Moving Product Off the Shelf

On The Road With Blackstone Edge Studios

An urgent, last minute assignment for a national, New York based magazine sent us scurrying to Washington in the midst of torrential rains last week. We had less than 24 hours to gear up for two summer shoots in the middle of December. One was a coastal home in the wilds of Washington’s epic shoreline, where it is said that Navy Seals walk out of the turbulent waters after arduous training maneuvers just across the street from this adorable cottage.

We arrived in the middle of the night, having driven 4.5 hours from a long day’s shoot in Gig Harbor in the midst of the biggest storm to hit the Northwest in decades. The Garmin said the address we’d been given didn’t exist. Our cell phone said, “No Network.” The only pay phone in this downtrodden town was being used by some guy swilling multiple beers with no sign of him leaving the cubicle for hours to come. So, Donna twisted the bodega owner’s arm to let her use the phone, swearing it was a local call to Aberdeen.

Luckily, the homeowner was still up, and gave us directions to the cottage. We unloaded, and Donna started styling immediately. I decided to scout the exterior. Suddenly,  an oncoming car blinded me with its high beams. Dazed, I stepped back onto what I thought was a pathway. Wrong! I fell headlong into a ditch filled with water.

“Thank goodness I’ve been watching The Learning Channel,” I thought. “I immediately found 2 dry sticks, some flints and built a bivouac to stop the hypothermia in its tracks. By the time I made it back to the porch, I was stripping off my shoes, socks & drenched jeans…  I entered the cottage half-naked, and Donna, who had been fluffing the entire house at midnight, hardly missed a beat.”What do you think of my styling?” she asked. “Doesn’t it look great?”

I mumbled something positive, then threw my drenched clothes in the dryer.

Miraculously, in the morning, the sun shone as if there had never been a storm.

The coastal cottage glows beatifically in the miraculous sunshine

On the way home, we drove across some railroad tracks in Chehalis to get a bite, when suddenly the sound of a train whistle was heard not 200 yards to
our right. How come the barriers didn’t come down, we wondered.  I just froze, unable to comprehend a train coming at Donna lickety-split.
‘Save the film!’ I thought… as the car transmogrified into a speedy Lamborghini and hightailed it off the tracks with seconds to spare!

This ordinarily would be the most harrowing part of the story, if we hadn’t stopped for a “lavish meal” on Main Street that consisted of frozen corn, mealy potatoes and a pork chop so tough I needed to use the antique two-man saw hanging on the brick wall amidst tragic Christmas toys and stuffed ice-cream colored alligators to cut it. It was enough to make you go Vegan. We should have guessed what laid ahead after seeing the hand-written sign in the window on red construction paper in a child-like scrawl announcing, “Open Now For Dinner!”

All those episodes of Gordon Ramsey, Julia Child, Top Chef, and Last Restaurant Standing had gone unnoticed by the chap in this establishment.  But ya’ know, all these misadventures make hellishly good tales for entertaining fellow guests at local Christmas parties.

1 comment

1 Charmaine Manley { 12.18.10 at 6:19 am }

You two do have the most interesting adventures!

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