In my earliest memories, I recall a man with a gigantic video camera on his shoulder. My grandfather, Perry Golden, was the self-designated cameraman for the decades-long saga that was the Golden Family Experience. He filmed everything- every mundane hour of every family gathering. The cameras got smaller and better, but he eventually stopped shooting. I don’t remember when.
He was a professional extra for a time. He made appearances in such classics as Spaceballs and Ghostbusters and Beaches. His arm was featured prominently in a scene in the movie Batteries Not Included.
He loved to read and preferred history books. His knowledge of WWII was encyclopedic.
He used to make me these really amazing root beer floats and taught me the importance of rendered animal fats in the creation of extra delicious foods. He also used to take me to the tide pool in Dana Point, CA where I would spend hours with the sea creatures.
He and my grandmother would board a cruise ship and disembark a week later with a ship-full of new friends.
He loved Ronald Reagan and in his later years, adored FOX News. Bill O’Reilly and Glen Beck were his constant companions.
More than anyone or anything, he loved my Grandmother, Paulyne. She passed on a few years ago and now he’s finally joined her in the great beyond.
My grandpa died today. My mother called me on the phone, crying. I grabbed my camera before I ran out of the house to join her at his place. As difficult as this was to photograph- he had already passed on by the time I got there- It’s now my turn to document the Golden Family Experience, for better or worse. May the worst be behind us.
Love ya, Gramps.