Every once in a while, something really, really cool happens. And it’s always that much better when it’s something you’re not expecting.
Last fall, on October 5, I woke up to the grooviest email ever. I got a letter from Leila Lilley.
In case you’re not this far “in the know”, Leila Lilley is Butch Patrick’s lovely wife. Butch Patrick. As in THE Butch Patrick. Known affectionately to Munster fans the world over as Eddie.
Excuse me, what???
It was just a short message, sent through my art website’s contact form, saying that she had heard I was a fan of The Munsters and that she’d like to send me an autographed picture of Butch.
Are you kidding me?? YES, please!
I emailed her my address, told her she had made my day, and about a week later, one of the coolest pieces of mail ever arrived.
If I had been a child back in the ’60s when shows like The Munsters were on the air, I definitely would have been one of those kids who sent away for autographs and wrote fan mail to my favourite stars. When I WAS a kid, I never did any of that for one simple reason: I grew up in the ’90s, watching the shows of the ’50s and ’60s! All of the stars whose autographs I would have loved to get were out of the business, well up in age, and a lot of them were already dead. I was always very aware of that fact when I was little, and it was something that bothered me a great deal.
So to now have the autograph of little Eddie Munster residing in my studio? Talk about a literal childhood dream come true!
And this couldn’t have come at a better time for me. It helped make up for a huge disappointment I was about to suffer.
Early last year, I started rewatching “Daniel Boone” from the beginning, and I found a fan mail page for Ames online. It said that if you sent a self-addressed stamped envelope and a photo, that Ames would sign it and return it. There was a Los Angeles address provided and a testimonial from someone who only 6 months before, received back a photo he had sent 3 months prior — newly signed.
In July, after writing out the one and only fan letter I have ever written in 30 years, I sent off a package to the address. Which was actually more costly and troublesome than you might think considering I’m in Canada and the US postal system won’t send out mail with Canadian stamps on it. And guess what Canadian post offices don’t sell — American stamps.
I, of course, didn’t actually realize any of this until I was standing in the post office trying to send my package. In the end, my only choice was to go to the bank and exchange some Canadian money for American cash, slip it in the envelope with an additional note, and just hope that whoever opened it would be kind enough to use the cash to pay the postage on my return envelope and send it back to me.
I’m sure you’ve already guessed how this story ends.
The website had said three months to get your photo back. I sent it in July, so I was expecting it right when Leila wrote to me in October. Needless to say… I never got it. In the immortal words of Herman Munster, “DARN, DARN, DARN, DARN!”
Honestly? I was crushed. I am a big, BIG fan of Ed Ames, and while I knew it wasn’t a sure thing, I was still pretty excited at the thought of an autograph. *sighs* So I hope whoever got my package enjoyed the cash, and also got a good laugh out of my ridiculously gushy fangirl letter to an 89-year-old man.
This made me almost as sad as Herman was that time he snuck into Grandpa’s lab and was disfigured by a bolt of lightning. The poor guy looked so awful that Lily refused to kiss him! (The joke being that it was actually just Fred Gwynne without his Herman makeup on!)
But all of that only makes me treasure this Butch Patrick autograph even more! I think we all know that if push came to shove, I’d choose the Munsters over Daniel Boone any day, and the fact that this was a beautiful gift given right out of the blue, makes it one of the most valuable things in my possession.
This post is quite overdue, but I want to say thank you a million times over to Butch and Leila. I will treasure this picture for the rest of my life.
Signed Yours Truly,
Forever a Munsters Girl