Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wild Hogs and Madrid

A few days ago, my wife saw that a movie called "Wild Hogs", with Tim Allen and John Travolta was scheduled on FX, and we decided to watch it.

A large portion of the movie, about a wannabe 'biker gang' of "middle age crazies", which included Allen, Travolta, Martin Lawrence, and William H. Macy, took place in New Mexico. I hope everyone knows, I'm a serious New Mexiphile, and the unlikely travels of the "gang" took place in a part of NM that's near to my heart. What makes the travels "unlikely", is that after passing the "last gas station for 200 miles", they ran out of gas and pushed their bikes into Madrid (not MaDRID, as in Spain, but MADDrid, as in New Mexico), in the Ortiz Mountains near Santa Fe.

If my ancient memory serves me, Michael Corenblith's grandmother was a gracious lady named Mrs. Madrid (like in Spain). I wonder if the play on words prompted the selection for this setting for the major portion of the movie.

For what it's worth, I appreciate your choice of sets, Mick! I've watched Madrid over about forty years, growing from a ghost town to a rather lively place populated with unique people. Once when I was there, I think it was in the '80s, I saw a genuine "Austin City Limits" highway sign on someone's front porch.

It certainly made for a fun-filled movie, however unlikely the whole plot seemed to be! Thanks for making me feel I was there, Mick!

Following is a memory:


A tape of “The English Patient” was playing when my wife found the article about Mick in the paper. Naturally it was too late to make plans to watch the Oscar awards.

The year was 1969 or thereabouts when I gave in to the repeated phone calls from one of the administrators at Reagan High School offering me potential employees through their work-study program. The following Monday morning, a young fellow knocked on my door (when Lauren was born, I decided to have my office at home for about four years).

“I’m Mick Corenblith, and I’m here about the work-study program”. I put him to work, and several months later, the guy from Reagan called, offering me potential employees through their work-study program. “Got one, already” I answered, and I assured him that my employee was neat and clean and well mannered, (I didn’t mention the shoulder-length hair, since it was neat and clean). It was after I hung up that Mick confessed that the guy hadn’t sent him, that he had simply overheard one of the telephone conversations, and had tracked me down.

After graduation, Mick started studying Architecture at UT, and continued to work at my office, but he changed his major to communications after a couple of years. He worked for me about five years, total, and was a model employee, and a lot of fun to have around. He kept me up to date on the latest music, and assured my wife that shoulder length hair would continue forever to be fashionable for men. He was still wearing his shoulder length hair when he came by the house a few years after he went to Hollywood, but since that time, it looks as if he’s finally given it up.

It always gives me a little thrill whenever I see Production Designer Michael Corenblith in large letters spread across the screen, and Mick’s nominated for an Oscar for designing “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.

A FOOTNOTE: (2-01-2010)
Recently, after reading this, Mick informed me that the decision had nothing to do with his grandmother. To select the sites, he has to take many things into consideration, including economics, consideration of "the talent", availability of facilities, a local labor pool, etc. New Mexico had already been selected before he was hired. He selected Madrid for its location as the most favorable of several sites in that general area of New Mexico. I like my version better.....;^}.



Rie Sheridan Rose said...

I did not know that was how Mick came to be around the house...I do know we thought he was dreamy painting the eaves...

Willie C said...

No, child, that was Ralph that painted the eaves. I guess I just attracted "long-hairs".
Remember Larry?

It WAS Mick that had to go home to use the bathroom one time when Julie busted the bowl, and Mom wouldn't let him go into the master bath.

Mick, in fact had a "normal" haircut when I hired him. He let his hair grow back after he was assured I'd be cool with it.

Larry wore a girl friend's wig for the interview, which made him look a little like Jerry Lewis. When I told him it'd be OK to show his real hair, he dumped the wig.

Willie C said...

Please insert, between "bowl" and ".and Mom", "in the hall bathroom".