In 1995, I asked my mother to take me to Chicago for my birthday, a three-hour drive from my home in Grand Rapids, MI, to meet Adam West, Frank Gorshin and Julie Newmar. I didn't know how I could possibly meet them without a high-quality costume. I had owned a few store-bought costumes from years ago but I needed this one to be great. So I asked my mom, a professional seamstress, to sew me an authentic costume. A few weeks later, I was as ready for the trip as I could be! I was incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to meet some of my favorite television idols!
When we arrived in Chicago the convention was well under way. The first fellow fan I met was a man by the name of Wally Wingert. His jacket was plastered with emblems and anyone could tell he was a die-hard fan. I asked if he was there for the convention, as if the jacket wasn't a big enough clue! He was very kind to me and my family and helped me significantly with contact information regarding props and costume parts such as utility belts, Boom-a-Rangs, etc. This was in the pre-internet age, mind you, and I unfortunately lost touch with Wally for two years. By phone, we were able to reconnect in 1997 and are friends still today. Wally has been a tremendous supporter of my piano music ministry, Alex-Zsolt Ministries, and I appreciate it greatly.