Sunday, April 21, 2013

Is my persona beginning to get in the way of my work ... ?

That's a real question these days.

Over the past few weeks I've had my work under scrutiny by ABC's local television Channel 7 for a half-hour special entitled, "Profiles in Excellence."  It will feature 3 Bay Area women of which I am one.  (Air time Saturday afternoon, April 27th at 4:30.)

I'm becoming fairly comfortable with cameras and interviewers since it all seems a legitimate role for one of the surviving relics of the WWII Home Front era still alive and active.  My age in this tenth decade is a part of the human story, and the stories upon which this national park are based are -- for the most part -- recent history with great interest among the visitors who are arriving in greater numbers as the weeks go by.

What I'm not comfortable with is viewing the finished product.  Seeing my wrinkles and obvious signs of advanced and unforgiving aging in HD-TV is pret-ty jarring, I'll tell you!  Since I look out of me and less and less at me (don't even need a mirror to apply makeup anymore), I'm really not too aware of how entropy has taken hold, mercilessly.  Gravity?  Not so much.   In the immortal words of the late great Ethel Mertz, "now that I don't see so good I don't look so bad!"  That is until there comes that icy splash of reality in the form of HD-TV to break the illusion of on-going youthfulness that one's vanity still permits.

On separate occasions a producer and cameraman shadowed me through a tour of the exhibits, videotaped my commentary in our little theater; and, yesterday returned to tape the 2 and-a-half-hour guided monthly bus tour of the scattered sites that make up the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park. Out of that footage, combined with their oral interview done some weeks ago, they will edit about 7 minutes of on-air footage.

... and that leaves me wondering if the focus of this park, the stories of those extraordinary ordinary workers who helped to change the fate of the world by producing those 747 ships in 3 years and 8 months -- igniting the greatest social revolution over the ensuing 20 years -- if all of that will get lost as we pay close attention to the storyteller instead?

... I'm not sure what the answer is. That is, after all, what we do.  But does that mean that those stories will die when I do?  Have I laid enough foundation for them to survive me?

... and Mr. Lloyd will be coming on Tuesday to explore the possibility of a segment on Sixty Minutes ... .   

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