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Sunday, March 3, 2013

One Day At A Time

Hollywood Meeting

The recent passing of Bonnie Franklin (One Day at a Time- TV Sitcom) brought back many memories about one of television’s all around greats, Norman Lear. Norman Lear was single handedly most influential in the 1970's, and ’80’s Prime Time television broadcasting.  He was involved in in so many television projects during that period of time that while his name may not ring familiar, his work is familiar to most of us.
Norman Lear was involved in the various aspects of programing from creator, writer, producer, production manager, actor, etc.  The following are just some very popular titles in his body of work; All in the Family, The Jefferson’s, One Day at a Time, a.k.a. Pablo, Good Times, and Maude to name a few.

During the year of 1980, I was fortunate to be part of a special delegation appointed by then Governor Dixie Lee Ray in support of the Hispanic Community (Washington State Population).  The group came together in an effort to make that community more involved and prominent in everything from social to political issues of the State.  We used to have community meetings quarterly in all corners of the State to maximize community participation.  We decided as a group that we should arrange a meeting with Norman Lear, to engage him in furthering our cause.

The State of Washington has always had a unit of government whose only mission is to promote the State to Hollywood, and the film industry for film locations. Through those contacts we arranged a meeting with Norman Lear, and 4 of us traveled to his office in Hollywood.  Mr. Lear arranged to have us picked up at the airport (LAX) by limousine, and promptly met with us when we arrived at his office.
He was extremely personable, friendly, and almost humble; certainly didn’t act like the big success that he represented.  We took turns around the conference room table discussing our mission with regards to the Hispanic Community of Washington State.  He was very attentive, and interacted well with us.  After all this was the brave man that broke social barriers with All in the Family (Archie Bunker).  By the end of the two hour meeting he thanked us for traveling from so far to meet with him and lending support to his works.  He mentioned that he had a project in mind but that it was still in the early stages of development, but that our visit would encourage his efforts.

In 1984 a.k.a. Pablo (starring Paul Rodriguez) came out as a television sitcom.  Unfortunately it was a one season series, probably ahead of its time.  I personally would like to think that we played a role in bringing it to national television, but I guess I will never know for sure.

I love how our minds deal with every day details, and at some point important events in our lives, become just part of the background.  I remember how proud I was of my involvement in that period of my life, and yet I had all but forgotten it.  My effort with this blog is to help readers to think about their important life events that are worth bringing to the forefront. R.I.P. Bonnie Franklin.  The best is yet to come….

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