Sunday, May 11, 2008

Rick Phillips - 1967

sgRick Phillips I was first introduced to Plastic Man around 1966 or '67. My Dad had a part-time job selling second hand comic books in local stores. One of the stores was (I hope I spell the name right) Knapmeyer's Drug Store.

They sold new comics there as well as the older books that my Dad put in. He and my Mom would package them 3 books to a package and sell them as 3 books for 39 cents. It was a pretty good deal back then and a fantastic deal today if you could find it.

I was usually with my Dad when he did his deliveries. One day Mr. Knapmeyer was talking to my Dad in the parking lot of his drug store. I guess I looked kind of bored. Mr. Knapmeyer looked at my Dad and asked him if I liked comic books. He told him I did and he went back into the store. I asked Dad why he left. He said I think he went to get you something. Out he came with a new issue of Plastic Man. This was a pleasant surprise to be given this gift from a man I hardly knew.

Now this was the first time I ever saw Plastic Man and I have loved him since. I couldn't read at the time so I was years later when I found out this was really Plastic Man Jr. and not the real Plas. Over the years I did read other stories of the original Plastic Man and his pal Woozy. The best to me have always been written and drawn by Jack Cole. Others attempted to be that good but rarely came close.

The worst of the bunch is my first connection with Plas. However that moment has been kept near and dear to my heart. I don't know if the issue above is the one I was first given but I believe it is.

Not too long after that Mr. Knapmeyer retired and left the store to one of his sons. That son tried to see how fast I could answer a math problem once when I was at the store. Now how fast did I answer? Not at all. It was a situation that normally I could have given him the answer but when put on the spot I blanked out. A few years later he sold the store as he graduate law school and became a respected attorney. The building was torn down to widen the street and to build a used car lot on next to it.

A few months ago I found out that I worked with Mr. Knapmeyer's daughter-in-law. I told her these two stories as I thought she would want to know. She liked hearing how nice her Father-in-law was to me and the second story could have been her husband or her brother-in-law.

When I described him to her and said he became a lawyer she said it was her brother-in-law. The sad part is that both of them are now dead. The Father died not long after he retired and the son died a few years ago. Still these two men who were local merchants touched my heart and gave me some fond memories. People need to remember they are providing more then service they are providing memories. I hope I see them some day in Heaven.

No comments: