Farewell to an old friend Over the Rainbow

A good pal checked off the planet a few weeks ago.  Today I hear of the passing of Gene Wilder, an old dear friend of an old dear friend of mine - and sorry to hear of his checking off the planet.  I know that he was madly in love with Gilda Radner, and since she's off the planet already having her adventures, I can only say it's great they get to hang out together again.

His stepson Jordan wrote an eloquent testimonial to Gene, and noted that as he passed, he was listening to Ella Fitzgerald's "Over the Rainbow."


In the case of my old pal, I went to his home with some friends and we celebrated his life.  His life was about the length of mine - which anyone will tell you is WAY TOO SOON for anyone to be checking off the planet.  But what can you do?

Jonathan Krane
I met Jonathan Krane over three decades ago - and for some godforsaken reason he saw potential in me,and hired me to write and/or direct four films.  

We had many laughs while making those four films.  I'm aware that he was considered a tempestuous fellow - all I can say is what I experienced was someone who made me laugh alot.  It's hard to make one film together, but there has to be a certain amount of shared insanity to be able to make four together (one short and three features.)

I was thinking about this at his home the other day when we did a memorial.  One of his old friends, the actor Bud Cort brought some white balloons and handed them out.  And a few of us told stories about him and his journey.  When it came to me, I told of how I had met this fellow, how we had worked together, and how I had seen him only a few weeks ago,happy and looking foward to our making another film together.  

That while Jonathan had made many films with A list movie stars (John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Blake Edwards) I represented that group of odd filmmakers and artists he supported and gave their first start to. (Keith Gordon, Steve Summers, Paul Feig among others.)  I said just because no one has seen our four films doesn't mean they aren't fun films (I don't have to hide my head, can still watch any of them) and they wouldn't exist without his support.

With Randal Kleiser, Helena Bonham Carter
I remarked that Jonathan reminded me a bit of a rainbow. 

 A rainbow is something that we all see individually - according to Neil deGrasse Tyson - no one sees the same rainbow that another sees.  

It depends on our perception, where we are standing etc.  Each rainbow is unique to whomever is seeing it, and how we experience it.  

I submit that applies to basically everyone that we meet on the planet.   We experience them differently than many others do - sometimes postively sometimes not - but in my case, my friend and I had many laughs together. 

Great pic - he's searching for an answer
But then I thought about - "What happens to the rainbow when it's done?"  Does it die?  No. It just shifts form. You can't see it any more.  All the same elements are there - moisture in the air, light, etc.  But for some reason you can no longer see the rainbow.  It's not gone - it existed, relatively, and it no longer can be seen the way that it was seen before.  But it's just changed in perception.  Not gone, just not visible.

Like life.  When we depart, we're not gone, we're just not visible.

With his wife, my old pal Sally Kellerman
I thought about what might have been the pot of gold in this lifetime for me friend. What was the reason for his being on the planet, and where did he find his gold? And I realized it was his family - his wife Sally, his kids, they were the things most important to him... as it was the one thing he always came back to. That even though he had gained and lost fame and fortune... what really mattered to him was his family.

We all have a different definition of what a family is. I don't know any two people who have the identical definition.  But it was pretty much what he tried to focus on when he was on the planet.  People can argue how that played out - but if you understand the journey and path of souls - we come here to play a particular role, we come here to learn lessons in compassion and love, and we also come to teach those same lessons.  And once we're off stage, we return "home" to who we've always really been.  Someone in a place of unconditional love. Someone who is connected to their soul family.

Which was his pot of gold.

So adieu my friend, I'll catch you on the Flipside - and don't forget to save some of that rainbow for me over there.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

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