With the job market at Vandenberg closed up, I started making
the rounds to the local businesses as well as getting an apartment in Lompoc. I eventually got a retail position with Radio
Shack at the Santa Maria Mall. I couldn't afford another move so I commuted the 25 miles each day. The timing chain in
the junker car I bought went out and I ended up taking the Greyhound bus back and forth until it was fixed. It soon became
obvious that I would to need cut expenses and made arrangements to take on a roommate.
|Art considers getting a roommate.
Dennis Cargill was in the Photo Squadron with Martin Baumgarten and wanted to move off base.
We worked out the arrangements and moved to a two-bedroom apartment near the center of town.
After that financially disasterous year, 1982 began with my being hired at
the Lompoc Unified School District in their printing department. Although we were paid only once a month, it was a whole lot
more than I made at Radio Shack plus I didn't have to commute to Santa Maria anymore. Now that I had a little stability
again, I began to pick up the pieces of some of my film projects. I started a film in 1980 based on Martin's crazy
film SMEG (Special Missions Especially Great). He and his friends from the squadron shot it around the Lompoc Flower Festival
carnival in June of 1980. In November, we did a few minutes of a sequel out on the north end of Vandenberg AFB. It sat in
the can during the chaos of 1981 and Dennis and I talked about finishing it sometime. Eventually, we roped in some of the
other people from the squadron but they got to be unreliable. I soon resorted to bribing them with beer to get them
to finish some scenes. The completed film isn't one of my favorites but there were some sequences I enjoy from it, particularly
the car chase scene on Harris Grade.
Despite the problems I encountered making SMEG II, it did
provide me with a couple of people who would later add their voices to STAR TRIX: THE FLICK. Gary Berleue would take over
the role of Captain, now Admiral, Klurk. The talented Laura Settle was the regal T'Lard of Vulcan, the sexy Lt. Ineedya and
miscellaneous female voices. In early 1983 I began work again on the STAR TRIX sets, repairing the older ones and starting
new ones. There was one more important addition to the film that would appear on a day in May. His name was Grant.