MY INVITATION TO SAINT PETER'S CEREMONY
(Peter Cushing's funeral procession passes Tudor Tea Room - one of Peter's favorite haunts)
It was the eleventh of august 1994 when I was on my way from Germany to London by car. I didn't tell most of the people I knew there that I was coming over as I only wanted to spend a few days with a friend in this great city and didn't want to disappoint my friends over there if I couldn't meet all of them during my stay. Not having passed the border from Germany to France we heard the sad news on the radio: Peter Cushing had died. Though we all knew that this would happen some day I was deeply shocked. I only had met him once before and only very briefly in Whitstable but he influenced my life enourmously from the very first moment I saw him in the movies and especially when he answered my English written letter with one written in German. Since then I have always considered Peter Cushing not as an unreachable icon on the big screen but as a wonderful human being, a true gentleman.
After eleven hours drive we reached London. Our way to the hotel led us near Marshalsea Road where Dave Prowse has still got his Star Gym. I would have had a very bad conscience not to drop in for a few minutes as I knew Dave for years and we became very good friends. My friend wanted to stay in the car as she was very tired and so I entered alone. Behind the reception counter was James, Dave's son. An to my big surprise he told me that his father was just out for an hour and that he should tell me to wait in the gym. I was absolutely irritated! How could he know that I was coming? Nobody could have told him! Was the Force probably really strong in him? After about 30 minutes Dave came back and before I could say anything he asked me if I heard the news. Of course I did. Then he went on and told me that he already talked to Joyce and James Broughton and said it was okay from their side if I would come with him to the ceremony. This left me speechless! I didn't even bring a suit. So I bought one the other day and went with him. It took me one year in which I was dying of curiosity before I asked Dave how he could possibly know that I was coming over to England that day. He only answered: "I didn't know, but I expected you to get in your car or on the next plane when you hear about it!"
Being a fan but not a fanatic I have to give in that this would probably never have come to my mind and so I guess this was just one of those big surprises life holds for you when you never expect them. I think they call it fate.
COPYRIGHT JENS REINHEIMER, 2000