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Batman and Jarrod

This drawing was from a card Jarrod made for me.

A drawing.

Six-year old Jarrod was obsessed with Batman. I can’t remember if he was much aware of Batman before he saw the first movie with Michael Keaton, but from the moment he did, everything became Batman, including his underwear, bedspread, posters, costumes, drawings, comic books, toys, trading cards…the list goes on. He had a rubber Batman mask that was made for an adult that he rarely took off.

Jarrod with his cousins.

Jarrod with his cousins.

Along with the Batman obsession came a Michael Keaton obsession. To him, Michael Keaton was Batman. He understood the concept of actors playing roles, but Jarrod was the kind of kid who chose to believe things despite knowing the truth. I won’t tell you how old he was when he finally admitted there was no Santa Claus, but it was long after I told him there wasn’t.

Several months following the Batman movie premiere, and in the midst of everything Batman, I discovered that Michael Keaton would be playing in the AT&T National Pro-Am Golf Tournament in Pebble Beach. We were living there at the time and I was working at The Inn at Spanish Bay, which is a sister property to The Lodge where the tournament was held. Being an employee of the company, I requested tickets. I told Jarrod I was going to take him to see Michael Keaton play golf. His excitement was uncontainable.

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I had no intention of following him around for 18 holes so we tracked him down at the 15th hole and watched him play the last few. Obviously the crowd was huge and it was a little hard to see him, but Jarrod was ecstatic. We had no idea where he would head afterward, but I thought it was a pretty safe bet that he would go inside the Lodge to one of the bars. The Lodge was closed to the public that day. You had to either be a hotel guest or part of the tournament (or an employee who knows other employees that look the other way).

We walked into the lobby and turned toward the closest bar. It was packed. I stood at the entrance holding Jarrod’s hand and looking around. I had no idea what my plan was. I had a pen and the ticket in my coat pocket and thought an autograph on the back of it would be the icing on the cake. A pretty blond woman walked up to me and said, “Send your son to the restroom.” I looked at her with puzzlement. She repeated herself. Then it clicked. I turned to walk toward the restroom which was down a small hallway and told Jarrod that he should go potty. “I don’t have to potty,” he said. “Yes, you do,” I said. Just as we were approaching the men’s room door, Michael Keaton walk out.

It was just the three of us standing in the hallway. He smiled at me. He knew. I handed him the ticket and pen and he asked Jarrod his name. Jarrod could barely speak. I gave him the spelling. He autographed it and then I asked if he wouldn’t mind a photo. He said, “Sure.” Now all we had to do was wait for the film to be developed and hope that one photo turned out.

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