Some say meeting your “heroes” never lives up to the billing.
Dave Johnston will tell you otherwise.
Johnston, who lives in North River, recently attended Fan Expo Canada, in Toronto, where he met several members of the cast of Back to the Future, including Michael J. Fox.
“It was an amazing experience to meet him,” he said. “I was on a high for a while, and I couldn’t call my family quick enough.
“He was joking around and easy going, true class in every sense. You can see he’s struggling with the effects of Parkinson’s, but he still smiles and makes meeting him a great experience. I was surprised how easy it was to talk to him.”
Johnston also met Christopher Lloyd who played Doc, Lea Thompson and Tom Wilson. Dressed in the outfit he wears to perform as Mr. J, he made Marty McFly and flux capacitor balloons for them.
“People told me I look like Michael J. Fox, and I dressed as Alex P. Keaton, the character he played in Family Ties, one year for Halloween,” he said. “My mom used to tell me I was going to meet him some day, but I didn’t know how that would happen.
“I’ve read all his books, and I would highly recommend them to people looking for inspiration.”
Another connection he shared with Fox is a concern around Parkinson’s. Fox was diagnosed with the condition in 1992, and has become an advocate for research into the disease. Johnston was moved to raise for funds for the Parkinson Society of Canada after seeing a friend of his aunt struggle with the condition.
Three years ago, he held a Back to the Future-themed magic party and raised $1,050.
“Parkinson’s takes away so much from people,” he said. “I was moved by what Michael J. Fox said. He said he got more personal satisfaction from his work with the foundation (The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research) than from acting.
“It’s good to celebrate our champions, and it was really cool to meet these people.”