I was one of the millions of school children who literally ran home every day to make sure I got back in time for the latest episode of "Dark Shadows." The show spoke to me on many levels, first and foremost because it was imaginative. Jonathan Frid, as Barnabas Collins, made a huge impression on me. His portrayal of a reluctant vampire conveyed power, magnetism, intelligence and humanity. I really took Barnabas as sort of a supernatural superhero (and be fair, he did wear a cape). After "Dark Shadows" concluded its run, I found out that Mr. Frid turned down numerous parts that would have simply traded on his success from the show. I admired his conviction. Of course I would have watched him in anything, but I did respect the fact that he stuck to his guns. In later years, for personal reasons, I found that identifying with a fictitious vampire had other implications, and they amounted to something of a survival skill. And I realized that the character Jonathan Frid created was still important to me. He will be very much missed.