Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Batman of Birmingham

Lou Anders writes:

"Do you know the story of the Batman of Birmingham? I remember him, but I don't remember his name, and I am fuzzy on the details.

"He was a guy who spent all he had on a souped-up car (a Corvette?) that was tricked out with all kinds of radios, police band receivers, CBs, etc. ... and covered in lights and fins. He wore a cape and a helmet (which looked nothing like Batman; the choice of name was strange) and would ride around helping motorists in distress.

"I met him once when I was like 12 years old. He wasn't very sophisticated, but he was a true hero.

"He died one day when his garage door closed while he was working under his car, and he was asphyxiated.

"He's the only real-life superhero I ever met, and I still think of him from time to time."

Thanks to Lou for this tantalizing recollection.

Thanks, too, to Phillip Jordan of the Birmingham Weekly, who tells me the Batman's car is on display at the entrance to the flea market held the first full weekend of each month at the Alabama State Fairgrounds in Birmingham. The hours are 3-9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. I'll get over there at the next opportunity and take a photo for the blog. (If Lou's memory of the Batman's demise is correct, I guess this was also the poor guy's death car. Yikes!)

Phillip can tell me nothing more about the Batman himself, however. Does anyone else remember the Batman of Birmingham, and any details about him?


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