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This page contains two pieces I wrote about my Father, after his passing. 
The first appeared here on the Crimson Collector, the second at - CM

"Do Heroes Really Die?" - A Tribute to Tom Mason
Originally posted August 17, 2003 (edited Sept. 16, 2003)

by Chris Mason
Words can't even begin to describe the emotions that the human soul goes through when a loved one dies.

Friday, August 15th at approximately 7:45pm my father, my Pop as I liked to call him - THOMAS MASON passed away of a massive heart attack.  He had been ill, and in & out of the hospital for a few weeks, and was in fact released earlier that same day and was expected to make a slow but full recovery... He had even hit the computer and contacted may of his internet buddies to let them know he was back in action.  Little did any of us know that only a few short hours later he would be gone!

As per my father's request there was no official funeral ceremony, instead it was a small gathering for the family, no pomp and circumstance... the thought that any of his friends would have to dress up and listen to a bunch of other friends rattle-on about his life and cry all over the place, made him cringe.  So instead, also per his wishes, we celebrated his LIFE with a party Sunday Aug. 24th.  My Pop was not know for his traditional ways, in fact this is the only way he would have had it.

My Pop was a rare breed, picture a 69 year old man rushing to Toys R Us because he had to be the first to own the latest Batman action figure, back in the day it was not unusual for him to buy two of everything, one to open and display the other to keep mint in the box, so it's value would increase with age.  But that's the funny thing, he would never in a million years sell it anyway!  I can't tell you how many times I would get a call from him telling me about his latest toy purchase.  

My mother, the saint that she is put up with nearly 70% of the house covered in every manner of collectible, from rare 1930's Mickey Mouse toys, Lone Ranger, Star Trek & Justice League plates to the movie and ABC TV posters from the various Academy Awards shows he had worked on in his many years in broadcasting - to every kind of superhero toy you could imagine.  My Pop had so many collectibles that when I moved out of the house my room was quickly renovated into what has become a landmark attraction, the COMIC BOOK ROOM!  Pop had also made it his mission to re-collect from his youth all the Space Patrol cosmic smoke guns he could find...  and as a result of his love for Space Patrol I dedicated a special section of the CC site to his memories of Space Patrol. He & I worked closely to make it a very special section of the CC site... sadly that site will probably never be completed I have nowhere near the knowledge that he had, He had many ideas for expanding the SP site that sadly have gone with him. 

I could go on and on about how great and special my Pop was, many of you who have gotten to know him over the years have found him to be an honest, trustworthy and dedicated friend. I for one will miss our daily phone conversations about comics, movies, toys, his grandkids or to just plain talk about nothing... he spoke highly of all of you and I feel in some small way that I got to know some of you in the process.  I know if it's possible to connect to the internet from where he is, he will see to it that he drops in on us all from time to time!

I want to thank everyone on behalf of my father, my Mom and the rest of our family for all the kind phone calls and emails I (we) have received, I can't tell you how much we appreciate it.

The Crimson Collector site will continue, in honor of my father... so I hope that you will continue to visit and think happy thoughts about a very special man, my pop TOM MASON.

CHRIS MASON - Crimson WebMaster 
Aug. 17, 2003 (edited Sept. 16, 2003)

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NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES – A Tribute by Chris Mason
Originally posted on (edited Sept. 16, 2003)
by Chris Mason

How many of us can remember picking up our first comic book?  The first time you saw your favorite superhero on TV or in the movies?

I practically learned to read from comic books.  I was four when the Batman TV series hit TV in 1966 and remember my Pop decorating the house with all sorts of Batman stuff in anticipation for the premier.  In fact I still have my Ideal big blue plastic Batman helmet.

My Pop (as I liked to call him) introduced my brothers and I to the old time black & white movie serials.  We had this huge old 8mm movie projector, it looked like something Captain Nemo might have on the Nautilus, when fired up it would blow fuses throughout the neighborhood.  We’d close all the doors in our hallway and turn the cramped space into our own little movie screening room. My Pop would show us silent serial versions of Batman, funny thing we only had two chapters and at the end of the second reel Batman would fall off the side of a building in a that chapter’s cliffhanger. We had always imagined how Batman would have escaped, it wasn’t till years later that I was able to see the complete serial and know that Batman landed on a window cleaner’s rig.

Years later, as an adult I stood in line with my Pop & brothers for the first showing of Michael Keaton as the dark knight, while in line we talked about when he took us to the drive-in to see 2001 and Destroy All Monsters. That night in 1989 was a fun night.

My Pop, from an early age had a great hand in what I do today. My love of comics and superheroes, movies etc…  He introduced me to the likes of The Lone Ranger, Hopalong Cassidy, Tom Mix, Spy Smasher, Captain Marvel, Superman and all the rest. One of my favorite childhood memories is when my parents took my brothers & I to one of the now defunked Lone Ranger Restaurants. We stood in the hot sun to meet non other that the Masked Man himself, Clayton Moore, I'll never forget him riding up on Silver in full costume and signing autographs and speaking with all the kids & parents. We eat Ranger burgers & Tonto dogs that day, it's one of my fondest memories.

My Pop didn’t wear a cape or run faster than a speeding bullet, but he WAS our hero!  He taught us that it didn’t matter how old you were as long as you remained young at heart, Pop was 69 years old and every week he went to his favorite comic shops and haunted the isles at Toys R Us for the latest action figure to add it to his vast collection.

My father passed away quite unexpectedly on August 15, 2003.  His influence on my brothers, my family and me will not soon be forgotten.

LONG LIVE THE HEROES  -  Thomas J. Mason 1934 - 2003

Aug. 2003 (edited Sept. 16, 2003)

Aka: Excelsior, Chris Mason is the co-founder of SuperHeroHYPE and is the Webmaster for his father’s web page

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