When we last spoke, the Walt Disney Studios presentation at D23 was winding down and I was wiping the tears from my face, as Kermit and the gang had just turned me back into a five year old, but if you will recall, I had said that this moment was certainly something, but the moment that I consider to be one of the finest of my life was still yet to come.
Sunday was the day that my fiancee and I had added at the last minute upon learning that there was to be a presentation focusing on the Muppets. Having spent the previous two days exploring the show floor, experiencing all of the exhibits and grabbing all of the freebies that we could fit into our tote bags, we decided to camp out, hours early, for the Muppet presentation/ When we set ourselves down, we were literally the second group in line. As the hours went by, all of a sudden, a rumor that there might actually be Muppets in the presentation began making the rounds through the constantly growing line and there was a buzz of excitement as we were led into the large ballroom.
We grabbed seats right up front and sat back to await the presentation. A majority of the information was fairly boilerplate. They were planning to release Muppet Show Season 4 (Still waiting for that one, by the way…), there were a few CDs coming out, a few TV specials were coming to DVD and things of that nature. Then, he showed up behind the podium.
Sam Eagle. The room went nuts, to be so close to an actual Muppet. Sam spoke for a few minutes and then we were told that the presentation was over. But wait. Apparently if we wanted to, and I have no idea as to why ANYONE at the presentation would NOT want to, there were going to be a few Muppets in the room next door who might be available for photos. How no one was trampled, I have no idea.
In my head, upon processing this information, I assumed that we might be meeting Sam Eagle or, probably, one of the much lesser Muppets. Imagine my shock as I entered the room to see Pepe, Gonzo, and my hero, Fozzie. As the line slowly moved forward one or more of the Muppets would disappear for a break, and thus not be in some of the photos. I asked the gift horse to open wide as I stared him in the mouth and began worrying that we would be getting our photos with only Pepe.
Now, Pepe is fine. I like the guy. However, I grew up with Gonzo and Fozzie and the Muppet Show and the original gang, and very much wanted to meet them. I decided that I was going to do something about the situation, so I spoke to a woman who seemed to be in charge. I told her what a big deal it would be to meet all three Muppets for my fiancee and I. She said that she would see what she could do, but made no promises.
As we approached the table to get our photo taken, it will still only Pepe out. We were a little disappointed but, hey, a Muppet is still a Muppet, right? As the photographer told us to smile, all of a sudden a small furry blue hand appeared on top of my fiancee’s and a familiar voice to my right said “We heard that there were some people here who wanted to meet us all?”We turned around and there were our old friends, Fozzie and Gonzo waiting behind us. I don’t think that I have ever smiled so big in a photograph, before or since. As we were profusely thanking our hero for making this happen for us, my fiancee looked behind the table and saw that it was Dave Goelz who was “helping“ Gonzo and that is when she lost it and the tears began streaming. The Muppets and Gonzo in particular, her favorite, had meant so much to her in her life, and for this man who she had long admired from afar, delay his break, to inconvenience himself, in order to say hello was just too much.
That is what the Muppets are all about. One small kindness that can mean the world to one person.I think these song lyrics pretty much sum up that feeling.
If just one person believes in you,
Deep enough, and strong enough, believes in you…
Hard enough, and long enough,
It stands to reason, that someone else will think
“If he can do it, I can do it.”
Making it: two whole people, who believe in you
Deep enough, and strong enough,
Believe in you.
Hard enough and long enough
There’s bound to be some other person who
Believes in making it a threesome,
Making it three…..
People you can say: believe in me…..
And if three whole people,
Why not — four?
And if four whole people,
Why not–more, and
And when all those people,
Believe in you,
Deep enough, and strong enough,
Believe in you…
Hard enough, and long enough
It stands to reason that you yourself will
Start to see what everybody sees in
And maybe even you,
Can believe in you… too!