Wednesday, October 1st 2008

12:00 AM

"James Dean Memorial" - Fairmount - Indiana - 9-30-08


‘He’s the coolest person on the planet’

Dean fans gather once again to honor legendary local

By Mishele Wright
Published: Wednesday, October 1, 2008 1:16 AM EDT
FAIRMOUNT — Janssens Carine’s longtime dream came true this week. She and her friend, Ria Nys, traveled from Belgium to the United States for one reason: to visit James Dean’s hometown during the anniversary of his death.

The two women attended the James Dean memorial service Tuesday at Back Creek Friends Church. They then followed the procession to Park Cemetery, where they took photographs of themselves in front of Dean’s tombstone.

“I’m emotional,” Carine said. “I’m having the time of my life.”

She said she’s been a fan of the actor since she was a teenager. She began arranging her trip to Fairmount early this year.

“The people here are so friendly, so warm,” Carine said about Fairmount residents.

She said Dean is still popular in Belgium, too.

“In the shops, there are still things to buy with his picture,” she said.

Close to 100 fans gathered at the church to celebrate Dean’s life and talent Tuesday. Some of the fans shared their thoughts about Dean.

Sam Carlin Sr., Jacksonville, Fla., told the crowd of fans that he’d been coming to the memorial for four years and that this year could be his last year. Carlin is battling cancer and was given only a little time left to live. The audience stood and clapped for Carlin after he was finished speaking.

“It was very important for my daughter to see the love people have in this town and the love and inspiration James Dean has given me over the years,” Carlin said.

He brought his daughter, Mia Carlin, to the memorial Tuesday. Mia said it was important for her to be with her father. She risked losing her job to come, she said.

“This is a big deal for him,” she said. “He’s been begging me for a long time.”

Patricia Hudson has been coming to the memorial service for four years. The Portland resident said she thinks it’s great that Dean is still popular.

“I think it will continue,” she said. “There are always die-hard fans.”

Mark Kinnaman agreed that Dean’s legacy will live on for years to come.

“Every year, I find new fans,” he said. “Then we have the old die-hards like me. There are no signs of dying out.”

Kinnaman has been coming to the memorial since 1989. He said he moved to Fairmount in 2001 because of James Dean. He has four rooms full of Dean collectibles. Each year during the Dean festival, Kinnaman gives tours of Fairmount, highlighting spots of interest related to Dean. Kinnaman said he isn’t surprised Dean is still popular.

“James Dean is James Dean,” he said. “His popularity can raise and lower, but there’s always going to be someone he speaks to.”

The reason Kinnaman loves Dean so much is simple: “The fact that he’s the coolest person on the planet,” he said, “and always will be.”

Karen and Bob Rothermel traveled to Fairmount from Pennsylvania for the second year in a row.

“We’re James Dean fans and car fans,” Karen said. “We love cars.”

Bob said Dean was influential in his life. He remembers watching his movies when he was 12 years old. Last year, the couple didn’t know about the memorial service, they said.

“We started planning this right away so we could get here on Tuesday,” Karen said.

The couple said they were impressed with the festival and with Fairmount in general.

“It’s a beautiful (place),” Karen said. “Everybody was extremely friendly. The museum is fantastic. We discovered how talented (Dean) was in all areas.”

She said she and her husband will definitely be back to the James Dean festival in the future.

“We’re more impressed with James Dean now than when we were younger,” Bob said.

Nicky Bazooka once again led the procession to the cemetery and laid flowers on Dean’s grave. Before leaving the church, however, he made a few brief comments to the fans.

“I’m so glad we can all get together at least once a year to celebrate his life and work here in Fairmount,” he told the crowd. “Like Santa Claus, I’ll be back next year.”

Bazooka has been coming to the memorial for well more than 30 years.

“I’ve done it for so many years now, people would be disappointed if I didn’t,” he said.

Bazooka thinks it’s great that Dean has become such an icon, but he is surprised at the popularity.

“When we first started doing this, it wasn’t a big deal,” he said.

Being a mystery is hard work, though, Bazooka said. His motorcycle gets ridden only once a year, and it sometimes can be a battle to get to Fairmount, he said.

“But it’s worth it,” he said. “I’ve been hanging out with ‘Deaners’ now most of my life.”



"James Dean Festival" - Fairmount - Indiana - 9-26-08 - Thru - 9-28-08...

"James Dean Memorial" - 9-30-08...

A great time was had by all...Visitors from all over the Planet ...LA - Japan - Belgium - Florida - New York - & elsewhere...

below are a few pics taken by a good friend...

 'Mary Ann Michna'

Artist & Photographer... 

A taste of another reality:

Kip Brown - Author - Musician --- Miss Pamela Des Barres - Author --- Marcus Winslow - James Dean's cousin --- Sesu Coleman - Musician - Manager ---

"Deaners All"

Photo taken at the 'Winslow' farm - Fairmount - Indiana - where Jimmy grew up...

Kip Brown & Sesu - James Dean Memorial - 9-30-08 - After Church service...

Pamela Des Barres & Lenny from "Rebel-Rebel" shop - dancing to 50's music upstairs continuing the party...


Pamela Des Barres - Marcus Winslow - Kip Brown & Jimmy's first car....a beauty

One Cooooool House !!!

More pics taken from the event from friend - & "Deaner" - Kip Brown...

Deep in thought at James Dean's grave - Sesu - Katherine & Rachel ...Picture puzzle of the mind.

Hangin' loose....Zach - Kim - Sesu - Mary Ann Michna...


The Princess 'Pamela Des Barres' & 'Sesu' with the Winslow farmhouse where James Dean grew up in the backround....worth a million words.

Also a shout goes out to 'David Loehr' for organizing the 'James Dean' festival this year - a great event...










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