This is my tribute to the actress, Margot Kidder.
Memories are a mystery.
I’m at a loss to explain why my mind holds onto meaningless moments from the past, only to retrieve them at random.
When I was five or six years old, in the days of bread deliveries to the door, the bread man gave me a polo mint – once but never forgotten.
Thirty-five years ago, a colleague came to work in a raincoat, and I can still recall his walk along the office floor that day.
But not all moments are fleeting. There was one woman I encountered for a few hours when I was ten years old. I have adored her ever since, but we have never met.
Her name was Margot Kidder.
The School Trip
My first holiday away from home was a school trip to Edinburgh.
Given my inconsequential memories above, it’s odd I can recall little about the trip other than a visit to Madame Tussauds, faking sickness to avoid an excursion, and going to the cinema.
Oh, how I remember the cinema.
I had no clue what film we were waiting to see.
Our teachers must have joked when they asked us if we wanted to see Superman or Kramer versus Kramer. I knew neither film, but everyone shouted Superman.
Children might take the cinema for granted today, but for me, it was a rare experience. I missed Star Wars and had to beg my parents to take me to see Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
I can only guess that going to Belfast in the 1970s, a city under constant terror attack wasn’t my parent’s top destination.
For a 10-year-old, Superman was breathtaking. I was there in a world that looked real compared to the cardboard cut-out sets of TV’s Doctor Who.
The music, the journey to Krypton and Superman’s first flight. I relived the film in my mind of over and over. When I got home, I pretended to the fly on top of my bed. Something I stopped by my mid-twenties.
No other actor has matched Christopher Reeve’s performance in the title role, and Margot Kidder is the definitive Lois Lane.
Over the years I pleaded with my parents when the film and its sequels returned to the cinema. Before we could afford videotape, I had to endure a 10-year wait for TV premiers.
Margot’s appeal, husky voice, and strong character made her more than a damsel in distress. She was a hero too.
Margot’s performance clinging to the helicopter or drowning in the desert sand portrayed blind fear.
The actors have never aged, at least in my eyes. Christopher Reeve became a paraplegic hero and Margot a mental health advocate. Different kind of heroes.
Margot was beautiful and believable. It was Margot who made you believe a man could fly.
Margot delivered other performances and may have made a few duds.
Her bipolar condition may have led to her untimely demise, but she will always be a special woman from childhood and the definitive Lois Lane.
When 1978 was the present day, Margot Kidder was on top of the world in one of the biggest movies of all time.
May 13th, 2018 was another moment in time, her last.
We should strive to live every good moment, embrace life, including the silly little times of nothing much.