A long time ago, in a lake far, far away…

So, that summer I was 10 and I found the watch in Peckham’s Lake outside Cranbrook, BC. Dad said Timex might be interested in hearing about it, so I wrote them a letter and they got back to me.

Dad and I were flown out to Toronto by Grey Advertising, then Timex’s Canadian agency, where we worked out the deal to make the commercial. Dad and I walked around downtown Toronto. We went up the new CN Tower and through Casa Loma (very cool for kids). I remember we walked forever to get back to the hotel, at least that’s the way it felt on my short 11-year-old legs. However, Dad was the one who nearly had a panic attack on the way up the tower, and he almost had a bird when I walked on the glass floor.

That winter, we went as a family down to Atlanta because the water would be warm enough to swim in at that time of year. The commercial was shot over a couple of days (damned children who can’t follow direction anyways) at Lake Lanier golf course. While I sat on a green on a Saturday trying not to flub my lines, the CEO of Coca-Cola wanted to play through, and he got his way.

Maybe I wasn’t an acting pro, but what schmuck booked us onto a major golf course green on a Saturday? And it particularly impressed my mother when they told her after that Lake Lanier had water moccasins in it.

The commercial made me even more popular with the warm and accepting student population at TM Roberts Elementary. The spot ran in heavy rotation on Canadian TV for a few years, and we saw it occasionally all the way through my high school years, which was particularly enjoyable at 17-going-on-get-me-the-Hell-out-of-this town.

Timex Commercial 1
Timex Commercial 2
Timex Commercial 3

On location at the Lake Lanier Golf Club, Atlanta, GA, USA. Photos © John Dutton, 1977.


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