Well, Store Hadji, it is not exactly like having lifelong crush on Paris Hilton or the Rolling Stones. Welles is not only a major figure in 20th Century Popular Art but also an important contributor to the Fine Arts (e.g., Theater). He was an innovator in every form he touched.
I take a more empathetic view of David Thomson's confessions than you and others do here. Perhaps, because I get to observe Thomson at fairly close range when he officiates, or conducts interviews at San Francisco film events, I think that I understand what he means when he suggests a certain shame at being still obsessed with Welles, fifty years after he first came across him. Thomson fell under the spell of a consumate magician, and having jumped into the hat with the rabbit, having found the cobbled together nature of some of the tricks, having unearthed convincing examples of oft weariness and carelessness on the performer's part, Thomson wants release from Welles, that youthful wizard he now regards as an ancient Mephistopheles holding his rather talented self back from other efforts.
I have written of my fall here in the past, but my entry to your point, briefly, is this:
In the beginning, my mother, I believe, rather saw me, an only child, as a changeling of Orson Welles, and my father liked the stories Welles was part of in Radio (but not so much carried over into movies).
My first memories of Welles were his stint as The Shadow, on Radio, though I would not have known who he was. Over the years, in the late 1930's, I must have heard him many times, become hypnotized by that voice. Certainly, The Mercury Theater on the Air is the first time the name Orson Welles became attached to the voice in in my memory: Dracula, Treasure Island, and of course, The War of the Worlds. After that, there was A Christmas Carol. Either I didn't hear other shows at the time, or they were over my head. I remember a marvelous radio play, rather like Portecorvo's BURN, which was about a wealthy planter in the Caribbean, and his apparently servile, loyal slave. And a tremendous radio piece, done in real time, about the confession and in-studio murder of an assassin, but perhaps that was by someone else. (I've never been able to find any evidence of it, nor anyone else who heard it.)
Of course, the voice was given a face when my little family drove downtown in our small Ohio village to the Shea's Theater, to see CITIZEN KANE, on a wintry Sunday, in 1941. The local manager of Shea's Theater rather fancied himself a supporter of "better movies," which was not rewarded in the case of Welles' first film. Most of my parents' acquaintances were either puzzled or angered by CITIZEN KANE. I immediately identified with the snowball-throwing young Charles Kane, and though not understanding the subtlties of the picture, the meaning and Americaness of CITIZEN KANE were fairly clear to me. I was able to hold forth, looking up at my elders like little Charlie, to their mystification.
What power for a nine year-old boy!
Nearly a decade later, I wrote an essay about . . . KANE for my KSU dorm newsletter. No one had heard of it, but some of my professors remembered the film, and saw my piece as an example of primitive erudition in the wilds of Ohio. The editorship of the University's first literary magazine was a result.
Then, in 1955, about the time, poor David Thomson was being lured into that dark cave of the Tooting Bec Classic Theater to see a revival of CITIZEN KANE, I was in London, taking in Moby Dick Rehearsed at the Duke of York's, and a version of MR. ARKADIN in Leicester Square -- very much like the restoration discussed here now.
Like Thomson, I've never quite escaped the spell of Orson Welles.