The Netflix hit of the year was Stranger Things. The stars of the show are kids. It does feels a little weird for a 50 plus year old guy to ask kids that are just barely teenagers for their autographs. As I mentioned before, collecting autographs is an addiction.
Gaten Matarazzo – a fellow Jersey-ian. He spent a lot of time in front of his table as he posed for photos and chatted with other fans that were kids. He took time asking that the photo looked good. He constantly had a smile on his face and seemed open to answer any question.
Noah Schapp – when I walked through the empty corral, the handler rushed up to me to turn me away. I was told Noah was leaving for lunch. Ok, no problem. A kid needs his 3 square a day. Then the dad asked what I had. Without saying a word, I showed my photos. Dad waved me in and Noah perked up ready to receive me.
Of course the handler didn’t see this as his back was turned. He looked at me menacingly. Okay not menacingly. He was barely in his 20’s, less than half my weight, and about a foot shorter. But he did look at me. With intensity he asked if I ‘needed something’ with the not so hidden meaning of ‘what’s the problem dude’. I smiled. I had to give the handler credit. It was brave. Now Noah is waving me in. I leaned forward and asked the handler if he could turn and look at the table. I mentioned they are waving me in. I also said I wasn’t planning of pushing past him but I have conflicting messages that I hoped could be fixed. He turned and saw the others motioning me forward. He moved out of my way.
Noah was friendly and thanked me for coming stopping by. Dad apologized for the confusion. I thought nothing of it but in a positive way. They stayed a little long so I didn’t have to come back in an hour. I thanked both of them for that. Neither of them thought staying a little longer was an issue.
Caleb McLaughlin – with any show, there are times when the lines ebb. One of these times, a small child started walking through the corral toward Caleb. The corrals turn back and forth to stack a larger group of people neatly into a smaller space. This child was about 3 foot tall. His back was twisted. His hips were wide and the gait was painful to watch. One arm was in a large cast and some metal rods were sticking out of it. The hand at the end of that cast was malformed. The child’s dad was a few feet behind him as they slowly navigated the lanes. It seems they waited for a time to avoid the crowds.
Caleb looked up. He hopped off his chair and met the child about half way up the line. He instantly knelled on one knee and started chatting with the child. A moment later, Caleb’s father realized what his son did and went to greet the father. Then the 4 of them slowly made their way to the table and chatted. I lost track of all of them as my line moved but it was heartwarming.