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Meet the Neighbors: Michael D. McCarty


Sometime life can catch you off guard and the best laid plans have to be postponed. This is one of those plans we intended to post this conversation with Michael D. McCarty way back in November of 2018 but then 2019 took us by storm and so we're posting it now.

Now that we are in 2020 we plan to catch up with Michael to have a follow up conversation later this month.

Stay tuned!!

Q. How has telling your personal stories changed over time? How has it changed you to tell your stories in a public way?

A. Telling my stories has been a constant in my life since I was a teen if not before, as exemplified by Stan't experience of hearing me talk to his class in 1969. Running my mouth in public is like breathing. I've just gotten better at it;-)

Q. What was it like to go through the process of making your Belonging Series film?

A. The BELONGING IN THE USA process was a trip divine! I've been videotaped and interviewed many times, but nothing like what was done by Arielle. This was done with class, style AND love. The attention to detail and the commitment to producing a quality and joyous product was amazing.

Q. What was it like to see your film for the first time?

A. Mind-blowing was the feeling. To see how all the pieces were put together was a trip. The drone shots, the animation and great use of photos and interviews!!! My Mom would have been so very, very proud.

Q. What has it been like attending screenings and events?

A. One of the joys of attending the 2 screenings in Chicago and the one in LA's Echo Park was getting to see so many of my "one-derful" friends, some of whom I hadn't seen in a while. The other was seeing their response to the documentary.

All of then were a part of at least one aspect of the events of my life depicted in the film. As I mentioned in one or two of the screenings, I have stories involving all of my friends and many played crucial roles in my life.

For instance. Chris Stubberfield taught me how to play the card game Pinochle. I've learned it play lots of card games but couldn't tell you who showed me the ropes. But pinochle became very important for me.

Many of my best and longstanding friends I met via pinochle. "twas a little thing that made a BIG difference.

Q. What kind of feedback have you gotten? What if any of it surprised you? What has been inspiring to you about hearing from people after they’ve watched your life story?

A. One of the most interesting and insightful sessions was the one I did not attend at Columbia College in Chicago. I think there were 30+ people in attendance. Besides Arielle, Michelle, my daughter and four of my pinochle/Circle friends, no one else knew me. Their reactions to the documentary were one-derful. Seeing these strangers commenting on how watching this story of my life was such an inspiration for them was almost humbling (if I had any humility:). Some friends knew certain aspects of my life but not others which blew their minds.

Q. What has been your greatest takeaway from the process of being part of the Belonging series so far?

A. My Mother taught me that I should make a difference in this world and that should be of help to people whenever I could. Being part of the Belonging series has allowed me to make a difference on a global level.

THANKS A GRUNCH (a whole group of bunches:)


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