I never met Mr. von Braunhut. He was a voice on a phone or a word on a page to me, but he managed to change my life in ways I never thought possible. I started the Sea Monkey Worship Page as a lark, as a way to share something with the world that brought me great joy and happiness. I never thought about the man behind the creation until I heard his voice on the phone. He called me, out of the blue, while I was napping on a particularly difficult afternoon. The man, the legend, the creator of one of the coolest toys in the history of the universe had taken the time to call me to talk about my web site. I couldn’t believe it. I held off with the questions and just listened. He told me about the creation of Sea Monkeys, about his vision. He wanted to offer a toy to children that could sit on the shelves on the toy store for months on end, something parents could buy and save until Christmas. His love of crustacea was obvious in his voice, slow and shaky though it was. The mere idea of having children around the world play with his creation was enough to bring him joy beyond measure. We spoke for quite a while that first time, and I had a chance to thank him for the happiness his creation had brought to me. Sea Monkeys had literally saved my sanity by offering me contact with the outside world in the form of my web site. I don’t know if I ever told him this: I hope he knows it now.
Every once in a while I would send him an e-mail or a letter to share the joy that his creation was bringing to my life. I heard back from Yolanda, his loving wife, and she said it made him happy. He reviewed my book and gave it his okay, sharing with me his thoughts on some of the topics I covered. Nothing but good things did he offer, and his support and kindness will be something I treasure for the rest of my life. Although I never met him face to face and didn’t have much contact with him even on a yearly basis, his support has enabled me to fulfill both my dreams and my whimsy for the past few years.
Mr. von Braunhut is gone now, but his achievements will live on forever. Every time we look into the briny depths of a Sea Monkey tank, his vision survives. Every time someone in China, Colombia, the UK or North America opens a tank and creates instant life, his legacy continues. He is a fortunate man in that he was able to see what happiness his thoughts could bring; most of us aren’t so lucky. Every day he could wake up knowing that children and adults around the world were coming together, were learning, or were just having a good time with something he created. Thank you, Mr. von Braunhut, for your gift to the world. It will be an enduring legacy.