Jonathan Winters recently passed away in Montecito, CA, and it brought back memories of the ’60s when I worked as a newsreel cameraman in Los Angeles for Channel 9, KHJ-TV. I had a special license plate on my car. It was exactly like the one in this picture, but without the license plate holder and the words “SLO Skiers.” This was during the days when gas station attendants filled up your tank with gas. So many attendants would ask me what the “PP” meant. These were the days of the 20th Century Fox TV hit “Payton Place.” Of course, I would always reply “Payton Place.”
I covered hundreds, maybe thousands of news stories and one of them was the world premiere of “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” which also happened to be the grand opening of the newly built Cinerama Dome on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.
Recently while I was supervising some video mastering of “Atlas Shrugged – The Strike” at FotoKem in Burbank, I saw this picture of the premiere of “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” on the wall in the lobby of the Conversions Department. The place has lots of expensive video recorders, monitors, etc. You don’t want to have to pay the monthly electrical bill to power this equipment, and dozens of skilled technicians inhabit this place, which is not cheap, either.
Getting back to this picture, I think I can recognize myself in the crowd of photographers and newsreel cameramen outside on the sidewalk. If you look very carefully, you can see the reflection of me taking this picture. In show biz, this is a twofer. Oh well, I’m not a comedian.