Zero Degrees of Separation

You know how it goes. You meet someone you’ve never met before and while chatting, you realize you have a mutual friend or aquaintance.

Let me tell you a story….

So, on Tuesday, while I was Norwegianing (I swear it’s a real word, Spellcheck) my brains out at the annual Syttende Mai celebration down in Ballard, I noticed a guy chatting with my wife, and it seemed like he was referring to me. I was in the middle of a conversion with someone else, so I continued chatting until we wrapped up. Within seconds, this fellow came over and introduced himself.

“Hi, my name is Alex and you used to work with my mom!”

Well, if this was a movie, this could have gone all kinds of ways. But to answer the first question you had–and I had thought of it, too–no, he wasn’t my son.

It turns out that Alex’s mom was Heather Muphy, a woman I worked with years ago when I was at Destination Marketing, when we were making TV commercials. Heather was a production director or something like that, just great people and over the years, we stayed in touch the way most people do–watching each other’s Facebook posts.

But that’s just where my connection to Alex began.

Besides working with his mom, Alex said he had known my brother-in-law Kris for years. Then, I found out that he also knew Bruce Johnson, the Rowland Studio photographer, who was the official photo guy for Syttende Mai. Alex had gotten to know Bruce and my late radio buddy, Larry Nelson, back in their Chandler’s Crabhouse days.

It keeps going.

I was then introduced to his wife, Barbara. Not only had she worked at KING-5 for a while, but these days, she was at a company called Tri-Films. More connections. I had interned years ago at KING on the radio side, (although, I did chauffeur around the owner, Dorothy Bullitt for a week once while her regular driver was on vacation) but for a time, I was also a contributing writer to some of the projects Mark Dickison and the team did at Tri-Films.

They informed me that Mark had passed away years ago from pancreatic cancer. One of those cases where, here one day, diagnosed the next and gone within months. So sad. Mark once gave me the opportunity to write some jokes for the 75th birthday party that Bill Gates was putting on for Warren Buffett. One of the coolest things I’ve ever done, writing one-liners for the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Diane Sawyer and others, back in 2005. I always wanted to get a copy of that gig, but never did.

Oh, yeah, back to Alex. Apparently, he followed his mom’s footsteps into the entertainment industry and besides being a stuntman, he has a stuntman agency here in Seattle that he operates with Barbara, called Seattle Stunt Company. Check out his IMDB, and you’ll see he did stunts on a lot of the movies you’ve seen.

And may I add, all this, and a really nice guy.

So, how did Alex discover this connection between his mom and yours truly? Apparently, he’s a member of the Leif Erikson Lodge in Ballard–just like me–and while showing his mom photos of a recent lodge event, she saw a picture of me and said, “Hey, that’s Tim Hunter!”

Such a small friggin’ world!

Tim Hunter

Marquis Mark

City Cinema 500th sign

There are probably a lot of things that you had no idea that I do.

For example, flew down to Phoenix Monday afternoon, and spent all day Tuesday directing a commercial shoot for a mattress store client. Telling extras where to stand or walk, helping the talent deliver their lines, etc.  Wrapped up, flew home to Seattle and my head hit the pillow at home shortly before 1am.

If we’ve ever chatted about my daily routine, you know that every weekday morning, I get up at 4am to write “show prep” for RadioOnline, a subscription service for disc jockeys so they can skim what I and several other writes put together each day, and sound brilliant.  Sometimes, even funny.

One of my contributions each week is a silly little produced video piece I call simply “City Cinema.”  It’s a mock of what you would hear if you called a small town movie theater and listened to their recorded message of what’s playing.  Except, of course, packed with puns and quick comedic jabs.

This was an occasional bit back in the Murdock, Hunter and Alice days, that we would hit on Friday mornings–the day new movies come out and when most people would give serious thought to going to a movie.  I easily did a hundred or so of those during my reign at KLSY.  But when that blew up, I continued the tradition as part of every Thursday’s feed to RadioOnline.   While available to over 1,000 stations around the world, I don’t know exactly how many play this bit.  But they haven’t told me to stop doing it.  And within the next couple of weeks, I will have created 500 of these for ROL.

Here’s the one airing this week.

As you can hear, it’s pretty much good for one day.  I’ve done a few generic ones over the years, but for the most part, they burn the week they’re played and that’s it.

How I know at least one radio station in the middle of Nowhere, Oregon, is playing them is that a friend reported one night, they were driving along and all of a sudden, there I was on their radio.  Nice to know it’s not just me laughing.

Or, maybe it is?  I’ll have the voices in my head vote on it when I’m done here.

Enjoy the show and have yourself a snack!

Tim Hunter