Closing up shop. - A tribute to Chris Wiggins.
My heart absolutely sank just a week ago when I picked up my phone to discover that actor Chris Wiggins had passed away.
There are certain celebrity deaths that always seem to pack a punch for me. Usually when it's someone that I either grew up watching, or have fond memories associated with whatever they were in. For Chris Wiggins, this of course for me had to be his portrayal of Jack Marshak from Friday the 13th the series.
I still remember catching a rerun of Friday the 13th the series years ago when I was still in high school when a brand new station was broadcasting old episodes from popular horror themed TV shows. (Freddy's Nightmares, Tales from the crypt, Monsters, Tales from the dark side, and of course Friday the 13th the series.) Instantly I was hooked. For years I had been a massive fan of the film series, and had read a few times on the internet about the brief TV series that ran in the late 1980's that had absolutely nothing to do with Jason or Camp Crystal Lake. Besides a few fuzzy photographs, the show at the time was out of print, which meant there was no way at the time on watching it. When reruns of the show began to air, I instantly became hooked, truly enjoying that the show had nothing to do with the slasher films. Now, I know people are basically split into two groups when it comes to this show. There are either the people who think it was dumb that it shared the same name as the movies, and was just another way to cash in on the films. Then you have the other half with myself included. These are fans who like that the show strayed away from the format of the movies, and really loved the setting of the antique store, and storyline of the cursed objects having to be tracked down. This show was highly ahead of it's time, and sadly only lasted three seasons, which have now over the years gained a cult following. I remember absolutely loving the show. Not only was Curious Goods a great setting, but the trio of Micky, Ryan, and Jack teaming up to find these objects that always seem to have a trail of bodies behind them. This was a show I fell in love with, plowing through the episodes and originaly taping them all on the VCR before finding them on bootleg, and finally buying them when they were released on DVD. This show holds good memories for me since I watched a good handful of the episodes with my late mother. The year after she passed away this was my comfort show. As cheesy as it founds, the group from Curious Goods felt like family, and whenever I missed my mother or felt depressed I would re-watch some of my favorite episodes and feel a strange sense of comfort.
I loved this show so much I even named my two dogs after the two leads (Micki and Dallion.) Not only do I own the show on both released of DVD, I own the soundtrack on vinyl, and CD as well. This is a show I could gush about for hours, and have yet to read the amazing making of book that I heard is a must own for any fan. Feeling this show ended before it's time, it has inspired future shows such as the X-Files, and Warehouse 13. Rumors have floated around for years of it being remade, and as somebody who is covered in tattoos, I plan on paying tribute soon by getting some of my all time favorite cursed objects done on me.
Losing Chris was devastating to me. Not only was I bummed out I had never gotten the chance to meet him, I felt his death pack a punch simply because Chris played the character of Jack so well. He was a mix between a grandfather, uncle, and friend that you always wanted. He was the backbone of Curious Goods. He was the brains, with the background on researching the objects, and the first to try and stop and warn Micki and Ryan from selling the rest of the cursed objects off.) Jack stuck around for all three seasons and we learned not only was he a well cultured and educated man, he also had more depth than you could believe. He was in love with his friend and partner's wife who tragically died, had a son who passed away as a child, saw friends die over the years, and a long lost love taken away just when there could have been hope for a new future. Jack was the strength in the group that held Micki and Ryan together, and stayed by Micki's side after Ryan was written off and Johnny joined the shop. There are countless episodes that shows Chris' amazing talent shaping Jack into the truly stella character he was.
Chris seemed like a kind and very talented actor, and as a huge fan of the show I've been re-watching some of my favorite episodes featuring him. So, in closing I raise my glass to Chris and thank him for the warm comforting memories. Jack Marshak will live on, and continue to watch over the shop.
Thank you Chris, thank you.