THE SEARS SHOOT
This is kinda neat. You could probably surmise that the fella with the sunglasses, (the guy with his fist balled up) is the Director. The pictures, although taken hours apart from each other, match, since the Director,( and all interested parties) are watching the video play back of the stuff we shot. The Director told Arnold Palmer to make that balled up fist gesture when he got the putt. He’s showing him what he wants on the putting green, and he mimics it as he watched Arnold on the video playback.
The people in the photo on the putting green are:
Arnold Palmer, holding the putter. To his right, the Wardrobe Mistress. In the middle, the Director, Dennis Glenn. Seated with the white visor, The Hair and Make-up lady. With his back to us, (holding a light meter), the Gaffer, (lighting specialist).
I didn’t have much to do on these shoots while we were shooting since I was the Transportation Coordinator of the three day long, three commercial shoot in Orlando. I believe we did this during the winter of 1985, when Miami Vice was on hiatus, (taking a break). I did a few commercials at that time, and out of the blue, got a call from a Producer in Chicago. The job of Transportation Coordinator is straightforward, but not the most simple, or easy. My job was to make sure that all people, stuff, (cameras, lights, props, etc.) and vehicles got to the place where they needed to be when they needed to be there. This entailed making detailed maps of everywhere we had to be, and making sure all drivers got the maps. Since we had no Mapquest or GPS direction systems “back then”, I drove from the hotel to the locations, and from location to location, noting routes, distances and times. I also had to knock on quite a few doors to get people up and out, so we could all be on location at the right time.
The people in the photo with the golf cart are:
Me, the handsome guy in the sorts with the cool aviator sunglasses. To my right, the Wardrobe Assistant. Seated in the cart, one of the Electricians, who also set up the video playback system. The fella in the glasses with his arms folded was a rep from Sears. The fella in the beard behind the Director was a Grip, an electrical and lighting equipment helper.
You might find this a funny side note:
During one of these slow times, (when they were shooting), I left the set, (the golf course) for something. I had probably run out of cigs. The road from the golf course fed into another road, and there was a stop sign. There was a teeny raised island of asphalt in the shape of a triangle to my left, and some slow driver was getting his act together before entering the converging road. I went around him to the left, and went the wrong way, (to the left of the triangular island) for about eight feet, and proceeded on my way. But just briefly, for in about ten seconds, I heard a siren, and looked in my window. It was a cop. He must have come out of nowhere. I pulled over. I tried to reason my way out of the ticket, and he said “No.”
But then he told me I couldn’t just pay the fine by mail, that I had to come back to Orlando, and go to court. Oh, my God I said to myself, with a couple of other words thrown in.
Here’s when the fun starts.
I had a court date about two weeks from when the shoot wrapped. I lived in Miami, and had to be in court in Orland, probably a four hundred mile drive. If I recall, it had taken about six hours each way when I did the commercial.
When I got back to Miami, I booked a flight to Orlando. The court was in Winterhaven, and the time of appearance was 9am. My flight was scheduled to land in Orlando at 11:30 pm, and would depart at noon the following day. I was pretty slim on the cash, and couldn’t afford to stay in a motel, so I figured I’d hitch hike or take a bus into Winterhaven, and somehow sleep somewhere en route. The distance form the airport to Winterhaven was about eight miles. There were no buses at that hour, and no one gave me a ride. I walked from the airport and hit the road, a semi highway, loaded on each side with gas stations, body shops, Chinese restaurants and a Denny’s. I probably walked for three miles before I saw the Denny’s. Being alone, four hundred miles from home, at two o-clock in the morning, on the highway is a strange and unnerving feeling. Especially when you have to be in court the next morning, and catch a flight by noon. Also, I didn’t know where the hell the courthouse was. In my twenties, I winged it quite a bit. I walked into the Denny’s restaurant, and one dear of a waitress must have seen something in my eyes, for she gave me lots of attention. I told her my plight, and asked her if she knew where the courthouse in Winterhaven was. She didn’t, but when she had a moment, she called and woke up her boyfriend, and he told her where it was. She let me sleep in a booth in a darkened banquet room. I didn’t sleep well. At 5am, her shift was over, and she woke me and wished me luck. She told me another gal who was taking over her shift would wake me at about six, and call me a cab. I thanked her.
The pretty morning waitress did wake me, but I had to call the cab. He showed up a half hour later, and got me to the courthouse at about seven. I waited outside in the cold morning until they opened the doors at eight. At 9:15, I pled guilty in front of the judge, gave the clerk a check for sixty five dollars, and walked out of the courthouse. But, I was broke. I had spent all my cash on the cab to the courthouse, and had two dollars to my name. I knew of no bus stations. I used some spare change to call a cab company, and about 10:30, a cab showed up at the courthouse. It was about a twenty five minute drive in that cab, and we passed by the distance I had walked the night before. I was a little stressed out about making the flight, but even more nervous about how to tell the cab driver I couldn’t pay him. I figured that if I told him I was broke when he picked me up, he would leave, and I’d miss the flight home. I see now why back then collect phone calls from pay phones and Western Union were popular. The driver did take it pretty well, and I did end up sending that cab company a check in the mail. I made the flight with about twenty minutes to spare. Scott, my friend and roommate, who we got to know in my short story, “Lorraine”, picked me up at the airport, and brought me home. I slept away that entire day, and the next day, all was normal again. At least for a little while.