Holy Batcave!


Source of Photo: http://www.highline-autos.com/great_garage/56/The-Best-Batcave-West-of-Gotham

Charles Keller, who lives in Phoenix, Arizona, gives ill children tours of Batman’s Batcave (formerly a warehouse), which includes a Batmobile, Batmobile Parachute Pickup Service Van (Batman does not litter; the Batmobile Parachute Pickup Service Van picks up any parachutes that Batman leaves behind while he is busy chasing villains), Bat Cycle, and Batman’s crime-fighting equipment. Mr. Keller said, “It’s the thing that kinda gets me up and gets me going in the morning. This has now really become what I do as my profession, and I have the greatest job in the whole world.” On 23 June 2013, the guest of honor was Kenyon Antone, who has a respiratory illness. Bernadette Alvarez, Kenyon’s mother, said, “When he’s here having a good time, he doesn’t think of his illnesses. He’s being a kid; he’s being a nine-year-old child having a good time.” Mr. Keller is an early-retired Apple Computers whizkid and a very wealthy man who has decided to do good with much of his money. The entrance into the Batcave is through a sliding bookcase in Bruce Wayne’s study. Most of the gadgets that can be seen in the 1960s television show can be seen in the Batcave. Mr. Keller was inspired by the example of Bruce Wayne: “Here is a wealthy guy who uses his money not just for his own enjoyment but to truly make the world better and safer for all. He also passes this wisdom and passion to his young ward. The two of them are honest, moral, hardworking, but most of all they put others first and by doing so their lives are made all the richer.” In 2013, Mr. Keller turned 50 years old. He said, “Now that I am on the back side of life and have had my share of successes, I also wish to figure out a way to give back. It was important to me that this be done in a way that reflected not just my values but also my sense of humor. Still more important was that it be something my two boys [nine-year-old Chaz and seven-year-old Cade] could both enjoy, grasp, and ultimately emulate.” One main purpose of the Batcave is to give ill children an experience to make them happy. Mr. Keller, who has been ill as a youth and as an adult, said, “I understand what it is like to have poor health and no answers. I feel deeply for what these families go through and not just the kids. Everybody suffers: parents, grandparents, siblings, all of them. That we can give them all a reason to smile, all the better.” He regards the Adam West version of Batman as providing a good role model for children: “In our society there are so many examples of people who gain fame, wealth, and notoriety by making bad, even dreadful decisions. Yet every year, there is a brand-new crop of youngsters who choose to don their Batman or Batgirl outfits and within their young imaginations fight for all that is right and good. Sure, Batman is fun, but it is also a life lesson that comes in a bright box with a shiny bow on top. Just like Mr. Wayne, I am all the richer for it.”

For Further Information: Adriana Desiderio, “‘Batman’ takes boy battling respiratory illness on Batcave tour.” KSAZ-TV (Phoenix, Arizona). 24 June 2013


For Further Information: David M. Brown, “The Best Batcave West of Gotham.” Highline Autos. 20 March 2013


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