock conventions. This was set apart from everything else, and obviously held special meaning.
It was here that Joe introduced me to the spirit of Botstocks past, as he showed me photos taken at the events. This was an ďahaĒ moment for me, finally, monikers like; Fineas J. Whoopie, WJN, Dirk, Morbius, Doc Atomic and others, had a face. Itís amazing how the imagination can conjure up an image that almost never matches reality (I always imagined Fineas as older, however Doc looked just about right).
We talked about family, jobs, life and greeted the occasional customer, for hours, periodically I would peruse the shops many treasures; those for sale and those not (I could have easily left with tons of goodies, but I stood firm). However, I did spy a prize that I couldnít resist; a minty fresh Tigrett Zoomeray gun with a rare space-themed paper roll, still taped shut, I grabbed it on the spot, cool.
The day virtually flew by, then to put icing on the cake, Joe invited me to dinner at a fantastic local steakhouse frequented by past Botstock attendees.
As the light of an incredible day dimmed to amber, I returned Joe to his shop/home and prepared to take the long trip back. As I said goodbye, I spied his car in the space aside the building, and his license plate said it all...
Edited by Tinplate6, 19 September 2010 - 11:19 PM.