• John Rabe

Welcome to Fantasy Island

Updated: Oct 16, 2020

If you subscribe to my podcast, I promise to engage you in thoughtful conversation about stuff that matters, and to travel down paths that at least one of us has never gone down before. (Photo by John Rabe)

I do not promise to correct the electronic transcription.

transcript-Call Back Yesterday - Welcome
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Speaker 0 00:00:04 In July of 1991, my mom and Raby died of complications of hepatitis C. She was 63, eight months later. My dad bill Raby died of colon cancer. He was 70. I was in my mid twenties and had been trying to process it ever since. As weird as it seems, a movie seems to have been helping me do that. Although I only realized it after I started making this podcast 40 years ago on October 3rd, 1980, universal pictures rolled out its newest features, starring Christopher Ray, Jane Seymour, and Christopher Plummer. Somewhere in time.

Speaker 1 00:00:49 Richard Collier is about to begin an incredible journey into another realm. Another lifetime in search of the love. He could never find

Speaker 0 00:01:00 This one. That's the lease of Canada

Speaker 1 00:01:05 Started on a play in the hotel theater. When was this play done? 1912. Just time travel

Speaker 0 00:01:12 Possible is time travel possible. Of course it is Chris. And we're going to do it in every episode of this podcast. My name is John ravey. Welcome to call back yesterday.

Speaker 1 00:01:31 Time, cut time after to quantum leap wrinkle in time, somewhere in time, like 13 and 14, my dad showed it to me and it's by my dream. So like three o'clock in the morning watching this movie and could not get away from it. Absolutely loved the movie. Jane Seymour is my favorite actress. You know, it can shut out the world when they come here. I think that they're kind of hopeful romantics as opposed to hopeless. Right? My mother always likes to mention the Christopher Reeve donated his bicycle to the medical center for the auction.

Speaker 0 00:02:01 Maybe you didn't make a movie. Maybe you made a time machine. Just don't look at that 1979 pin and you'll be okay.

Speaker 1 00:02:09 It was a cast and crew screening in Chicago and the movie starts and I'm like, I'm not in this. This has made my film career

Speaker 0 00:02:18 Complete. If you figured out what it is that they're searching for. Here's the thumb somewhere in time is about a playwright who falls for an actress from the past. He wills himself back in time. 67 years makes love with her. And then he gets pulled back to the present. When he sees a 1979 penny, he left in his pocket. He dies of a broken heart and reunites with her in heaven, somewhere in time, head stars, beautiful locations, a heartbreaking romance between the two most beautiful people in the world and horrible reviews, Leonard molten, stilted dialogue, and corny situations, pretty scenery. Roger Ebert, the movie surrounds it's loves story with such boring. Mumbo-jumbo about time travel that we find really just don't care. Vincent can be somewhere in time. Does for time travel, what the Hindenburg did for dirigibles. What the fuck do they know somewhere in time gained a loyal fan base because it connects so deeply with all the important themes in our lives.

Speaker 0 00:03:34 Love loss, memory, and hope, and it doesn't without smirking. And here's a really cool thing. As far as I can tell the cast and crew feel exactly the same way about the picture as the fans do. I mean, name me another movie. We're an, a Lister like Jane Seymour regularly travels 2,400 miles to attend the annual fan convention. Whenever I've done something that's really meaningful and really touches humanity. The cynical reviewers have to say it's rubbish. The movie was shot almost entirely on Mackinaw Island, a tiny historic Island in Lake here on that, like the movies lovers is stuck in time. The architecture is Victoria cars have been banned there for decades and people use bikes and horses to get around

Speaker 2 00:04:20 <inaudible>

Speaker 0 00:04:27 Today. I am a public radio journalist in Los Angeles, but in 1979, when the movie was made, I was there. I was a 13 year old kid living in Sioux, Saint Marie and spending summers on Makena. We are family number three this week, and this week by the bridge there's Mackinaw Island, where I hear they're making a movie I'm ready for my closeup. Now that was a really great site. Back then, everybody in my life was still alive. Except my grandma, my folks were alive and all their friends and all my friends, I'd never had a love affair broken up. I'd never crashed the station car or gotten drunk and vomited naked in the bushes in Greece. And that's probably TMI. I wasn't paying my own bills, holding down a job or really doing anything but running errands for my dad on Mac and all that summer, all that stuff eventually happened.

Speaker 0 00:05:20 Some of it more brutally than others. And as the years passed, more and more, I appreciated the corny themes of somewhere in time. Each of the episodes of callback yesterday is built around an interview, reach a certain moment in your life. And you discover that your days are spent as much with the dead as they are with the living like this one with my friend, Katelyn Dodie, who's a mortician and the author of the book smoke gets in your eyes. That's when she worked at a crematory from here to eternity and will my cat eat my eyeballs. She runs a group called the order of the good death and her mission in life is to try to get people to talk more about death as a natural part of life. Katelyn Dodie, where are we? We are in Angeles, Rosedale cemetery, which doesn't get the same credit as other cemeteries in Los Angeles.

Speaker 0 00:06:11 Like your Hollywood forever is a funny thing that my dad would often have us have a picnic in a cemetery. They did start as public spaces. They are methods of time travel. What do you mean? There are places that you can go, just like we've been talking about that are out of time. Have you found that going back to visit the grave of your parents, have your emotions changed at all? The answer to that and what it says on my parents' gravestone is coming up in a future episode of callback yesterday, changing the past. Does it change the future? We go back, we get the stones before Vanos gets them problem solved. Getting back to time travel. I talked with a couple of experts on the topic, Steve McFeely and Chris Marcus who wrote the Avengers movies. And of course I had to ask them if they would time travel. Well, what's my, what's my get out of jail. Right? Am I, am I risking getting stuck? Uh, is it just the vacation? I absolutely would take a vacation. Ah, would I go back in time? Yes, but I, I imagine it would probably be a bad idea. I'd either screw myself up or I'd screw. If, if it wasn't operating by end game rules, I'd screw, you know, time and space up. I also put the same question to Stephen Simon who produced somewhere in time and his wife Lauren died just a couple of years ago.

Speaker 3 00:07:31 Oh, no question. In my mind, John, I would go back to the night I met my wife. I'd love to meet my wife again all over again. I would definitely go go back to the night, November 11 to 2003. When I met my wife, grief is just horrible. Grief is really, really just horrible as most adults know, because most adults have gone through grief at least once or twice, or maybe even more than that. And grief is a dreadful really dreadful experience

Speaker 0 00:08:04 In case you haven't figured it out already, people dying as a big theme in my life. And so in this podcast, we actually talk a lot about loss and grieving, like this exchange I had with Justin Chang of fresh air in the LA times who was one of the few film critics who actually admitted to liking somewhere in town.

Speaker 4 00:08:20 There's actually something very comforting about getting used to grief to the point where grief. It's not that it ceases to be grief, but it does become something in addition to grief. And it's weird sometimes when I don't know, I don't know if I dreamed about my dad that much anymore. There was a time sometimes you'll just you'll maybe, I don't know if it's true for you, just pop up in your, in your dreams sometimes. And it's kind of, and you suddenly are pulled back and this is very, very appropriate to time travel because it's completely screws with your sense of, you know, it's like, Oh, it's like, you've spent nine years making peace with this. And then suddenly it's like, it's like, nothing's changed and he's still alive and you wake up crying or something. And this has happened to me. And, um, it's very much like time travel and then, and then sometimes it's just it's okay. Cause you know, he's there and I'm like, Oh, hi it's and it's, it's nice in those. You just see them as gifts. It's like, Oh yeah, he actually, it is almost a thing. He actually really, this does get kind of cliche or trite perhaps, but no, it's like, you know, in a sense he really is alive in that way.

Speaker 0 00:09:20 A story of two people in low two people out of time, two people whose passion, bridges, history, James Seymour and Christopher Reeves are trapped in low somewhere in time. What I love about somewhere in time was that they would very little sick. They would, a lot of course you can't talk about somewhere in time without talking to the director of the movie Genos bark. It was really what reframes Cole know. He loved that first scene when they need you. It's true. You don't, they don't make pictures like that anymore. They weren't making pictures like that in 1980. I know this has gone long. I'm gonna wrap it up. This is after all just the teaser, but I hope it entices you to subscribe and listen. Look, I believe in time travel. I believe in ghosts, I believe in love and redemption. And I also believe life is better when you talk about it.

Speaker 0 00:10:31 And that's what we're going to do on call back yesterday. Oh, call back yesterday. Big time return call back yesterday, which is online. Call back is written recorded and produced by me, John Raby with additional sound recording by Ava, the lilac queen soil Mainstreet September 22nd, about 1130. Our theme music is performed by the van Dyke parks support from Bermudez projects in Los Angeles. Special. Thanks to Chris Greenspon host of SGV, weekly graphic designer and punk legend, Michael Yulan con and George Takei. He'll be back and I hope you will be too for the next episode of call back yesterday. Thanks for listening.

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