Editor’s Note: Earlier this week, we sent an information request to Ross Turner and Michelle Simon, long-time Grand Avenue residents who were always big supporters of the Grand Lake Farmers Market and the Grand Lake community. We’re happy to share Ross’s reply.
by Ross Turner
Michele and I were so happy to read the latest issue of Splash Pad News. The monthly missive has been keeping us feeling connected to our old Grand Avenue neighborhood since we moved to Los Angeles in March. The news has been bittersweet lately, as we’ve noted the closing of some of our favorite haunts due to COVID-19. It is odd to think of the Grand Lake Theatre empty, its organ silent, its snack bar shuttered. Still, we are hopeful that things will one day return to normal, and we can return – unmasked and un-distanced – to our beloved Grand Lake friends and businesses.
There is so much we miss about Grand Lake. We often reflect on our fond memories (30 years’ worth) of our time there. With such emotional bonds, you’d think we’d be better at staying in contact, but we were delighted to receive your inquiry as to why we had chosen to relocate to Los Angeles, a city with statistically worse traffic than the Bay Area, less temperate weather, smoggy skies, and inferior sports teams – in the middle of a pandemic no less!
As you might recall, aside from owning a graphic design business with clients all over the United States and specializing in political campaign graphics, I am also an (award-winning!) actor in films, television and commercials. A brief inventory of past roles include 21 feature films (three starring roles), and over 150 short films and commercials. Apparently, I’m a big deal in Japan where I’ve appeared on two television series. Most famously, I played Mr. Wood, the math teacher in three seasons of Netflix’s Thirteen Reasons Why.
While the Bay Area is a fine market for my skills, the bright lights and bigger pay days of Tinsel Town beckoned. Despite the recent shutdowns and quarantines, I have been able to shoot a few projects including a feature film starring Milo Gibson (Mel’s son) and will appear in August on a new reality TV series (which can’t be talked about in detail at this time). But, the biggest reason for our move was to facilitate my (hopefully breakout) lead role in a feature film which is awaiting permission to shoot safely in Los Angeles sometime soon. You and your readers may check out the latest Ross Turner news.
And, what of Michele? You may not have been aware that in 2016, Grand Avenue was the birthplace of what has become a huge national food industry trade organization called the Plant Based Foods Association. The multi-million-dollar trade group was the brainchild of our own Grand Laker Michele Simon (the founding and current executive director), and now boasts over 200 members – including all your favorite plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy. Since the organization’s administration is virtual, Michele can work from anywhere, and she made the move south to help facilitate my acting career. True love, movies, and a plant-based diet can indeed coexist.
Sending our best regards,
Ross and Michele