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Fan Club History

(Lonna's Musings)

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The years I ran Simon's international club were 1982 - 1995. In the summer of 1982 my friend Violet and I had just seen "The Sword and the Sorcerer". We noticed the young actor who played Micah and decided he deserved to have a fan club. I contacted his manager and presented our plan for a quality fan club for Simon. We outlined the club format using the accepted format by the National Associan of Fan Clubs (NAFC). It was a nice coincidence that Simon was going to direct a play in Dallas at a dinner theater that Sept. I received a letter from his manager with official permission to begin the club, and soon after that received my first letter from Simon personally.

When he came to town we made an appt. to meet at the theater and I took a few friends along, who were helping me get the club started. We met at the theater but we all went to a Jack In The Box to have our interview. A few days later some of us went to his play. He came to our table during the break and stopped to make a big production out of kissing my hand. Everyone in the theater had their mouths open... haha.

We had the first issue of the club newsletter in Jan. of 1983. I have all the issues bound into a big scrapbook. Someday I might scan them and put them in the archives on this web site.

After the play Simon went immediately to Florida to film Jaws 3. I called and talked to him a few times while he was filming. I arranged for a new member of the club who lived in Florida to meet with him and take pictures on the Jaws set at Sea World for the newsletter. He also did his one-man show, The Importance of Being Oscar, while there. When a group of young people from a school saw his show with their teacher, he put them in touch with me to join the club. Soon after that he was back in LA filming the series, Manimal.

In 1985 my husband retired from the Army. Through Simon I had become friends with a woman who was his personal assistant for awhile and we continued as friends even after she moved on to another job. When I visited LA she introduced me to her friend who worked for Gene Roddenberry (Star Trek). When my husband retired we decided to move to LA and my friends helped me get a job in the entertainment industry. I then became administrative assistant to Stan Lee (creator of Spiderman) at Marvel Entertainment. My husband went to work for the federal government and we lived in LA for the next 9 years before moving back to Texas in 1994.

Simon became a good friend to me during those years. I remember a time not long after we'd moved to LA, when I got the news I had cervical cancer and was going to need surgery and treatment. Simon called and I confessed to him I was scared. He was comforting to me during this difficult time.

Over the years we organized several fan gatherings and Simon participated gladly. I really think he had fun during these times and we tried to make them pleasant for him. He would always answer questions and autograph photos. One time we gathered at my house in Texas for the fans to meet him... some who couldn't come to the house met us in the airport before Simon flew out.

We disbanded the club in the form it was in, in 1995 after we had moved back to Texas. Simon was out of the country a lot by then and it was getting more and more difficult to get the interviews and things I needed from him, although he did call me a few times so I could do phone interviews. My husband had become more disabled and couldn't work any more so life was more difficult for me as well. "Simon Says" was in operation for nearly 13 years.

Later I learned how to do web design and put up the first fan club site on geocities. Eventually I started my own web design business and became so busy I didn't update this site for a number of years. Finally I had time to give the fan site a new face lift and I moved it to my own server.

As Simon has often said, he is very pleased that many members of our club met in person and several life-long friendships were formed from that. When I wrote to Simon recently I told him of all the people who are still friends and those I'm still in touch with. It's very satisfying to have been a part of this group of wonderful people.

This page 2007 by Lonna Poland

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