Maison Bradley having been intermittently inundated with houseguests from December 17 until yesterday, I am behind on everything, but will try to start making up for lost time with this dual-purpose post, and since “save the best for last” is one of my bedrock mantras, I prefer to get the bad news out of the way first. In this case, that would be another sweep of the scythe claiming a beloved figure from the Matheson universe, Bill Erwin, who played sprightly bellhop Arthur in Somewhere in Time and has left us at 96. By all accounts, and judging from the footage of Erwin in “event videos” from the International Network of Somewhere in Time Enthusiasts (INSITE), he was a wonderful, self-effacing man and a great raconteur who will be much missed, I am sure.
The good news is that Marvel Comics über-legend Stan Lee received a richly deserved star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame a week after his 88th birthday. Because it’s Hollywood, said star specifically recognizes the success of Stan’s creations on film and television (the jury still being out on Broadway…), but let’s face it, by extension it’s for dreaming up—or at the very least co-creating and/or developing—what still remain the fundamental building blocks of that fictional wonder, the Marvel Universe. As noted, while I wouldn’t go quite so far as to concur with my friend Tom, who ranks that creation with the works of Shakespeare, I would make almost as bold a statement, and say that it comes damned close to rivaling Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County.