Friday, December 31, 2021

David Garry's Form Letter, Looking Back on 2021...

Normally, I've been known to do a full-on blog post at the end of the year and send it out. This year...an abbreviated post. I look back on (10) things that buoyed my spirits during an otherwise (still) odd year. Choosing gratitude, and in no necessary order, I share with ya'll what lit me up: 

*Being the flower guy in Barrett/Ashleigh's wedding

*Having an awesome and excited staff at Camp

*Doing an in-person workout at a park with Tripp, Diana, Tommy, Tom, Tracey, and more after doing zoom workouts 

*My niece and her wife visiting LA 

*Handful of hangs with new friends from Crestline, including spending more time with old friends Wes & Steve- including their wedding! 

*Staff member Reagan's show with the Citrus Singers at the Candlelight Pavilion with most of my staff 

*Disney times: Taste of Disney with AmyD, Lisa Z, Cubby & a Disney Adventure with Jeff visiting from NY

*Trips to Vegas, Palm Springs, Malibu (all twice in 2021) including 1 Vegas showing of 'Thunder from Down Under' with Steve 

*Deaners dinner at Casa Vega on 9/30. 

*General hangs with those I get to see on the regular or semi-regular- Chris, Joey, Haley, LMo, Ian, Jay, Mike, JR 


On the creative, I had fun doing this little low-rent music video with my cameraphone at Santa Monica, CA: https://vimeo.com/531598524

Santa Monica, CA with David Garry



And someone wrote today: "This year- Surround yourself with people who believe in you, choose love and kindness, make bold moves toward your goals... "

Loves it. Here, Here! Cheers, and Happy New Year! 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

David Garry's Form Letter Looking Back on 2020...

Hello and Best Wishes for Closure on 2020, and for Hope & Optimism for 2021...


I usually share a Year's End Wrap-Up, and also let you know I'm holding a good thought the next year to be good for all of us. I toyed with the idea this time of maybe doing it from the POV of someone else, and in a different year. Maybe what Joan Crawford would be experiencing in 1942, or Gary Coleman in 1982. 

Instead, I wanted to share my own experiences of this year. Some good, some challenging... we'll call this cathartic. 


At a fave oceanside spot, Paradise Cove (Malibu, CA)


With friends JR and Jeremy 
It seems so long ago (but just January) when I attended a
'Tribute to James Dean' with other James Dean Fans in Palm Springs, CA. With James Dean's last best friend (Lew Bracker) in attendance, his cousin Marcus Winslow, and others. You can see a video that I had taken 'live' during the event here

With James Dean's Cousin, Marcus Winslow

Approaching (3) years in Wrightwood, CA:

Staff of Lions Camps (Feb, 2020) 
Hard to believe it's  now about two weeks away from 3 YEARS of my living in Wrightwood, CA, and being the Camp Manager for Lions Camps at Teresita Pines




We had groups come to Camp up until March... then our world changed. We've been taking the time we've been given to do improvements on the Camp and enhance the experience for groups to visit when it's possible again... 


We had a couple events scheduled originally, to bring people together, to share about Lions Camps at Teresita Pines, and honor individuals and organizations that help the Camp. Given that we couldn't have large gatherings, we engineered ways to bring these events to folks' homes... We had our Virtual Open House with tours of Camp, entertainment, updates, and more... it lives online where it can be viewed (catch me hosting our Virtual Open House here). 


We also had a Virtual 25th Anniversary Gala,
celebrating 25 years of Lions Camps at Teresita Pines with performances, throwback visuals, special guests, silent auction, and more. Between early ticket purchases, donations, silent auction, etc, we were able to raise over $50,000 for Camp, and in a much needed time! Thanks to all my friends who donated to our fundraisers this year and attended (somehow)! The Virtual Gala lives online and you can catch that with me hosting (as well), here

Apart from COVID-19, other tough moments in 2020 (for me, personally): 

I had lost my Auntie Robin back in March after a long battle with COPD. Some knew her from when I lived with her in NYC (Staten Island). Lots of fun memories. My mother would call us 'The Attitude Twins' on occasion. 😉 Weathering storms of family dysfunction when I was younger, we were a grounded touchstone for each other. I like to think, as they say, that she's in a better place, and with my mother and sister. Love and light to my Auntie. 

Other significant people in my life that had passed on in 2020: 


Ron Nicolosi- I worked with Ron on 'Just Shoot Me!' He had become a fellow stand-in on the show. Fun, funny, generous coworker and friend. He will be missed. 

Greg Waz- Greg was like a second father to me during my teen years. Between being the father of brothers (Jamison & Matt) who I had spent a good amount of my youth with, and then being with my mother for a long period of time, Greg was a man who was a considerable figure in my history. He was always down to earth and was that cool Dad of friends. 

Phil Zeigler- I always said I wanted to adopt Phil as my grandfather. Such a sweet man who had been a part of my short documentary ('Deaners', about the fans of James Dean), and that I spent a good amount of time with on other visits to Fairmount, Indiana. 


Also, we had the 'Bobcat Fire' in September-October, which came as close as 3 miles from my home/camp. Pretty rough to pack Murphy the Cat up, along with everything that I think I want/need from all my belongings, and deciding what I'm okay with burning up, if that were to be the case...  

I had sadly needed to cancel a trip to Fairmount, Indiana (originally scheduled for May)... 

And to end the year, fitting that I'm healing from 2 fractured ribs. Cause... why not?  #2020 


I am thankful for some bright moments to help balance, however... I got to work as an actor with the filmmaking team of Rogue Division for (3) shorts: 

1. Coronamania: A remote film project completed in 48 hours. This is the crazy result... I invite you to W.A.N.K. (Wrestling Association of Northern Kentucky)! I play the announcer...enjoy this quickie diversion here



2. Count of Treason: In the past handful of years, I've
played a number of characters my younger self wouldn't EVER have imagined: A plane co-pilot, a gang leader out to get Santa, an unsavory boss, a mob boss, a detective, a WWE announcer type, and now a CIA agent. Shot in June (following guidelines)...take a look-see here


3. Seeker's Bounty: A proof of concept project that gives an idea of a feature film. 'Seeker's Bounty' is a Treasure Hunter / Adventure Story. In this one, I play a man with a military background (who's ruthless and cunning, of course). This one is not available to be seen JUST yet, but another shoot that was fun to be a part of...

I've had Zoom time with good friends...some zoom mafia games, birthday parties, a hang with a legendary crew, and more... 


I had an adventure to visit the crash site on the James Dean Death Day of Sept. 30, 1955 (this time, 65 years to the day) to honor the legendary actor. We followed some of the same path that he had taken on that day. To watch a quickie video I put together of the adventure, take a look-see here


Special Shoutout: I wanted to thank Amy, Haley, and
Joey... for helping me out and putting me and Murphy the Cat up when I was in the throes of needing to evacuate from Camp, as the fire creeped closer, and as it had become mandatory to leave. 


Also, to Haley and Joey for volunteering their time and hosting me for a better wifi location (outside of my satellite internet) for the Virtual events that we had for Lions Camps at Teresita Pines- 1) our Virtual Open House and 2) our Virtual 25th Anniversary Gala.


And I SO can't wait to see my good friends and loved
ones in person again. I also have this very specific answer to 'What do you want to do first when COVID is over?' I want to go rollerskating. I really do. Consider yourself invited to go to the Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale, CA sometime. Coincidentally where this video was shot, and that I watch weekly for inspiration...




P.S. For a super quick (1 minute) glimpse into 2 months of 2020 through my eyes, take a gander at my 1-second everyday video (from early August to early October). See 2 months in just over 1 minute here

P.P.S. Obsessions/Fascinations lately
  • Throwback to 'Tiger King' (Netflix)
  • 'Queens Gambit' (Netflix)
  • Deep dive, going retro into a rabbit hole with Wham! and George Michael 
  • Marathon of 'Sex and the City' again 
  • Introduction to short-lived 'Daisy of Love' this year
  • Puzzles 
  • Burning awwwwllll the Bath and Body Works Candles I've hoarded over time 
  • Following Hot fitness gurus on Instagram and not working out 






P.P.P.S. Murphy the Cat is still a Cat. 





I'm anxious yet hopeful about 2021, and would look forward to time spent with you in it. 




Love and Hugs, DG 




Saturday, January 11, 2020

Caleb (#Caleb) - The Whole Truth and Nothing But...

Caleb 
I haven't written about my IMAGINARY Boyfriend Caleb in a while... I thought I had some sort of writer's block.

Or...  I realized the honeymoon period had ended.

Or...I felt like I was done with that story.

Or...  ;)

I was a bit fascinated that a good number of people that I knew (even a majority of close friends, actually) thought that Caleb was real. A handful knew right off I was story-telling, and had played along quite well. Most messaged me or waited until I saw them in person to ask: 'Is Caleb... real?'





I loved that I got so detailed in my storytelling and having so much fun with it, that it actually threw a good number of those I knew. But, I feel bad that I somehow duped friends and all, even though I was completely transparent and used the word 'Imaginary' every time I posted about My IMAGINARY BOYFRIEND Caleb. My Caleb has not been real. Only 'Imaginary', as I had been saying. Where did this come from? I can chalk it up to:


  • Living in the mountains of Wrightwood where there's few to no choices in the nearby vicinity for L'amour. 
  • Source of creativity. Gosh, I had such a good time coming up with stories about the things we did, the gifts he bought me, and how he really was my 'ideal'...truly. 
  • After 6+ years of no dating, etc, it was an interesting diversion for make believe out there in the social media world. 

Caleb 'Caleb' #Caleb was a combination of different guys... If I actually ended up with a boy cat (again) not long ago (2 years), as a namesake, it was to be named Caleb. Murphy's a whole 'nother story that I'll get to another time... 

But 'Caleb' is comprised of 4:





1. A straight guy acquaintance that I'll keep a mystery.
2. Caleb 'BeastMode Cowboy' from Big Brother Season 16 and Survivor Season 32.
3. Cal (Caleb) - James Dean from 'East of Eden', his first feature film.

4. But the majority of my Caleb boyfriend prototype goes to:



Caleb was from Survivor, Season 27 'Blood vs. Water'. He was voted 14th out on Day 29 (out of 39).

He died a tragic death in 2014 at the age of 26, involving a train derailment, while working for the Alabama Warrior railway. 



No longer with us, but Caleb was a sweet and generous type. Most on the show were impressed with him as a person, and bewildered that he was enfianced with what most would've considered a villain of the game, Colton.

My heart goes out to him, his family, and the memories he left behind.

Didn't think this would take this turn, did you?

Again, just a prototype for me, and a good example of an ideal BF I would strive for in a relationship.

After 6+ years of no dating, but maybe thinking about someone kinda special, I've been hesitant, but remind myself of these lyrics from Pink's 'Try':



So... the jig is up on my IMAGINARY world (for some). There isn't really a BF of mine named Caleb, and hasn't been. But there is a canvas print of Caleb B. in my home, honoring a real special and sweet guy I had never met and hold a good thought for... RIP Caleb. 

And...in the end, may we all either: 
1. Find Love, the best match that's suited for us, or 
2. Love the ones we're with and appreciate them... , or 
3. Both. 


                                         ________________________


RIP Caleb 






Tuesday, December 31, 2019

David Garry's Form Letter Looking Back on 2019...

Hello and Best Wishes for Closure on 2019 and for Good things to come in 2020...

I like to annually share a Year's End Wrap-Up, and also let you know I'm holding a good thought for 2020 to be good for all of us.





Approaching (2) years in Wrightwood, CA:

Some of my staff of Lions Camps at Teresita Pines
Hard to believe it's now just two weeks away from 2 YEARS of my living in Wrightwood, CA, and being the Camp Manager for Lions Camps at Teresita Pines


Throughout the year, I'm making sure groups that rent the Camp are taken care of, and all is going well in the kitchens, with maintenance, janitorial and more. This takes a great team to pull it all off... 


Some of the Staff and Board of Lions Camps at Teresita Pines 


Before the event 'Kings & Queens of Teresita Pines'
This year, we had a couple of successful fundraisers for Camp- our online fundraiser we just had in the fall, and we also had a successful first outing of 'Kings & Queens of Teresita Pines' where we crowned a King (top fundraiser) at an event in Santa Monica, CA. Thanks to all my friends who donated to our fundraisers, attended, or volunteered! 



Coming up, we are celebrating 25 years of Lions Camps at Teresita Pines on Sunday, March 22nd at the DoubleTree by Hilton Los Angeles - Rosemead. Save the Date and More info coming soon! Would love to have friends attend, if you're able to... (Teaser Trailer I did for our 25th Anniversary Gala Above)



Wrightwood Adventures

I'm grateful to many friends that continue to come to visit that help make my home in the mountains a home. You are always welcome to come back and visit any time...



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 late Spring where we need help: 

1. Sight Awareness Weekend  



Thanks to friends who came out this past year for our 'Sight Awareness Weekend' Family Camp, where we host the program for families with a visually impaired family member (Quickie 2019 Video I did on it Above)...

2. Work Weekend 


....And...we had 80+ folks come and spend time during our Work Weekend, where we paint, rake, build, and repair to get the Camp ready for Summer. (Quickie 2019 Video I did on it Below)... 



We'll do both again this year, All are welcome to join and volunteer at either or both! :  

Work Weekend- May 15-17, 2020 
Sight Awareness Weekend- June 5-7, 2020


TRIPS:


A plaza of a food court off of the Ramblas in Barcelona
My big adventure that I had this year was going to Barcelona, Spain! I've never been anywhere in Europe... quite a first and quite an adventure. I did a tapas tour, an electric bike tour
Outside La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
where I got to see the inside of the spectacle of a church 'La Sagrada Familia', original vision of design by artist Gaudi. I also kayak'd in Costa Brava on the Mediterranean. 





A hike before kayak'ing in Costa Brava (on the Mediterranean) 

More photos from my Barcelona, Spain trip HERE




At Excalibur Casino (Thunder Down Under Photo Setup)



I had also squeezed in a Vegas trip right before Christmas. 








At Excalibur Casino (Thunder Down Under Photo Setup)


ALSO:

Of course, there's other odds and ends here and there... adventures and experiences... Dinners, Shows, Parties, Holiday Traditions. So much to mention, so many memories, but some other notables: 


I loved watching each episode of the final season of Game of Thrones this year with a solid group of friends who enjoyed it as much as I did... 



At TCL Chinese, where it all began (premiered)
What a dream to see the 'final' chapter in the Skywalker saga. Ever since I was a kid and got to see the first in the movie theater, got all the toys, and more. Momentous to close it out. 

I got a new Car! A Rav4 (All Wheel Drive), which is necessary in the snowy mountains...







And Murphy the Cat is still a Cat. 




I look forward with optimism at 2020, and look forward to more time spent with you in it.

Best wishes for the New Year for you... 




Love and Snow, Snow, and More Snow... DG 


2018 Look Back

2017 Look Back 

2016 Look Back 

2015 Look Back 

2014 Look Back  

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.


NEW HOME, NEW JOB:

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


TRIPS:


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... 


CREATIVE PROJECTS:

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. 



ALSO:

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