Dear Harry…

So this is it, huh? Tonight around midnight brings the beginning of the end…the last time you’ll tell me a tale or two before closing the book forever. It’s a strange feeling – one I always knew was coming, but like so many milestones, one that feels odd to finally have arrived. Have you ever had that happen? Like in school when you spend so many days wishing you can be somewhere else, and once that final bell rings you feel a bit saddened to never be coming back?

Of course you’ve never had that happen. You’re fictional.

I have to openly wonder what it felt like to grow up with your stories, to have been ten or eleven when those first books hit the shelves instead of being in my late teens and early twenties. Maybe if I’d been younger and more impressionable, this day would feel even more bittersweet than it does. Yes, I know I act very immature but that’s not the same and you know it.

I’ll always remember working in a camera shop around the turn of the century when my boss recommended your books. ‘Course when he started his recommendation by telling me that the books belonged to his boys and that they were children’s lit, I scoffed…but eventually, I did indeed become very curious. Thus I bought a book…then another…and another. Soon after I’d go looking for the fourth part of your story the day it was released, only to find it was sold out everywhere!

But of course, as much as I’m a bookworm, it’s the movies of your life that have fanned the flames all these years. Like that fourth book, I’ve shown up for the stories of your adventures the day they were released – sometimes the very hour. They drew a smile from my admittedly immature sensibility, and increasingly impressed me as they got better and better. That’s no easy feat Harry – just because your story is a good one doesn’t mean someone can’t screw up telling the story.

(By the way – good move getting rid of the HOME ALONE guy)

So here we are…twelve years later from the start, ten from the first time I watched you come to life in living colour. Admittedly, I’ve taken a step or two back in the last few years, but hopefully you weren’t feeling ignored. I just had to put you on the shelf for a while…the same way you need to step away from an album everybody is playing for a while. I needed to get a bit of distance in an effort to let some things fade, and reclaim a bit of their newness when I returned to them.

I’m rambling here mate, so I’ll get to the point: I’m going to miss you. Your tales showed what Hollywood was capable of when they wanted to do their best, and the effect you’ve had on a generation of kids is immeasurable. I’ll still look back on your journey from time to time – my wife will make sure of that – but for now, allow me to extend my hand, and wish you well.

Safe journey young man.