Sam Dalton

– Sam Dalton, Police officer im Clan 1984-1986
Wer ihn sich ansehen will, hier ein Videoclip. Ich erkenne ihn irgendwie nicht.

Local man produces webcast for boomers

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

By Mary Reeves
Don’t expect these grandparents to sit and whittle on a front porch. The baby boomer generation is rapidly leaving the workforce and joining the ranks of the retired, but television and webcast producer Sam Dalton doesn’t see them creeping off to the Golden Acres retirement villages for shuffleboard tournaments just yet.
„What are the baby boomers interested in?“ asked Dalton, a boomer himself. „They don’t want to go sit at the beach. They’ll sit on the beach for an hour then get up and go snorkeling or scuba diving. Tour buses won’t work for us. Prepackaged tours won’t work for us.
„We’re better served by being presented an itinerary and we pick and choose the adventures we want to go on.“
„Adventure“ is the key word here. The show Dalton, who lives in Bell Buckle now, is producing is all about the adventures baby boomers are having. He knows all about them — he’s been experiencing many of those adventures himself.
The Knoxville native always knew he was going to end up in the media one way or another. After being a broadcast journalist and on-air personality for several years, he could no longer resist the siren call of Hollywood.
„I landed a part on Santa Barbara,“ said Dalton.
Working on the soap, he met fellow Southerner Lane Davies, who is currently directing the Shakespeare Festival’s production of „A Midsummer Night’s Dream“ at Webb School in Bell Buckle. The two became friends — besides their Southern roots and love of acting, they were both family men.
Dalton’s children led him to his next venture with adventure.
„I produced a show called ‚Family Adventures‘ that ran for two years in Los Angeles,“ he said.
The focus on the show was finding fun things to do with your family — things that went beyond the usual theme park fare.
„I went to an aquarium and asked them what programs they had for children behind the scenes, if any,“ said Dalton. „They did. That’s where you see kids hugging a sea lion or feeding the fish. It’s all about creating memories.“
Many places such as zoos and museums have similar programs. All you have to do, he said, is ask. On one such trip, he took his children to an archeological dig near the Anasazi ruins in New Mexico.
„He still talks about that trip,“ said Dalton, referring to one of his sons, now a staff sergeant in the United States Air Force on loan to the Army and stationed in Afghanistan. „I have this image of him, standing with the red walls of the canyon behind him, the sun setting, holding a cup he’d found. It was like ‚Indiana Jones.‘ Now there’s a memory!“
But as his children grew, he found the focus shifting. Those child-rearing baby boomers were now empty-nested baby boomers, and they were getting restless and looking for something to do.
Dalton created a new show, „Boomer Adventures,“ in which he encourages boomers to participate in adventure, sending him ideas and their own experiences.
„At first I thought about doing it on television again,“ he said. A well-published travel writer, Dalton thought about shopping the idea out to the Travel Channel, but he felt they were missing the point of the boomer mentality.
„Too many shows about cruises,“ he said.
Dalton realized he could reach a wider range of those specifically interested in what he had to offer by webcasting the show on the Internet. It would also make it more interactive, allowing immediate feedback and participation on the part of the viewers.
„It’s in-your-face,“ he said. „I don’t want you to watch me climbing up the hill — I want you climbing up the hill with me.‘
The show launched online in October 2007. Unique visitors — those hitting the site for the first time — increased 1,500 percent within months, he said, and the e-mails from all over the world started coming in right away.
Besides befriending fellow Southerner Lane Davies, Dalton had also befriended fellow Tennessean Ruth Cordell while they were in Los Angeles. Cordell went on to become the director of the theater department at Webb School, although she continues acting with the Tennessee Repertory Theatre in Nashville. While she was in one production, she asked Dalton to help out by taking her classes at Webb for the run of the show.
„I’ve been here ever since,“ he said.
He realized Bell Buckle offered many benefits for his fledgling production. Besides being centrally located in the United States, it was close to Nashville.
„It’s an easy airport to get in and out of, especially compared to LAX,“ Dalton said, referring to the Los Angeles airport.
Also, the quality and quantity of media production facilities in Nashville compare easily to Los Angeles and New York, he said.
„I film, edit and produce all my own shows,“ Dalton said. „But it’s nice to know that they’re there if I need them.“
And then, there was Bell Buckle itself.
„Bell Buckle is a community that represents, not only a place, but even more importantly, a time in baby boomers‘ lives when things were much simpler, quieter and sweeter than what we experience in many of the communities in which we live today,“ he said. „I find that very appealing, especially to me personally, and as producer of Boomer Adventures.
„I can scoot from the airport to anywhere in the world I need to go. Although right now, there’s enough in my own back yard of cultural, educational, historical and entertainment interest to me as potential segments of Boomer Adventures to keep me filming around this area for many episodes to come.“
In fact, Dalton has been very busy lately, filming the preparations for the RC-Moon Pie festival as well as the festival itself. He has also gotten the chance to work with his former cast mate once again, documenting the Shakespeare Festival that Davies is directing.


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