My Personal Brushes With Batman
As you may know, I spent the first 16 years of my life first in Compton, then in Orange Country California. Orange County is about 45 minutes from Hollywood, so you do have occasional run-ins with stars now and then.
I had three distinct personal brushes with Batman. I believe the first two happened while the show was still new, but I’m a little fuzzy. First, my dad had a surfer friend who made an appearance on the show. There’s an episode where Batman and Robin are walking amongst some statues of Greek Gods (or something) and those figures were actually the evil henchman of some Bat-villain. Through that appearance, my dad’s friend hooked it up to where I actually talked to Batman (or an Adam West impersonator) on the phone. I cannot tell you to this day where the conversation went, I just remember it being very short because pint-sized Wes was in shock.
All of this leads to my third encounter, and on of my favorite stories. When I was just a little older they started to play all the Batman repeats in the afternoon and we’d watch them every single day. Now keep in mind, I’m probably somewhere around 7-9 at the point and still pretty oblivious to the mysteries of the world. My mom had taken my brother and me to Disneyland. We got the wind that the Osmond Brothers were playing the Disneyland bandshell. You have to realize that at this point, the Osmond Brothers were seriously challenging the Jackson 5, and they were on every t.v. variety show at this point. I was really pumped to see them because they were big, big stars. Me and the fam planted ourselves on the folding chairs and started waiting for the show. Well, low and behold, as we’re sitting there, the man who played The Riddler, Frank Gorshin, walks up and sits one seat over from me. I nearly shat my britches. At this point, I wasn’t impressed or star-struck, I was seriously scared after all The Riddler is the only one who ever killed a person on the t.v. show. I immediately told my mom that I was no longer interested in the Osmonds (after begging her all day to make we weren’t late for the show) and that we needed to go ride some rides. To this day, I remember exactly the way you walked up to the chairs and the expression on his face as he sat down. It was terrifying to me.
So, I didn’t actually team up with Batman to fight crime, but the original Bat, Adam West, was a big part of my childhood. Rest in peace, sir.