Why I Really “Get” Lost

It was not Survivor or Cast Away that drew me to Lost, although I enjoy the thought of what a person might do if they were stranded on an island. No, I think it started when I was a kid. My family was moving and we had the opportunity to move from the East coast of the USA to a far away place. My Dad was offered jobs in both Alaska and Hawaii. And I still remember the time he asked my brother and I which one we wanted to move to. Alaska seemed remote and hanging out in an icy region did not really appeal to us. So we decided to move to Hawaii instead. We moved when I was about eight years old. I really did not want to leave my friends on the East Coast. It was not easy making friends and the thought of meeting new people has always made me feel uneasy. But I did like the idea of flying on airplanes and seeing the world from a new perspective. It was beautiful in Hawaii, the people were very nice and totally laid back. But they seemed a little suspicious of us Haole’s (Caucasians) as we were in the minority. And back in the seventies most of that group were military families (although we were not). But we enjoyed our time exploring the islands, experiencing the beautiful weather and the beaches.

At night when I did not have homework to do, our family enjoyed watching T.V. shows. I loved science fiction shows the best, also cop shows, and mysteries. My favorites (in order) were: Star Trek, Gilligan’s Island, Scooby Doo, the Jetsons, and even some adult shows like Hawaii Five-O, The Twilight Zone and the The NBC Mystery Movies (Columbo, McMillan and Wife, and McCloud). I also enjoyed SciFi movies on television. Really memorable to me were 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and the original War of the Worlds. I also started reading some novels that my parents liked. The first “adult” book I ever read was Carrie, and the first “kids” book I really enjoyed was The Hobbit. I even made an attempt at reading the Lord of the Rings, but never made it past the first few chapters. At school I was fascinated by science and launching model rockets. I left Hawaii as a teenager after many great adventures with my friends to return to the mainland.

Coming back to the East Coast was not quite as much fun as I had hoped. I came back to the normal cliques that develop in middle school and senior high, but I was a little late to the party so to speak. But my small group of friends and I did have some fun seeing Star Wars and the return of Star Trek (in movie form). I went to college and got a great job designing airplanes. I got married and had a family. But I missed my youthful adventures and mysteries. I also missed my family who either had passed away or moved to other states. In the 90’s I began to get interested in spiritual things. I started exploring the Bible and became fascinated with the stories, God’s love, and the hope of the world to come. After I accepted the Lord as Savior, I wondered what would be next. I read the Bible in much greater depth and began to understand the world in a totally different way. The journey was one of the human heart as much as it was about far away places.

Well that finally brings me to Lost. After reading the Hobbit as a kid and reading it again to my kids, I heard they were making a movie of Lord of the Rings. I furiously started to read again the novel that I could not finish as a teenager. I saw the first movie and was totally amazed. After years of depressing movies about heroes who turn out to not be heroes at all, I had finally found (or rediscovered) the grand epic quest I loved as a kid. I read all three books of the trilogy and anxiously awaited the movies. I saw heroism as sacrifice for the first time. And I saw normal people doing normal things heroically. My favorite line in the FOTR was “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future” link. But like all good things it had to come to an end. What would be next? Maybe nothing as good as LOTR. Until one day I was reading a fan site for LOTR, it talked about Dominic Monaghan being in a new television show about people stranded on a deserted island. I did not think much of it at the time. This might be a cool show, at least it was something different than all the “reality” shows that were so prevalent. So I sat down to watch it the very first night it aired. Wow! This was not some tongue in cheek, Fantasy Island type, show. These characters acted just as you would expect real people would. But would it be just like Survivor, but scripted? After Jack introduced himself to Kate we would get the answer… Strange noises in the jungle followed by trees moving and uprooting… No this would be a SciFi show just like the ones I used to enjoy as a kid. I was hooked on Lost, and I still am.

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