Saturday, January 1, 2011

Our Friend Alan

Yesterday we lost a member of the Walk Softly family.  Alan Ross was our lifelong friend and on December 31st, he lost his battle with cancer.  It was a possibility none of us could fathom nor even wanted to acknowledge only months ago.  Alan was one of Todd's closest friends; friends from birth and they grew up side by side.  He was one of the funniest people you could ever meet.  We were very fortunate to have him play veterinarian Dr. Allen Jezik in Cannonball.  In fact, Dr. Ross inspired the part as he was a talented veterinarian in his own right.  Through his wit, creativity and spirit, Alan brought something special to every scene he was in and lifted it above the words on the page.  We always knew experience and memories would be the primary benefits of spending ten years in production of a small indie film.  Now those memories mean so much more and, for us, the legacy of the film has come into focus.  We are so thankful that a crazy project like Cannonball gave us the opportunity to spend time with him.  For Allen Martin and myself, we would never have had the chance to know Alan as well as we do if not for sharing this project with him.  Now Cannonball is a place we can see our friend.  We can see him being so much of what we remember, at anytime we want, and that is a very special gift for us.  He stuck with us over years of production, even after he moved to Tennessee and could have easily walked away.  After the move, Alan drove up from Nashville to devote an entire weekend to us.  We had three special days spread all over the city of Danville and nearby woods, laughing and telling stories and fighting a guy in a monkey suit.  Those are three days we would never give back and they serve to remind us of what is truly precious in life.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to Alan's family and loved ones.

Alan, we miss you.
We can't wait to see you again.

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