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Yellow Balloon

The fire alarm went off while I was eating dinner at the Hilton next to the Convention Center where the Albuquerque Comic Con 2022 was held. I was eating, or actually about to order, with Mark DeAlessandro, my granddaughter, Laileigh, and our friend, Daniel, who was the representative for the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce assigned to meet important out of town guests. Mark qualified and Laileigh and I were with Mark.

"Mark, do you want Lai and me to go with you when you go meet the Power Rangers?"

Mark looked at me like I was a bit off, "Of course I do, you are my family, you don't have to ask that."

So we were with Mark. Lai just loved Daniel because it was his job to make sure the important visitors felt welcome and Lai had figured out he was very patient and just nice.

Right that second they were all three, Mark, Daniel, and Lai, playing "keep the yellow balloon from floating to the ceiling" because some nice person had come over to our table and had given Laileigh a helium balloon. Lai had figured out Mark was trying to keep it from floating up to the fancy restaurant's ceiling, so now Lai was determined that it needed to do just that. Mark, Daniel and Lai were playing "keep the balloon from Laileigh" at our table.

Around about that same time a guy dressed like Johnny Depp in "Pirates of the Caribbean" had walked by and Mark and Lai had jumped up to say hi and he had given me his phone camera. I didn't know how to work his immediately so I just used mine and took as many photos as I could of them, with Daniel holding the balloon and looking on.

Mark had been one of the stuntmen in more than one "Pirates of the Caribbean" with the real Johnny Depp. Actually he had probably been the main stunt guy, knowing Mark, and actually he had probably coordinated stunts, again, just knowing Mark and his history. He's in the Hollywood Stuntmen Hall of Fame.

So I had just finished taking a dozen pictures of Laileigh and Mark and the wannabe Johnny Depp beside our table when the fire alarm went off.

"Is it for real?" I asked and it seemed everyone else wondered the same.

"Yeah, it's for real, let's go!" So we got up to follow the crowded restaurant full of Convention people out the front door.

Mark had different plans. Mark is a stunt guy. He thinks differently. "Angel! Let's just go upstairs instead."

"Uh, why?..." but I had hesitated and Mark was gone. Daniel and Lai and I headed outside.

Outside was a big flashing firetruck and ambulances. It was COLD, freezing, and Laileigh had a cold. I stuck us in the corner of the hotel, a little protected space, and we watched everyone rushing around, firemen in full dress, dozens of customers, all outside. We stayed like that about 15 minutes and someone said we could go back in and when we started in someone else said no, we couldn't, so I turned around.

"Angel! Over here! Sit here!" Mark was back and was sitting on a bench, not in the hotel but not outside either, in that in-between glass space, the only bench. With him were two older men. They scooted over and Lai and I sat down.

"We don't have to go out there, they won't make us. Do you know who this IS (indicating the two men beside him)." He told me but it didn't ring a bell, evidently they were highly important though, producers of Star Wars and Star Trek or something like that.

I looked at the second one on the end and my subconscious just sort of spoke for me, "Haven't you written a series of books with the setting of Star Wars?" I asked him.

He looked pleased and surprised, "Yes."

I added, "70 books?"


He seem speechless that I knew that. I had subconsciously remembered from reading some of the Comic Con website. I don't know how I knew that but I did. The other guy seemed even more important and I wished I knew who he was but I just smiled at them. If Mark thought they were important they were.

"Angel is a Producer of "Angel's Texas Tales" television show, Mark said proudly to them. He NEVER got the name right. "It's called "Texas Tales from a Lone Star," I clarified to the two men. Lai was on my lap. I forget where the balloon had gone. Then Mark added something about PBS and an Emmy and I didn't try to correct him because it never worked anyway.

I had submitted "Texas Tales from a Lone Star" for an Emmy that year. I had mentioned to Mark I was considering submitting my Austin Public television series to PBS. Mark spoke as if everything was a done deal. It was a bit embarrassing.

Later, after Comic Con was over and we had all gone home Mark called me a few days later. "Angel, I'm here in Dallas with my friend George so and so. He was the youngest Colonial in the Vietnam War. We're going to go watch... whatever sport it was on TV, football I think, Tampa, I think."

“Hi, George, that's really cool, nice to meet you, " I said and George so and so said hi in the background.

"Angel is a Producer for Angel's Texas Tales with PBS," Mark continued.

"Actually, he never gets that right, George, it is "Texas Tales from a Lone Star" with Austin Public television. I felt a bit embarrassed as always.

Later, I thought to myself, Mark is never going to get that right, I might as well do it then he'll be right when he says it. So a couple of days ago and last night I started googling PBS again, as I had done months ago when I had first mentioned it to Mark, and had found their information on how to submit television shows. I read and read. It wasn't really that hard, at least from where I was already, I could do it...

I had created "Texas Tales" in 2014 and had worked on it for 7 years already throughout Central Texas and had taken several classes on their cameras and editing and studios. I had created 17 30 minute television shows and they had aired on the same channels that PBS aired on. It wouldn't be that hard...

Then I thought about the book I am currently reading. I'm reading about the Manhattan Project, from the point of view of the General who was in charge of it. You know, how we dropped the first atomic bombs on Japan and ended WWII. In his book, which is 500 pages long and extremely tedious because he goes into page by page by page detail of everyone involved and every step of the process, I have noticed one thing. I have noticed that he keeps describing how they put everything in motion as if it was a done deal. I mean they actually built building complexes to produce pieces of the bombs BEFORE the scientists had even figured out if it was even POSSIBLE to create that piece. They worked in the future on faith.

So that's what I decided to do last night. Mark keeps introducing me as a Producer for PBS. He's just like that General in the Manhattan Project. He has the cart before the horse. But the General was right and everything worked out perfectly. So that's my new goal. I'm a Producer for PBS with "Texas Tales from a Lone Star" television series and I've won an Emmy. Now, where are those submission guidelines again... I'm on it. xo Angel

Copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved. Written at 12:30 pm January 23, 2022


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