Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 26, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
District Jhe LetHbridgc Herald news SECOND SECTION July 1974 Pages 13-24 Cullifon harvest' WALTER KERBER photos The general store at Diamond City has been con- verted to the general store and U.S. post office at for the filming of Effects men glue dead grasshoppers to an antique automobile below. x-..VP Award winner Veteran film star Ben Johnson relaxed voff-set with a young Brent Tomiyama of Winner of an Academy Award as best sup- porting actor in Last Picture 3en plays a stoic Montana wheat farmer. Movie crew filming television flick at Diamond City By RUSSELL OUGHTRED Herald Staff Writer DIAMOND CITY His blue coveralls faded from hot days of work in his Montana wheat Amos sees the locusts on the grille of the 1938 Pontiac as it pulls up to the gas pumps outside the general store. The scene is Cullitan's Emporium and U.S. Post Office in the summer of 1942. Amos is worried about two things. The locusts plastered to the front of the Pontiac spell danger for crops' on the family farm. The stoic wheat farmer asks the driver of the a local about the locust infestation. Amos is also worried about his a former ensign in the Navy who has just been discharged from the Navy for psy- chiatric reasons. Amos is disappointed with his and fear- ful of the ravaging locusts. He talks with the vet for a minute before climbing in his Tin Lizzie to drive back to the farm to meet his son. The whole scene takes about two minutes to unfold outside Danielson's store in Diamond City. But it takes about an hour for movie crews to record a take that meets with the approval of Richard director of a 90-minute film for an American television broadcasting company. Although it takes an hour of grueling on- location work in mid-day sun to record about 60 seconds of there's months of work behind the set at Danielson's store in Dia- mond City. Danielson's store is one of two local sets being used by the film crews stay- ing in Lethbridge in the Park Plaza. Film producers travelled 800 miles of dis- trict road before finding a typical wartime general store untouched by modern blemishes like paved streets and neon signs. Producer Herb Wright says his film company found Cullitan's just as it appears in the in Diamond City. Nothing has been changed inside Danielson's store because couldn't build a set this says executive producer Mike Donohew. The script also calls for locusts. With help from federal research station etymologist Dr. Neil the movie company settled on southern Alberta grasshoppers as the next best thing. With more help from six Barnwell youngsters who trapped about 30.000 grasshoppers in fields near the special effects men blow dead locusts at sets and glued them to the front of vintage cars borrowed from antique car buffs who live near here. Now Danielson's store boasts the Stars and Stripes and a flurry of wartime posters ex- horting passersby to buy war bonds and sup- port the war effort. Outside the store are about 15 vintage cars and pickups. There's a period bus. still operated by city bus line owner Steve Kotch. And there's people. Out of 100 onlookers and actors a couple of faces are familiar. One belongs to Ronny the 20-year- old star of and For millions of television fans. Ronny is equally well known as the son of Andy Griffith. Another familiar face is Ben winner of an Academy Award as best sup- porting actor in Last Picture Ronny plays the disgraced Navy en- sign. Ben plays the part of the disappointed father. Ronny won't always be and Amos won't always be disappointed with his son. But the film crew hasn't gotten to that part of the script yet. as technicians and managers break for their mid-day meal on the grass behind Danielson's store in Dia- mond Citv. Ron Howard had to be created Southern Alberta hasn't seen a real since the 1800's when swarms of Rocky Mountain locusts migrating across the Prairies blackened the sky. So when film crews needed locusts for special effects on sets they turned to garden-variety grasshoppers and puffed wheat. Six Lethbridge junior forest wardens collected about live hoppers from district fields using insect nets. The hoppers were stored in a large cage and fed lettuce and wheat to keep them from each says Dr. Neil head of crop en- tomology at the research who advised movie crews on handling grasshoppers. For special effects in the dead hoppers were glued to cars for close-ups and live hoppers blown into sets. But because grasshoppers can hang on the side of a wind they were mixed with puffed wheat on distance shots. I Joe taxpayer may buy air conditioning twice Hospital officials at the Lethbridge and Medicine Hat auxiliary hospitals are bewildered over a government announce- ment that the two hospitals will get air because they have had cool- ing systems since they were built. The hospitals were two of 16 slated by the department of health as needing air conditioning. Premier Peter Lougheed an- nounced here last week the hospitals would be getting air conditioning under a five-year scheme. Doug assistant ad- ministrator of the Lethbridge said Thursday the hospital has had air con- ditioning since it was constructed. suppose we need to know how exten- sive the government's air conditioners are. Ours are a trouble-free unit but ef- ficiency could be questioned. When it is 95 degrees outside it won't bring it down to 70 he said. Meanwhile a hospital board member in Medicine Hat called the premier's an- years too for the Medicine Hat auxiliary. Frank Romeike told a County of Forty- Mile meeting the Medicine Hat hospital was one cf the first in Alberta to be air conditioned. M. J. administrator of the aux- iliary said in a telephone inter- view he hopes the government announce- ment will bring air conditioning to areas of the hospital where patients are not kept. Areas such as the storerooms and cafeteria are not now air conditioned. J. E. chairman of the Alberta Hospital Services said in a telephone interview from that he didn't know how the announcement would affect hospitals with major air con- ditioning systems.