by Martin DeGroot
Waterloo Region Record
I’m happy to be able to start the year with a good news story pertaining to the arts in Waterloo Region — specifically, a media arts story with a strong heritage component:
The long-awaited première of local filmmaker Rob Ring’s feature-length documentary “Care For The Child: The Story of the Bridgeport General” takes place this week Thursday, Jan. 11, starting 7 p.m. at the Princess Twin Cinemas in Waterloo.
That’s the first screening, which was sold out two days after it was first announced back in November. So they added a second — same venue, but next door starting 15 minutes later.
Now both shows are sold out, and a third screening has just been announced for Saturday, Jan. 13, in this case at the Original Princess starting at 2 p.m.
All three sessions will be followed by a Q&A session with members of the production team, and serve as an opportunity to purchase posters, limited edition prints and DVD copies of the film.
Two sold-out houses and the possibility of a third: this is an astonishing response to a made-in-Waterloo film project promoted with little more than a few posters and social media posts.
And yet I’m not all that surprised: The column I wrote about this project in the spring of 2016 drew the biggest reaction from readers I’ve seen in the 20-plus years I’ve been doing this.
Most of the responses were from people who wanted to share memories of “The General” and what he meant to the Bridgeport community.
The première is happening almost exactly 40 years after this remarkable local personality passed away on January 10, 1978.
His story, as I outlined it going on two years ago, begins in 1962. This is when Frank Groff, on his own initiative, began working as a crossing guard for schoolchildren at the busy intersection of Bridge and Lancaster.← BackNext →