Sunday, April 1, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dida!

April 1st is my late grandfather's birthday, always memorable because it's also April Fool's. This will be a fairly serious post, despite the wacky holiday....and just to be safe I'm posting it nearly on April 2nd.

My grandfather is one of the most important people in my life, and 6 years after he passed away he's still there for me as an inspiration.

I spend a lot of my spare time working on the Mego Museum and its projects. My passion for those particular toys started the day this photograph was taken, when we had just come back from Montgomery Wards with Superman, Batman, Robin and Aquaman. The smiles say it all.

For the last 6 months to a year I've been obsessed with manufacturing Mego style playset displays with interchangeable artwork and parts. I call them Displaysets. The project is coming to a head now and I am ready to order parts from the factory, have them assembled and shipped to (hopefully) many happy customers. It's the culmination of years of dreaming about making toys, and it's so satisfying to have pursued a vision so relentlessly when it would have been easier to give up the many times I felt overwhelmed or despairing. It's also scary and at least 3 times a day I ask myself, my wife, or just the empty air if I am crazy and doomed to failure. We shall see. As she says, what's the worst case scenario? You lose a little money and gain an experience.

My grandfather was a smart, hard-working man who built a successful business for himself and his family. I've always been the artist who doesn't understand math and has never balanced a checkbook in his life. I wish I could ask him for advice. I know he'd want to see a more thorough business plan than the vague swirl of ideas in my head.

Sorry, Dida, I'm doing the best I can.

Dida was what I called him from a very early age. It is pronounced "dee-dah" but doesn't look that way on paper. People always say "Dih-Daa" or "Die-Dah"....the same way they often say "Meh-Goh" instead of "Mee-Goh"....So that's pretty much perfect for me and my new endevour.

The domain isn't set up yet, I haven't built the website or even finalized my prices....but I have the business license from the city of Oakland and the state of California that says I can start doing business on April 1st as "Dida Displays"....

No foolin!



Blogger Hulk said...

Congratulations on the new business. I am sure your DiDa would be very proud, and honored, by this accomplishment. I can't wait to see these in person, and you can be sure I will be one of your biggest supporters!


Paul "Hulk" Clare

April 8, 2007 at 10:49 PM  
Blogger Joe Tages said...

Thanks for sharing more about your Dida and the wonderful influence he left on you and your life. The photo tribute part of your site was the reason I started visiting here in 2000.

I lost my own "Dida" -my surrugate father, in 2001. He searched high and low in 1979 for a carded Captain America that I really wanted until he found it. That's just one of many great memories. Happy belated birthday to Dida. Judging from that picture and your story, I know he was a great guy.

May 6, 2007 at 2:21 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home