Anthony_Fredrickson_R01.mp4

I’ve seen him in tears, red faced with anger, lost, giddy, exuberant, heroic, smart, and hilarious. I’ve seen him save the day, save the starship, save the Federation, and act with unerring, mind boggling creativity that was utterly astonishing. Through…

0
(0)

I’ve seen him in tears, red faced with anger, lost, giddy, exuberant, heroic, smart, and hilarious.

I’ve seen him save the day, save the starship, save the Federation, and act with unerring, mind boggling creativity that was utterly astonishing.

Through his work on Star Trek he inspired kids to look to the stars, to strive to be better human beings, to become scientists, astronauts, artists, and perhaps most importantly… be funny… and I think that by now we all know that there is nothing better than that. In fact it was funny that brought Anthony and I together, some 50 years ago.

I remember vividly the first time I became aware of Arf. That’s right, his initials… were Arf… Anthony Richard Fredrickson… That alone brings a smile to your face. It was seventh grade social studies class, and the teacher was explaining international economics. Looking at the class dourly, he asked for an imaginary export befitting an imaginary country. I head a small voice behind me that quietly murmer… “Baby mice dipped in honey”. Unfortunately for me, not loud enough for anyone else to hear. But I heard it, and I burst into an explosive guffaw that caused every head to turn and glare at me, especially the teacher. You don’t tell a joke twice. Even at the age of 12 I knew that, so I didn’t try to explain what caused my outburst. Needless to say, from that point on, we were pretty much inseparable.

It wouldn’t be the last time he’d get me into delightfully hot water in class. One day a paper airplane sailed across the room and landed on a little girls desk, who promptly walked it up to the teacher. “Mr. Drexler… see me after class!” The teacher growled. To my astonishment, Anthony had written in bold letters across the fuselage “100% Doug Design… This Paper Airplane Created by Doug… direct from the mind of Doug”. I didn’t attempt to explain it. But you know, that’s the kind of stuff I live for. I never forgot it, and it never fails to make me smile.

So I kept this guy close to me for the next 50 years, because hey, I’m a sucker for funny, and I don’t think there is anything more joyous in the world. I remember that when we went to the School of Visual Arts in New York City together, we had a directing actors teacher who knew nothing about actors, or teaching. One day we were given another nonsensical assignment to create a musical instrument out of stuff from around the house. On the day of class, the teacher got to Anthony, who sat there looking unprepared. The teacher, pleased that he had caught Anthony with his britches down asked, “So what do you have for us Mr. Fredrickson?”. At that Anthony pulled a brown paper bag he had blown up from under the desk, and BAM! It was a hilarious act of defiance that I’ll never forget, and it was more creative than anything anyone else would do that day. Like I said. I live for that stuff, and I ask you… if it isn’t funny, than what is it?

So Anthony and I would go to school together, run science fiction stores together, edit sci fi magazines together, live through car crashes and eartquakes together, do makeup effects together, make movie monsters together, redefine science fiction graphic design together, create spaceships for Star Trek together, and win an Academy Award together. We conquered Hollywood together. And we should never forget that it all began with baby mice dipped in honey.

In closing I’d like to paraphrase James T Kirk –

We are assembled here today to pay final respects to our honored dead. And yet it should be noted, in the midst of our sorrow, that this death takes place in the shadow of a remarkable and fruitful life, the sunrise of many friends who loved him deeply; and through the creation of a world love by millions, that our beloved comrade dedicated his life to protect and nourish. He did not feel this world a vain or empty one, and we will not debate his profound wisdom at these proceedings. Of my friend, I can only say this: Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most…. human.

Farewell old friend, I do not mourn you, because I carry you in my heart.

0 / 5. 0