ARMCHAIR ARCHIVES – And so then I said, ‘Martin, I love your work’
Kamloops folks are used to seeing film productions in town nowadays but, back in 1989, it was a new and exciting thing. That was the year Martin and Charlie Sheen were in town to make a movie called Cadence at the Mount Lolo radar station. I wrote about Sheen sightings in the following column, published in The Kamloops Daily News on June 17, 1989.
I AM THE ONLY person in town who hasn’t yet bumped into Martin Sheen in the supermarket.
Not that I haven’t tried. The other night, after the Royal Inland Hospital society’s annual meeting, I suddenly had a craving for gummy bears available only at a local supermarket that Sheen has been known to visit at approximately that time of night.
No luck at all. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. While I was cruising canned goods, Martin Sheen was buying a basketball at a nearby department store.
Stories from locals who’ve exchanged pleasantries with Sheen and his son Charlie are everywhere. Sightings are dutifully called into the newsroom here at Sheen Central several times a day. Martin is spotted in frozen foods picking up a few late-night snacks. Martin and Charlie dine at a local restaurant. Martin has lunch at a fast-food eatery. Charlie pauses for an autograph in a downtown parking lot. Martin has a couple of brew at a local pub.
The Sheens and Kamloops don’t quite know what to make of each other. The Hollywood visitors aren’t used to this sort of ga-ga adulation. Obviously, Kamloops isn’t used to Real Live Movie Stars.
Local media have been hounding the Cadence office ever since it began setting up last week. This quickly got on the nerves of those responsible for putting the movie together, so they ordered up a strict no-access policy — quit calling us, we’ll call you eventually.
Everybody wants to co-operate with everybody and things have quietened down for the time-being. Local reporters have basically promised to go easy, in return for access to the stars and the movie set at a more opportune time.
Martin and Charlie Sheen, though, have to live here for the next few weeks, and there’s no way to stop people from coming down with the shakes and babbles every time a sighting is made. People will still try to figure out where they’re living (they’re both renting private houses), and where they might show up next.
The stories about bumping into Martin and Charlie Sheen are, almost inevitably, accompanied with sheepish confessions by normally articulate people that, coming face to face with their idols, lockjaw suddenly sets in.
“All I could say was something really stupid about ‘how’s it going,’ is a typical report.
“You’re Martin Sheen!” one local blurted upon seeing him downtown.
Well, Sheen confesses on the spot. “Have been since I was a baby,” he says.
“And you’re just walking around!” says our amazed informant.
“Have been since I was a year old,” Sheen explains.
Meanwhile, a cashier back at Checkout Number Three is still freaked over the experience of having Martin Sheen suddenly show up with a cart full of groceries. “I’ve been at this job 15 years and I’ve never been that nervous,” the woman said later.
Not particularly known for my skills at small talk, I’m working on what I’ll say if I come across Martin and actually have to open my mouth. So far, it reads something like this: “I found your work in Apocolypse Now a stunning parody of the class struggle that is at the base of modern society’s eternal conflict, not to mention a convincing condemnation of the folly of war. On the other hand, your more recent Da, though somewhat derivative, evoked a deep sense of angst that pervades interpersonal relationships.”
I’m polishing it up a bit, but if you see him first, it’s yours.
Mayor Phil Gaglardi is unhappy with The Kamloops Daily News poll that showed he isn’t a terribly popular guy. He doesn’t think the poll was scientific, doesn’t believe the results, and doesn’t think it should have been done at all.
We never claimed the poll was scientific, but he’s mistaken when he says the sample of more than 600 people is bogus. Were that number taken in a regular random telephone or personal-interview survey, it would be considered highly accurate. It’s almost double the number of people, for example, who were surveyed last November while he was campaigning.
The mayor didn’t complaint about that one, but then, it showed him as being highly popular.
The annual Royal Inland Hospital meeting this week was, as usual, interesting and entertaining, but people are beginning to show a disturbingly reasonable approach to issues.
Debate was lively but the old stridency was kept in check. On one motion, to allow employees to become hospital corporation members, arch rivals Gus Halliday and Genevieve Ring actually voted on the same side.
Seriously. Mind you, they were both opposed to the motion.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, alternate TNRD director and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a recipient of the Jack Webster Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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