Sunday, July 28, 2013

"I Gave Away Brian's Catcher's Gear... And, It Hurt!"

A well earned box juice...
Today, I got a big frog in my throat. I knew my boy would never use it, ever again, and my only consolation is that it is "in a better place" than it would be here in the back shed.

I called the Tri-Parish Official Association and spoke to one of the administrators about giving Brian's catcher's equipment to a struggling member of the umpire's association. It was really hard to see and touch something so real, that is attached to a heart that is no longer beating.

Mr. Dragna told me how shocked and saddened he was to hear the news. 

"He was a great kid. He loved the game of baseball and the kids too," he said.

"I wish I would have known of his depressions. Maybe, I could have helped... Ben, he was with us for seven years and he was like family!"

Gary went on about Brian, and I was so appreciative, but I started to fall apart over the phone, hearing how no one had the slightest idea what Brian was going through... Oh God!

I quickly cut the man off from anymore hyperbole and accolades by asking him to please take Brian's catching equipment and lend it to someone on staff. I just can't give it away to Goodwill, and I won't sell the love our son had for the position. Brian loved catching and pitching and playing middle infield, but most of all, he loved to catch. He didn't have a strong arm to throw out runners that were stealing second base, but the pitchers all loved his ability to call ball and strikes and take command of the game, defensively, from behind the plate. 

Brian knew the game, and the pitchers all appreciated his strategy. He took a lot of pride in the positon too. Maybe one of his last ditch efforts to play the game was two years ago when he tried out for an over thirty men's league here in Louisiana...

In baseball, not softball!

He, at first, played second base and some outfield. He was a bit frustrated by his diminishing skills, but nonetheless, he was enjoying the weekend double headers. One day, he went out and bought the catcher's gear when he heard the original catcher could no longer continue to play.

He was in heaven, then, right here on earth. Today, maybe a different kind of heaven!

Copyright 2013/ Ben BensenIII

Monday, July 22, 2013

"Escape From New York"... The Plot Thickens!"

Damn, what a small world the internet creates!
I posted, a few months ago, a story about my illustrations of the seven cast members that starred in the cult film, "Escape From New York. No reason to be redundant as the story tells about my search in vain for the mystery portraits of the movie. One can read about the mysterious disappearance at:

( )

Believe it or not, apparently, some one, far, far away while "url-ing" his way through life, ran across that very blog spot searching for the exact same thing that I had posted. That is, he is looking for my inset portraits for the rare poster that I could never find. This is just too weird!

Here's the email Mr. Johannson sent to me...

Hi Ben.
This is the webmaster of The Escape From New York & L.A. Page (

I just stumbled across your article about your Escape From New York portraits and enjoyed reading it immensely. Your portraits were actually used in the advance poster for the movie made by Stan Watts. I interviewed Barry E. Jackson who told me that he aced out Stan Watts poster at the very last second. He believes it was used in film festivals. It is a very rare poster which is very sought-after and expensive on eBay. I own a reproduction of it. Sadly only Stan Watts name is on the poster. 

( Wouldn't you know it! )

You can check out the poster here: (It is US poster 2)

I would also like to ask you if I can get permission to upload your picture of your beautiful portraits on my poster page? 

( Sure, why not? I mean after all these years to deny a fan who found the guy who illustrated the portraits from a poster that did not ever exist until now and is now a collector's item... it would just be too wrong. The karma would be so powerful, it could turn me into an ant or roach in a next life... which could happen much sooner than I think, if I didn't. Does that make sense? )

It's gonna be an honor for me to give you credit for them after all these years.  

( I guess. While I appreciate the sentiment and acquiesce to the professional courtesy, it probably is as close as I'll get to becoming famous after my death, as untimely as it may be! )

- Andreas   

Now honestly, I asked, "What the hell is going on around here?" 

This goes back almost forty years, and even though I have the original portraits... somewhere, after all this time, looking for portraits to send to some art director to prove I am worthy of his attention and then, nonchalantly posting the story in a blog lamenting the fact that I was so blase about my work in Hollywood and then having some cyberspace Sherlock Holmes not only tell me, but show me the poster that had my work on it that I was told was printed, but never, ever finding it... well, it really just blows my mind to pieces.

And they say, the Lord works in mysterious ways... ha!

Copyright 2013/Ben Bensen III

Saturday, July 6, 2013

"Why Would I Want To Do That, Ben?"

My Dad, "Buckles"...
Reminds me of a conversation my father once had with me. After retiring, my dad did a lot of things he couldn't do before and one of those things was acting and performing on stage. Over a period of time, he had some bit parts in national movies... like JFK and that Vampire movie with Tom Cruise,  "Interview with a Vampire"and a few others. He loved it. Eventually, some ad folks asked him to try out for commercials, mostly local stuff. He actually landed a few. One commercial was a Dixie Beer spot. 

( My dad was a tea toddler! ) 

Anyway, I told him that he was a star and that I knew someone who could get him in the Screen Actors' Guild, which could get him some real work in Hollywood. His retort was...

"Why would I want to do that? Then, it'd be more like work! I'm just having fun!"

Copyright 2013/Ben Bensen III