Sue Thurman is a Butler University graduate and has lived in California, too. She has worked in television, movies, and plays as an actress and vocalist. And she also has much experience in producing and directing.
She explained that this television show, in the planning stages, was going to be based on a small western town named Southport. It will be a fun, easy to watch program that will contain music and laughter in each episode.
This Southport also will have folks living in the town that might have names we remember - Perry Township early settlers like Mary Bryan and Jeremiah Gray. Each has a school named after them.
I have forwarded Sue several stories and pictures and a copy of the book by Casey Smith titled, Images of America, Perry Township. I have stayed in e-mail contact with Sue and we have talked on the telephone several times.
Sue has sent me a copy of the pilot script for the show. I was asked to review the historical aspects of the script and offer corrections.
I had noticed, while reading the script, that there were a few times when a character was talking, they might break into a line of a song. I enjoyed that and she said that most everyone working on the program has a musical background. She also encouraged me to properly sing any music lines that I came across while reading a script. We each laughed at that.
She also told me that she had always enjoyed performing songs associated with Liza Minnelli. At some point, something connected to Liza and her music could appear in the western town of Southport.
As soon as she spoke of Liza Minnelli, my memory shot back to the time that I had the opportunity to see her in concert in Indianapolis. As my wife and I were walking to our seats, someone shouted my name. It was Ron Keller whom I hadn’t seen for several years. We talked for a while before the orchestra began playing. I let Sue know about seeing Liza in concert and connecting with my friend but did not reveal his name.
Later in our phone conversation, Sue asked me about my past history with school buses. We had a discussion about Perry Township’s first female school-bus driver, Emma Glenn. She explained to me that the stagecoach company based in the town of Southport might hire their very first female driver and that her name probably would be Emma Glenn. That would be so cool.
During our discussion about Perry Township school buses, Sue told me about her favorite school-bus driver. She explained that he was very good with the kids; then she tole me he drove bus number 27 and his name was Fred Keller.
I was stunned. Fred Keller was the father of Ron Keller. Yes, the same Ron Keller that I was just telling her about while we were talking about Liza Minnelli. I’m sure that I was babbling when I tried to explain the connection of a father and his son in our different tales.
I told Sue more about Ron Keller and she said she would like to talk with him. I enjoyed our lengthy conversation and am still amazed at the connections we are uncovering.