Several years ago, my dad gave me an idea for a story which would center around three elderly men who went to the same restaurant on the same day and ordered the same thing. He even gave me the title, “The Wednesday Morning Breakfast Club.” Well, I happen to have a soft spot for old guys. I lived with the funniest, sweetest and yes, sometimes grumpiest old guy for ten years of my life–my grandpa Joe Barber. During that time, I worked at a bakery where I dealt with old people a lot. They came in so often that I knew what they would buy before they said anything and I really learned to appreciate them. Sometimes they wouldn’t come in at their usual time in the week, and then I’d learn that they’d passed away or been diagnosed with cancer or had moved to an assisted living situation. It made me sad to lose them. Still, I couldn’t think of a way to translate all that into a story.
A few years ago, my brother Justin, began to talk about making movies. We had a friend who was an excellent photographer, Seth Haley, I’m obviously a writer and Justin is a good organizer and planner– a perfect combination for the makings of a movie. After going to a major film festival, Justin’s enthusiasm knew no bounds and he started pestering me for a script. So, last summer I began to cast around my mind for a good idea or two. “The Wednesday Morning Breakfast Club” popped into my head and in a couple of months I had it written. The story is told through the eyes of a young waitress that takes care of three elderly gentlemen who eat breakfast at her restaurant every Wednesday morning. To her they seem funny, quirky and even cranky, but as she learns to know them and hears the stories they tell, she gains a deep appreciation and admiration for them.
As she states, “They came wearing hats and cardigans that reminded me of older days. I had never seen those days but they lived in my imagination. Some days as they sat eating breakfast, I’d look at them and wonder what they were like as young boys, then young men. I imagined them in knickerbachers, sitting at the table, laughing loudly like boys do to stamp the fact of their existence on anyone within a five mile radius. Was Ricky’s nose quite so large then? When did Heinrich become so stern? During the war? What stories could they tell? What stories they did tell, as they sat together and remembered!”
And later, “I can’t look at old people the same as I did before my acquaintance with Nathan Goldwin, Ricky Lombardo, and Heinrich Roth. Because now I see all the funny, fascinating, heart-breaking stories written in the lines carved on their faces.
But now is the time of reckoning! We’re going to film it this summer. It’s quite an undertaking, but we are determined to do nothing short of an excellent job. Right now, we have the main filming location secured. Thornton’s Hometown Cafe in St. Joseph, MI has graciously agreed to let us use their building for free. We’re gearing up for auditions on May 5. Right now, we have a lot of girls auditioning for the main waitress’ part as well as another waitress that figures prominently in the movie. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to get many old men to audition. So, if you know of any, send them our way.
Also, find our production company on facebook–Duke Street Productions. We’ll be updating that page periodically. While you are there, watch “Duke Street Productions: Our Mission,” which states the philosophy that motivates us to make films.