Hudson Valley Ghostbusters
Hudson Valley Ghostbusters, Inc, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to helping our local community and having some fun along the way
My 40 Year Ghostbusters Journey
Forty years old.
That's how old the Ghostbusters franchise will be next year.
That's also how old I'll be at the end of this month!
With that in mind, I thought it fitting to look back at my relationship with Ghostbusters through the years, why it's stuck with me for nearly 4 decades, and why I fell in love with it to begin with.
It all began with the Care Bears, Thundercats, and Scooby Doo. Yes, really. That is a small sample of what the Saturday morning lineup of cartoons was like in 1986. ABC, NBC, and CBS, they had ALL the best shows on Saturday morning (if you didn't grow up in the 80's, you missed out!). Then, in September, a new show debuted on ABC. It was called The Real Ghostbusters, and at 3 years old, it instantly became my everything.
The theme song immediately pulled me in, and the concept of ghosts fascinated and sometimes frightened me. Add the allure of some seriously cool equipment (proton pack, anyone?), and I was hooked. The show went on to become a huge hit, and I later found it was based on a hit movie. A grown-up movie. Something I wasn't allowed to watch...
I saw Ghostbusters 2 first. I was 6 when it came out, and it was a more "kid friendly" film. I loved it. Viewing the original film soon followed, and guess what? I loved it, too! My love for the franchise waned a bit in the 90's, with little new merchandise or any new movies to watch. I was a teen, and other interests were foremost in my brain. I would later find out, though, that Ghostbusters never really left me.
I'd rewatch the movies intermittently throughout my teens and into adulthood. Then, in 2010, I spotted a vehicle on the road. Decked out and labeled as a "Zombie Response Vehicle." It made me think; I was into the paranormal, why not make a Ghost Response Vehicle?
"Oh, wait. Ghostbusters had Ecto-1. But I love Ecto-1! I should make my truck an Ecto-1!"
It was that quick a decision, and I went right to it. The Ghostbusters flame had been rekindled. The next year, I bought a khaki flight suit and put the logo patch and name badge on it. I decided to build a proton pack.
Using junk from the hardware store, special order lights and sound, and a set of plans off the internet, I worked 3 weeks building my first pack. It weighed a metric ton, but despite the weight, I felt awesome putting it on!
When I met Tara, now my wife, three years later, I hid my Ghostbusters obsession at first. I had to break it to her slowly. She was hesitant, but came around to loving my love for it. I even got her into a familiar flight suit. It became our Halloween tradition, but more was to come.
In July of 2017, my father passed away. With him recently gone, but the heartbreak still very present, I needed something to occupy my mind. I kicked around an idea I had a few years prior: forming a Ghostbusters group, doing events, volunteering, and trying to raise money for charity. It wasn't a new idea, other Ghostbusters teams were doing it for years at that point. There wasn't one close to me, though. Hence, Hudson Valley Ghostbusters was formed. With Tara and some of our close friends in tow, we started reaching out to do events. (Early on, being taken seriously was a MONUMENTAL task.)
We booked our first appearance in mid-August 2017, then a few more after that. By the time we booked our first Comic Con in 2018, it was time to recruit. It was a success! We kept recruiting, kept doing more events, and now, In 2023, we are around 20 members strong, have nearly half a dozen vehicles, and are constantly booked throughout the year. Yes, I'm bragging!
I'm looking forward to turning 40. In these past decades of my life, I've had more luck, love, support, and great friends than anyone could ask for. I head a fantastic team of like-minded people with the same love of this franchise. Ghostbusting is intertwined with so many great things in my life, and I can't wait to see what happens next!
No matter where life takes me in the future, there is one thing I know for certain:
I'll always love being a Ghostbuster.