Monday, May 11, 2009


One of the things I enjoy most about Bloggy-World is that it is such a bully pulpit for the storyteller. And if you accept that premise, you must also agree with me that my friend and EBP (Esteemed Bidnis Podnuh) Barry ought to have his own blog... for Barry is chock-full of interesting stories.

And since Barry does not have his own blog, it gives me a perfect excuse to mine his Experience-Lode for material.

I’ve told the story of how he got his first car - one of the few instances of someone buying a car by the pound. And in working order, yet!

I’ve also recounted the tale of his meeting fraternity brothers Simon and Garfunkel at Memphis State, where they performed “I Am A Rock” for the first time.

Barry spent his formative years in Memphis. One of his uncles was a session man who worked with Elvis Presley back in the early days and who insisted (to his eventual, everlasting regret) on getting paid standard session rates in lieu of a percentage. But Elvis, who clearly got the better end of that deal, gave Barry’s uncle a Cadillac after he hit the Big Time.

He also lived for many years in Israel, where he eventually became fluent in Hebrew despite some early difficulties.

But it was when he was visiting New York City twenty years ago that he had one of his strangest adventures. For how many of us can say we were saved from a mugger by Superboy?

It’s a true story... just like something out of Action Comics in the 1930’s.

It seems Barry was standing there in broad daylight, minding his own business, when a mugger knocked him down and grabbed the money right out of his pocket - a cool one hundred simoleons. Somewhat dazed, Barry saw a young man running after the mugger, so he joined in the chase.

As Barry later related the story, “ seemed like we ran for miles, but this young man had powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. He was stronger than a locomotive.”

The young man managed to corner the mugger at a construction site, where, with the help of a burly worker, they gently convinced him to return his ill-gotten gains.

That’s when the young man revealed himself to be actor John Haymes Newton, who was the titular Superboy of the television series at the time. [Newton played Superboy for 26 episodes in 1988-89 before handing the role over to Gerard Christopher.] He had been in New York for a photo shoot when he found himself witness to Barry’s mugging and decided to handle it much as his super alter-ego would.

Barry was skeptical, but that telltale curl in the middle of the actor’s forehead convinced him. And Newton - Superboy to the end - wouldn’t even accept a cup of coffee by way of a reward.

A few days later, Barry received a phone call from a reporter, calling to confirm the details of the event for a story he was writing. And what a story: Superboy Captures Mugger! What nonplussed Barry at the time was that the reporter worked for the Globe, a supermarket tabloid.

“Lemme get this straight - you’re fact-checking for an article in the Globe? The supermarket tabloid? That Globe?”

Supermarket tabs got fact-checkers! Who knew?

Saved by Superboy

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