From the age of about five until age seven or so, I helped raise a young Indiana Jones.
We didn't realize that our dear son Jamie was becoming Indiana Jones because for two years prior, he was Buzz Lightyear. He spent much of his time leaping off of furniture and high places with the battle cry of "To Infinity and Beyond!" It was a fun but kind of alarming habit if you weren't used to it.
But then our James was introduced to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, left Buzz behind and embraced his new persona with complete admiration and devotion.
Indiana Jones was EXACTLY the person who he wanted to be. Adventurer, explorer, snake fighter who could rock either the bow tie or the fedora, but never both at once. He wore his fedora daily, even in the summer when a wool hat brings on a whole new meaning to sweaty head.
He insisted on wearing it to school. He would hang it up carefully in his cubby, and convinced himself that even Indiana Jones went to kindergarten and got involved with stuff like snack and sharing time.
Indy was very cool and also a little suspicious, and so was Jamie.
He moved with his own soundtrack and entered every room singing a hearty "dum da dum daaaa"
the exciting instrumental beginning of the Indiana Jones theme song.
Jamie conducted himself by asking himself (and sometimes his friends) "what would Indy do?"
Then, he would answer that call, which usually meant singing the theme song, leaping from someplace high, tackling your brother and then running away.
For some reason this lifestyle often involved Sam the guinea pig playing the part of the cobras in the snake pit.
Doesn't Sam look much like a venomous snake?
Once I was reading a People magazine (don't judge) saw a photo of Harrison Ford leaving a Hollywood restaurant and shared it with Jamie. Jamie was amazed that his very own personal hero was hanging out and living his life in Southern California.
He decided to send a photo of himself to Harrison Ford/Indiana Jones and write him a letter.
This is his favorite photo....
Indiana James and his trusty schnoodle.
He signed the back of the photo and wrote a letter asking Indiana Jones to please sign a photo of himself and send it back to Jamie.
He was sure that Harrison Ford/Indiana Jones would immediately identify kinship in Jamie G. and write him back. This didn't exactly happen and Jamie was disappointed. He would rifle through the mail everyday after school for months and was in disbelief that Indiana Jones didn't write back. He was sure that his letter had gotten lost or that his lame mother had sent it to the wrong address and I got kind of annoyed with Mr. Ford for making me look bad.
As he continued to blame me for Harrison/Indy not answering his letter, I considered sending Jamie a forged note from his hero, but never did, for ethical reasons, I guess.
The fedora grew too snug to be comfortable and Jamie moved on.
So imagine my surprise when a week ago, about two and a half years later, a plain brown envelope with two signed photos shows up in our mailbox.
No enclosed note, no return address... just two autographed photos in a mysterious envelope from Los Angeles, CA.
Jamie was thrilled, the hero of his youth had come through at last!
Thank you Harrison Ford.
But thanks especially to whoever it was in Mr. Ford's publicist's office who found Jamie's two and a half year old letter, and then thought to reply to it. Jamie's faith in his hero is restored and best of all, he considers his mom a little bit more capable in handling his mail.