I’m gearing up for a trip to NYC. It’s been raining and raining. I’ve been so stressed out that I actually (this is gross) dug some cigarette butts out of a planter in my yard and put them in the toaster oven until they were crisp and dry. How sick is that? Funny though; at least I think so! I haven’t smoked regularly for quite a while but the other night I attended a party with many old friends, some of whom still smoke. So, what did I do? I bummed two cigarettes. What did I do when I got on the road to home? I stopped at a convenience store and bought a pack! A friend of mine came out to my house the next day and he, being an ex-smoker, and I, the same, ripped through that pack while discussing politics, the economy, people and the issues we face. I just love discussion driven by nicotine! There’s an extra plateau that’s attained while talking and sucking on a cigarette; inhaling before making a point, exhaling with conviction.
Now, my eldest son, Calen and my first daughter-in-law, Megan, and I, are traveling. We’re in the Chicago airport, waiting for our flight to NYC. Snitz just drank a lot of water and I forgot peepee pads for her. Help! I’ll have to put paper towels down for her but she probably won’t use them…
I’m back home now! Snitz didn’t use the paper towels but she held it for the whole trip, which is typical of her.
We had a whirlwind trip – 4 days, 3 nights. We were in NYC to shoot a new PSA for BringChange2Mind. Most of the crew, and there were many, were from Damages, the show Glenn starred in for five years. They were family to her and just seeing them greet each other was heart warming. They were all working for reduced wages, some were strictly volunteers, and they worked their buns off! I was so gratified to be able to work with all of them. Before shooting, and after, Glenn gathered everyone around and said that this work, this PSA, is dedicated to Jimmy P, a beloved crew member who took his own life. There were tears and hugs all around. If Jimmy P knew how much he would be missed I wonder if he would have taken his own life. Unfortunately, without intervention, he probably would have. If he was able to talk about his depression, if the stigma wasn’t there, I would hope he’d still be with us.
My eldest son, Calen Pick, was the one who carried the most weight for this new PSA. He had lines that I know I would never remember. Glenn had lines too. Meg and I sat at a table nibbling on muffins and croissant. And Snitz, of course, was with me. I was so incredibly proud of Calen! He’s had a rough road and seeing him up there, in front of the intimidating camera, brought tears to my eyes. He’s the real thing, he’s not an actor pretending to be someone with mental illness. And Glenn’s words were the real thing too. So, I’m excited to see the PSA. I’m excited for all of you to see it too! And I will be forever grateful for the huge crew who showed up to help us get the message out that stigma is NOT okay. Liz Garbus from Moxiefirecracker Films directed the piece and worked with Calen as they took take after take after take. Calen understood the necessity of many takes and his experience with working as a teenage actor, right before mental illness struck him down, held him in good stead.
We had an uneventful trip home to Montana. Snitz was one lucky girl because she had her own seat on all four flights! No, I didn’t pay for her seat, it was just how it turned out.
So now, home again, I’m watching rain on the window in front of my desk. My friend, Mike, is building me a new roof and found that there were three roofs put down over the years when he was doing the tear-off. This little house was built in 1901. He’s finding rot and all sorts of things in this old roof. I’ve been told that I should just tear down this house and build a new one but I don’t think so. I like that it was built in 1901, I like that it used to be a schoolhouse for the local ranch children. I like that I can come home to a little bit of history.