Three days ago, I saw a somewhat disconcerting tweet from Josh Brandon, the director of BLACK BAGS. It was the last day of filming, and I waited patiently for news that the shoot had wrapped, only to find this instead: “Sheltering underground from a Tornado warning.” Yikes. I checked the obligatory weather images from the National Weather Service for Oklahoma, which had shades one rarely sees in Massachusetts, and I waited. . .and I waited. . .and I wondered if my first feature film and all its footage would be blown away to Oz. The ever helpful, though somewhat cheeky, social media for the town of Guthrie assured the Twitterverse that free tornado warnings were included in every shoot as part of the state’s film incentives program. But I was not completely mollified until I finally received word from Josh that everyone was safe and filming had wrapped around midnight. So that’s it, folks — my first feature film has finished shooting, and everyone thinks the result is going to be fantastic. I’m very excited.
The good vibes around the film, I can confidently state, have been there from the beginning. But life is not a movie set, and in the real world, complications happen. In this case, I returned home and discovered some family health situations had arisen that make it advisable for me to pause my journeys. And, to be honest, I have covered a lot of ground in my seven-week sprint across America, gone from Kauai to Key West, the Santa Monica Pier to Miami Beach, Vegas to Guthrie, NYC to Death Valley. . .you get the point. And my aging back can confidently report that although airline seats have gotten cheaper during COVID, they are no more comfortable. It’s time to take a break.
I fully intend to resume my travels sometime in June or July — after all, I’ve only captured three of America’s six corners, and one that remains is within driving reach. But for now, I do promise to blog about some of my crazy Florida adventures that have yet to make it into print. And perhaps my sister Gillian, who’s in the midst of her own weeklong journey from London to Boston, New York, and DC, might be willing to submit a guest column. Maybe the universe has room for only one traveling Pachter at a time? But while you wait on those dispatches, here’s a great card that my younger daughter drew for my mom.
After all, you needn’t go as far as Oz to realize that there’s no place like home.