Working here over 3 decades, I grew old here. But my kids grew up here. My boys, Hudson and Jeff would often accompany me when we had “must see” filming. While the boys preferred car chases and explosions, my daughter was partial to sets involving animals. To each their own because there’s plenty to go around. Each child is now a successful adult, but memories of Universal still linger on pleasantly.
Golf carts are how my children first learned to drive, and no one knows the backroads around here better than me. After the tour sends out its L.T.D, last tram of day, these same animations that thrill tourists get explored by kids on carts. While growing up myself at MGM, only security had carts. The only cart I got to drive in my day was a Football Helmet Cart with the Dallas Cowboy emblem on each side of plastic dome. It was in an airplane hangar storage area on the backlot, needless to say I drove the heck out of that prop…just a kid trespassing inside a motorized helmet. Eight is Enough was the show that built it as I digress…
Almost two decades later, my kids receive this perk, and they don’t have to trespass to do so. The power to drive around a backlot, usually off hours, with the wind in their face and the power to accelerate, honk a horn, or just slam on the brakes is all theirs. Much better than a sting-ray bicycle, pulling up to a set or stage on a golf cart is usually reserved for VIP’s. Being a Teamster, I have access to all sorts of transportation vehicles. You name it, I’ve driven it.
Nothing puts a larger smile on a kid’s face than handing over the keys to my underaged chauffeurs. Basically, skills used in the real world could be mentored here at the studio. We crafted the best Boy Scout projects with a little help from our studio machine shop. A wood car at an exact weight, no problem. Yes, this factory can create anything.
Past, present or future- around here –it’s just now. We are in the now when driving these carts, but they transport us from Ancient Spartacus to a future with Cowboys and Aliens, if we simply, press the gas pedal.
MTV Awards to Comic Relief Award shows began to thrive and appeared annually at the Universal Amphitheater. Audience tickets were given out to operations staff. My daughter got my tickets for all things MTV.
As you see in this pictorial, time best pastes itself with these captured moments. Years turn into decades, shows continue to come and go, and those who were once little kids, well now, they drive fancy cars and have lives of their own. But, in the deeper parts of their memories, they will always be cosmically connected to this Universal Studio Universe.