Bran Recognition

A simple question turned into an unexpected and delightful conversation. On Saturday morning, I did a remote broadcast on WNOX from the Publix Super Market in Turkey Creek. We had a steady stream of listeners who had heard the broadcast on their way to the store.

Two or three of the listeners had a hint of a Northern accent, which prompted me to ask where they were from. One lady said she was from about 700 miles away, which led me to correctly guess the New York area. Another gentleman was wearing a Red Sox cap, which naturally led me to guess Boston. He was actually from New Hampshire.

When he said, “New Hampshire,” I said, “Lake Winnipesaukee!” He said, “Old Man of the Mountain,” I said, “that’s on the back of  the state quarter.” My co-worker Carina hadn’t heard of the now-collapsed natural rock formation. The man explained how Daniel Webster made it famous and how freezing and thawing cracked the rock and the face fell into a lake.

The man introduced himself as Sam Ayers. He said he had moved here from Los Angeles, where he had worked in the entertainment industry for several years. I kept asking questions and found out that he was a stuntman-turned-actor. He had been a performer at Universal Studios in Florida but moved to L.A. for a job at Universal Studios Hollywood, playing Doc Brown in the theme park.

We realized that we were probably both at the grand opening of the Back to the Future ride. I was invited as were many other radio personalities. When I checked in, I saw my name on the list but I also spotted the name Michael Jackson, which we all assumed was the KABC-AM talk show host. When the other Michael Jackson showed up, the park’s public relations staff was stunned. They had to scramble to prevent a mob scene. They rushed the King of Pop into an exit door of the ride, rather than have him go through the pre-show with the rest of us.

Sam told me he had also done stand-up comedy, TV shows, commercials and movies. His demo reel is on his IMDB page. I watched the reel and laughed when I saw him as the construction worker in an absolutely hilarious commercial for my favorite cereal, Kellogg’s All-Bran Buds.

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