Monday, September 5, 2011

My Other Job

I never really wanted to do anything in life. 

At least that's what I think. On the first day of school in my little village of 500 people, my mom dropped me off at school and walked home. Shortly afterwards she heard me playing with my toys outside. I told her that I had tried school for awhile and didn't really want to do that.

But I managed to make my way through school, even getting a few jobs along the line that made me feel even stronger against doing work... of any kind. I failed Grade 10 because I didn't "apply myself" as the report card stated. No kidding.

But I was a natural for 2 subjects; History and English. Of those two I could not get enough. And one other thing; movies and TV. I list them as one as they were both equal partners. As I've said before in this blog, I could watch TV and see movies any day, any time.

I also worked on "the line" at Chysler, assembling Plymouth cars. My job was to jump in the car as it moved along the assembly line and hammer in trim around the ceiling. It took me 5 minutes to learn the job. Later I stepped in for workers taking their breaks. None of these jobs required serious training.

One job I stepped in for was done by a man who had worked there for nearly 20 years. It was at that point that I said I would never work in a factory again. But in a factory town, summer jobs were essentially factory jobs.

And then a miracle happened. At least it seemed like that. 

I got a job at the local TV station and never looked back. July 9, 1969.

But this blog is about the "other job" isn't it. There is another job which I would be happy at if it's all I ever did. It matches the intensity of movies and TV and isn't related to them, sort of.

I am one of the best tour guides you'll ever meet. My tours are as simple as my home town and as complicated as driving 1200 miles in 4 days. And everything in between.

I've taken friends on my LA tours, based on what I think they would like to see and what I think they would never have discovered on their own. And if they want to go to Universal Tours or Disneyland I'll be happy to drop them off and pick them up at the end of the day.

I have ethnic tours of LA, tours where celebrities or gangsters died, tours of Pacific Coast Hwy and Malibu that you'd never discover yourself, including a Catholic retreat that has the best view of Malibu ever.

I've taken my brother to both Roswell and Area 51, have taken friends to Monument Valley and Grand Canyon, Yosemite NP, wineries in Tehachapi, Edwards Air Force Base where the shuttle would land now and then.

Tour Guide Jimmy.

I will show people Southern California as they've never seen it, deserted mining towns in the Mojave,  Joshua trees as old as 600 years, creosote at least 1000 years old and  the ugliest town in America (at least as far as I think, their football team plays on dirt, not grass).

I can take you to Canada via Montana and Utah and show you cafes and truckstops that aren't franchises or chains.

And this is where movies come in, I am still editing my documentary on Highway 50, dubbed the loneliest highway in America. That's the photo at the top of this blog. I also am going to do another doc on another "forgotten highway" as a potential pilot for a series on highways that were bypassed with interstate highways.

That and my insatiable curiosity are the best things I was given, and while I would suffocate in an office job, I am damn lucky that I was able to find a way to make money with my two interests; movies and travel.

I say this because a friend of mine, in his early 30's, is finding it difficult to chase his passion. He knows so much about cars but can't find a way to make money from it. His knowledge of this world is amazing.  And I think most people go to work without that passion, most people fall into jobs, rather than plan for one. 

But the thing that scares the hell out of me always lurks somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind. 

What if I didn't walk into that employment office on that day, at that hour and talk to that employment advisor who had 3 different jobs to offer me. You know what the last one was.

Was it luck or was it something else?

But that's another blog.

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