30 years

Story topics: 30 years, best boy, philly

Best Boy, the film, has just turned 30

As hard as it is for me to believe, it's been 30 years since I made Best Boy.

Little did I realize the kind of longevity and deep impact the film would have, and continues to have up through the writing of these words.

When I made Best Boy, I planned to do nothing more than tell a personal story.

It surprised me as much as anyone that Best Boy went on to have the social and cultural significance it did. And it still does.

Best Boy continues to be shown all over the world, in theatres, on television, in institutions of higher learning, in a multitude of social work settings, as well as in people's living rooms.

And what about Philly?

Thirty years later, many who see the film are STILL sending emails, asking about Philly's wellbeing, and telling stories of their own Best Boys and Best Girls.

Can Philly still be alive? Indeed he is.

Philly has thrived over the years since Best Boy

He's now 81 and, except for some high blood pressure and arthritis, he's in very good health.

He continues to live in the same group home.

He has many friends.

His days are busy with day center and group home activities.

His social life is still better than mine!

And although the flesh may not be quite as willing as it once was, his spirit more than makes up for it.

Philly's success is a lesson for us all

The fact that Philly has not only survived these thirty years-- but actually thrived and continued to grow--is truly a lesson for us all.

It's amazing what can be accomplished when stigma is set aside, and people are given the chance to live up to their full potential.

I'm grateful for the positive part Best Boy has played in the lives of countless others. I'm also grateful to have had the good fortune of having Philly in my life.