Sturgis-isms In Our Movies (and other tidbits)

(you can take the boy out of South Dakota...)



1:34 - Sean says "Thanks, Mrs. Wahl."   When my family lived on Nellie Street in Sturgis the lady that lived across the street was - Mrs. Wahl.

2:03 - This one is kind of easy.  Sean's last name is Peterson - when I write I always use Sean Peterson for the hero's name.  Why Sean?  I have no idea - maybe because it would be weird reading my name in the stories - I don't know.  Then I normally would change the name during pre-production - I just didn't this time.

3:22 - Sean says that Rob is going to be selling his Jeep soon.  Later you'll find out that Sean's best friend is Tim - and then later that Rob is Tim's brother... in high school Tim Cleveland (81) was one of my best friends and he had a brother named - you guessed it - Rob.

5:27 - Here is where you hear Tim's name for the first time.

9:56 - Mr. Sherman is Sean's boss and the name of my first boss at the Four Winds Drive-In was Mr. Jim Sherman. 

10:40 - In the coach's office, there is a sign that says "Winners Never Quit".  Erskine had a sign in the gym that said: "Quitters Never Win and  Winner's Never Quit".  Sean is quitting baseball at the moment - so the sign is perfect.  When we were decorating the set, I saw that sign in another office and had to have it in the shot.  ON A SIDE NOTE - I had a line in the script in this scene which got cut in editing.  The coach said " I could move Bachand to Second, Ferguson to Third but I really don’t have anyone for Short. I can’t really put Blair there and Anderson’s not ready yet."  I used the names of some of my fellow seniors on the wrestling team.  (I only wrestled JV and only my senior year and I was horrible but I got some good memories out of it)

12:11 - The Trigonometry teacher - is Denise Treiberg formerly Denise Scott (85) whose parent's owned the Coast to Coast.  Her brother is David Scott (81).  Denise and her husband, Terry flew from CA to OK to not only be in this scene but they stayed and helped on the set for a few days!  Her husband can be seen as a chaperone in one of the prom scenes.

15:41 - Melissa's last name is Jacobsen - My brother Dave (83) played on Jacobsen Ford's Little league team when we first moved to Sturgis.  So...

16:02 - That is my daughter, Lacey Ogden walking out of the store.  In front of her are my grandkids, Preston and Paisley.  I had to cut a scene that had the kids in it and this was my way to apologize and get them in "Grandpa's movie".  Driving by in the white truck is my son-in-law, Ryan Ogden with my other grandson, Pierce in his car seat but you can't see either of them.

16:38 - Melissa mentions that there is a party at Mark Cleveland's house.  I chose that name because my best friends in High School were Mark Rambow (82) and Tim Cleveland (81)

17:38 - Mr. Sherman mentioned that he has 5 daughters.  So did my boss - Jim Sherman.  I thought that Jim Sherman had 4 daughters (I am getting old) and I had it written that way in older versions of the script.  But then I literally fell in love with a bakery in Nashville called 5 Daughters and this is a tip of the hat to the best Cronuts on the planet.  I unwittingly corrected the error and got to pay respect to the cronuts and the Sherman girls (Georgia, LouAnn, Karla, Jeanette, and Barbara) at the same time.

18:05 - "What did Lacey want?"  (Lacey is my daughter's name)

18:22  - Tim says that there is a guy at the party flirting with Melissa.  The kid's name is "Cooley".  I needed a last name that sounded "Cool" and there you go - Cooley.  Thanks, Kent and Jon!  

19:48 - Mrs. Wahl threatens to shop at the "Sooper Dooper"

21:22 - The Pastor's name is David Brooks after my brother, David (83).  In The Current, I originally had a brother and a sister named David and Pam (after my sister (85)) but during casting, I combined the two characters into Pam.  So since then, I have been meaning to name one for David but the name is never mentioned on screen so I might still name another one for him.

21:33 - When Sean leans forward you can briefly see my stepmother, Kay Peterson (red hair, blue shirt).  When he leans back you can briefly see my Dad, Arvid Peterson (formerly of Peterson Insurance on Main Street / white hair and glasses).  You get a better shot of dad (well, half of him) at 22:21 and  1:35:24 - both on the far left of the screen.  Kay is to his left in the last shot.  Dad and Kay came down and worked as Production Assistants for the entire shoot.  They worked their butts off in the OK sun.

33:58  - The team that the wrestling match is against is "Central" not really a Sturgis-ism but it is one of their opponents and it sounded generic.  

44:50 - This scene originally did not have sound effects.  I got an email from the director suggesting that we use 2 in the scene.  I sat down and - with my mouth - recorded 15 different sound effects and sent them to him in an email in what he described as "possibly the best email that I have ever got".  So I guess because I am from Sturgis and because of years of committed practice to the craft of this particular sound effect - I was able to put my mark on this scene - I will count it on this list.

47:26 - The teacher that Tim mentions is Mr. Hoffman - I had a Science teacher named Mr. Hoffman.

52:25 - No one is going to get this one but the story that the Pastor tells is right out of my past.  I stole Tangerine Lifesavers from the Piggly Wiggly for a couple of days in a row when I was in 6th Grade.  The manager grabbed me by the back of the neck and took me behind the produce counter and scared the delinquent out of me.  He told me not to come back and for years when my mom would send me to the store I had to walk past the Piggly Wiggly to the Sooper Dooper.  Like I said in the script - there are forms of torture I would rather endure than disappoint my father.  I have - and continue to -disappoint my Heavenly Father repeatedly but I am forgiven and loved.   2 Cor 5:17


53:56 - The Ryan Ogden Collection of tuxedos named after my favorite son-in-law.

1:10:46 - Melissa mentions that her family was happy when they lived on "Meadowlark".  My family lived on Meadowlark in Murray Addition.

1:18:00 - The "You be home before midnight." story came right from my mom, who attributed it to her late parents, Doc and Shirley Massa of Sturgis.

1:20:48 - That's my mom in the black and white striped top - Ann Massa Peterson.  You can't get much more Sturgis than a name like "Massa"!  Mom came down from MN to OK and catered our desserts for a little more than a week on set.

1:28:33 - When we lived in Sturgis our family lawyer was Keith Smit - I have always been impressed with him and I loosely named my lawyer after him - Kenneth Smith.  Pretty loose I know.  I ran into Keith at Grace Lutheran Church probably 6 years ago and told him that I was naming a lawyer after him in one of my movies.  At the time I had the first draft of Treasure Lies already written.

1:30:28 - Mrs. Wahl lives on Nellie Street.  My family lived on Nellie Street in Sturgis.  We used 208 as Mrs. Wahl's address because that was what was on the house where we filmed.

1:30:36 - The TC Mart is supposedly on "Junction Avenue". 

1:41:13 - The screensaver is from a classmate Mary Verhulst (81) and her name is in the credits.

1:45:49 - Listed in the end credits under "Honorary Associate Producers" is Susan Christopherson (81).  There are other donors who are anonymous and other classmates that helped out on both of our other two movies.  


To get your name in this section of the credits of our next movie all it takes is a donation to ii Films of $100 or more.  We can't do what we do without your help.  If interested email me at  Thanks.


I will come up with a comprehensive list the next time I watch them,  In the meantime, you can watch them for FREE on Amazon and send me any that you catch.  I think you'll find my Grandpa, Dr. Massa in both movies and a tip of the hat to two influential Pastors in my life.  Send your list to


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