Words of Whit


Steve Whitford

The marvelous martian museum

Enter Marvin the Martian. This character was created by the mind of one Chuck Jones on the 24th day of July in 1948.

He’s small in stature, black, with no visible mouth and wears a Roman helmet and skirt — perhaps a depiction of Mars, the god of war. He made his movie debut in a “Haredevil Hare” for Looney Tunes, co-starring with Bugs Bunny.

Marvin’s sidekick was his dog, pet commander K-9, and together they flew their spaceship known as the Martian Maggot. In this and other cartoon epics, he has portrayed adversarial relationships with such stars as gun advocate Yosemite Sam, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck and other Warner Brothers entities.

Meet Chris Copeland, Earthling. At age 5 she collected her first Marvin the Martian memorabilia. She liked Marvin best over other cartoon characters because of his plan to blow up the Earth, but not because he was evil — planet Earth was blocking his view of Venus. He planned to accomplish Earth’s destruction by using his Illudium Q-36 explosive space modulator.

Copeland’s been collecting Marvin memorabilia ever since. Her extensive collection includes such Martian tokens as T-shirts, hats, lamps, salt and pepper shakers, a telephone, cookie jar, tea pots, key chains and jackets. Copeland also has candles, magnets, bumper stickers, bobble head figures, clocks, wrist watches and pillows.

In addition, Copeland has Martian headbands, a popcorn bowl, journals, a Marvin basketball game, hand creme, stuffed dolls and even Christmas ornaments. Everything to date is thoroughly Marvin. Copeland drinks from her Martian mug, writes with her Martian pen, saves money in her Marvin spaceship bank, blows bubbles from a spaceship filled with Martian soap and gets a Band-Aid from her Marvin Band-Aid box.

Perhaps her rarest specimen is a Marvin the Martian Pez dispenser. In her spare time, Copeland watches vintage Marvin videos and checks her internet Looney Tunes calendar, which keeps her informed of important dates. For example, Marvin’s birthday is July 24 and in 2004 he turned 56, measured in Earth years.

Fortunately, just like Marvin, Copeland has a dog commander. Unfortunately, her commander chewed up and completely destroyed her Martian slippers. But Copeland’s collection is quite extensive and will continue to grow.

Copeland has been a Key Peninsula resident since 2009. She’s a retired telephone technician and a Vietnam veteran. These days, she can be found volunteering at the Bischoff Food Bank, where she’s in charge of maintenance operations.

She also drives a large truck for picking up donations. She even furnished the food bank with the truck.

Future plans include a cross-country trip in her ‘39 Desoto, an odyssey she plans to record in her journal and hopefully publish in print on a later date.

Copeland can be reached at iamsong@aol.com.