following appeared August 14, 2009 in the
Wonder of WALL-E"
August 14, 2009
Dale King - CITY EDITOR
4-year-old George Jacobs stared at the replica of the Wall-E
robot at Rick Newman’s Boca Raton home last week, he was
There, in front of his eyes, was the
animated gadget he had seen on the movie screen – and fallen
in love with.
He probably didn’t even realize how close
he came to not seeing Wall-E at all – after a long trip from
Washington, N.J. to Orlando, then to West Palm Beach and Boca
Newman, Boca’s wizard of robots, who has
replicas of some famous mechanical men at his home - Robby the
Robot from “Lost in Space” and the B9 Robot from the 1956
film, “Forbidden Planet,” among others – performed some
magic for Make-A-Wish to bring twin boys from New Jersey
together with Wall-E – and some of the other electronic
gizmos in his home/laboratory.
George Jacobs was born with a form of
cancer called neuroblastoma, his parents, Pete and Betsy,
said. At the age of 5 months, he had to have a large tumor
removed from behind his liver. He has also had to have one
kidney removed. Doctors think he is now in remission.
Visiting with George and his parents was
his twin brother, Thomas, who is autistic. But with Wall-E
calling the shots, none of that mattered to the Jacobs family.
Newman told the Boca Raton News he was able
to get the family together with Wall-E and some of his other
gizmos after they nearly went astray.
A few months ago, the Make-A-Wish
Foundation, which grants wishes of seriously ill children,
asked George what he most wanted to do. “I want to see
Wall-E,” he chimed.
The family found Newman on the Internet.
But the item was apparently out of date. It said that Robby
and R9 were on display at the South Florida Science Museum in
West Palm Beach. So the Jacobs decided to visit Orlando and
make a side trip to the museum.
“Apparently, the museum told them the
robots were there, but they were not,” Newman said. “They
were back in my garage.”
So Newman got in touch with the Jacobs and
told them, “I live about 20 minutes south of the museum.
Come on over.”
The robot master set up a show for the
visitors, complete with Robby, R9, and a gaggle of other
robotic creatures – and Wall-E in the lead.
“They had a blast,” said Newman, who
gave George a small model Wall-E to take home along with a
Wall-E comforter, sunglasses and dozens of other mementos.
“I have four large boxes of things to ship up to them.
Newman made the afternoon a true Wall-E
festival with food and drink to go along with the robot visit.
George got his wish that day. He spent the
afternoon playing with Wall-E and his robot girlfriend, Eve.
He also mingled with dozens of other robots of all shapes,
sizes and power supplies.
When asked which was his favorite,
George’s responded the way everyone knew he would. “I like
the Wall-E best.”
The Jacobs family also visited Cape
Canaveral and Disney World during the Florida adventure. But
Wall-E, Newman said, stole the show.
And the Jacobs let Newman know it. After
returning home, they mailed two thank-you letters. One said:
“Thank you so much for your unparalleled hospitality. George
said after all of the travel that his favorite thing about the
trip was seeing Wall-E… We are grateful to have had the
pleasure of seeing such an extension of grace. Thank you