How My Father Inspired Me to Travel

man in a baseball hat drinking in a bar

This is my Father’s Day tribute post.

My Dad has lived in Los Angeles for over 50 years and is a location manager.

What is a location manager?

A location manager is a person in charge of scouting locations for films, commercials, and television shows.

As a result of my Dad’s trade, it is no surprise that he knows Los Angeles inside and out. Recently, as we drove to a film set he scouted for his most recent project I looked out the window and admired the golden hue of the mountains. I thought to myself, I wonder who owns that land and why it remains (thankfully) undeveloped. Then I remembered that I was sitting next to my Dad, practically a living, breathing GPS unit complete with historical archives. I pointed to my left and casually asked him, “Do you know who owns that land?” I shouldn’t have been surprised when he provided a name and – I kid you not – explained to me the legacy of the land extending back 150 years. His breadth of Los Angeles knowledge is mind-blowing.

My Dad was born in 1941 and grew up in western Massachusetts. His parents worked at the Eaglebrook School and he and my uncle attended the prestigious boarding school tuition-free. My dad has a painting in the living room of the lush green hills surrounding Eaglebrook School, the same view that his father, the head chef, saw every day as he prepared food for hoards of hungry students.

When my Dad graduated he felt the pull of our nation’s collective manifest destiny and headed West to begin his life-long love affair with Los Angeles. He started working lights at The Troubadour in the legendary Southern California music scene and collected stories that I’ve grown up to revere. Somewhere there is a picture of him and The Doors’ Jim Morrison, each of them with their arm around their girlfriends, both named Pam. As if that isn’t cool enough, they’re all wearing leather pants. Yeah, that’s my Dad.

thanksgiving with the beach boys
Thanksgiving 1967 (Neil Young, Richie Furay, Steven Stills, Dewey Martin, Dennis Wilson, Mike Love, and my Dad)

He’s had Thanksgiving with The Beach Boys, managed Buffalo Springfield, had fights with Bob Dylan, partied with Mama Cass, and so much more.

At some point, he transitioned from the music scene to the movie industry, where he put his vast knowledge of the Los Angeles area to use scouting locations for major motion pictures. I remember being on location with him one day and holding my little sister who was probably around 2 years old at the time. Whoopi Goldberg walked by, tousled my younger sister’s strawberry blonde curls and said she was the most adorable little girl she’d ever seen. She followed with, “Those curls could give me for a run for my money!” I didn’t know who Whoopi Goldberg was at the time, but I did agree that both she and my little sister’s hair was fabulous.

My Dad is truly the most remarkable and well-lived man I’ve ever known. His influence sparked my own desire to travel, live with gusto, remain curious about the world, and get out there and collect stories. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without having such a wonderful role model. Hearing my Father’s stories inspired me to make my own and I will be forever grateful he is in my life.

This Sunday he and I, along with my siblings and Penny, are embracing a 30 year Father’s Day tradition and taking a drive out to the LA Roadster’s So Cal Car Show in Pomona. We’ll be posting plenty of pictures to our Instagram so if you like classic cars check it out.

Happy Father’s Day and Happy Hot-rodding!

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