I decided to drop by last Sunday’s movie night event, put on by the co-authors of the new Oak Park history book, but I did not intend to stay for the program. I just wanted my new book to be autographed by Harvey Kern, who is one of the authors. I already had signatures from the others – Harry Medved, Derek Ross, and David Ross.
But once I got to Oak Canyon Park in Oak Park, and up to the cozy amphitheater area that was filled with folks of all ages, from kids to retireds, I decided to hang out a while. I am very glad I did. I got to hear a veritable phenonenom speak! 97-year-old Norman Lloyd regaled us with tales of his movie career, including acting in ”The Red Pony,” and “A Walk in the Sun,” both of which were filmed in Oak Park. Lloyd was eloquent and funny, which is quite a combo.
Unfortunately, I missed some of the program, because I had to run home for a jacket, as it was getting chilly as the sun started to set, but I returned in time to see clips of a number movies filmed in Oak Park. In addition to the 2 mentioned, there were clips from ”Little Big Man,” ”Firecreek,” “Back to the Future III,” and others. Local cinematographer Marc Franklin did an outstanding job of editing the clips, including using a technique of superimposing a photo of landscape from today, over the indentical landscape in the film.
The bottom line is that I have a new level of appreciation for my community. I can now picture the films being made, as I drive through it, giving me a new historical dimension. Thanks to Harry Medved for his movie location research and for sharing it with us all!
Photos: Top is of Norman Lloyd signing book, and second is of Supervisor Linda Parks presenting commendations to co-authors Derek Ross and Harvey Kern. Not shown are co-authors Harry Medved and David Ross.