Happy July !
Exciting news, the principal filming for ” C – A Celebration of Life ” has been completed. Yeah !!!!!!!!!!!!!
May and June were incredible months for shooting quite a few members of our film family. In May, I was able to attend and film Venus’s Houston Dia de la Mujer Latina Festival where she and her team provided paps and breast exams for 1000 women that otherwise would not have that opportunity. Her goal is to save lives, and that’s exactly what she’s doing. Luisa welcomed me to her very special graduation in Tucson, and Kathy kept me laughing hysterically in LA.
In June, Don joined me for ( 8 ) days, ( 3 ) cities and ( 4 ) amazing survivors. We started in Hartford, Conneticut where Mack Dryden was the Keynote Speaker for over a thousand cancer survivors and supporters. He was absolutely hilarious, heartwarming and inspiring for a good 45 minutes. What a joy to watch him entertain so many special people. The event was put on by the Hartford Hospital Cancer Center, a truly
wonderful group of caregivers. That hospital is extremely forward thinking and progressive in cancer treatment, and they understand the importance of treating both the mind and body. They say they are in
” The Business of Hope “. That was something that has really stuck with me.
From there it was on to New York to meet the one and only Barbara Hillary. She just turned 79 just a couple of weeks ago, but let me tell you, if I told you she was pushing 65, you still wouldn’t believe me. She’s gorgeous, sharp as a tack, and side splittingly funny. She treated us to a guided tour through Harlem, which is where she spent a good deal of her childhood, but she seemed as surprised as we were how upscale that area has become. She joked that she used to see white folks run through Harlem ( quickly and without a smile ), and now they run through in jogging shorts.
The next day, we were lucky enough to spend a monumental day with our other favorite New Yorker, Bob Ryland and his lovely wife Nancy. The 16th was Bob’s 90th birthday, and like Barbara, he’s found the fountain of youth. I tried to get him to tell me where it was, but he just gave me that great smile of his and shook his head. We were able to film Bob playing tennis, the game he’s loved almost the whole of his life, and riding the scooter board that he uses to get from his apartment to the courts just about every day. My favorite part though was just getting to hear his stories. Bob has lived an incredible life, some of it heartbreaking, but through it all he has kept the positive attitude that has become his trademark.
Finally, we hit our nations capital to meet our Pancreatic Cancer survivor Anne, her wonderful husband John, and their two beautiful and very precocious daughters. Anne told us they were 7 and 8, but after spending some time with them, both Don and I are convinced they are just short teenagers. The supposedly 7 year old showed a great interest in the camera, and how everything worked. It wouldn’t surprise me if we have a female Spielberg in the making. Anne’s been very involved in raising money and awareness for the deadly cancer that she beat back, and they had the first Washington DC walk for the cause. To see over 1700 purple
T- Shirts walking down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the capital was truly a site to behold. I still get goose bumps just thinking about it ( In Hawaii we call it chicken skin ). Let me take a moment to mention another Pancreatic Cancer survivor Eileen, whom we met the day of the walk. She’s had a tough fight, but her spirit cannot and will not be denied.
Lastly, after some very busy weeks, I finally made it to my PO Box and had a lovely surprise waiting. I received a video of Tommy D’s session. Remember Tommy is the one that’s providing the toe tappin part of the movies music, so I can’t wait to see what he sent. I’ll let you know how great it is on the next update.
So now we’re down to the editing. Thank you all again for sharing your time and your stories. It has been one of the best experiences of my life.
All the Best,