Our Trip to Hollywood

Bobby
Bobby | Source

Mother goes to Hollywood

Years ago--in the 80's, my mother and I took a trip to Hollywood, California. We went to visit a cousin of ours that lived there then, Bobby Hoffman. Bobby was the dialogue director for "Happy Days" and "Mork and Mindy" --popular TV shows in those days. We stayed several days with him and enjoyed going on the sets and meeting some of the stars of the shows. Bobby would help them with their lines--in fact he was the one that suggested that great line that the "Fonz" would use--"Hey, Hey."

Getting an Autograph

One night, Bobby took us out to a musical that was playing in town. My mother spotted Sally Struthers in the audience, before the show started. She had seen Sally in the movie "My Name is Noah" --about a little deaf boy; and because of my own son, Mark, who is also deaf, she was very touched by her great performance in the movie. My mother decided to approach her, and ask for her autograph. Bobby warned my mom that she would probably refuse- as she didn't usually like to give autographs. But, knowing mom and as brave as she was, that didn't stop her. She walked right up to Sally anyway and showed her the (deaf) hand sign for I love you, and explained that she had a deaf grandson. To all our amazement, Sally spoke with her and told her how much that film had meant to her. She not only gave my mom that autograph, but also drew the hand sign for I love you.

Deaf Sign For I Love You
Deaf Sign For I Love You

Watching " My Name is Noah" Again.

Just recently, my granddaughter and I watched the re-run of the film "My Name is Noah." When I started crying, my granddaughter asked me what was wrong. I explained to her, that I understood how the mother in the movie felt (played by Sally Struthers), because that was how I felt raising my son, Mark, who is deaf also. I had experienced the same trials and frustrations as Noah's mom-- until we finally learned sign language together. My granddaughter and I both had tears in our eyes when, at the end of the movie, little Noah could finally communicate with his family through speech and signing.

Making a Difference For The Deaf

Bobby Hoffman was also touched when he watched the struggles we went through with Mark as a young boy. Later, he became an advocate for the deaf and handicapped in Movies and TV. He tried to make it possible for them to play their own parts. I still remember how excited he was when Marlee Matlin got the part in the movie, "Children of a Lesser God", and how proud he was of her when she won the Oscar for her part in the movie.

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