The Queen Mary, Long Beach California
Editors Note: We wish to thank TAD Industry historian, Stan Walsh for organizing the farewell lunch for retiring El Camino College’s Performing Arts Director Bruce Spain. The vent was held on Monday, September 29, 2014 aboard the Queen Mary, Long Beach, California. There Bruce Spain received TAD magazine’s “ Distinguished Sponsor Award." Sue Denn had prepared a salute to Spain, which she read and follows:
“Mom always did like YOU best!” ---but don’t let it get around, Bruce. (El Camino is Paradise Found).
Left to right: Ralph Franklin, Clint and Sue Denn, Stan Walsh, Jim Tompkins, Bruce
Spain, Louis Kirst, Mary Haag, Robin Williams, Hector Salazar, Doug Jones
Certainly there are many variables that go into having a successful travelogue series--those things that make everything run smoothly and enable us to give our best performance for the audience. We could list them, debate them, add to them or lament the loss of them, but those variables are crucial. They are the “make or break” of our mileage-weary backs. Those sometimes intangible, sometimes elusive items are what give us ‘talent’ that comfortable feeling when we arrive to do our show. We already know before arriving that we can whistle a chorus of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”
El Camino is that Shangri-La venue we all wish there were more of. With Bruce at the helm, Captain of all the waves, we always have had the best of fair seas and freshening winds. Every detail was taken care of by Hector and all the others in Bruce’s friendly, helpful, well-run staff. “No Worries” always meant exactly that, not “Head for the High Ground.”
Add to the great technical and sparkling first-class environment the promise of dinner with Bruce, and often Mary, and here we are!
Today we want to thank Bruce Spain for his many years of making our lives easier.
Celebrating Bruce’s retirement does NOT seem to be in OUR best interests, BUT -----only because he is such a great guy----WE WISH HIM LONG LASTING HAPPINESS --as he sails off into the westward—Thailand-- retirement sunset – to MAKE HIS LIFE EASY. Sue Denn
Bruce Spain with TAD Distinguished Sponsor Award
"For your persistence in keeping El Camino College's
World of Discovery Film series the top TAD venue
in the US"
Rick and I enjoyed doing his shows because he was so friendly and helpful and his staff so professional. Congratulations Bruce for this well-deserved honor! Jan Rosefield
Bruce Spain - the last impresario in California who has kept the Travel Film Circuit alive. Larry Won
Bruce has been a real friend and a delight to work with. He was never short on marketing ideas and a Performing Arts Director who was never afraid to break the travelogue format. Ralph Franklin
You knew that you were going to be treated as a true artist, as a professional, with dignity and respect, more than that even, with honor and friendship. He took you to dinner, because he wanted to honor you, and because he considered you a friend. Jim Tompkins
Bruce probably has no idea how much he will be missed. We were amazed at how ingrained he was in all areas of the arts. He hosted us for warm story telling dinners and gained our loyalty by allowing us to explore new ideas and techniques in film stories. We will imagine ourselves walking shoulder to shoulder with Bruce Spain no matter where he goes from here on out. Robin D. Williams
When I think of Torrance I think Bruce...and vice versa. That you will be sorely missed by all of us is a given. Your enthusiasm towards your travelogue series, your efforts in making it successful and your passion for your patrons will be remembered. You may be officially "retiring," but you will never be retired from our thoughts and good wishes. Cindy Lorenz
I had been scheduled to appear with my film "The Great Canadian Train Ride but had to cancel because of life threatening illness. Two seasons passed and was again scheduled to appear with the film. Bruce's introductions were always a "stream of consciousness" and the audience loved him. He had made several comments and finally said, "Our presenter today was suppose to show this film two years ago but got sick and went to Pittsburgh and got a new liver! And he is here today with his new liver and to show "The Great Canadian Train Ride.” it was probably the biggest round of applause I ever got. Doug Jones
Let’s cut to the chase - Bruce Spain has for decades been an important influence on the cultural and lively arts scene in Southern California. A Standing Ovation for our dear friend. Lewis Williams