Film Adventures, Cont’d.

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Wherein we continue the events surrounding the days of filming.

  • October 22 follow-up: I also ran to the supermarket for a case of water because the local family store on Main Street was out. Fatigue or whatever led me to carry it out of the store and across a parking lot full of people in SUVs, all in a hurry. It took me three days to figure out why my muscles were sore. Among the artifacts we found was Miss James’ formulary that had entries for included formaldehyde and arsenic, along with cannabis and morphine, which were legal during the time when alcohol could only be dispensed “for medicinal purposes.”
  • October 23: I was so nervous about how things would go I didn’t sleep the night before and then wound up jittery from way too much coffee, even though it was delicious. As soon as our first scholar began to talk, I knew everything would be OK. I’m not going to reveal much – you’ll have to wait for the documentary, but I now have an entirely different view of Connecticut history. The major reveal of the day was that for all the written record produced in this little state, there is nothing about African Americans during the period we’re featuring. What a great honor to be first in the field! Besides giving terrific context to our project, the day produced illumination of black writers, women in particular, and where Mother fits. We also learned how our family shaped her childhood perception of a world that could be hostile one minute and friendly the next.  A picture emerged of what Old Saybrook was like in the early and middle years of the twentieth century. It was all so exciting and inspiring I forgot how tired I was.
  • October 24: This was the day when I learned to conduct on-camera interviews. The downside: I screwed up because I was reacting vocally, a big no-no. Once I got the hang of it, it actually felt great not to have to take notes and remember ambiance, etc. to write a news article. Our subjects gave us a view of O.S. that spanned almost seventy years and featured stories of Miss James, the 1938 hurricane, and the arrival of Big Pharma. We also had a fabulous lunch with a woman who has already become one of our biggest boosters. She epitomizes iconoclast and at 75 has enough energy for three people.

To be continued …

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