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Vince Koehler - Man & Movies
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Reviewed on 2005-05-27
By Erwin K. Roberts
Over the last few years readers of the Gazette got to know Vince Koehler through his writing on theater, the arts in general, goings on in the community, and especially the movies. Outside of his friends, his faith, and his family, Vince's great passion centered on what began as Edison's Magic Box. He loved the movies, and everything about them.

My wife and I were introduced to Vince and Marieann Koehler by mutual friends a bit over twenty years ago. Then I was involved in various CableTV projects on what was American CableVision. One was a show called Entertainment Spectrum. Of course the fact that I was reviewing movies caught Vince's attention. We kept meeting at various events and social gatherings.

During his lifetime Vince owned more movie cameras and video recorders and camcorders than some major TV stations. He became a very early adopter of eight millimeter video.

Until then Entertainment Spectrum stayed in the studio doing reviews and discussions. We could check out the company's equipment, but only with a "you break it, you bought it" agreement worth many thousands of dollars. Piece of junk that it is, footage captured on VHS could not be used. When Vince agreed to shoot in Video 8 for us, Entertainment Spectrum really got moving.

Most people knew Vince as very outgoing and self-confident. Yet he was initially reluctant to go in front of the camera to do openings, bridges, and closings. Do an interview?!? Of course the National Guard kept sending me out of town when we needed to talk to someone on camera. Vince was nervous, but game. Early on legendary comic book editor Julie Schwartz turned an interview into a near ten minute monologue. Of course he got better and better as time passed. He soon became my partner and the co-producer.

Press night at the American Heartland Theater became a tradition as we interviewed each new cast, and even the author a time or two. We went to many science fiction, comic book, Star Trek, and even one Sherlock Holmes conventions. Our genuine interest in the subject matter and respect for the fans landed us tons of footage. We interviewed actors, authors, and Klingons! Oh, my!

When Time Warner Cable converted the Community Channel to Metro Sports, the video version of Entertainment Spectrum came to an end. Vince went looking for new venues. He found the Gazette. Eventually I joined him.

Vince's love of the movies was no secret. At the funeral service, his Parrish Priest said he could imagine God asking Vince, "Do you want to see MY projection booth?"

Yes, I can see that. Then, after he checks up on family and friends, Vince will start looking for the local version of the Map To The Stars' Homes. He'll want to chat with Buster Keaton, John Ford, Carol Lombard, and many others. If he can find a camera and microphone, look out! I can see it now. The camera rolls. Vince greets his first guest, "Thanks for speaking to us today, sir. Let me ask you this. Now that you have some free time again, are you going to write another play, Your Holiness?"

We miss you, Vince.

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