The DVD has been played to within an inch of its life, its plastic box clouded and scratched with six years of openings and closings.
Hundreds of times a year, Aaron Beeghley has run through the disc containing the movie “Tremors.” Whether at the group home where he stays or on the break-room television of the Safeway supermarket where he works, the 1990 horror-comedy featuring actor Kevin Bacon and a burrowing snake monster has been a constant soundtrack to his days.
Beeghley’s words come out haltingly, through the thick accent resulting from the 46-year-old man’s developmental disability. But the words eventually pass through his toothy, constant smile — he is the No. 1 fan of all things Kevin Bacon.
Two grocery co-workers befriended Beeghley and shared his hopes for meeting his film-star hero someday. It seemed a pipe dream until, three weeks ago, it suddenly wasn’t.
That’s when Debra Barron, the Safeway floral department manager, heard that Kevin Bacon would be coming to the Napa Valley Opera House — not as an actor but as a musician, performing with his older brother, Michael.
Barron had to blink before she believed the news.
“You won’t believe it! Kevin Bacon’s coming to town!” she breathlessly told Kimberly Weigant, 50, a cashier at the Trancas Street grocery.
The two women had the same thought at once. They had to get a ticket for their friend Aaron.
Barron and Weigant had become protectors of sorts for him, charmed by his spirit-lifting quips, laughs and practical jokes. They would drive him to work from his group home.
“One day at work when I was really sad about something, Aaron just handed me his ‘Tremors’ video and said, ‘Take this — this will cheer you up,” remembered Barron, who began working at the grocery three years ago.
Having decided to bring their friend to see his idol, the women went whole hog, buying not only concert tickets but passes so that they and Aaron could meet Kevin Bacon at a pre-show reception. The cost was steep — $150 for each pass — but eight co-workers and three tellers at a nearby bank chipped in $10, $20 and $50 bills to pay their way in.
“Shocked. Surprised. I almost cried,” Beeghley said about the day he learned he would meet the actor.
“This is the real thing,” Beeghley exclaimed Wednesday as he entered the Opera House arm-in-arm with Weigant and Barron. In their hands were the well-worn DVD and a page-size publicity photo from the film showing a younger Kevin Bacon.
Two hours before the Bacon brothers’ showtime, the three friends entered a parquet-floored reception room. As two dozen guests made small talk over wine, cheese and prosciutto, Beeghley chatted up a few visitors, regaling them with the names of Bacon’s other appearances — in “Animal House,” “The River Wild,” “Apollo 13” — and lines like Bacon’s “This is your wakeup call” from “Tremors.”
Fifteen minutes later, another man walked through the door, clad in dark jeans and T-shirt and a brush-like haircut.
It was Kevin Bacon, with his brother, Michael, entering just behind.
After a few minutes posing for photos with other visitors, the actor-singer autographed photos for Barron, then Weigant — and finally the night’s most enthusiastic guest.
“So, how many times have you seen ‘Tremors,’ Aaron?” Bacon asked amiably. Beeghley thought hard for several seconds: “I dunno... maybe, um, 200 times?”
“Try 200 times a year!” Weigant cut in with a sudden laugh.
“That’s funny,” Bacon replied with a slight smile. “I’ve only seen it once.”
It was time for a souvenir of the evening. First, the women posed for a photo with the actor, then Beeghley stepped between Kevin and Michael Bacon for one final picture.
“You know we’re decorating the break room with pictures tomorrow,” Barron said with a smile after the Bacons had left the room.
The encounter had lasted only a few minutes, but Beeghley had tokens to remember his big night.
As he and his friends awaited the 8 p.m. curtain in the Opera House lobby, he again held onto his “Tremors” DVD. Only now there were marker-pen scribblings on the cover: “Hey Aaron! Good luck.”
The authors left their marks just above the snake creature’s mouth on the cover: “KB.” “M. Bacon.”
“This is so exciting, we’re going to frame a picture of this,” said Barron. “This will make his whole — his whole life.”