Friday, February 24, 2012
Early in 1995, the skating scenes from the movie The Preacher's Wife were filmed here on the ice of Deering Oaks, with the line of apartments of Park Avenue in the background. At the time, my Dad was the Commander of the Harold T. Andrews American Legion Post on Deering Street and got word that they wanted to film scenes inside the Post to use as the church's office. When they arrived for a look, Dad gave them the grand tour of the entire building. The directors apparently loved all the doorway woodwork and the beautiful wainscoting throughout the first floor rooms, and the deal was done. They filmed in the building and at the Oaks for about a week. Dad said he never got a chance to meet Whitney, because in the true diva tradition, her handlers were all over the place and kept the public away from her. He did, however, get a chance to meet and shake Denzel Washington's hand. They talked for a few minutes about a love of the Boys' Clubs of America, something close to the heart of both the actor and Dad. I was reminded of this again last week during all the hoopla surrounding the demise of diva Whitney. And yes, Dad got a cameo role in the movie. His big screen debut was a 5 second shot of him in a soup line, with some friends, shot inside the Post. A star was born!