When the Writer/Director of the "Field of Dreams" and Danny Glover Decided to Make a Movie on the Children of the Civil Rights Movement, A Freedom Song Was the Result, changing forever many who were associated with its production including Attorney Richard Olivito
It was a sunny morning which had stretched into a late hot
morning and we were made to stand for almost an hour in line.
positioned next to a large shade tree thankfully and was surrounded by various
young people and others while watching the crew set up a fairly elaborate
Many were standing around and it was getting long. and the north
carolina summer sun was beginning to bear down.
The guy standing next to
me was an African American individual about my height, wearing overalls and
thick black glasses which I did not give much thought to. I figured he was there
like me, just called to be standing in line dressed in a period outfit, but
We did not speak for some time and we were all just
"quiet on the set". It was my first day back in an area I had come to know and
love and had noticed the town's people had come out to stare and watch as the
production had begun in earnest in Burgaw.
Soon, the African American
fellow standing next to me for some time, said in a clear voice to me, without
any introduction of himself, " You must be the lawyer from Ohio who has
someting serious for civil rights there up north."
I was taken
back and i just said cautiously, "yes". He looked at me and said, "i know there
are a couple of you lawyers here and you're the one from Ohio..."
sort of stunned because I did not know anyone on this set and certainly did not
know this man. He said, "would you like to meet the director of the film?"... I
said, looking both surprised and a little harder at him, "yes, of
He said, "after this shot, we will go up and I will introduce
him to you." and we shook hands and we began to talk; he was very professional
and very introspective in his appearance as if he were immersed himself, in the
era. I know I was headed
to the same place as he seemed to be
....and this is the way it began, my summer of the last year of the
second milineum, on a movie set, in a small out of the way north carolina town
re-cast in the 1950's era look.
Later, I would discover, this was not
merely any extra or actor or just a townsperson, who had been standing next to
me, unawares, for over an hour, in silence.
It was in fact,
actor-producer-director, Curtis Vonde Hall and he was playing the lead role of
one of the leading figures in this Danny Glover movie about the 1960's southern
civil rights era...
and he was about to introduced me to Director
Phil Alden Robinson, and others, including actual civil rights
leaders from the era. It was a time to remember, indeed
...and the best
summer in memory of my young adult life was about to begin...
these hundreds of extras, dozens of crew members and us, the strange but intense
looking yet cordial, African American actor, standing together, for an hour in
the hot morning sun near a tall public square oak tree, next to the
the way southern rural town's old court house's front yard.