This is from a January 17, 1987 letter to Mom and Pop:
"Guess where I'm going to be on my birthday? Give up? California! Yes, the trip to meet with the Playmates people is now scheduled for the week after next. We'll be leaving on the 27th, meeting on the 28th and 29th, and coming back on the 30th. I'm not really looking forward to it -- I'd much rather be home on my birthday, and regardless of my birthday, I don't like to be away from Jen that long. I just have to look at it as an irritating necessity of my business life, I guess.
I'm enclosing a couple of books that I don't think you have yet -- Leonardo #1 and Gobbledygook #1. Gotta keep your collection of Mirage Studios pubs up to date, right?"
[I think this was the very first visit Kevin and I made to Playmates Toys at their headquarters in La Mirada. Mark Freedman of Surge Licensing joined us out there. We met two of the major players working on the TMNT toy line at that initial meeting -- John Handy and Karl Aaronian.
Given what was to follow, which of course I could not fully envision at that point, it's a little amusing to see me describing this trip as an "irritating necessity of my business life"... which, I suppose, at that point it was. Taking four days out of our schedules when we were going great guns with the comics and struggling to keep up with our self-imposed deadlines probably did seem annoying at that time. And I really didn't like being away from my wife for that long.
It's funny -- during the time between the date of my last entry in these "Snippets", which was from June 7, 1986, and this one roughly seven months later in January of 1987, a lot of really important stuff happened -- we moved from Connecticut to Massachusetts, set up actual office space for Mirage Studios, lost one secretary/office manager, then hired another... and probably most significant, we got contacted out of the blue by Mark Freedman, met with him in Northampton and signed a deal for him to be the licensing agent for the TMNT property. I can't say for certain, because the dates are a little fuzzy in my brain, but it's also possible that both Jim Lawson and Mike Dooney moved to the Northampton area from Connecticut and New Jersey, respectively, during this period.
I really wish I'd written more of this stuff down when it was happening.
If memory serves, for some reason I ended up coming back by myself from sunny, warm California, and found my car covered in more than a foot of snow... which I had to dig it out of, with no shovel, in the unplowed parking lot at the airport. Not a pleasant experience. At least by this time I had a reliable new Honda which I would not worry about so much in terms of starting when I needed it to and having an actual working heater for the cold months.
It's possible that I am conflating this with some other winter trip which ended the same way... regardless, not fun. -- PL]