Godzilla and I have a long history together. Thirty years ago, I went into labor while watching the VHS tape, Godzilla versus the Zero Monster. We lived far up in the Santa Cruz mountains and my mother was staying with us in anticipation of the arrival of her first grand child. Friends came over for dinner and the scheduled after dinner entertainment was a Godzilla movie marathon. To my mother’s dismay, I insisted on watching the end of Godzilla versus the Zero Monster even when my labor began. (Alisha, understanding her mother’s love of Godzilla, gave me plenty of time to finish the movie and time to drive to the hospital before making her joyful appearance.) Today, Alisha works cheerfully beside me in the office and studio and should be credited for taking the photographs of my Godzilla Charm.
In 1990, I married Art Bobroskie who was born and raised in Okinawa Japan and it soon became apparent that we shared a love of Godzilla. Our son, John was born in 1992 and on his first trip to Japan, we bought him several plastic Godzilla toys and subsequently weaned him on the classic 1950 Godzilla movies. In retrospect, John’s early introduction to a giant lizard monster may not have been the endorsed ECE child rearing method, but at 21 years old, John seems to be well adjusted in spite of it. When John was in fourth grade, he decided to do a report and project on the marine iguana and when we were both up to our elbows in gooey paper mache, (making a life sized paper mache marine iguana,) he asked me if we could go to the Galapagos Islands? When John was 11 and Alisha was 18, I took them both to the Galapagos to see the marine iguana’s first hand.
What some of you may not know is that the marine iguana was one of the inspirations for Godzilla. Godzilla was a radioactive mutation and some of my favorite scenes from the classic movies are of Godzilla emerging from the ocean and advancing towards Tokyo bay. The marine iguana is the only aquatic marine lizard and its head looks remarkably similar to the head of Godzilla.
Our families love of Godzilla and giant lizards continued. A few years later, when John was doing a report on tegu lizards, the subject of the Komodo Dragon came up. I pulled out the atlas and we found Komodo Island on the map and…..you guessed it…..Art, John and I were soon flying to Bali and subsequently to Flores Island to charter a small wooden boat to take us to Rinca and Komodo Islands. We hiked the rolling hills of Rinca and Komodo with two guides, each armed solely with long pointed sticks and crept close to several of the remarkable 14 foot lizards with the toxic saliva and deadly bite. A juvenile four foot Komodo lizard, startled by our presence, took off running along the dirt track in front of me and I ran after it. Both guides and Art wished that they had ready cameras to record that humorous moment; lizard gaining speed with it’s swaying reptilian gait, chased by Marty, loosing ground in a comical run.
Lizards continue to play an important part in our lives. Our family moved from the Santa Cruz mountains when John was in fourth grade. He was sullen and lonely parted from his friends so naturally, I thought a lizard would help his spirits. We took a much anticipated trip up to the East Bay Vivarium and John adopted a three inch baby bearded dragon as his pet. Twelve years later, Show Off reigns king over his harem of two female bearded dragons. It is spring time, 2014, and we are incubating their second clutch of eggs for the year. The first clutch proved infertile, but within this second clutch is one glowing pearlescent egg that seems to be growing and we are hopeful that our venerable male “Show Off” has done his part this time. Perhaps it will not surprise you that I have designed a Bearded Dragon Charm!
I enjoy the seclusion of our back yard where two 18″ plastic Godzillas watch over our Koi fish. Last week, several ducks discovered our back yard oasis and were not at all deterred by the Godzillas.