Friendships Forever

Below is a photo of Randy Grochoske when he trav­eled from his home in Texas to attend our yearly picnic. The photo, at the piano, could be from around 1964. Following the picnic, Randy sent us this “Thank you”.

Randy’s name was: Otto Randall Grochoske, Of course he went by Randy. His father’s first name was Otto, Randy’s first name was Otto and he was born in Otto, Texas on 01/23/1928 and died in Kirrville, Texas on 6 – 62021.

On June 8th, I received the obit and sent it out to the Geezers. Many responses came to me. Below is an email that I received from Chris Blum on 61321, a letter about Randy / Randito (as he was known to friends and family). I think it should be shared, as it shows a great profes­sional and personal friendship.
A. T

Grow — House — Key

I first met Randy when I was fresh out of art school, he was working at McCann Erickson and gave me some free­lance story­board work to do.
( I was not very good at it ) but Randy encour­aged me and gave me good advice ( don’t try to make a living as a story board artist ).

I got a job as an assis­tant print art director working with Gig Gonella and Don Carleson at Dancer Fitzgerald & Sample.

Dancer then merged ( purchased) Guild Bascom & Bonfigli and there was a little TV work going on there but it was in a different part of the building
and it seemed like a rari­fied atmos­phere but I would make it a point to hang out there and pick up as much knowl­edge as I could — like seeing an anima­tion cel for the first time.

There were two other Texans working there — The master… Alex Anderson — creator and animator of “Crusader Rabbit” which had been one of my favorites growing up in the 50’s

And Gordon Bellamy.
I would say that those 3 Texans … Randy, Alex, & Gordon along with Bud Lucky knew more about anima­tion and filmaking in general than anyone else in SF at the time.

I had an offer to go to work at Honig Cooper & Harrington as an Art director ( no longer an assis­tant ). They were not known as a “Hot Shop” at the time but they were doing more TV than any other agency in town
and Randy was working there. There was so little TV work going on in SF at the time and I was very inter­ested in doing TV so I jumped at the opportunity.

When I got my first TV commer­cial approved ( anima­tion ) Randy totally showed me the ropes from A to Z — even the best way to get from SF to LA and the best route from Burbank airport to Hollywood.
He showed me the best hotels & restau­rants. He showed me the protocol to deal with and commu­ni­cate with a produc­tion company — what I should expect from them and what they would expect from me.
He intro­duced me to anima­tion super stars and taught me the entire system. I was 23 or 24 years old and was totally clue­less and without Randy’s mentoring I would have never made it.

A couple of years later we worked together on a big Levis Roto­scoped anima­tion commer­cial, Randy had gone free­lance and was now directing live action so he did the live action filming part and I art directed the anima­tion part.

I ended up building an entire career on that basic knowl­edge from Randy, and I never really had the oppor­tu­nity to thank him, so if he is reading this — Thanks Randy

Chris Blum