Archive for April 2010
Money is always in short supply if you make documentaries or are a budding feature filmmaker. I hope to learn more about raising cash for future projects tomorrow (April 24th) during a class with Erika Johnson of South Shore Productions in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.http://www.southshoreproductions.net/We were moving so fast trying to get the “Tales of the Road-Highway 61″ book and documentary done that fundraising fell short but all bills were paid as I dipped into personal funds. It happens. I’ve learned a lot from that experience and don’t plan to repeat it. I’m hoping Erika has some new ideas.On a different subject, we are tweaking our website. This blog will be down for a bit but will be back. I need your ideas for links we can add to the “maps” section of the website. Maybe you’ve seen it. http://www.talesoftheroad.net/maps/index.cfmI’m looking for new ideas for links/photos for those sites on the map. Drop me a line with your ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org
And happiness for me is digging around and finding great information on some of the really cool sites and stories along those two lane roads. I pondered this while sitting in a day long conference, on a Saturday, at the University of Minnesota while birds were singing and flowers blooming outside.The conference centered on the aging brain. Research shows that exercise and good nutrition are keys to bolstering the brain, but the keynote speaker (Todd Kashdan of George Mason University. http://www.toddkashdan.com/) also focused on how the brain loves novelty. That doesn’t necessarily mean leaping out of planes or bungee jumping, but something as simple as getting out and enjoying new places, people and experiences.After Todd’s speech, I sat there thinking about the joy (and sheer terror) that TOTR has given me in the seven years since we started the project. It has been a fantastic learning experience and I can’t wait to see what happens next as I continue to head down the highway!
There are few places in White Bear Lake, Minnesota where 400 people can mingle with history. On Saturday, April 10th, that is what happened at the former Johnson/White Bear Boatworks, an old place profiled in “Tales of the Road-Highway 61.” (Both the book and the film.)The occasion was the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society’s annual fundraiser and the venue was appropriate because (sadly) it appears the boatworks will soon be lost to history. There have been valiant efforts to save it. The future is unclear. It could make way for condos, or (fingers crossed) it might be the site for a community center/sailing museum.
That would be the “Mall of America.” Bloomington, Minnesota. I remember when we (in the media) dubbed it the Mega Mall. It is still quite a place. A shrine to consumer consumption. I was signing books and DVD’s at the quaint Minnesot-AH! store: a place dedicated to all things Minnesotan. “Tales” fits in well.I was at a small table in the store’s entry with a view of “Lids”: a store dedicated to baseball caps. One of the perks of hanging out at the mall on a Saturday afternoon is the great people watching. It is a free show. The parade of humanity was incredibly entertaining. I learned that the mall has great cell phone reception. No dead spots. Nearly every person who passed me had their cell out. Four guys in a group five sauntered past. All four on the phone. I wonder if they were talking to each other. It wouldn’t have surprised me.I marveled at the impeccably dressed woman with the runway walk who teetered on impossibly high heels. Those pencil heels must have been four inches high. Impressive considering she was also carrying several bags. I learned you can shop and still look great at the end of the day, a feat I’ve never achieved.An engaging, older man stopped by to chat. He has heard of “Tales” but begged off buying a book. He has too many he said. (Now, how can you have too many books! He told me a story that I’m going to have to check out. It deals with a former DJ in the Twin Cities who worked at the venerable Top 40 station KDWB. This was in the 1960′s, and “Donald K. Martin” (who was a friend of this gentleman) was driving to Duluth to see his girlfriend. The radio announcer was a pretty plugged in guy–he knew the local music scene–so when he saw a scruffy young man, with a guitar on his back, hitch-hiking on the shoulder of Highway 61, Martin stopped the car and said “Zimmerman! Where are you going now?” The young musician said “Out to New York to play a few songs.” Martin gave the guy a lift. I wonder if Bob Dylan remembers that moment? Donald K. Martin does.A story for the sequel don’t you think? The lesson? You just never know who you are going to run into either by the side of the road or in a shopping mall.