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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 and neighbor 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.


2:30 - That's my wife Diane Peterson playing the role of an attorney which isn't a stretch for her since she is an attorney.

2:32 - The Current's movie poster.

7:33 - A good friend of mine growing up was Gary Kinzler so I named this character after him.  Gary and his wife, Kelly are very supportive of our ministry. 

8:42 - That is me on the left of the screen as an extra - well actually more like a half of one.

9:01 - Dr. Simerson on the intercom and at the same time my Mom, Ann Peterson walking through the scene as a nurse - a role she has played in life for over 40 years.  My wife Diane's father was the late Dr. Tom Simerson.

11:15 - Dr. Massa on the intercom.

17:33 - Far left in the light blue is my Nephew, Andrew Peterson.

28:10 - In the background of this scene in the yellow is my Dad, Arvid Peterson and in red - my step-mother, Kay Peterson.


28:41 - I reused the line "Hey. Kjersten" as a tip of the hat to the same line in The Current.


32:22 - My wife, Diane and I have the same birthday - different years.


42:55 - My two best friends growing up were Tim Cleveland and Mark Rambow... so I used their names here.


48:14 - My Dad and Kay make another appearance in the back row.  Dad is the tallest and Kay is to his right with red hair.

48:26 - A Mount Rushmore reference.


52:49 - That's my Dad driving the golf cart.


53:15 - The fireman with sunglasses on the far right of the screen is my childhood friend, Gary Kinzler.

53:25 - Two ladies pass by in the foreground - the one on the left is Kelly Kinzler.

1:00:39 - Dave Harper from The Current!!!

1:02:12 - I used the name Lacey here after my daughter, Lacey.

1:10:29 - The reporter with the Australian accent is none other than Narcia Sherman Melle who was a foreign exchange student that lived at our house for 4 months in 1981.

1:14:51 - The clip that is playing is from The Current.

1:16:17 - This scene was a reshoot and I got to direct it - my first.  The dorm was at North Central Bible College, where my wife got her undergraduate degree.

1:20:10 - Brown Hall was my dorm at South Dakota State University.

1:27:30 - My daughter Lacey and I on her wedding day.


0:15 - We open with a shot of Chicago.  Our family moved from there to Sturgis in 1975 after our family experienced the violence of the big city.  (more on our move later)


02:57 - "An insurance agency?"  My father gave up his master's degree in civil engineering to move our family to the safety of small-town South Dakota.  A huge sacrifice on his part to raise us kids away from big-city violence.


03:04 - "A funeral home?" I put this in because one of my dad's best friends. Martey Jolley owned a funeral home.


06:01 - I chose a campground probably because my Uncle Mike Massa owned The Coverwagon Campground in Piedmont, SD.

07:41 - I named Pam after my sister Pam.  I originally had a brother named David named after my brother but after auditions, we combined all of their lines into the character of Pam.  I promised my brother that I'd name a character after him in another film and that didn't happen until Treasure Lies.  The Pastor's first name is David but it is never said on screen so I think I still owe David one.


07:41 - I named the lead character Jake because of my cousin Jake.  He lived at The Coverwagon in Piedmont, SD.  His parents owned it and I was so jealous.  They had a pool and free arcade games - an idyllic life!


15:21 This whole conversation may or may not be because of a teacher crush that I may or may not have had.  That's all I'm going to say about that.


17:30 - Over the years I have received a lot of good feedback for depicting a strong, firm, and loving father in this scene.  This is only on my "Sturgis" list because our Dad was firm and we turned out just fine.


19:54 - My Grandma Peterson and I were driving home from eating dinner when an ambulance drove by.  She pulled over to pray for the people in the ambulance and it really stuck with me.


29:42 - I named the Pastor - Chaplin Christopherson to honor two mighty men of Go in my life - Chaplin Herbert Christopherson and Pastor Gerald Christopherson.  I combined the two to Chaplin Christopherson unaware that Pastor Christopherson had been a Chaplin.


43:44 -  My Grandma Peterson loved cardinals.


52:01 -  Dave McPherson was my boss/owner when I worked at Aunt Chilotta's in the early 80's so I used that name.


52:24 - South Dakota - an obvious tip of the hat.


54:28 - Dr. Massa was a beloved Doctor in Sturgis and my Grandpa.


54:29 - Gregg Owens (Owens Interstate) is my Dad's best friend so I named Brian Owens and Peter Owens after him.


55:00 - We named the church that the youth group meets at after which is a trust that my wife and I set up to pay for non-medical ultrasounds for parents that have babies with a terminal diagnosis.  We were only able to see our daughter alive during an ultrasound and we don't want anyone to miss seeing their baby because they can't afford it.

1:13:54 - I had to be an extra in this scene because we didn't have enough extras.

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