My earliest memory of Batman is the 60s TV series. Well actually, it’s the 1966 movie based on that TV show. I must have been about three years old and the film was actually being run on network television – ABC I believe – on a Saturday night. I don’t remember if I knew that it was going to air on TV or that my Mom tuned it in for me. Regardless, I must have wanted to watch it and I was already a Batman fan.
As far as the aforementioned BATMAN TV series, I don’t remember watching it while it was actually airing first run on ABC, but I know I watched it because my Mom told me so. However, I do vividly recall coming home from school – and I started my public school career when I was four years old in a pre-kindergarten – and watching it via syndicated reruns.
My GOSH, did I love that show! And make no mistake about it, I took it as serious back then as I do “The Dark Knight Trilogy” today. Without it, I wouldn’t have become a Batman fan.
Since I loved Batman and that 60s show so much, my Mom drove me up to a Woolco department store in Beaumont, TX to see Burt Ward – in full Robin regalia – autographing pictures. I went dressed in that suit you see in the picture above. Unfortunately, I have no idea where that picture is today. Thanks Mom for help making me the fine Batman fan I am today!
Another one of my earliest Batman memories was my 3rd birthday party in 1968. One of my presents was a homemade cloth Batman suit that my Mom had sewn for me (see the pic, above and right). Since I was turning three and it had been made when I was still two, it’s pretty clear that my Batman fandom predates the third anniversary of my birth. Anyway, back to that suit, I wore it out – literally. Even with the holes it acquired, I “played Batman” in it until I couldn’t fit into it any longer. When the body suit wouldn’t fit any longer, I continued sporting the cape and cowl. Eventually, c. 1973-ish, my paternal Grandmother made me another one that was based more on Batman’s SUPER FRIENDS look than the 60s TV show – though they sorta looked the same, right?
I’m sure many of you reading this are probably thinking “This cas liked THIS goofy Batman stuff, and he presents himself as a fan of the 'dark and serious Batman'?!” If so, I get that. None of this went on to become “My Batman.” Regardless, it was this stuff combined that made me a Batman fan and cemented my Batman fandom, well, forever.
Looking back, it's clear that Batman was both a role model and father figure to me. My Mom and father divorced when I was two years old – serving in Vietnam really F'ed him up, so said my Mom and his parents, my wonderful Grandmother and Grandfather. Consequently, I never knew my father, so both my grandfathers and -- down the line a bit -- my football coaches were my "Dad," but so was Batman. I guess it wasn't a coincidence that I ended up becoming a football coach. I would've become Batman, but that wasn't an option.
Hell, when I think about it, since my Mom and both sets of grandparents have passed, my relationship with Batman is definitely the longest-running one I’ve got! Of course, the relationship continues on to this day and I don’t foresee us breaking up.
A life-long Batman fan, Bill "Jett" Ramey
is the founder of BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM.
He likes Elvis, The University of Texas,
Dallas Cowboys Football, and of course...
He resides in the GREAT state of TEXAS with his lovely wife, three kids, and two Boston Terriers.