EDITOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Greenville Advocate on Oct. 18, 2006.
As many of you know, I have been working with Greenville Public Access Television (GPAT) on local cable channel 3 since before it began five years ago. We had hoped that local people would take advantage of GPAT’s offer that folks in our viewing area could use our cameras to produce TV programs to show on Channel 3.
One summer we taped some shows at South Park Recreation Center for the Greenville Character Council about character traits for the months of July and August that year. I learned a lot about television production and life in general that summer.
Some examples: a written script is useless for pre-schooler female stars, also tomboys don’t like to wear frilly dresses, a camera microphone cannot compete with noise from trucks, lawnmowers, trains and airplanes, and when you don’t have a sharp knife you can cut sandwiches in half with a pair of scissors.
More recently I met Rita Arnold, local collector of Ghost Stories of Darke County. Darke County Center for the Arts features Ghost Walks in downtown Greenville during late October every year where costumed presenters relate the scary tales from Rita’s books.
So last year in yet another effort to encourage local folks to jump into television production on a volunteer level, I decided it might be a good idea to use Rita Arnold’s ghost stories in a telecast of local scary tales for a Halloween special on GPAT Channel 3. Rita agreed.
First I approached Dick Brown, who was serving on the GPAT Board and is a talented hobbyist with a regular camera. He was enthusiastic about the project. We then enlisted Dan Hawley who works with the camera crew for the Presbyterian church that produces a weekly program for GPAT. Dan agreed to tape the program.
We decided to use six stories about Greenville ghosts. There wasn’t enough time to write scripts and involve actors, so I would read the stories and we would edit in material we taped at likely locations for them.
The appointed morning we met at the Presbyterian Church on Fourth Street because they had agreed to let us use their lovely parlor for the interior reading. I wore my long dark green dress that looked black and checked with the church secretary to make sure my hair looked OK.
We began to tape the introduction, but discovered we didn’t have the battery pack. About 45 minutes later we began again. “Wait is my hair OK,” I asked the guys.
In typical male fashion, without even looking at me, they replied, “Yeah, great.” and turned the camera on. That’s why it looks like a real old witch is narrating the tales. At least that’s my story, and I intend to stick with it.
We spent the morning taping the readings, took a quick lunch break, and prepared to tape the exterior shots. Luckily for us, the sunny morning had turned into an overcast day that was much more appropriate for taping possible ghost story sites, including the cemetery, Memorial Hall where Dick Brown played the part of a ghostly apparition mounting the steps to the second floor, and places in beautiful downtown Greenville, where we stopped traffic when we had to stand in the middle of Broadway momentarily. The rain started just as we took the last shots.
Anyway, you can see the fruit of our labors this year of 2006 when “Ghosts of Darke County runs on GPAT Channel 3.
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.