The final countdown (November 15-16, 1991)

With the episode fast approaching its air date, publicity ramped up again. In the week leading up to the show’s premiere, I did so many phone interviews for local and regional news outlets that I sometimes lost track of which place they were even for—my journal mentions things like “did an interview for a radio station” or “some newspaper in Fredericksburg” or “that Rob guy never called back.” If I were doing all that now, I’d be exhausted and overwhelmed, but as far as I can tell, Fourteen took it all in stride—world history homework, phone interview, English paper, phone interview. No big deal.

Our last travel opportunity took us to familiar territory: Washington, D.C., where we’d had numerous field trips through the years. We went to a studio there to do satellite interviews, one after the other, some live and some recorded. Not being able to see who we were talking to, and yet knowing we were on camera, took a little getting used to, and of course we had a few minor audio glitches (getting our voices echoed back to us in the earpiece, or when we couldn’t hear the reporter or they couldn’t hear us). But as Fourteen noted, “by and large it went pretty well,” and we also had time to do some shopping and sightseeing.

The next day we were all up early again for another event, though this one was much less demanding: The three of us and our families had been invited to the grand opening of the Warner Bros. Studio Store at the Fair Oaks mall in Fairfax, Virginia.

Yeah, we weren’t turning down a trip to a mall.

A (blurry) snapshot from the Studio Store opening in Fairfax, Virginia.

We were actually supposed to see Jean MacCurdy there, something I’d forgotten about until I re-read my journals, but in the end she had to cancel because she had a lunch date with Barbara Bush (something to do with the then-First Lady’s literacy campaign).

The opening was a lot of fun. I’d been looking forward to it ever since I’d seen a news segment about the opening of the one in L.A., though at that time I hadn’t thought there’d ever be one so close to home.

They had a few tables set up, with Yosemite Sam’s Ranch House coffee, orange juice, cookies in the shape of the Looney Tunes, and even white chocolate in the shape of Bugs Bunny’s head (which, by the by, cost $6 in the store).

So we made off with as many as we could without being too obvious. Those things were heavy.

Polaroid of me with the Buster and Babs costume characters at the opening.

Apparently I also signed two autographs while we were there, on the tags of the Babs plushes that were in our gift bags. (I always sort of wonder what happened to the autographs I signed back then. Did people actually keep them? Have they run across them now in a box in their basement somewhere and gone “Who the heck was that, anyway?” and tossed them? Anyway…)

It all made for a busy Friday and Saturday. We had Sunday to rest and for me to catch up on my journal, and then Monday would bring the culmination:

Tomorrow the episode airs. Almost a year’s worth of work (including our work on the original story), and it all comes down to about 22 minutes of animation at 4:30 tomorrow afternoon.

Well, see ya there!

One thought on “The final countdown (November 15-16, 1991)

  1. It’s been great reading these. I actually organized all my books again in my office/study ran across all your books.

    Hope all is well just working on this end and care taking Grandad.

    Like

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