Friday, August 10, 2018


The original Godzilla movie came out in 1954. Even as a little kid, it wasn’t hard for me to figure out that the special effects used in the movie were more than a little amateurish, which did little to diminish the popularity of the movie.

I discovered quite recently that there were sequels to the original movie. If you had to guess HOW many, what would you say? If you said THIRTY-TWO, you would be “right on the money”. The Godzilla series holds the Guinness record for the longest continuing movie series, since production continues on the movies even today, a period of 64 years from the original film. If you are a “car guy” that is almost the same length of time that the Chevy Corvette has been in production. (You may think that the Corvette holds the record for the longest continuously produced car model, but that honor actually goes to the Morgan 4/4, which has been in continuous production since 1936.)

I recently met a “special needs” student at a local high school who would name all 33 movies, the order in which they were released, and the plot of each movie. The last time I saw him (last week) he was wearing a Godzilla t-shirt.

I’m not a psychologist, but the young man would likely qualify as an “idiot savant”. The dictionary definition is “a person who is considered to be mentally handicapped but displays brilliance in a specific area, especially one involving memory”. The best example that I can think of in popular culture is the movie “Rain man”, which Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise starred in in 1988, but the movie “Forrest Gump” also proved that even a young boy with an I.Q. of 75 could still be a success in life. “Rain man” won 4 Oscars (including Best Picture) and “Forrest Gump” won 6. “Rain man” cost $25 million to produce, and grossed $$345.8 million. “Forrest Gump” cost $55 million to produce, and grossed $677.9 million.
When we lived in Wisconsin, we attended a concert that featured a young man named Leslie Lemke. The book about him is titled, “May’s boy”. Blind almost from birth, he faced some definite challenges, and did not start speaking until he was 6 years old. He was not able to stand until he was 12, and 15 before he was able to walk. He started playing the piano when he was 12, but the real miracle happened when he was 14. His foster parents awoke in the middle of the night to Leslie flawlessly playing Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto no. 1, which he had heard on television that night. Leslie was soon playing all styles of music, from ragtime to classical. Leslie can remember and play back a musical piece of any length flawlessly after hearing it once, a remarkable achievement for an individual who has a verbal I.Q. OF 58.

In our own way, all of us are “idiot savants”, at least to a degree. Over time, most of us discover talents that are truly remarkable, even though there are also a number of skills that we completely lack. The key to happiness in life is to focus on the things that we excel in, and don’t spend a lot of time worrying about our inadequacies in other area.




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