Today is Terraluna The Fruit Bat's ( terraluna_bat ) birthday. Terraluna (the character) was born on October 31, 1999, a ew months before FCY2K. So that's right, even though he still tells kids he's only three years old, he's actually seven. In fursuit terms, that's about 70. (especially with the number of gigs he's done). Also of note, Yippee Coyote's birthday is also this Halloween, and he just turned 10!
Anyway, Terraluna's Birthday this year is even more special because he gets to have another one. For those of you that hadn't heard, he was seriously injured in a motorycle accident in Arnold, CA on Highway 4, reportedly hit by a logging truck while riding his Honda VFR. He broke three limbs, three ribs, and messed up his shoulder, and is lucky to be alive. The police, his motorcycle companions and the paramedics all said that the leather motorcycle gear and the helmet he was wearing saved his life. So not only is he pretty lucky, I'd say that's a pretty big endorsement for Helimot's Motorcycle Accessories, where he got all of his gear.
Terraluna and I have been running together for over six years now, and have done fursuit gigs together in everywhere from Children's Fairyland, numerous cons, and even the Oakland Coliseum on Halloween (entertaining the children of Raiders fans! GAH!). Through it all Richard has been the ultimate trooper, the unstoppable fursuiter who would put on his suit and leap into any situation to entertain the kids, no matter what. Even in some of the toughest gigs, I have ended up playing the Sancho to his Don Quixote as he put everything he had into making Terraluna the Fruit Bat real for the kids.
Those that were initially the most scared of the big 7-foot bat were the ones that would be his biggest fans by the time he was done winning them over; It was an amazing transformation that I've witnessed many times. He's been there for me countless times as I've tried to organize the most insane fursuit gigs and parties; whether to haul stuff, help out, or just make the gigs and parties even more excellent than I could have done.
So now he's laid up in the hospital in Marin County, and unable to do much for Halloween. He has a broken tibia in his left leg, a broken right arm, and the left arm is broken in thirty places and has all kinds of wicked-looking pins going through his arm to hold it together. The doctors say that his prognosis is good, considering he had a highway-speed motorcycle accident where he's lucky to be alive. I've gone to see him twice, and he's been getting better, but breaking three limbs (and three ribs, and messing up his shoulder) is going to take awhile to heal. He's been going through physical therapy, and has managed to actually walk(!) down the hall for a brief spell, but with both arms broken, this is with lots of assistance.
Traditionally, Terraluna the Fruit Bat has owned what I call "Halloween Month", generally known as October; He usually has ton of fursuit gigs this time of year as every haunted house and amusement park doing anything Halloween-related want him; He did every weekend in October, both days, at Children's Fairyland, the last two years. I thought he was nuts, especially having to show up at at 8:00am in Oakland to do it, but he's always done 175 percent. Terraluna singlehandedly engineered the whole set of gigs at Children's Fairyland, and gave fursuiters one of the best venues ever to perform their art. We did this last Halloween weekend in his honor.
It will probably be awhile before Terraluna the Fruit Bat is back and bouncing around and giving people wing-hugs again, and he'll need lots of help getting back on his feet again once he gets back home. I hope that he's able to attend FC 2007 with us, even if he isn't able to suit. And eventually I'm sure that Terraluna the Fruit Bat will be back and as bouncy as ever, once he's fully healed.
So Happy Birthday, Terraluna. We're all pulling for you, and know that you'll be back.