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While it was just a sheet of paper, like any other in the
world, the piece in my hand had Tom’s signature on it; a signature that made
our book deal official. My journey with yet another horror legend was about to
begin. After going out to dinner with my wife to celebrate, I tried to let the
excitement wear off so I could get serious and think about the work I had ahead
of me. With Kane’s book, we worked for over a year together. I now had another
long road ahead of me, but an amazing, fun-filled road at that. With this in
mind, I started to work with Tom on planning a trip to meet up and talk about
the book and how we wanted to approach it. After throwing around some dates, we
settled on meeting in a few weeks at his home in Pittsburg, PA.
I was happy that Tom
wasn’t too far away from me. Granted, being in Massachusetts, it was still an
eight hour drive, but it was much better than an eight hour flight to Los
Angeles. Kane lives in LA, making a visit difficult. We mostly met in the
middle of the country at conventions, movie sets and other appearances to make
things easier. With Tom being only an eight hour drive, I could visit him a lot
easier and we could work all day, rather than work around an appearance
schedule. Regardless, for this first visit I decided to fly out and get a
rental car. That way, I would be a bit less stressed when it came to finally
meeting up with Sex Machine.
The weeks shot by and before I knew it, I arrived in
Pittsburgh, got my rental car and drove into the city. I checked in to the very
nice Wyndam downtown and called Tom to tell him I had arrived. We had tentative
plans to have dinner, but never set a time. When he didn’t answer, I left him a
message and said I was in town. It was only around 4:30—I figured we’d eat
later in the evening—so I headed to the gym to get a run in.
After a ten minute warm-up, I started my jog, keeping my eye
on my phone that was set on the treadmill in front of me. Less than half way
through the run, the sweat had started. And let me tell you, I sweat. I hate
working out in gyms because I’m that guy who has puddles next to the treadmill
when I’m done. It’s always embarrassing mopping up the floor with your sweat
rag. Just as the waterfall of sweat started to pour down my body, my phone
rang, it was Tom. Hitting the emergency stop button, I nearly went flying off
the belt into the wall. Sucking air, I tried to catch my breath and answered
the phone. While I did my best to sound normal, I probably sounded like I was
having a heart attack. Of course I was still nervous as hell having not talked
to Tom much at this point. Tom was quick and to the point, “Let’s have dinner
in thirty minutes.” Looking down at the small puddle of sweat forming below me,
I should have said, how about an hour, but being one to always please, I heard
my wheezing voice say, “sure, see in you a bit.”
When I got back to my room, still dripping, I had only
twenty five minutes to take a shower, get dressed, get my car from the valet
and drive the four miles to a place I had never been… I almost fainted. One of
my biggest pet peeves is being on time.
I always have to be on time, so I was going to make it no matter what.
After breaking the land speed record of showering and dressing, I was in the
car cranking the AC. I have always had the horrible problem of my sweat glands
refusing to shut off for an hour after I work out. So the sweat was still
coming down in full force, and the AC did little to appease this. With my eyes
darting to the clock every two seconds, I had three minutes to get to his
house; thankfully I was only a few blocks away. When I arrived, I swore the GPS
had to be wrong. The house was so unassuming, in the middle of Pittsburgh… I
had to be in the wrong place. Then I noticed a gargoyle and some other creepy
items, could it be his house?
After circling the block a few times, trying to find a space,
I was late and called Tom to tell him I was trying to find parking. I was still
half expecting him to tell me I was in the wrong place, but when he answered he
said he be right out. Within a second, Tom walked out. Even in his casual
clothing he wore around the house, he just looked cool strutting over to my
car. I was still sweating so I nervously wiped my brow and rolled down my
window. After directing me to park in a no parking zone, I got out and shook
his hand. I had made it, and he didn’t seem to care that I was six minutes and
thirty-eight seconds late. Whew.
Meeting someone for the first time can be nerve-wracking.
Meeting a movie star you always looked up to, then being invited into his home
before heading to dinner with them… is heart attack inducing. As I followed Tom
into his house, I compulsively wiped the sweat from my brow that would not
stop. I was nervous, felt like a fool from sweating and panicking on what to
say and do to make sure I didn’t look like an idiot. The second I walked into
Tom’s house, it all melted away. My nerves disappeared for two reasons, the
first being that Tom was so laid back and cool. He instantly made me feel
comfortable. Kane always made me nervous. Hell, he still does as I never know
when he is going to scare me. Tom, on the other hand, was so relaxed, I eased
up as well. The second reason was because of his house. Walking through the
entryway made me feel like I was entering something wonderful and practically
sacred for a horror movie fan. By the time I walked into the living room, I
knew this house was the holy Mecca of horror movies, and even just film lovers
in general. Seeing how Tom’s passion and love for film took over his entire
house, instantly made me realize, Tom was just like me, just like us… a fan.
Be sure to check back for the next entry as you’ll get an
inside peek at Tom’s unbelievable place he calls home!
Michael Aloisi, known to most as AuthorMike, is the author of Kane Hodder’s official biography, Unmasked. After spending a year with Kane Hodder, the two developed an odd couple friendship. Kane being the fearless, troublemaking stunt man and Mike being a writer out of his element. Together the two had so many adventures, Mike wrote a book about it called, The Killer & I. In addition to his non-fiction, Mike is the author of two novels and two collections of short stories.
Currently, Mike is working with Tom Savini on his official biography and just released his first collection of horror short stories called, TALES FROM A MORTICIAN, written under his pen name, Michael Gore. Fore more information on Mike, visit his website at Author Mike.
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Savini and Me
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