My first job after Electronics school was working in the Engineering Department at KAKE-TV in Wichita Kansas. Duties there were Master Control and Studio Audio for live programming. It was at KAKE that I developed a love of TV production that would stay with me through out my career. While working at KAKE TV I met some truly interesting people such as Henry Harvey, Greg Gamer, Karl Berg and Larry Hatterberg who was in the Army with me.
Henry Harvey, better known as "Santa Clause" on TV show “Santa’s Workshop”, sang at my wedding while Karl Berg who was also a Flight Instructor when he was not on air as talent, ended up being the one that taught me how to fly. I ended up flying a large number of aircraft that range from a Cessna 140 to a twin jet prop King Air 300.
After working at KAKE I had other jobs in electronics but settled on Advertising, Marketing and Sales support; making Films and Videos for Beech Aircraft. During this time I was exposed to ways to shoot, produce and edit different kind of films for different kinds of products and what tweaks were required to make a “fair film” into an excellent film.
During this time I was involved with films and videos that were recognized by the industry and given high honors. The U.S. Industrial Film and Video Festival awarded two of my films the "Silver Screen Award”, one with Cliff Robertson. One film received the "Creative Excellence award" stared Rex Allen, who did voice over’s for Disney animated features were fun and interesting to shoot. These films were shot on location in Van Nuys and Oxnard California and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
One of the crowning achievements in my photographic experience was when I designed, installed and filmed with a camera system that I would use for aerial photography. This system would produce extremely high quality “air to air” video photography for pennies on the dollar compared to more costly methods. With this camera system I would spend hours and even days in my “Photo King Air” shooting other aircraft for marketing, engineering tests and litigation cases. This took nerves of steel at times as I would find myself in formation with 3 or 4 other aircraft and I would be directing all the aircraft from what I saw on my camera monitor even as we all moved around in the sky.
For 25 years I found that in the corporate video world, you were as good as your last film, so every production had to be as good as or better than your last if you wanted to keep your job. My department was highly respected for it’s visual products and this was noted by the C. E. O. who regularly asked my advice and input on matters involving Corporate ID when we dealt with groups such as the Raytheon Stock Holders and the Board of Directors.
During this time I also volunteered to help my local government with their Zoning Regulations and their 5 Year Plan documents. Shortly after my appointment to the commission I was elected to the Vice Chair position that presided over public meetings when discussing zoning problems. Many of these meetings were so contested I found myself trying to referee the factions while trying to gather information for consideration.
After a time on the Planning Commission I ran for and was elected to the Rose Hill City Counsel where I served for 2 years. By the middle of my term, I found that corruption in the City offices was taking hold and I decided to run for Mayor to correct the problem. Rose Hill had a staff of about 20, and after being elected Mayor I successfully reorganized the city offices and turned around the employee retention problem that was costing the city taxpayers $1000's a month, this reduced employee turnover from about one a month down to one a 14 months.
My military career started when I was 19. I joined the Army Reserves during the height of the Vietnam War while at the same time I was involved building U-21 aircraft for use in the war effort. As I worked my way up the ranks, my last position was that of a Helicopter Crew Chief on UH-1 Huey “slick”. "In-country" almost any position connected with helicopters was considered very risky duty, your life expectancy was usually “weeks” and when my 6 years was up, it was time to move on. Many years later I was talked into re-joining the Army in the 1990, just before the Gulf War, but this time as a "Photo Journalist" teaching newly enlisted Photo Journalists how to shoot and edit film and video programs for the Division’s PIO (Public Information Office).
Late in 2011, I wrote and published my first Kindle book called “Challenges of an Aircraft Photographer” which was more or less an autobiography of my experiences with air photography. Later, under a pen name of Emily Kim I wrote and published “How to buy Cheap Airline Tickets” which I plan to rewrite this month with added material.
Blood Harvest: the Entourage is set in a future world where vampires and humans must work together to survive. I don’t much go in for blood and gore, but I believe that stories that have conflict also must have a moral. I wrote the book, with the express intent that I should feel proud to let my 14 year old grand daughter read the book. The old saying; “Don’t judge the book by the cover” has never been more true. I hope that you enjoy this short story.
Richard Young website, click here