Tag Archives: football

My life with superheroes

Halloween 1988.

The superheroes first made an appearance in our home during the Halloween season of 1988. Our son Andy was 3; David, who was just 15 months old, was running a fever. Yet he pulled himself together long enough to don the Superman pajamas his grandmother, Connie Barr, had sent from Connecticut and walk with us down the street to trick-or-treat at a few of the nearby houses. Then, exhausted, he helped me answer the door as Andy and his father foraged further. Superman, as you know, is brave and self-sacrificing. Especially when his pride (and candy) are at stake.

A month later, a different kind of superhero emerged: the firefighter. Our sons donned bright red plastic helmets, boarded their “fire truck” and sirened, “REE-oh, REE-oh,” as big brother Andy furiously pedaled his trusty sidekick around in circles on the back patio.

November 1990.

The Disney movie “Dumbo” was big in our house that year. Andy would watch it endlessly, perched on my stepladder, his fireman’s hat in place, pretending to put out the fire as the clown fire fighters in the movie tried to do the same.

Superman made a repeat performance for Andy’s fourth birthday. We staged a “Super Sloppy, Super Heroes Birthday Party” in the backyard. He and his friends wore costumes, capes (or simply swimsuits) as they fought ferocious battles with shaving cream and spray bottles. We modeled the party after a TV show that was popular at the time called “Super Sloppy Double Dare,” a children’s game show that Nickelodeon soon purchased and renamed “Family Double Dare.”

Andy and his friend Sarah Delaney, July 1989.

The invitations I made invited kids to enjoy “all kinds of super sloppy fun, including the Amazing Super Silly Sudsing Machine” (my carpet cleaner, which generated suds like nothing you’ve ever seen.) Moms were reassured that “all sloppy stuff will be the washable kind.”

Spacemen. Now those guys are true superheroes. So when yet another box of costumes arrived from their grandmother Barr (did I mention she was a theater major in college?), our sons eagerly incorporated planets, aliens and laser guns into their pretend play. The costumes were gifts for two boys whose birthdays were a mere 12 days apart each July, making the entire month something of a celebration. Their fascination with spacemen extended well into fall, making for easy costume decisions when Halloween rolled around.

Spaceman Dave, Halloween 1989.

Our sons moved on to become Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Ghostbusters. I soon forgot what they looked like in regular clothes. I got used to tripping over weapons and helmets and elaborate fortresses they created with blankets atop the living room sofa.

The superheroes made one last, heroic appearance when Batman and Robin showed up in the spring of 1990. By the next year, the boys had found a new kind of superhero: the kind with big muscles who throw footballs or baseballs or make amazing three-pointers on the basketball court. Pretend play gave way to real competition on soccer and T-ball fields, followed by Little League and Pop Warner fields and eventually high school and college football and lacrosse fields.

Robin (Dave) and Batman (Andy) under the kitchen table, 1990.

Both of our sons are now college graduates and working professionals with exciting, meaningful jobs in Washington, D.C.

Superheroes in their own right.

David (left) and Andy during a Christmas 2010 visit to Santa Barbara to see their grandmother...the one who bought all the superhero costumes.

Small world stories: the intern and the summer job

Interns Patrick O'Connor and Veronica Jones at our May 2011 cover shoot.

When we interviewed him for a graphic design internship, Patrick O’Connor told us that he is often “quiet, initially.” When he started working with us last month, he proved to be just that. Hardworking, talented, eager to learn the ropes — and quiet.

So when he spoke up during an impromptu meeting I called in the art department Monday morning, I paid attention.

“I made it into the magazine,” he said. Quietly.

I looked at him, puzzled. He showed me a page in the June 2009 issue of our magazine. A page that included an ad for Hubbard Sports Camp.

“That’s me,” he said, pointing to the tall guy in the back.

Patrick is a 2005 graduate of Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix. He’s a December 2010 graduate of the University of Arizona, with a BFA in studio art and visual communications design. And during the summer of 2008 he was a counselor at Hubbard Sports Camp, where he coached a variety of sports for kids ages 4½-13.

Patrick clearly has a love of sports. While he was at UofA, he worked as a freelance videographer for Tucson’s Fox 11. He shot footage of football, basketball and soccer at three Tucson high schools. He also shot video for the UofA’s football team for both practices and games.

Patrick is juggling two internships these days. He spends the mornings with us and the afternoons at Tempe-based Boon, which designs and markets innovative products and gear for babies.

This capable young man, who favors plaid, button-down shirts and clean, fresh graphic design, is quietly securing  his place in a successful future.

Photos at top and bottom by RAK staff photographer Daniel Friedman.

Special thanks to Art Director Michelle-Renee Adams for enhancing the photo (circle) so we could see Patrick’s face in the group photo from the ad.