Tuesday, January 1, 2019

David Garry's Form Letter Looking Back on 2018...

Hello and Best Wishes for Closure on 2018 and for Good things to come in 2019...

I like to annually share a Year's End Wrap-Up, and also let you know I'm holding a good thought for 2019 to be good for all of us.


Moving crew of good friends January, 2018 
Hard to believe it's just 2 weeks away from a YEAR now when I packed up and had friends help me in LA to move to Wrightwood, CA, to be the  Camp Manager for Lions Camps at Teresita Pines

Over the year, I've put more tools in my tool belt, literally and figuratively, as I am managing (2) year-round Camp rental sites, making sure groups that rent the Camp are taken care of, and all is going well in the kitchens, with maintenance, janitorial and more. 
With John, former Camp Manager for Lions Camp

I've been learning from John, who had been the Camp Manager for over 20 years. He's been a great mentor thru this transition. 

I've shoveled snow, saw bobcats, worked with a wood splitter, concrete, miter saw, done a bit more of labor than I'm used to, all the while managing the staff that work at Camp, tending to rental groups needs, and had a couple of successful fundraisers for
'David Garry #mountainman' series on Facebook
Camp: one for Archery equipment, and then we had an online fall fundraiser that more than met it's goal. Thank you to all my friends and family who gave! We help offset costs for groups that come to Camp that support campers who are deaf, blind, or with autism or diabetes. Your help is so much appreciated! 

Coming up, we have a special fundraising event on March 24th in Santa Monica, CA. More info on that soon. Would love to have friends attend, if you're able to... 

I'm grateful to many friends that have come to visit that I've got to share and show my new digs. You are welcome to come back and visit any time...

For any friends who haven't made it to visit yet, if inspired, you'll find your way. ;) 

Camp Ronald McDonald Volunteers helping out for
Sight Awareness Weekend' Family Camp 
Special thanks to those who've come up to volunteer at Camp! Whether in the kitchen, to help run our activities, or we have (2) weekends in the Spring where we need help. Camp Ronald McDonald Volunteers came out in force last year for our 'Sight Awareness Weekend' Family Camp, where we host the program for families with a visually impaired family member,
and Jay Nolan Camp Staff came out and represented for our Work Weekend, where we paint, rake, build, and repair to get the Camp ready for Summer. We'll do both again this year, All are welcome to join either or both!  

Work Weekend- May 10-12, 2019 
Sight Awareness Weekend- May 17-19, 2019


My big adventure that I had this year was returning to Fairmount, Indiana (where I shot 'Deaners', my short doc on the fans of James Dean, currently over 9,000 views on YouTube!). I
returned during the annual festival in his honor. It was
great to see friends I had made through this connection and meet some new ones.

Camp Ronald McDonald End of Summer 80's prom 
I had squeezed in a Vegas trip right before Christmas, and although it's not necessarily 'trips' to LA (as it's just 80 miles away, and I average going there once a month) some highlights include going to the Magic Castle for a Camp Ronald McDonald fundraiser, the End of Summer Party (80's prom theme) also for Camp
Ronald McDonald, a tradition of catching 'A Christmas Carol' at Independent Shakespeare Company followed by tasty vittles at the Tam O' Shanter, and more... 


I spent a few months editing a short mockumentary that I shot in my downtime during Summer
of 2017 while at Camp Ronald McDonald. It's called 'David Stuff' (now on YouTube), a parody of a behind-the-scenes featurette of a low-rent sitcom starring myself, David 'Ringo' Espana, and other Camp Ronald McDonald folk. I'm actually pretty proud of how it turned out. As low-ultra low-budget (shot on a Samsung tablet) as it is (heh), there's still some laughs, and I've always wanted to put together a mockumentary. 

I was also lucky enough to be able hang and act with the Rogue Division team again to do a 48-hour film project (where the team writes, shoots, and edits a short film within 48 hours). This time I basically played a hungover detective pulled in to try to solve a murder mystery at a pool party. 

It's called the 'Perplexing Case of the Perfectly Planned Pool Party' and can be seen on YouTube. 

This was the 6th time I've participated in a 48-hour Film Project. Exhausting, but fun to be creative and help in the creation of a film. 


Of course, there's other odds and ends here and there... adventures and experiences... Hikes, Dinners, Shows, Karaoke, Parties, Holiday Traditions.

And Murphy the Cat is still a Cat. 

I look forward with optimism at 2019, and look forward to more time spent with you in it.

Best wishes for the New Year for you... 

My team at Lions Camps at Teresita Pines

2017 Look Back 

2016 Look Back 

2015 Look Back 

2014 Look Back 

Monday, January 1, 2018

David Garry's Form Letter Looking Back on 2017...

Hello and Best Wishes for Closure on 2017 and for Good things to come in 2018...

I like to annually share a Year's End Wrap-Up, and also let you know I'm holding a good thought for 2018 to be good for all of us. 

Rae Johnson (Mother)
Jill Johnson (Sister)

Firstly, and Sadly, in 2017 I lost my Mother and Sister in March. In both cases, it was a surprise and shock. I've spent time with family grieving in CT and through both of the memorials there, and have spent time with a solid network of friends that I'm fortunate and thankful for, for when the times were tough. 

My Nephew, Niece, Father, and Aunt

I'm choosing to celebrate and ponder on the positive aspects of my Mother and Sister's time here in our world. And to also not take things for granted myself. We're each given this gift of life, and I try to make the best of my own opportunity. I miss them terribly... and like to think that through what I'm doing, accomplishing, and how I'm approaching life they'd be proud of me. So many memories in all of my near 45 years of life with my Mother and Sister. I may share some stories separately, someday. 

I'm not the type of person that looks back on an entire year (at the end of it) and gives the full year the overall thumbs up or thumbs down. All experiences are unique unto themselves. With that, here's some good things that I like to focus on as well, that also happened in 2017 for me personally: 


  • A trip in February had me attending the American Camp Association Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This was the annual national conference and I was able to go to represent Camp Ronald McDonald and meet others in the Camp industry, and check out the sites and foods of Albuquerque. 
On the Town in NYC
  • I spent time in NYC in May, caught up with a few friends I hadn't seen in a while, was able to see 'Sunset Blvd' on Broadway (with Glenn Close) and 'The Play That Goes Wrong', and was able to have some rare opportunity to go inside of apartments that James Dean had lived in. (2 quick videos that were taken are at my YouTube channel). 

Across the street from 19 W. 68th St

  • In June, I had gone Whitewater Rafting at the Kern River. This was with about 30 folks with connections to Camp Ronald McDonald...spending time at a cabin at the R Ranch in the Sequoias, and getting to do one of my fave things (ww rafting) with Whitewater Voyages

  • June - August, I was at Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times in Mountain Center, CA for my job... 9 days on, 2 days off (for 6 sessions). A good balance to have had for the past 4 summers between mountain and city life. 
Seasonal  & Year Round Staff 2017 (Camp Ronald McDonald) 

  • A September trip to St. George Utah for my film 'Deaners' at DocUtah film festival took place, (with a day/night spent in Vegas on the way). I went representing the film, and was great seeing the St. George community come out in support of their local film festival... I got to meet other filmmakers, hang, see other films, participate on a filmmaker panel, and experience St. George and see some beauty nearby at their State parks. 

  • I had driven my father's car from Florida to CT to help him out (in September)...and was able to visit a few friends along the way along the eastern seaboard. 
  • With a good size group (40-50) There was a camping trip in Wrightwood, CA at Table Mountain campground... getting to do day hikes, do a camping potluck, and hang / chat by campfires. 
  • In November, a weekend was spent in Montecito, CA with a small group of folks celebrating a friend's b-day... with buggies rented that we drove out and about Santa Barbara, and jacuzzi hanging, video game playing, and restaurant trying. 

    Las Vegas (MGM)
  • Later in November, I spent a couple of days in Las Vegas. It's a go-to destination every now and then, and typically staying at Excalibur. Hanging out with a friend, and their coworker and her husband. Buffet'ing it up is a standard, and checking out the sites. 

  • I had just spent a weekend camping in Agua Caliente, CA to ring in the New year... being unplugged with hikes, soaking in warm mineral baths, dinner at campfire side with 'silly formal' outfits outdoors, and there was a day drive to nearby Julian for famous apple pie. 


Celebrating 'Deaners' Screening at Valley Film Festival
  • This past year, my short documentary film 'Deaners' (on the fans of James Dean) had screened at 11 film festivals that it was officially selected by, making the total number 12. It had won 2 audience awards, and I had shared it online for all to see on YouTube (take a look see if you haven't seen it yet... it's just 20 minutes, and I'm proud of it). I thank all of the folks that had helped to make the film happen HERE. The official website for the film will go away in March... but if you wanna see the website before it's gone, check it out now. Otherwise, feel free to 'like' the film's Facebook Page and follow it on Instagram. I also was able to spend time at The Valley Film Festival (in the Noho Arts District), where it was an official selection, and a good number of folks came out for it. 

Watch 'Deaners' online HERE

  • I went to the premiere of a short film that I was 'location manager' and 'production coordinator' for... Athena by Rogue Division. If you're into sci fi, check it out... it was also shot in the snow...at Lions Camp at Teresita Pines (where I'll be working very soon...more on that in a moment). 
  • On a quick break during the summer, I acted in a short film offering for the Los Angeles 48-hour film project, where a short film is written, shot, and edited, all within 48 hours. In 'Wine Guys', (somewhat of a lite spoof on Goodfellas and Godfather types of films), I played a mob boss. It was a treat to play something
    Watch 'Wine Guys' HERE
    that's so out of type and I feel good about being able to pull that off enough, given that I don't read mob boss in real life. But...that's acting. ;)  Check out 'Wine Guys' by Rogue Division. It went to the 'Best Of' for the festival. Later in the year, there was a holiday edition of the LA 48-hour film project, where I had a small part in a horror themed 'Order of Amur'. I will look forward to catching it and sharing it when the Director's cut is complete. 
  • Over the summer (at Camp) during down time here and there, there was a fun creative side project I put together (that's now being edited), called 'David Stuff'. It was shot on a Samsung Tablet (super low-to-no budget..heh), and is a parody behind-the-scenes featurette of a sitcom called 'David Stuff'. There's snippets of scenes of the sitcom, interviews with the cast and with the crew. Just something fun and random to pour some creative energy into. 


It had been 10 years (as of this past April) that I had worked year round for Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times. The past 4 summers of that, I had spent up at Camp itself near Idyllwild, CA. It's a great organization, and I've been consistently inspired/impressed by the volunteers I've gotten to coordinate through my job, and the staff I've gotten to work with. I've seen firsthand what the Camp does for kids with cancer (and their families), and have also made some friends for life from my experiences and adventures with CRMFGT. 

It was time for a change for me, however...and starting in (2) weeks, I will be in a supervisory role of Camp Manager at Lions Camp at Teresita Pines in Wrightwood, CA. It's a Camp that has a mission statement in line with serving children with disabilities, and is owned by the Lions Club (international organization with different chapters). I'll be hosting groups that want to run their programs at the Camp. Open to ideas/suggestions of all types of groups that might be interested in being unplugged and spending time in Wrightwood, CA. 

So, I'll be living in Wrightwood, which is just on the Los Angeles County and San Bernardino County lines, in the mountains at 6,000 feet elevation. Mountain High Ski Resort is there, and a cute village town. I'll be going from city life to small town life.... 5,000 population (approximately). 


The first 2 cats I had briefly fostered in the fall had found forever homes, and then along came Murphy. It's a match, and she will also be moving with me to my/our new home in Wrightwood, CA. 



Of course, there's other odds and ends here and there... adventures and experiences... Hikes, Dinners, Shows, Karaoke, Parties, Holiday Traditions. 

I look forward with optimism at 2018 (major changes coming soon), and look forward to more time spent with you in it. 

Best wishes for the New Year for you... My wish for you and for me