The Hammer in Hollywood

On the set of their their imagination

Well, last night the girls went back to their moms for the week for the first time since we started this blog together. Although my wife and I had to work during the week, between the weekend and baseball three nights this week, and the fact that we had 12 posts between us uploaded, set up new WordPress accounts, and editing, a lot was accomplished and many great memories made.

My wife and I pack a lot of love into the weeks we share with our girls, but there are many things my ex-wife and I miss with them because of parenting schedules. Not that we don’t switch for important things like weddings or Fathers/Mothers Days, or sometimes even random happenings, but little things like seeing the nearby filming of a show they watch on television might have to be passed on.

My wife, Hayleigh, and our black lab/collie cross walked over one night to the sounds of gun blasts and actors running down the sidewalk. Filming in our city has increased over the years and more recently there have been many shoots in our neighbourhood.

I remember walking down Longwood in West Hamilton when I lived there some 14 years ago, with the factory that once lined it’s east side closer to Aberdeen, and pictured large posters of shows that were filmed in what I envisioned as a large studio, with trees and lights lining the drive, with the backdrop of the Niagara Escarpment giving a feel of the mountains that surround Hollywood. I’ve even imagined a large illuminated Hamilton sign (which we now have, although at our City Hall forecourt), adorning the densely tree populated shale wall, although centred at the top of the James Street skyline.

This past Sunday, with Hayleigh at her grandparents, Tara, the girls, our Finn and I went for a walk. I have been in awe of how they transformed some of our storefronts along Ottawa Street, including the old Avon theatre that I’ve dreamed of seeing turned back into a movie house since moving here 13 years ago.

I took quite a few photographs on our travels, but I was asked at last by a young crew member to not take shots so I have done my best here to only show one that doesn’t really give anything away about the show or the ‘prop’. I am not sure of the rules or why photographs are not allowed, but it isn’t as important to share the photos as it is to simply talk about how wonderful it is to see what our street might have looked like in it’s prime a few generations ago.

I hope the added features and the facade repairs will long remain as even though the space is no longer used for any kind of art, the Avon sign and schedule windows still remind us of what used to be and what we’d love to be again. It would be wonderful if other businesses could incorporate these props into the permanent design of their storefronts as well. It ads a magical charm to my favorite street in Hamilton.

So although I’ll leave the name of the show, what channel it airs on, and any indication as to what the name of the ‘prop’ behind my girls is, I’ll say thank you to the directors or decision makers who seen something in our great and revitalizing street, and the breath of fresh air you have given it including just the life and excitement of a what I think is a fairly popular series filming literally in our back yards.

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