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(Photo courtesy of Louise Huebner. Image thumbnailed to speed load time - click on image to see it full size. Please note that this graphic many not used elsewhere without Mrs. Huebner's permission.)

Mentor Huebner, show illustrator for Wizards and Warriors, passed away on March 19, 2001. His body of work included 250 movies, the design of theme parks both in the USA and internationally, and he was also a prolific painter.

His wife, Louise, author of over ten books and Official Witch of Los Angeles County to boot (how’s that for a Wizards and Warriors tie-in?) spoke with us recently about Mentor’s life and career.

We offer these memories of Mentor as a tribute on the occasion of what would have been his 86th birthday - July 19, 2003.

Crownhelm conducted this interview in Fall 2002/Summer 2003.


Interviewer: First of all, thanks for speaking with us about Wizards and Warriors and Mentor. About three years ago I went online and couldn’t believe that other people actually remembered the show. And, of course, we’re always trying to find out anything we can about the cast and crew of Wizards and Warriors.

Louise Huebner: I hope you didn’t find out about too much.

Interviewer: [laughs] No. The only thing I could find about Mentor was an interview from Prevue magazine that was on the Flash Gordon site. That was very interesting. And on eBay there’s a Blade Runner sketchbook up for bid and it’s over $150 already and I’ve seen them go up to $350. So, obviously there are a lot of Mentor’s fans out there. I’d have to include myself in that group as well. Did Mentor ever mention anything about Wizards and Warriors to you?

Louise Huebner: We talked around the clock. I was his manager since 1980 so I went over all the contracts. He did mention some things to me. Now it’s a question of do I remember it? I don’t remember him saying anything specific about it. I should ask my kids. What year was that?

Interviewer: Wizards and Warriors aired in the USA in 1983. It was probably shot in the fall of 1982, then aired in February, March, April and May of 1983. It only aired eight times. That will be 20 years ago as of February 2003.

Louise Huebner: I think it probably was of interest to us in that I am the Los Angeles County witch and was doing the witch thing everywhere I went. I’d really have to look it up and see if there was anything…

Interviewer: Well, this is just if you remember it. I know that Peter Wooley [Production Designer] said they were pleased to work on Wizards and Warriors because there were no restrictions on their creativity as far as the designs for the show – for example, the castles. Don Reo had just made it all up - it was all coming out of his head and he said ‘just go for it.’

Louise Huebner: As far as the technical details there were rules for the camera angles. The whole point is to save money by not making a mistake on the shot. So, those aspects of the storyboards had to be exact. The remarkable thing is that Mentor made them look so great. But, yes, he always drew like that anyway. That’s the way he functioned. He was spontaneous.

Interviewer:: That’s a great process to be able to do that.

Louise Huebner: So, do you just want to know about Wizards and Warriors?

Interviewer: Oh, no - anything about the process of how Mentor worked…

Louise Huebner: How he worked? He would get a call – the interesting thing is that he never looked for a job in his life. He went from picture to picture and he was called constantly. He had no concept of what it was like to go out and look for work. It always came to him. He did about 250 productions total.

Interviewer: Wow!

Louise Huebner: Let’s see, here in his resume I’ve categorized the films under various types. Coincidentally, the amount of films he worked on for science fiction and fantasy seem to be in equal proportion. He designed the entire film including the 'look' of the apes in Planet of the Apes. In fact, his drawings were instrumental in obtaining the necessary financing for the original producer and in convincing a reluctant Charlton Heston to accept the lead role. Between the conceptual drawings, story boards and rough sketches, Mentor did approximately 4,000 drawings for The Longest Day. I tell everyone that Mentor designed the Normandy invasion. Then when they look shocked, I add 'Not for Eisenhower, for Zanuck.' [laughs] We were on location in France for a couple of years – that’s when our twins were born – a boy and a girl.

Interviewer: You have three kids total?

Louise Huebner: Yes. We went overseas with Mentor Jr. and came back with an additional pair of kids - Jessica and Gregory. It's sort of amusing that Mentor Jr. repeatedly asked we get him a baby brother or sister. When I informed him we would be 'getting' one, he pleaded and pleaded - 'Please, get me two. Get me two. I want a brother and a sister. Please. Please. Please.' I guess I weakened and said, 'OK.'

Interviewer: Do the kids have any favorite memories of Mentor or memories they’d like to share? I believe there are some in one of your books.

Louise Huebner: Yes, there are. I have a few of those from the book... ‘Dad was the one who took us fossil hunting and hiking in the low mountains, the woods and the canyons. He was a nature lover. No doubt that’s why he painted landscapes and seascapes. He really enjoyed the outdoors. Mom on the other hand preferred sitting around drinking coffee and talking.’ ‘Dad told us all about geology, anthropology, history, and the stars. Early on we had telescopes and would go out to the edge of the decks finding celestial phenomena.’ ‘He was enthusiastic. His interests were contagious. He kidded around a lot and was a very entertaining storyteller. It’s difficult to choose one outstanding remark he made over another. He was very witty and told elaborate jokes, all enhanced in the repeating. He threw out puns and one liners at top speed. Nothing escaped his punning apparatus.’ ‘Not only was he fast on his feet for boxing, he was fast on his feet with outrageous sarcasm.’ And the last one, ‘Mom was always saying, ‘Mentor, please…!’

Interviewer: And are there more recent recollections than those from the book?

Louise Huebner: Yes, there are. When Mentor Jr. was majoring in anthropology, Mentor Sr. told him ‘There’s no money in anthropology’ and Mentor Jr. said ‘And there is in art?’ I guess Mentor Sr. was the exception. With Jessica, pretty much everything she decided to do, Mentor Sr. would say ‘good luck.’ She got a red car and he said ‘good luck – you’re going to get a lot of tickets.’ But she never got a ticket and she’s always had a red car. She also collects vintage guitars – she picked one up for $2,000 and sold it for $3,300 almost immediately. In about a year, the man who bought it from her sold it for $5,800. When she communicated that to Mentor Sr. he said ‘Jesus Christ.’ He either said ‘good luck’ or ‘Jesus Christ.’ I got a lot of ‘Jesus Christ’ from him and the kids got a lot of ‘good luck.’ Gregory remembered that once, Mentor Sr. put on a crazy, Halloween-type mask when the kids had been acting up. He suddenly appeared in the window, pretending he was the boogey man. Gregory knew it was his father and he was scared anyway. As time went on, Mentor gave the boys some fatherly advice, one of which was ‘don’t pick up a woman in a bar – it’s not a good idea.’ [both laugh]

Interviewer: Those are great stories! Please tell them thanks for sharing them. It sounds like you, Mentor and the kids lived all over the place.

Louise Huebner: Yes, we traveled a lot. I traveled with him and I traveled to promote my books. I also did promotions for Amtrak – they sent me around the United States three times. All I had to say was that I liked traveling by train rather than flying on my broom. [both laugh]

Interviewer: It sounds like Mentor was always busy, having done 250 films.

Louise Huebner: Well, that’s the least of it. He also designed 10 amusement parks and had 50 one-man shows. He was a genius. I didn't mean that figuratively, I mean it literally. That's based on the fact that he worked at top speed, was spontaneous and needed no down time to figure out what he was going to do. Sometimes he would do two complete movie productions at the same time – once he did two and a half movies simultaneously. Those were full productions – he turned out product, would turn in X number of drawings, go to all the meetings and every aspect of the visual had to be accomplished by him. He would turn in all the materials they needed. Mentor never skipped a beat. But once I had a narrow experience. I sent out the invoices incorrectly. I identified the wrong producer. The correct film, but the wrong guy. The accountant saved me from myself. Not deliberately but through a logical rationalization. He said, 'Oh, it's easy enough to make that kind of mistake. Actually, X was the original producer on this production.' Well, my error was based on the duplicity of Mentor's work. But in this business where productions change hands so many times, I escaped the consequences.

Interviewer: It’s amazing that he could work like that!

Louise Huebner: He liked to draw and he liked to work. Sometimes he would do that straight through the week and not take a day off. The more he worked, the more energy he had - it was derived from the creative process. That’s why Mentor did so many movies. It's like when you ask a mountain climber why he climbs mountains and the answer is 'Because it's there.' Mentor was called for movie jobs a lot and he couldn't say no. He'd tell me 'I can't turn it down.' When he was on location he could only do one movie of course. But he loved to go on location since it gave him a chance to visit museums all over the world. Basically, his specialty was choreographing complicated sequences. And the minute he touched the paper it was [makes furious scratching noises]. He never stopped to think. Never sat there thinking. It was amazing. But every time he read a script he’d say he didn’t know what the hell he was going to do. I’d say ‘Well, Mentor, you’ve always done it before. Just put your pencil on the paper and you’ll start doing it.’ And that’s what would happen.

Interviewer: The sample Dale sketch I saw from Flash Gordon was cool.

Louise Huebner: Thank you very much, but those are not his best. Those look like they were throw-aways. He threw a lot of stuff away.

Interviewer: Did you pose or model for him a lot?

Louise Huebner: Not really. I think for that little Flash Gordon Dale sketch I did. He just threw it in. It wasn’t a big modeling job or anything. He painted our portraits and probably painted a couple of thousand paintings.

Interviewer: Wow!

Louise Huebner: Just estimating the amount of drawings he did for movies, it would have to total between 20,000 to 40,000 because he had done so many. Actually, Mentor’s not listed in The Internet Movie Database [IMDb] for most of the movies he worked on. I’d like to eventually add them, but it’s tedious and I’m not good with computers.

Interviewer: Was someone going to help you with those entries?

Louise Huebner: After I got in touch with the IMDb people, they said if I sent them a list of his work they would add it. But it requires my sending them complete data. It’s almost the same as if I was doing it myself. At this moment, I’m not able to do all that. I already finished one of my books and I’m starting another one. I’ve got five others lined up, so I do not have time. I want to do it for Mentor, but I don’t know what to do. You know, dedicating every minute…

Interviewer: …to just putting those in.

Louise Huebner: I’ve discovered the IMDb sometimes has Mentor listed only as a storyboard artist, but he did more than storyboards. He was a conceptual artist and a designer. He choreographed complicated sequences. He designed special entities – everything visual from A to Z. Many times he’d be hired in on the sneak and would be under the table… not from the IRS, but under the table for the studio. Or, he would be hired in under one budget and then they would continue to pay him after the movie ended. They didn’t want to establish any precedents with anyone. So they would give him a certain rate and then many, many, many weeks after the movie was over, they’d keep paying him that rate to catch up on what they owed him for his rate. So, he’s listed in a very strange hodge-podge. I have to make corrections afterwards of what he was and what he did. He was often a ghost director and ghost designer and that’s hardly a category that the studios would want to publicize.

Interviewer: I wouldn’t have known that there was such a thing.

Louise Huebner: Well, there aren’t too many people who could do what Mentor did. The producers he’d worked with over the years felt safe with him, so they would budget him in for something other than what he was actually doing for them - such as Ghost Directing. Of course, Mentor did it with drawings and visuals. He'd conceive the shots - 'calling the shots' as it were.

Interviewer: Was Mentor into the sci-fi, fantasy genre personally or were those just the jobs he was hired for?

Louise Huebner: I think he enjoyed science fiction and fantasy. He was probably thought of as a specialist in those genres because he had a feel for them. He was interested in allied subjects - physics, quantum physics, metaphysical… he was into everything. I’ll check on that for you. It's in his resume/vitae. That lists how many science fiction films he actually did.

Interviewer: There were some interesting films on the list of his projects – The Addams Family must have been terrific fun.

Louise Huebner: Yes, it was a lot of fun. My son in law, Chuck Comisky, has done any number of things including The Addams Family – he was the visual effects supervisor for that film. He’s a producer, director and visual effects supervisor and has done many film productions - he has a long list of credits in the IMDb.

Interviewer: So a lot of your family is in show business?

Louise Huebner: At any one point, there’s always a possibility that we could have everyone working in the movies. Of the three children, our daughter Jessica seems to be the one who has followed in her father's footsteps. She is listed in the IMDb with quite an impressive array of credits, considering her age. She's already worked on around 16 productions. Both our sons have been involved to some small extent. But they have other careers. Gregory, Jessica's twin, was a location facilitator for Dante’s Peak and also does commercials. Mentor Jr. had been the youngest Captain of Police in the US and now is with NASA and teaches Science in a private school. That isn't exactly 'show business' but he had organized the security setup for Dante’s Peak. Both our sons worked for productions here and there - mostly for fun not for career potentials. I think Mentor Jr. was on the Fifth Dimension. And I believe Gregory's left hand was used to shoot a gun for Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Battle Across Time at Universal. Stuff like that. But basically no one tops Mentor’s record of 250 films - not in the family and not anywhere! He was a hard worker.

Interviewer: You also said Mentor did theme park designs…

Louise Huebner: Yes, he was the only designer for Warner’s Brisbane Theme Park in Australia – he did the initial full design for that. He did something in Tokyo… I’ll have to look it up… Wisconsin Dells in Wisconsin, Sendai Theme Park in Japan, Omni Theme Park in Georgia, Oita Theme Park in Japan, Mitsubishi Wellness World in Japan, Freedom Land in New York, Eerie Canal in Michigan and then Disneyland in France and Disneyland in Japan. He did a lot of restaurant designs, too. He did Hobo Joe restaurants - he designed them and I wrote the copy for the back of the menu and got an award. I wrote a story about hobos. [both laugh]

Interviewer: That’s great! So, you worked together?

Louise Huebner: Well, not too much. He also did London Bridge, which is an amusement attraction in Arizona. He did Long John Silver restaurants and Palomino Springs, which is the Mc Cullock oil retirement resort. Then he designed for Spain - a huge, three-mile square development that they still haven’t built yet. That included a large, working motion picture studio, complete facilities and special effects capabilities plus a hotel and golf course, theatres, restaurants, boutiques… he designed the whole city.

Interviewer: Did he have a favorite type of project? For example, did he like designing theme parks better than working on movies?

Louise Huebner: I don’t think he liked theme parks better than movies. Movies were very interesting for him – with an entirely different set of problems that he enjoyed working with. But he liked to paint better than anything - his own painting. He worked at various art jobs, films, amusement parks, restaurants, resort villages - all there was - but he painted full time too. He was also acknowledged as "the last 20th century post impressionist painter" by the California assembly after he died. They entered a scroll into the California state archives that detailed his background – what he did, what he accomplished, and they said he was a big influence as a California ‘native son.’ During his lifetime he won many awards, certificates, ribbons and monetary prizes throughout his painting career, both nationally and internationally.

Interviewer: Well, it’s good to know you’re appreciated when you’re alive.

Louise Huebner: Most definitely. He was very prolific. He never went dry. He never had a minute when he couldn’t come up with an idea because he didn’t even stop to think – he just did them. He always met a deadline, was always done earlier, was always ready with everything they needed. And, sometimes, he worked on two or three pictures at once. [laughs] Of course, we would hide that fact because they never would understand.

Interviewer: Going back to a movie projects, I read in the Flash Gordon interview that Mentor figured out a lot of the shots…

Louise Huebner: Yes. He figured out a lot of the shots. Any large picture of note – he would calculate the shots. That’s why they would call and give him the job. And whenever they would have a new director… for example, Dino De Laurentiis would call him up and say they had a new guy… and Mentor would go in and do the shots. So, that’s a little bit different. A lot of his work was used exactly as he would depict it without any alteration or changes. We would find the exact scene that would be duplicates of his drawings, completely. For example, in MGM’s Anniversary Edition DVD of Fiddler on the Roof, they actually show the storyboards directly above the finished scenes and they are identical. Obviously, Mentor called the shots. I have the drawings which are proof. But, as usual, his left out his name in the DVD credits. They used his drawings to make some point but they don't thank him in any way for his effort.

Interviewer: That’s a testament to the quality of his work.

Louise Huebner: Yes, it is. Both the Smithsonian and Museum of Modern Art did, independent of each other, three-year national tours that his work was in. I think the MOMA did Darling Lili and the Smithsonian featured The Longest Day. So that was a total of six years with his work on tour.

Interviewer: Do you think he was aware of his materials being used in classrooms and of being the "patron saint of illustrators"?

Louise Huebner: Yes, and he was also called the "king of the Illustrators" as I’ve found on other internet websites. He was aware of it because no matter where we went in the world, no matter where we were… everywhere, someone would walk up to us and say ‘Mr. Huebner, you were a big influence in my life.’ He wasn’t a movie star, so it was really mind-boggling. And I mean everywhere we went. He was aware of it. And he had a pretty big ego. Nevertheless, he went out of his way to compliment lessor talents. He never had an unkind word to say about other artist’s work.

Interviewer: Well, it sounds like he deserved to have a big ego with all that talent, but it also sounds like he was a sympathetic guy.

Louise Huebner: Yeah, he was. But he was also a little snobby - mostly about his knowledge, his talent, his expertise…

Interviewer: ‘Hi, I’m Mentor Huebner and I’m a little snobby…’ [both laugh]

Louise Huebner: Yeah, he was Mentor Huebner and nobody else was. [both laugh again] He was fun for me. He was very interesting… very exciting. For some reason I thought he was a young guy forever…

Interviewer: Well, some people are just always young inside…

Louise Huebner: I always saw him young. I saw him always fluctuating between his 40s and 50s – forever. He boxed until he was in his 50s and he boxed with pros. He was very athletic. Oh - can you hear my goat in the background? She can hear me talking on the phone and she wants a companion. Mentor always got me goats for presents. [both laugh]

Interviewer: ‘Honey, I brought you a goat…’

Louise Huebner: [laughs] Yeah… ‘I’m going to Bora Bora for six months but you have a goat…’ [both laugh] But anyway, when he died, I was so devastated because the last year we had a lot of trouble with his illness. He was doing OK, but he wasn’t doing OK. So we had no pets anymore – I couldn’t keep up. So, after he died, little by little, within a month or two I got two Chows, then a Persian cat and a barn cat, then I got this goat.

Interviewer: You and Mentor were married a long time, weren’t you?

Louise Huebner: Oh, Mentor and I beat out everybody. We were married incredibly long. I think it’s on the internet [laughs]. But I don’t think they paid attention. I think they were more inclined to think it was my date of birth. I’m inclined to let it stay that way since they probably got the dates mixed up. Oh, I know what happened! We got re-married in the hospital. Mentor died on March 19 but we got married seven hours before he died. The priest came in and married us, which was kind of nice. I don’t know, maybe I’m weird because I wanted him to get the last rites a second time. The priest said ‘once is enough’ and I said ‘twice is better.’

Interviewer: [both laugh] No, that’s not weird. Not when it concerns your family.

Louise Huebner: It was very nice of the priest to do. But the hospital didn’t want me to live in Mentor’s room and they didn’t make it very convenient for me. At first I just had a hard chair and they said, ‘well, you can’t sleep in a hard chair’ and I said ‘well, I will.’ So, I did. Then, someone felt sorry for me and got me another kind of a chair – a little more padded. Then I thought, well, I’ll go and ask the main big shots downstairs. Maybe I could get a cot? So, they brought me a cot. Then later they brought me a little sofa that made into a very hard bed, but at least it was a bed. And then the doctor got us a bigger room since I was definitely going to stay there. It was quite an awful experience. Mentor, at the end, had to have his leg amputated.

Interviewer: Yes, you definitely needed to be there.

Louise Huebner: I think the excessive writing I’m doing I’m doing is an indication of what’s going on for me, because I write late into the night. I would get up at five in the morning or I would go to bed at five in the morning - it depends. I was having horrible trauma.

Interviewer: Well, it’s so hard.

Louise Huebner: When Mentor died it was like half of me was gone. But, anyway, that’s the way it goes… After he died I put just a little notice in The Reporter since I didn’t know how to get in touch with everyone. And suddenly I was overwhelmed with condolences from around the world - with emails, telegrams and letters. The Reporter really reached everywhere and I was stunned. There was a Buddhist mass said for him in Japan. It was really great. Then I heard that a Blade Runner fan club put out a notice and they watched Blade Runner all at the same time around the world. It was very kind.

Interviewer: I think there’s a sense of unity for a lot of fandoms. I know that’s the case with the Wizards and Warriors list. Basically the fans like anything that’s well done, which all of the projects Mentor worked on were.

Louise Huebner: Mentor’s got his little following around the world, pockets of fans, and it’s kind of interesting. He taught 26 years total, 20 years of which were with Chouinard’s Art School. He taught at UCLA, Braum Engineering Company and Kahn Art Institute. He also taught a special drawing class for the professional artists at Warner Brothers to help the studio artists reach another level of expertise. A lot of people do storyboards and they do little thumbnail sketches, but he did very elaborate ones. He taught a lot and he had a big following from his students. He also had a big following of people who collected his artwork as well as a lot of people from the movies.

Interviewer: You have fans as well, with your books and writing…

Louise Huebner: I never thought I’d be able to write again when Mentor died because he read everything that I did and I just was so wiped out. He died on the nineteenth of March and I thought, ‘Oh, I can’t… I’ll never write anything again. That’s it – I’m over.’ And then I was surprised when I started writing on April first, which is just twelve or thirteen days later. It just went ‘boom.’ Night and day, day and night, around the clock and it turned into this book. So, it’s a memoir but not really – it’s got poetry in it, but not really, and it’s a journal. It ends up with the Cuban missile crisis… and that was a long time ago. It’s funny all the way through. It’s funny and sad – it’s all mixed.

Interviewer: Once that gets published and is available, we can put a link up for that.

Louise Huebner: That’d be great. And, yes, I wrote for magazines for several years. I was in Coronet Magazine and Pageant Magazine for five years. Everybody was five years. I did five years with Cosmopolitan En Espanol Magazine, then I wrote for Tennis Illustrated and Confidential

Interviewer: I found something online that noted you wrote poetry?

Louise Huebner: Well, that’s what I write for myself.

Interviewer: As for your books, I love the Never Strike A Happy Medium title – that was great. [chuckles]

Louise Huebner: Did you find any others?

Interviewer: Yes. I found your listing at Amazon.com and when I looked up Mentor’s listing at the IMDb, it said…

Louise Huebner: They said I was a self-proclaimed witch. I’m not self-proclaimed - I’m the only officially appointed official witch in the world. I was actually invited to do promotions for a series of twelve Sunday concerts at the Hollywood Bowl. One of them was Folklore Festival and I was appointed the Official Witch so I could cast a spell to increase sexual vitality over the 78 cities in the county. I was given a scroll from the chairman of the board from the Los Angeles County supervisors designating me the Official Witch for the entire county, so that’s not me saying that.

Interviewer: [laughs] Well, I couldn’t figure it out. It was under his name and listed under trivia as ‘self-styled official witch of Los Angeles…’

Louise Huebner: ‘Self-styled’ – now, that’s mean. I was the witch for KLAC and KTTV. I did nine books for Hallmark, I did also radio spots and the count they gave me on the scroll was for 78 cities. That’s official, right?

Interviewer: Yes, that’s official. [both laugh] But somehow, they put it under Mentor’s listing. But I know Mentor’s not listed on Wizards and Warriors.

Louise Huebner: Mentor’s not listed for a lot of stuff. I found a guy listed as having been the primary production illustrator on the movie Dune – and Mentor was. And I thought, well that’s kind of lousy, but I have no time. I’ll catch it later.

Interviewer: You said you’ve saved some of Mentor’s throw-away work?

Louise Huebner: There’s so much work. I’ve got originals and we also made laser prints of the originals and I would just pull out of the trash whatever he threw away. So not only did we end up saving 'the good stuff' I also saved some drawings he considered to be 'not good stuff.' When I looked at the Flash Gordon drawings on the internet – those were throw-aways – those looked very rough. I know those were not his finished pieces…

Interviewer: Probably just his thinking process…

Louise Huebner: Well, he would do what he thought was just a rough. I’d look at it and say ‘that’s OK, that’s OK’ and he’d say ‘no’ and then he’d do another one and another one. With all his need to reach perfection, with all the throw-aways, he was still faster than anyone and still turned out a tremendous volume of work. He did some great big things, like the Blade Runner city – that’s huge. It’s hardly a storyboard when they’re 48 or 40 inches long. [both laugh] It’s like a thousand storyboards on one drawing. But, it’s amazing that we even have this stuff. We had this horrible, devastating fire and we lost close to a million dollars – did you know that?

Interviewer: No, I wasn’t aware of that.

Louise Huebner: Our house was the only one to burn. The Los Angeles fire department said it was the worst fire in 40 years. We’re at the top of the hill and watched it coming for three hours. The Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy’s Elyria Canyon Wilderness Park was established in the middle of our hill about three years before the fire. It hadn’t been cleared in all that time and was very volatile. The strike team was called in from up and down the coast. They had outdated city maps - 40 years old. The hydrants on all our side streets had no water. And no one knew. We were the plaintiffs in a landmark lawsuit. We were on coast-to-coast TV. The court case lasted one month. It turned out that the state owned the Santa Monica Conservancy. We did manage, in the end, to get guilty verdicts against all the multiple defendants.

Interviewer: It sounds awful!

Louise Huebner: The fire came up the back from the southwest, leapt over the canyon, flew into our attic and eventually destroyed my entire two and a half room library/office which contained over 3,000 books. It destroyed what was in my computers, my hard copies, my floppies – everything. I had been researching books that I was writing for five years… everything was destroyed. All my memorabilia, everything about me was totally burned out. It took five helicopters to save us and the city only has six. Finally the Canadian scooper ship had to drop its entire load on us to stop the flames. But we didn’t know until eight thirty that night that nothing had happened to the studio. As far as we knew…

Interviewer: …everything was gone…

Louise Huebner: We came back and the studio had evidence of the fire coming to it – it had smudged areas - but it and all of Mentor’s life work was totally intact. Nothing had been destroyed. I think if it had been, we would have died. I think we would have gone away and never been seen again.

Interviewer: That’s amazing - like it was protected.

Louise Huebner: His work was totally protected and I would have died, had his work been destroyed. That would have been horrible. It was quite a challenge to have that happen. Luckily, I had previously stashed away all my 2,000 poems in a corner, in a box, in a closet up in the main house and it wasn’t down in my office, so they didn’t burn. But now I don’t like my poems anyway… [both laugh] The amusing thing is that if Mentor and I were traveling and came across the ruins of Pompeii, we’d pay to go see it. And that’s what we had on our property. [both laugh] We used to drink coffee and look at it and think ‘Hmm – just like the ruins at Pompeii.’ It was totally in ashes. So, that’s kind of amazing.

Interviewer: I agree! You know, it’s been great finding out more about Mentor’s work. I’ve enjoyed talking with you.

Louise Huebner: Have you had any bad experiences, would you say?

Interviewer: No. Everyone’s been great.

Louise Huebner: I’ve found people have been just absolutely great. They’re charming and friendly.

Interviewer: Oh, one more thing. Is there anything you'd like to add as an example of Mentor's sense of humor?

Louise Huebner: Oh, sure. Whenever I did something that Mentor considered not very 'lady like' he’d say ‘How about showing a little fucking class around here?’ [both laugh] I put that on his memorial folder. [both laugh again] He was cute. I wrote a poem – not for the memorial folder – but I had written it a few years earlier and then I pulled it out because it was very much in keeping with what I wanted to say, so I put that on the folder. Maybe I can get a scan to you.

Interviewer: That’d be great.

Louise Huebner: Anyway, if you need anything, let me know. And thanks a lot.

Interviewer: Oh, thank you! We really appreciate being able to talk to you.

Louise Huebner: Take care.

For more information about Mentor Huebner’s work, please visit his tribute site which includes a listing of Mentor’s 250 films, samples of his work and much more. It also includes information about Louise and her career. Please visit often as the site is constantly being added to.

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