Not long ago, during my post on Jim Cornette’s appearance at The Squared Circle with Svengoolie, I mentioned something really amazing that happened later at the event that I couldn’t go into any detail about at the time. Well, it’s now official and I’m happy to report that October 31st, 2014 will officially be Rich Koz Svengoolie Day in Illinois!
This was a direct result of the dynamic efforts of Chicago politico (and fellow Goolie) Brian Bernardoni and his friend, Representative Kay Hatcher! Brian helped bring the resolution to the floor prior to the Squared Circle appearance but, though “expected to pass,” no one wanted to jinx anything by going public too soon. The news was shared with those who attended the appearance where the resolution was shared not only to fans but to the man himself. Brian had pulled me aside earlier and told me what was going to happen and I’m not ashamed to admit that I got va-klempt. It was something I never would have thought possible and yet, at the same time, so well deserved.
Here is footage of that moment, along with Sven’s reaction to it’s passing a month later (given today I might add)…
Before I formally met Brian, I’d seen the incredible job he’d done creating a replica Svengoolie coffin (the original version). At the time I was helping Dennis Druktenis find writers for the 2013 Svengoolie Tribute Issue of Scary Monsters Magazine and knew that this was someone who absolutely needed to be a part of it. I approached him and he agreed to participate though I could never have imagined at the time just how influential a Svengoolie fan he’d prove himself to be.
Brian is a straight shooter who wears his heart on his sleeve. He has nothing but positive things to say and I’m always touched at the amount of gratitude he exudes not just for his beautiful wife and family, but for those fortunate to be considered one of his friends. There have been many times when I’m caught up in the rat race that Brian has caused me to pause and smile after tagging me in a Facebook post stating his appreciation for Svengoolie, myself, and my fellow Goolies. Like Sven, Brian is one of those people that makes the world a better place simply by being in it…and an even more amazing place for his fellow fans.
One can always tell the quality of a celebrity by the friendships they inadvertently create. In that regard (nor in any other regard I might add), my devotion to Rich Koz Svengoolie has never been misplaced. It has forged some incredible bonds with people such as Brian Bernardoni, Elizabeth Haney & Acme Design, Jim Roche, Ron and Angela Urban (referred to as “Don and Bunny” on this site), Jamie Lee Cortese and her amazing family, the late Joan Yingst whom I still think of often, Elliott Serano, Marisa Elizalde and the keepers from the Lincoln Park Zoo (I should mention that thanks to Sven the two Chicago zoo AAZK chapters have never been closer) and even my best friend & fellow Terror Dave, David Albaugh, thereby leading to the creation of this blog and all the amazing experiences that have come with it. I know that there are many more I will likely meet in the future and, while I may not have met them yet, have no doubt that we will ALL be cheering on October 31, 2014 when our favorite celebrity will be given this much deserved honor.
Kudos to you Brian for making your fellow fans proud…and thank you Rich Koz for all the laughs you’ve given, and continue to give us, on Saturday nights!