David Loehr’s First James Dean Fan Tribute Weekend (1998)

     Updated 8 March 1999 URL is http://our.tentativetimes.net/fanweek/bbq.html

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Friday Night BBQ, Fireworks and Dance, James Dean Fan Appreciation Week

David Loehr, on the left, is our host. Lyndon Biegas, beside him, came from Shelbyville, Tennessee. He added the most fun to the week. Lyndon has an uncanny resemblance to James Dean (including body language and gestures) and appeared in last year’s lookalike contest. He entertained himself throughout the weekend, as well as tolerating all our requests to pose, cheerfully. Marcus Winslow gave him a nice tour of the farm. David let him run the gift shop. Lyndon is always welcome. We hope he becomes a movie star.

In the other photo, Kenneth Kendall appears to be hugged by Christina Applegate but she is isn’t. In the background, the Chicago Three, Bernice, Rose and their expatriate friend, Dean author Bob Rees of Texas. (Bob flew in to Chicago and drove here with Bernie and Rose.)

Kenneth reports that he is to write up this fan weekend for the We Remember Dean International Newsletter. Kenneth brings a wealth of knowledge to his writing. It is a treat to look forward to.

Terry Sets A Table

You should have tasted those wonderful charcoal-grilled hamburgers, the juicy bbq chicken, potato salad with green olives, teeny-tiny baked beans and several kinds of homemade pies. Terry McGinn cooked it all and also worked outside at the grill, despite the Attack of the Amazing Mosquitoes who became so sated that they quit biting and just hung out in their little hammocks playing gin rummy.

More Dinner Guests

From Illinois, devoted and knowledgeable fans Mary Hillock-Lesniewski and her husband. He has Dean tattoos (see the gallery visitors second page.)

Author Jim Courtney, of the spiffy convertible that carried Laura from town to town, visiting with Linda Lavin from South Bend. You probably already own Jim’s book, James Dean, Back Creek Boy. If not, you can buy it from the Gallery

Maxine Rowland (Ohio) and Phil Ziegler (Fairmount) share a laugh at dinner. Maxine will send us photos, I bet. I hope. Oh please!

Kurt Whirl (Marion, IN) sitting with Laura Pardini of Uruguay and Marion, Indiana. Laura is the author of the newest Dean book. I had told Laura that she didn’t seem Italian, because she didn’t talk with hand gestures. This picture proves I just wasn’t paying attention. Read more about Laura and her book on this site. By the way, Laura is pronounced to rhyme with loud, like loud-rah but without the D sound. Who knew? Everyone but Otto.

Jessica Marian and Christopher Oberto from Detroit. Very devoted fans.

Here from Belleville, Illinois is Stephen Vodde, in law enforcement for 30 years, with Robert R. Rees, author of James Dean: Beyond the Grave as well as Twilight Tales and another sought-after, out of print book called James Dean’s Trail, One Man’s Journey. Beyond The Grave has a photo in it of Bob and Cherry’s son Brandon Rees wearing a sweater once owned by James Dean. Bob has a big website where you can buy Deanabilia and more!

Otto methodically shot everyone at the tables, but when the band started everyone moved around. Above, some of the friends caught in time at the BBQ.

A fine new bat tat on the shoulder of bride Mary Kusak. Husband John had to work so couldn’t come show off his dancing skills this weekend. Mary brought a crowd with her from Indy; they enjoyed all of Friday’s activities and we enjoyed their company.

The Chemo Kids (band) came from Cincinnati

Two of the Chemo Kids, or maybe there are only two…. Rockabilly supporter Eddie Cochrung and his cohort Buddy Hollycaust. I just report the news. The band is based in Cincinnati. Thanks for driving all this way for the Bel Airs, Kids!

Pam, the blond, and Cindy are support for the Chemo Kids. We look forward to seeing them again too.

Never say die, we cried as some of us went to The Palace. There is a lot of James Dean memorabilia at The Palace. Here we met a darling local couple (in the photo) who told me amazing stories about my late uncle Joe the Butch (Joe Haindl.) We all took turns teasing Steven, shown here caught by surprise. There was a lot of excitement at the Palace that night, with the police in and out. (No, not because of us.)

Later, while sheltering from the storm at a gas station, I met the woman in the middle of the fracas. Seems that the blond man who stood next to me most of the night was just out of jail for beating her up and throwing her onto the highway in Huntington. (And he smashed up her car with a baseball bat.) We didn’t know what was going on, but it made for a lively few hours in The Palace. If we had wanted a dull night, we would have stayed home. Dean fans are all so wholesome that we have to work hard to seek out the people our mothers warned us against.

Mary Kusak’s brother Kurt, shown here with his back to us, in black, has a website you will want to find. I love it. It’s creative. I’m jealous!

Thought this was at the fireworks, but David’s shirt doesn’t match the picture above. Anyway, this is our adored Kenneth Kendall with David Loehr. Lenny Prussack made David’s shirts on this page. Buy some from Lenny via Rebel Rebel in the lower level of the gallery. Can’t get there? Email Lenny via David.

Stern Thought For The Day

As mentioned in the memorial service pages, many of us no longer will tolerate people who claim to be fans but bad-mouth our James Dean. This shoe fits only one person at the Fan Weekend. He has no picture in this magazine. A word to the wise:

After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.

The moral: when you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.

Links to Otto Pages

Want to go back to the Fan Week Index?

Otto’s big index of James Dean Pages

This year’s June event, the Dean-themed Rockabilly Rebel Weekend #6

See the Mercurys at the James Dean Run car show in Fairmount, Indiana. Info on how to register has been added.

Otto’s Roots Music Pages in Otto

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