Like many people my age, I grew up with a few cultural icons that inspired wonder and fear.
As a small child, The Incredible Hulk scared me enough that I had to run to find my Dad every time Bill Bixby stepped aside for a green-painted, scowling Lou Ferrigno to take the stage. I was young enough that climbing the stairs up from the basement was still a chore, but I wouldn't have missed that show for the world.
I didn't catch the original run of Kolchack: The Night Stalker when it aired on ABC in the '70s, but when I talk to those who did, I recognize that same mix of wonder and delight.
Mark Dawidziak of the Cleveland Plain Dealer is one of those kids who grew up with Kolchack. And when Kolchack's creator Jeff RIce passed away, Mark sat down to compose this touching and thoughtful reminiscence of Mr. Rice, his creation, and the mark they both left on popular culture.
As a horror fan, I think of Dan Curtis, Darin McGavin, and Richard Matheson as the creative forces behind Kolchack. It's true that they were instrumental in shaping the movie and series, but none of it would have existed without Jeff Rice's novel paving the way.
It's a story worth reading.