When I returned to the studio the next day, Sandy was gone, his desktop cleared of whatever had been his. I was the Care Bears’ story editor now. It was bittersweet. Sandy wasn’t a bad guy. He was a smart guy, had earned an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia.
But being a story editor wasn’t for him. It seemed to me that he had been adrift, and one didn’t survive long in the entertainment world if one was adrift. Much later, I’d look him up on what would become the web. He’d write an episode of Jem here, Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling there. But except for snagging a slew of Tom & Jerry Kids’ episodes, most of his gigs were single episodes.
He never worked again as a story editor.
The last I knew he was teaching at a college, which seemed the right fit for him.
This children’s entertainment business, as I’ve said, can be brutal. It’s not all about writing for warm and fuzzy teddy bears. It’s also about politics, relationships, maneuvering, jockeying and sometimes doing something you’re not proud of, but something that nonetheless needs to be done.
In the epic film, Patton, there’s a scene in which the hard-edged general whose audacity and dogged determination and relentlessness did more than any single person to win World War II is walking through a battlefield with his aide-de-camp after a battle. Patton surveils twisted tanks, bodies everywhere. He looks up at acrid, choking black smoke rising and after a moment, in a grim confession, rasps, “I love it… God help me, I do love it so... I love it more than my life...”
I would come to know what the warrior general meant.
People die in wars. It’s sad, and for a time you mourn them. But if you’re a warrior you resign yourself to knowing it’s a part of war and often to the benefit of those who go on battling for the victories that they and fellow warriors seek.