Flashback

Through a wonderful, serendipitous sequence of events I met Alex of Parallel Productions who does video and photography. Usually for weddings. But I’m already married.

Remember the new website/marketing/branding heartburn I had?

Part of what I’m learning in my research is that video in marketing is a huge turn on. Like bringing flowers to your date. You see a face. The face is talking directly to you. It’s personal. And it starts a relationship.

Video has been in my plan for a while now. It was part of my new exciting thing from Recess. It’s not new or exciting anymore, but I am getting closer to my dream of what it will be.

Alex and his wife, Joan, are going to do a promo video for our studio, It’s All Yoga, in Sacramento.

Yesterday was our first shoot. There were volunteer “mock class” students, personal testimonials, and a very painful interview of me. Sitting on a stool, sweating like a pig.

I’m not particularly camera shy. I’m not nervous speaking in front of groups. WTF?

I got home yesterday afternoon and one image of the shoot from the morning kept popping up: the video camera, propped on the tripod, aimed at me.

<<Flashback 1988>>

My parents and I were called down to the Sheriff’s office (think town of 700 people, no stop lights, one Sheriff). If they knew why, they didn’t tell me.

We were taken into the back room where there was a TV on a tall rolling cart, one like they would have wheeled into the classroom in 6th grade so we could watch the Space Shuttle launch.

The Sheriff explained that some videos were confiscated from the B & B run by Bill Glass. From the B & B where I worked during the summers when I was 11-13.

***

Bill Glass was a creepy man. He told stupid jokes. He was alway saying I resemble that as wordplay for I resent that. As though it was funny.

My mom hated him. She was always popping by with ice cream or lemonade to check on me. But my dad thought he was fine. And it was good for me to have a job.

The B & B was in a huge old victorian on Main Street. Ironically, my grandma lived there when it was an apartment building probably a decade earlier.

Bill Glass came from LA. That alone would have made him weird. We were hicks. Country people. Simple folk. He might as well have been from Jupiter.

Add to that, his wife stayed there while he moved to our little town to run a mostly unnecessary lodging establishment.

To top it off, he had a side business. He made copies of video tapes of ice skating events. I know.

While he did not actually shoot the video of the ice skating, he had video cameras all over the house. Big ones. On tripods.

For some reason, this did not seem strange.

***

The Sheriff put a tape in the VCR and pressed play. Mostly jumble, some shots of the couch, the dining room.

Then there was a ladder. With someone on it. My mom reminded me that I had wallpapered the two-story entry way.

That looks like your dress (which we were required to wear).

No it doesn’t.

Yes, it is your dress.

No it isn’t.

And then, from the top of the ladder, a face turned down toward the ground. It was my face, caught by the camera.

***

Turns out that Bill had been filming all of the girls who worked for him. Most of the tapes were innocent (as determined by law).

There were two tapes of me, one on the ladder and another doing a project on the couch, that caught a glimpse of my underwear, which, as determined by law, is not innocent.

I was lucky. Another girl who worked for him through high school was taped through the two-way mirror he had installed in the “staff” bathroom.

Bill must have suspected that he’d been found out — most of the tapes were destroyed before the Sheriff got to them. But the two of us took him to court.

He bought my first car — a 1978 VW Dasher.

I thought my panties were worth more than that.

***

Sigh. While reliving this memory is uncomfortable, it may offer some insight to my video hesitancy. Maybe this is where my resistance to my new exciting thing comes from. Maybe not, but it’s worth looking at.

Thank you for gently holding this story. I offer it for all young girls, and everything they go through.

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7 Responses to “Flashback”


  1. 2 Kelley M. March 31, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    Thanks for this post Michelle. It was very interesting to hear about the video shoot and how it flooded back all these memories for you. I just can’t imagine and it brings about one of those “who knew?” moments. I wish the world would be free of freaks like this guy….Mr. Glass. WTF? What town did you grow up in my little hick friend? I grew up in little Ben Lomond. From one little hick town girl to another, enjoy the video! Can’t wait to see it and try to make new video memories, ok.

  2. 3 Leili March 31, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    Oh, Michelle… *hug*

  3. 4 elizabeth April 1, 2010 at 1:11 am

    Oh, Michelle. {hugs} to you – both for the experience and for the memory that visited again. I had a creepy old neighbor that I try not to think about. When I was younger and it was happening, I would laugh about his harassment, like I thought what he was doing was funny. It wasn’t until last year that I realized that I really wasn’t laughing on the inside. I wish for a day when little girls (and boys) are free from such things.

  4. 5 blogasana April 1, 2010 at 4:22 am

    Oh you guys… thank you. It’s because of you that I feel safe enough to share stuff like this. The un-pretty stuff.

    @kelley – i grew up in etna, ca. near the oregon border. tiny.little.town. we’ll have to swap hick stories!

    @leili – thanks for the real one

    @elizabeth – isn’t is (not) funny what we cover with laughter? of course, that young, we’re not taught/equipped to deal with things like that. at least i wasn’t. i wish for that too…

  5. 6 janeen April 1, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    I am learning way more about you than I ever knew before this week, my friend. I had some thoughts after we left lunch yesterday – didn’t have appropriate ways to express them right there – as is usually the case, but this ties in. You are so brave for sharing. And I love you so much!

  6. 7 blogasana April 1, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    thanks janeen… i look forward to hearing your thoughts – always so insightful. i love you too!


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