Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary















Home > Letters to CR

Bob Beerbohm On The Latest With His Hip Replacement Needs
posted October 11, 2009
 

I wish to thank each of you who blogged my situation, and otherwise got the word out for me recently in my hour of need which stretched into a couple months here. I read thru each of your words about what i am going thru, was deeply touched. And i had an out-poring of concern from a number of other friends as a result.

If you wish to do some sort of follow-up as mentioned by some of you as this bi-lateral operation is finally becoming a reality for my life, here is some background as I am thinking it right about now.

When I come out of this whole and intact once again, I will be figuring out how to pay it all forward as that is the type of world i envision and wish to participate in.

As the economy worsened over time last couple years, i despaired more than you can imagine I was never going to regain the use of what is an essential part of one's body used for doing damn near any thing in life, especially the life of a comic book dealer and historian, as stacks of this stuff becomes heavy, as we all know from personal experiences. My "normal" load of vintage comics material hauled, unloaded, reloaded. hauled back, unloaded and pored thru back at the warehouse to "fix" the boxes, prep them for the next show, etc, is a tad over two tons, weighed by pros, blew me away when i first learned it was that much weight.

Multiply that out to 25-30 shows a year around the country, after 22 years in the Bay Area participating building the world of comics readers, i have spent the last 15 doing a lot of traveling researching the earliest origins of the American comic book, definitively pushing that concept back to 1842.

Sales in my eBay store went up exponentially each time one of you mentioned what was going on in my life. I kept inching towards my goal needed to make this happen. Then a fortuitous thing happened I wish to relate:

Many of the internet comics readers out there overlap, so while i cannot break down who dun what when, the accumulative effect brought my plight to the attention of a certain comic book collector who reads a lot of internet comics blogging and who also works in a brokerage firm similar to what Canter Fitzgerald used to do in the World Trade Center called First Brokers Securities Inc. (I need to ask him yet if it is OK he be named.)

After 9/11, feeling a need to pay something forward, this firm formed an arm of their activities called First Brokers Good Samaritan Fund, which dispenses funds based on recommendations from employees.

A couple days ago the fine folks at First Brokers Good Samaritan Fund FedEx'd me enough to cover my bi-lateral hip joint replacement operations at a place called Joint Replacement Center 2200 West 3rd St Los Angeles slated in stone now for October 20. I am floored, speechless, and honored.

This all finally began to reach some sort of semi-organized momentum this past couple months on Saturday during the San Diego Comicon when a fellow came into my booth looking at some Snow White and Pinocchio original Disney art by Frank Follmer, First Asst Director on both features plus Fantasia, who was one of the Disney strike leaders never rehired, a missing "old man" of the studio.

I mentioned to him why i had such treasures out for sale, he shot back he was a metal joint implant salesman for a certain firm, Wright Medical Facility in Mar Vitsa, Calif, talking his boss into donating a full set to my cause as well as set up the scenario whereby i can obtain total hip joint replacement for the princely sum of $18,000

- a bargain lower even than going over to India, which had been the previous focus of my personal recovery plan.

I also cc the fine sales guys at San Diego Comicon with this email, who have made sure my last few years of Comicon were something i could realistically still do, even though i was cranky at times, helping me in many ways i owe more thanks than i will ever be able to say in the remaining portion of my lifetime, which has enabled me to be just a handful of souls who can say they have bought & sold comic books since #1 in 1970.

There are four comics-stuff dealers of us we know of: Bud Plant, Steve Schanes, Terry Stroud amongst those who have been to every show. An amazing side bar is two of those fellows were also in the van coming out of Houston back in 1973, Bud and Terry. Play that alternate world out if we had not all come thru that accident OK, Dick Swan included in that statement.

Now all i have to do is make sure i take in enough to get me thru the couple months of rehab recovery until i am completely healed. It will be much easier now to get back to being on my feet with the kind help of friends which led to kindness from strangers. We should all learn to play it forward when the opportunity and means presents itself.

Fortunately, those are much lower levels of funding than coming up with a major operation slush fund covering many medical professionals. This is just food and heat, etc - easy flowing goals which my eBay store and kids who have moved back here to help me get thru this ordeal, both the last couple months on thru the upcoming recovery, will be able to handle.

I am looking to becoming a healed human in the near term, getting back into my first love tracking down obscure comics material, gleaning previously "unknown" knowledge from same as I will be able to once again get back to finishing my my comics business history tome plus buying selling trading comics material of all shapes forms sizes which is what I have done non-stop for almost as long as I can remember now, it seems. Plus the many comics discussion groups i have been unable to keep up with as in days of yore.

And i have you all copied in this letter to thank (plus Dick Swan whom i mention and recently spoke with) for certain levels on synchronicity which seems to have brought this all together one event leading into another. And it started with Pore Li'l Mose on a Saturday in San Diego...