In the summer when I was 13, my dad was using television for instructional purposes at the Federal Aviation Administration’s management training school in Lawton, Oklahoma. Based on the campus at Cameron College, the school had a small tv studio where faculty could produce short films for classes to watch. Knowing that I was interested in radio and television production, Dad invited me to “star” in a series of these videos.
Most of the management training of the day centered around Transactional Analysis. My co-star was an older co-worker of my dad’s, whose character was known as “Gramps.” I guess I was Jimmy or Billy or something, and the scripts usually had the two of us talking about fixing a flat or repairing a bicycle. We would come across a problem and I would ask, “Golly, Gramps, what does tightening these spokes have to do with managing different personalities in the workplace?”
“Good question, Jimmy! Let me explain…”
I read every word from the teleprompter and never memorized a single word of the script. I was vastly more interested in the technology of tv production, and wanted to be behind the camera or in the control room.
Here is a short clip from some 8mm film my dad shot one day in that summer of 1976. I am the one in the pale blue polyester trousers. My then best friend Keith Berry watches from the corner, and the man seen briefly next to him is Morris Wallace…