One year ago today I started my day like any other. I was looking at my favorite pages and when I went to Sideshow Collectibles my mind went numb. There on the front page was the announcement that my very good friend Diane Kamahele. had died. I didn't know what to think! I had just spoken to her the day before and she was her usual bubbly happy self. I never would have thought that that would have been the last time I would ever get to speak to her again!
It's been a year since that day. I truly miss her. Diane was a special person. She was always happy. She was always helpful. If you won a Sideshow prize of any type from this site, it was Diane you should be thanking. Whenever I called she always gave me some time. We didn't always talk about toys. We spoke of family, life, jobs...just stuff. When I had my heart attack she called me to see if I was ok.
Toy Fair and the San Diego Con were always special as Andrew & I would barrel into the booth to see what new offerings there were. Diane was always there, smile on her face and happy to see us. She would take the time to personally take us around and even get product unlocked so we could shoot them without glare from the glass cases. She even put up with my antics of trying to take samples home with me. She was just special.
Time moves on as it always does. I still miss my friend. Sideshow isn't the same without her. They still make & distribute cool stuff, but they don't have somebody like Diane to talk to anymore. No face of the company so to speak. It just isn't the same.
They say you go to a better place when you leave here. I sort of get that if you were sick or in pain. Diane, to the best of my knowledge, was niether. My thoughts are that this place would have been better with her here then without.
I plan on visiting Diane this week. Say hi and just look around at the beautiful peaceful spot where she now is. I have also debated about creating an annual Diane Kamahele Quality award. To be presented to the the company/representative that best exhibits the qualities Diane did. I am uncertain if there really is anybody who can measure up to that.
Today I ask you to do just one thing. Make sure that you tell those that you are close to how you feel about them. Forget about the chase for a while. Look into the eyes of those you love and tell them what is in your heart. You just never know what is around the corner.
This column is about toys and the connected moments attached to them. Daine was a huge part of this industry and I know there will never be another like her. All of us here at AFTimes miss Diane. I hope where ever it is you are Diane that it is a nice place. The skies down here twinkle with one less light. I'll see you on the other side some day. Keep the cases locked until then.