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Saturday Special: Shooting Starts Monday!

Making Cherry

"Out of nothing comes everything."
--Tao Te Ching
Mail the Cherry Web Man
Locations:
Production Office: Administration
Principals:
Just a few, doing yeoman's work

You've Got Questions? Cherry Has Answers

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Jon is in The Zone

Kicking back at the Kick Off Party: A Saturday Special

Jon is in The Zone.

He gets this way. When there is a task at hand, a difficult task, a challenging task, Jon has an amazing ability to focus. Here is a story:

Many years ago a bunch of us, maybe five or six of us, went bowling. Nothing extraordinary happened. We bowled a couple of games, we had a few beers, we had fun. Jon was probably the best bowler of the bunch, but that wasn’t saying all that much. We were infrequent bowlers, is the point.

So we finish and go up to the counter to pay and somehow Jon gets into a little talk with the guy behind the counter. It isn’t really an argument, but at the same time there is a hint of competitive edge to it. Macho crap, you might call it. Boasts are made, a challenge is laid down.

I don’t know how it happened, exactly, I don’t remember what-all was said, but suddenly all of us are heading back over to the alley and Jon and this strapping young guy who works in a bowling alley have a wager. The stakes? Double or nothing for the bill, which was something like fifteen bucks.

That isn’t a lot, and at the same time for a bunch of newly minted college graduates, newly-minted unemployed college graduates, it was enough. I remember wondering if between us we had enough cash to cover if Jon lost. I know that at that time neither Jon nor I had credit cards.

As it was the wager was simple: One frame, high score wins.

Jon let the guy choose: Did he want to go first or second?  In which position would he feel more pressure? He let Jon roll first. Jon fetched the ball he’d been playing with, then stepped into the lane. He stood still and looked down the alley at the pins, and he entered The Zone.

Now, I should point out that the guy knew just how good (or should I say mediocre) a bowler Jon was. He’d seen the scoresheet, which you have to turn in when you finish bowling. And while I won’t pretend to remember what Jon had bowled that evening, Jon was in general a fair bowler. So a 175 wouldn’t be out of the question, but 200 would be. And the guy knew this.

And, apart from the fact that the guy worked in a bowling alley, the guy looked like a bowler. Or rather, since bowlers are usually thought to be somewhat round and puffy, the guy looked like an athlete who also bowled. He was muscular, gangly, his right arm seemed a little longer than the left. His right hand seemed to twist toward his body, as if it had deformed because of the torque with which he rolled the ball.

I know that I figured Jon was going to lose. I’m sure we all did.

Except Jon. After a time he stepped forward, taking the usual four steps to the foul line, and he rolled the ball. It made its straight way (like most people who don’t bowl much, Jon doesn’t put any spin on the ball) down the lane, hitting the head pin just off-center and causing all the pins to topple in a joyful clanging, booming mess.

Strike!

The guy’s muscular shoulders fell. What pride he had was punctured. He hardly even smiled. For him the odds had just gone very long. He knew that the best he could do was tie, and that he was very likely going to lose the bet. And he knew all too well how many hours at the bowling alley he had to work to earn $15. Too many.

He was holding the ball he’d taken from his own bowling ball bag behind the counter, but as he stepped into the lane we all knew he was going to fail. We could read it in his face and in his posture. Jon’s strike had knocked the wind out of him. He was smaller now.

Embracing defeat he hurried his motion. His ball, which was delivered with an astounding amount of spin, came in too high, and when the proverbial dust cleared there were still two pins standing. He didn’t bother to make the spare.

We put our money away and headed for the street. And then we all bought Jon beers.

Friday night, late, some of the people working on Cherry gathered at the Producer’s Club bar for a Kickoff Party. At one point or another quite a few people dropped by though most stayed for just a bit and then, exhausted, headed home. Some are working over the weekend, all are all too aware that shooting begins on Monday morning.

But apart from the complications that the costume changes entail, which means Jon is spending the weekend writing, everything is in as good a shape as is possible. That’s because the preproduction schedule has been lengthy, and the amount of work everyone has been able to do before shooting starts has been great.

Which means the Kickoff Party was a chance to kick back a little and relax, before the work really begins. Which is how Eddy ended up laying on the floor, camera in hand, shouting, "Smile everybody."

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And maybe explains how Jon got into The Zone.

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Not Camera Shy: Katja, Peggy, Heath, Eddy

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The Assistants Club: Amy, Philip, Katja

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We closed the bar?

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 Peter Kreutzer  

 

Monday

 

(c) 1997 Peter M. Kreutzer