Gerard Mauvis

It sounds French. A wine?  Or maybe a town in France. Wait, Gerard, that’s a first name. Was he a famous painter?

Over the course of my life and my career, I’ve been fortunate enough to have met a lot of people. Earlier this summer, I had the chance to meet Gerard Mauvis at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess where he was the Director of Operations. I had flown down to Arizona for a couple of days of videotaping and photography for one of our Create Impulse clients, MistAmerica.

It’s our biggest client by far and one that is enjoying tremendous success.  They make misting equipment for hot climates. Not just any misting equipment, but the top of the line misters that far out-perform anything else in the category.  That’s why Gerard and the crew at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess decided to have them installed in several locations of their resort. The results have been beyond their wildest dreams. The misters kept their outdoor areas usable, even in triple-digit heat. That meant people stayed outdoors, remained active and continued to order food and beverages.

So, on my whirlwind tour of the desert that day, I was bouncing from place to place, asking satisfied MistAmerica customers to talk about their product experience.  Now, I have to admit, that with the posh Scottsdale Princess being one of the most lavish resorts in the area, I figured I might run into a couple of stuffy shirts. You know, “I work at the Fairmont”, that kind of thing.  From the moment I met Gerard, he was kind, pleasant, down to earth, a real people person. From start to finish, I might have spent an hour with him, which flew by.  He said such wonderful things about the product, was genuinely and sincerely excited about it and just happy to have the opportunity to tell others.

I returned to Seattle, edited together a couple of pieces from the video and was quite proud of how they turned out. Here’s one of the videos, so you can see what I’m talking about.

That gives you a good idea of the kind of person I was lucky enough to get to know that hot summer day just a few months ago.  I’ll bet if I had gone down there again and reintroduced myself, he would have remembered our little chat that we captured on video.

But that will never happen.

I recently found out that on the final Friday of September, he was walking across a street to catch a high school football game when he was struck by a car and killed. Just like that. Gone.

This world really can’t afford to lose any of the good ones, but my sadness deepened even further when I read about his life on the GoFundMe page set up for his family. Gerard Mauvis was a class act and I can only imagine the incredible grief and sense of loss his family is feeling.

He only enjoyed 46 years on this earth but it’s obvious he made them all count. I will be forever grateful to have been lucky enough to meet Gerard Mauvis. That hour I spent with him is a precious souvenir of time I will not forget.

Tim Hunter


Locker Room Talk


Much has been made of the Donald Trump/Billy Bush video that was released a week ago.  The content was offensive, insensitive, disgusting and a warehouse full of wrong that the Trump campaign downplayed as “locker room talk.”

Let me be clear that the conversion does show the kind of person Donald Trump is when he thinks the microphone isn’t on.  He’s not the first guy ever to think he’s God’s gift to women, that because of his “celebrity” that he’s entitled to grope females where ever and whenever he wants. And for some reason, these are the kinds of guys who are drawn to politics. Great.

Today, of course, we live in an enlightened age where we all know it’s abhorrent and unacceptable behavior and you wouldn’t dare say anything like that within earshot of an electronic device that could record it. But remember, this was from back in 2005, when there were still quite a few remnants of the Good Old Boys’ club running around. Donald Trump is 70. He spent most of his life being a character from “Mad Men.”  Again, none of this makes it acceptable, but in Donald’s world, he has justified it as one of the benefits of celebrity.

So, to recap–what Trump said and his attitude displayed in the Access Hollywood tape, not surprising. What IS surprising is the rush to the front of the morality line, saying that “guys don’t talk like that in locker rooms.”  NFL players have stepped forward to boast, “We don’t talk like that!”  Radio talk show hosts go on and on how the locker rooms they’ve been in are closer to churches.

That may be true in most of today’s PC locker rooms, but my early life experience taught me differently. Not all locker rooms conversations exhibit the lowest form of humanity, but there’s always “that guy.” The insecure, I- insist-on-telling-you-how-I’m-a-sex-machine pervert that has to talk in a sexist, demeaning way about women.  Let’s say it happens in .0001% of the conversations that occur in the locker room, but they do happen. Sometimes, not even in locker rooms.

Back when I was around 12, my mom used to occasionally give me money to run down the street to the meat store. Yes, back then, there was a 7-11 size store not far from our house where they sold nothing but meat. I would go there with my hand-written list, purchase our carnivorous delights and being a kid, they’d give me a free hot dog to munch on (yes, uncooked) on my walk home.

One busy Saturday, I had to take a number and wait in line. While I was standing there, the guy in front of me turned around to inform that he had gotten two women pregnant at the same time. Can you imagine that? Ha-ha-ha, two women!! I most likely gave him a Billy Bush nervous chuckle and continued waiting in line, all the time wondering, “Why would he do that? That wasn’t very nice.”

Looking back, I wonder why anyone would feel the need to share that with a 12-year-old boy? Mind boggling. And for those of you wondering, this was in California, so it couldn’t have been Donald.

The other locker room talk incident that came to mind was back in my high school basketball-playing days.  All my teammates were in the locker room with assorted conversations taking place, as they always did. But this time, one of the players decided to let me know he had “done it” with my girlfriend’s younger sister, describing her breasts and ranking her sexual performance. (Cue the Billy Bush nervous laugh)

Ladies and gentlemen, that is locker room talk.  Both of those incidents occurred 40+ years ago, but that would put them smack dab in Donald Trump’s life experience time frame.  The difference in our stories is that I was the one listening, he was the one doing the talking.

To those who say that locker room talk that is demeaning to women doesn’t exist is along the lines of saying, “Well, that’s the last of racism in the south!” I’d like to believe we are evolving as humans and learning just a little bit more each day about treating each other with respect. But there are still some of “those guys” running around.

In the case of the Trump incident, Donald was trying to show off to Billy Bush and being a sexist braggart. Billy, having a chance to interview the millionaire, played along, laughing at each disgusting remark, feeding Donald’s ego. He just wanted the interview.

Now, the trendy thing is for people to say, “Oh, yeah, guys don’t really talk like that in locker rooms. Or, at least, not in MY locker rooms.” (insert Billy Bush laugh here) If you believe that, do let me know what color the unicorns are in your world.

Go ahead and use the Access Hollywood video to decide who you vote for president or not. I’ve known for a while who I can’t vote for. It’s been like sitting in the dentist chair, waiting for the Novocain to kick in so the drilling can start. Maybe the solution is as simple as building a huge wall around the locker room.

Can we just get this thing over with?

Tim Hunter

Yay! I’m Another Seattle Statistic!

You hear the talk show hosts saying our city is out of control.  Dave Ross, most mornings on KIRO, lists the car break-ins, thefts and burglaries that took place over the last 24 hours. You’d think Mad Max was running the place.

This past Sunday morning, my wife and I headed out to do some shopping. But when we got to the car, my door wasn’t completely closed. The contents of the glove box was everywhere and some things were missing–a flashlight, a phone charging cord, etc.  Fortunately, all the car’s paperwork was still there–registration, dealer papers and such.

We cleaned things up, started backing up and then I thought, “I wonder if they took anything off the carport?” Sure enough, the pressure washer I had used recently to clean off the front of the house, was gone.

In the grand scheme of things, as robberies go, I got off pretty lucky. Yes, I was pissed as hell. The idea that some druggie was out scrounging in our carport feet from our bedroom at 4am in the morning makes me want to set up bear traps.

But things happen for a reason. So I’ll just assess what happened, what I learned and use the occasion to grow.

My Ring Doorbell–Seriously, best security investment ever. It cost a couple of hundred dollars, but it’s the eye on the front porch that they don’t suspect.  That’s how I knew the scoundrel was doing his dirty deeds from 4:23am-4:38am. The motion-detection feature grabs video of anyone coming into view of the front door.  Yes, it was too dark to make out the suspect, but it did give me time parameters and allowed me to listen to my pressure washer being wheeled down the driveway.

The Police Report–Sure, I did this, despite the fact I’ve heard multiple times it just doesn’t do any good. I actually called in two times, eventually getting a very nice person who gave me the option of having an officer come out, someone calling me or doing the form online. I went with what was behind door number three and filled out the form.  You know, it makes you wonder how many crimes are NOT reported, since the police even state on that form words to the effect of , “Yeah, nothing is going to probably happen.”  And the typo’s on the form made me wonder, “Do they even really look at these?”  Unless dis and undertsand are up & coming words.


Let The Neighbors Know–Our little neighborhood is pretty quiet and we know almost everyone on the block. Therefore, let them know you were ripped off. You may find out that they also had something stolen and helps make people keep an eye out for those who you don’t recognize around the hood.

It would be easy to dismiss this incident as just the price of living in the city. But it’s just another of many examples of how Seattle needs some serious fixing. I will take care of my property and take steps to prevent anything like that from happening again (or at least catch a good picture of them next time). It’s just a shame anyone should have to go through something like this in the first place.

Tim Hunter




Keep It On The Chain

The longer you spend on this earth, the more the things we say have different meaning.

For example, dope. In my youngest years, it was a word you weren’t supposed to call your sister.  Then it became a word bound for Cheech ‘n Chong albums. Today, it means that it’s something cool.  And, of course, cool started out as being temperature-based, then it became a response when someone was talking and you weren’t really listening.  Plus, you get tired of just saying, “O.K..”

Phrases and slang words come and go. Some are owned by a generation, so that when someone outside the common-use demographic speaks the word or phrase, it just feels wrong. Giving grandma some fresh-cut flowers out of your garden and having her respond, “Wow, that’s dope!” just doesn’t work.

Also, don’t try to create your own catch phrase or slogan. You may think it’s a great idea that whenever you like what someone said, instead of acknowledging it with a, “That’s right!” you shorten your response to “Jerk”!  No one knows that you’re actually complimenting the person and you could get your clock cleaned just trying to establish a new hip word.

I’m sure I have my catch phrases. You might hear a “Hey now” out of me every now and then. I don’t say something is “Boss” or “Groovy” anymore, although there was a time.  However, there is one phrase that seems to pop up a lot out there that bothers me.

“That’s off the chain!”

I know how it’s used. When Mel B was impressed with one of the singers in America’s Got Talent this summer, that was her go-to phrase. Randy Jackson had “Dog!” on American Idol, Mel B wore out this phrase. And apparently, you have to deliver it with almost a windup. You know like, “That was…off the…CHAIN!”

I know what she meant.  She really enjoyed the act.  Here’s my issue–every time I hear that phrase, I don’t think about it being a compliment. Maybe it’s because I’ve got several decades behind me of being a homeowner. I do my best to keep the water bill down, but when I hear a toilet running that didn’t shut off, I know exactly what the problem is–the little bar inside, that lifts the plunger when you push down on the handle: it has become disconnected.

Oh, sure, at first you try and jiggle the handle.  But the water in the toilet keeps running. So, you remove the Kleenex box and whatever else is on the lid, lift that up, put it down on the seat and then look inside the tank. Sure enough, there’s the problem–that plastic bar that’s supposed to be connected? “That was off the chain!!!”

And so, I’m left  with a high sensitivity to one pop culture phrase that is probably close to dying away and becoming part of a Trivial Pursuit/Millennial Edition.  But until its gone, I live in constant fear of those five words triggering a flashback of the last time I had to go into the guts of my toilet and put it all back together.

But I’ll be fine. Really. For the record, writing this was my alternative to watching the Vice-Presidential debate. I think my time was better spent on this self-therapy.

Oh-oh…I think I hear water running.

Tim Hunter


Thanks, Vin!

Flashing back to my childhood, I remember that the times were so turbulent. Racial tensions were high, there were riots in the streets, and…oh, wait. We’re still doing that.

But back when I was single digits in age, it was the 1960s, the time I started becoming aware of my worldly surroundings. I attended a private school at a Lutheran church and I mean SMALL school. As in there were two classrooms–1st through 4th grades and 5th through 8th grade. My memories of that era are scattered. Church picnics, vacations to South Dakota, playing with the neighbor kids.

This is back when there were only three television networks and–outside of the Saturday morning cartoons–what we watched on TV was pretty much determined by my parents. I remember our school once sending home a note to mom & dad, saying that the school felt the TV show “Combat” was too violent and that kids shouldn’t be allowed to watch it.  It was one of my favorites and we continued to watch it.  Well, dad & I did.

There was “Get Smart”, “The Red Skelton Show”, “Bewitched” and other gems.  Saturdays were reserved for Lawrence Welk, followed by “The Hollywood Palace.” And on Tuesday nights, after my sisters were put to bed, I remember mom sneaking into my room where the TV resided so that she could catch up on “Peyton Place.”

But what we watched on TV was all determined by one thing: what the Los Angeles Dodgers were doing.

During the early part of that decade, I remember more nights than not being spent listening to radio broadcasts of the Los Angeles Dodger games. There was the team of Vin Scully and Jerry Doggett, but it was Scully that made those games magic. He was a story-teller, a guy who knew how to transform everything that happened on the field into pictures in your mind.  This is back when only a few games actually made it to television. When they did, they were a treat. Especially after the family budget allowed us to have a color TV.

Vin Scully began broadcasting games for the Brooklyn Dodgers back in 1953 when he was just 25-years-old. He’s been providing the soundtrack for Dodger games longer than I’ve been alive.  At the age of 88, he’s seen the greatest moments in that team’s history and made sure we didn’t miss the excitement of a single play.

I got to hear them beat the Yankees 4-0 in the 1963 World Series. Sandy Koufax’s perfect game. The come from behind win in the ’65 World Series against the Twins. The time San Francisco Giants pitcher Juan Marichal took a bat to Dodger catcher Johnny Roseboro, I can still hear Vin saying something like, “You Little Leaguers at home, don’t do that!”

Mr. Scully is going to call it a career at the end of this season. In fact, while he hasn’t traveled for the past couple of years and only broadcast the team’s home games, this Sunday he’s making an exception. The Dodgers wrap up the season against their arch rivals, the San Francisco Giants in San Francisco.  Vin wanted to go full circle and make his last broadcast a Dodgers/Giants game, since that’s where his career began: calling a game between the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Vin decided to go out while he still had game. He’s a perfectionist and felt that his calls were slipping a little bit. That was reason enough for him to retire, although Dodger fans would have preferred to listen to him until his last breath. He will be sorely missed and will always be the high-water mark for any broadcaster doing the play-by-play of any sport, anywhere. I’m giving him full credit for my love of baseball, for continuing to be a long-distance Los Angeles fan and for being the voice in my head whenever I think of that team I grew up with.

Thanks, Vin.

Tim Hunter