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Richard Gill was raised in South Whittier in his younger years. In his teen years he was relocated to LaVerne, California where he started at Ramona Intermediate, and graduated from Bonita High School.
When they ask me to sign a card or paper that asks about race without hesitation and honesty I mark Native American as true. My Family has lived on this Continent well before some of the lands were given by Mexico to the US and lined into the States they are now. My Grandmother came from New Mexico before it was given Statehood and my Grandfather's Parents entered legally only changing our last name by adding an "L". Still, as an Indigenous native to this land, I feel I should be given a nice place to put my Casino...Just Kidding...Maybe...
Rich Gill chose to enlist in the United States Air Force in 1984. His assignments allowed him to travel to Spain, Germany, Washington, Hawaii, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and New Mexico. During his time in service, he worked in many occupations including:
Construction (Estimating materials man hours, and completion of work),
Security (Protecting Base Assets, and Personnel)
Federal Contract Evaluator (Oversaw Contractors on Federal assets to ensure compliance), Building Maintenance Management (Oversaw crews and workloads of over 50 buildings)
Manager, Packing and Crating Office (Oversaw the shipping of military assets to locations worldwide)
When I first arrived in Spain I had to get a car to drive. Most bases had a "Lemon Lot", this was the place to find a decent car at a low price. I had never heard of Citroen Cars but this yellow vehicle caught my eye. Liquid-injected shocks would raise the car before driving amused the neighborhood kids. When They saw ma leaving my flat they would yell out "Coche Magico, Coche Magico" and wait next to my car to see it 'Wake-Up' before taking off. It was the first car I could ever Crank Start should the battery be dead. It truly was an Awesome Car...
To move to a foreign country for 3 years. Away from all connections is a very unique experience. I learned that in order to gain from my time I had to respect the culture, customs, and people. I was only a guest and with this mentality, I was able to learn so much about where I was living. To walk the streets where Kings and Queens of Old was an education itself.
I never knew the city I chose to live in began in the Bronzed age. To walk roads that contain so much history is unreal when you look at the United States and its relatively short lineage by comparison. I would look through the window of my 9th-floor flat and know the town has cobblestone streets and is the birthplace of Queen Catherine of Aragon.
For 5 Years at Fairchild AFB in Washington State, Rich Gill was tasked to work as Evaluator with Federal Contracts worth over $10 Million Dollars. Rich monitored contractors for compliance to the standards set in the contracts. He also worked with Contract Managers to make modifications to contracts as well as identify ways to minimize costs and reduce excess spending.
In 1990, Washington state held the second International Competition equal to that of the Olympics. Created by Ted Turner it was held from 1986 to 1998. Seattle held most of the sporting competitions giving very little out to other cities. Spokane received some events to include Women's Volleyball, Rhythm Gymnastics, And Weightlifting. I had the opportunity to take part as Security for most of the event. I tried to take a few photos when not on duty and had fun meeting the athletes from all over.
In June of 1994, it was in my life some of the hardest days that I had to endure. There were some personal issues I will not discuss but to add to this was the week of 20 - 24 when Fairchild AFB had a shooter bent on revenge who killed The Doctors he felt were responsible for getting him kicked out of the AirForce along with 2 other people before being gunned down himself. Now that I had met with both of his Primary Targets before their demise, I understood Dean's anger and frustration. After talking with both men on issues I too felt betrayed by how they used my words to try and attack me rather than understand my position. It was documented that Melberg needed help but had it been different we would not have lost those that did pass and yet we still were pressed to put on a show.
To be honest, we should have canceled the Air Event that was to happen the following weekend. Why our wing commander felt this would help us I do not know. The B52 that was to be part of the day's schedule only had a 4 man crew when it was supposed to have 5. No one wanted to fly with the pilot who knew this was pretty much his last flight and even one was aware that he was ready to push the plane. One of the commanders that took the seat of another was ready to retire in a few days. I was setting up a platform that would be used for the Show. He stopped to see me as I had worked on a few projects he knew of. He joked about what he was going to do when he got out. He was not happy going up with the pilot but he thought he could control him during his stunts. That did not prove to be the case as the Plane crashed with no survivors... I was transferred to Hawaii the next month...
#Lt Col Arthur A. "Bud" Holland, pilot,
#Lt Col Mark C. McGeehan, copilot,
#Col Robert E. Wolff, observer,
#Lt Col Kenneth "Ken" Huston, operations officer.
During the years in Hawaii Rich Gill allowed himself to grow as an artist. He began silk screening projects, digital photography, and other creative outlets
Deploying to a different country can be a very unique challenge. When I landed in Saudi Arabia I never knew how this place so differed from the ideas of the US. Still, we are trained to understand the Culture Where Religion takes such residence. During my time, I began working 7 days a week just to get a chance to support another team that had access to other aspects of this country and how we were able to work with them when it came to acquisitions....
When working 7 days a week, you take a few moments to stop and check out the local markets and what they offer. Even how to approach the way a purchase is made. It is not a 'grab and go culture. This is a system where you negotiate and you are expected to or you are insulting the seller. You may be there for well over an hour discussing price, having tea, and other things until a deal has been agreed upon. It can be a true art form when done well and even the seller will recommend you to others if the conversation has gone well. When we push US Ideas into other countries without agreeing and understanding their Ideas we cause many moments of undue regret that is unneeded and unwarranted...
Like Saudi Arabia, I needed to keep myself occupied. It was tradition to paint a wall or barrier to let other teams know what groups had been there. Many of the past projects showed concepts of war and destruction. I wanted to leave a mural of peace and reflection. I painted most evenings trying to put paint on the wall before the liquid hardened which was a task by itself as it still was over 100 degrees under a full moon. I do not know if this creation is still in existence but I know I will not forget...
I will always remember this Day, It was a hot ugly day in Kuwait. I was notified that I would be in charge until the new team arrived. I walked into the day room as I see many of the NCOs Circle the TV. Right as I look, a plane hits the second tower. Alarms go off on the base. I was told to report to command staff in full gear. At that moment I thought we had only seen the beginning of a new
Rich Gill had the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the Surf Contest Industry to include, Bernie Baker (Pictured), Randy Rarick and more to create a program that has not been duplicated...
The Triple Crown was an awesome opportunity to learn various aspects of how to put on a major event that began with the Hawaiian Pro at Ali'i Beach, the World Cup Of Surfing at Sunset, and the Final Jewel Pipeline Masters held at Ehukai Beach. Each had a Window of 14 Days for the competition to get the best waves possible. Randy Rarick would make the call as to when we a "go". Setting up the Judge's tower took a bit but the group was ready to break camp and reset up for the next contest to be on time. We would sit in the building getting a great view of the best going for the Title...
Rich Gill took on the challenge of working on numerous Surf Contests to Include:
Triple Crown of Surf
Hawaii Military Surfing Ohana
Jonathan Brookfield Surf 4 Life
Makai Surfing Events
After working on other Surf Contests, Rich Gill decided to embark on his own event. The design was to bring the best from each service to compete for the title of Best in Armed Forces. Asking all branches of service he put together a team that not only supported their individual branch but created other categories that allowed divisions to enhance the competition. Rich also opened the door for a combined sex program that removed social barriers from play. It was one of the few times that Women could compete against Men for the highest title of the Event.
Not many surfers can say they added their own touch to make that board personal. During the years of the USMSI, I had the honor of putting my own "Handprint" on some of the boards we gave away. I also added my designs to my own boards to reduce any chance of theft.
When you airbrush a surfboard you know that board can never be duplicated. I always loved surfing longboards and when given a chance to put my own tag on my boards I did. I chose who shaped and who glassed and knew my boards were mine from the ground up...
Along with airbrushing surfboards, I also created artwork for posters I was involved with. The Hawaii Military Surfing Organization Was the first. Followed by the Stacy Brookfield Surf 4 Life followed by My own US Military Surfing Invitational.
If you ever wanted to know where your favorite store bought their clothing. The chances are excellent that the "Buyers" for the company came to MAGIC to purchase those items for that Macys, JCPenney, Target, Walmart, and more. Back When I first started going I was amazed at the size, scope, and complexity contained under the Las Vegas Convention Center. Every Summer and Winter, buyers and sellers would arrive in mass to see what new items were out and could be added to their various locations.
Now My first time at MAGIC was just so overwhelming, to see just miles of different clothes from old clothing companies like Levis, Osh Gosh, Outer Banks, and so many more. Then an Area For Upper Scale Clothing Brands Luis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, and others. To see the manufacturing area was also unique as you could literally walk in with any idea and as long as you had the concept, material design, and funds to pay for the service. Your dream would be a reality in a matter of weeks...
When you go to MAGIC you have the chance to talk to many Artists that cover all areas From Music, To Canvas, Sports, Film, Machine, and so much more. All trying to build on their brand through new venues of clothing.
During his other Ventures, Rich Gill had the opportunity to talk to a few known people about the USMSI Including Chuck the ICEMAN Liddell...
It was interesting talking to Gene on his Ideas and concepts. Knowing that he is a strong supporter of the US Military gave me new insights to his thoughts and views.
It was great to meet an artist you genuinely admire for their creative designs. Michael's innovative use of various fruits, glasses, and others additions always keeps the viewer engaged in his pieces...
When I heard Darryl had passed, I was sad but I did have the chance to meet with him and get to know he was a pretty cool person...
If you ever get the chance to be in New Mexico you want to be in the state in the latter part of September, Early part of October for the best air show in my mind. For Eleven days many travel just to see the morning lift off and the nightly Glowdeo.
It's one feeling to fly in a plane, it's another to lift off in a Hot Air Balloon. When you live in a state known for Hot Air Festivals eventually you want to try and see what it feels like to soar into the skies under a colorful designed fabric of hot air floating with the wind. Okay maybe a few may not but my son (pictures I took) will never forget the sites of the morning ride...
In April of 2004, I had not one but two back surgeries twenty days apart in two different hospitals. The First was the actual Fusion of my lower spine with 2 strips of titanium and 6 screws. The second was an Infection of the area they had just did the surgery. So they had to reopen me back up clean out the infection and leave me open to heal from the inside out. After this Surgery, I was never the same again. The constant pain was always there and never gave me a chance to recover truly.
In December 2004, I was given Orders to return to Lackland AFB. This Time to Face A Medical Board and possibly be removed from active duty. Now I did have my 20 years in but that did kinda ticked me off the thought of being pushed out. I gathered all my records and anything else I felt I needed to justify a strong defense. Within the first two days, I brought all my supporting evidence to my medical attorney. He looked at everything and said that my case was solid and that it would be hard to show a reason to remove me from active service. But I had to stay a week until the Verdict was officially rendered. Well, with time to kill, I rented a convertible Mustang and figured if I had to be there in pain I might as well see the sites. The one thing that stuck in my mind was this TV Show about Round Rock Donuts in Texas. So I figured what the heck. There was this Master Sergeant also waiting for his fate and asked me where I was going. I smiled and said, "To get a donut, wanna ride along?" He smiled and jumped in not knowing the journey he signed on for. Well, it took us 3 Hours to get to Round Rock, the Seargent just looked at me... " How many are you getting?" I replied... to which he just walked in and looked. After his first bite of the yellow treat, he got half a dozen and learned to always ask how far you're going before he jumps in the car...
After completing 22 years of Military service Rich Gill challenged himself by going back to school at New Mexico State University. During this time he began working on movie and television projects. He not only received opportunities to be on set but he went further by giving others a chance to also work on projects. His actions allowed him to become part of the crew as assistant background casting director for different productions.
In 2006 I chose to have a pain blocker inserted into the area that was causing the continual pain in my lower back. The Pain Specialist said this would eliminate the pain and I would be good to go. Wellll that was not the case. It seems the hospital where the pain blocker was inserted was not sterile because a few weeks later I was back on the surgical table to reopen my lower infusion area for an infection that spread to the whole area. Again I had to heal from the inside out for four weeks. To this day I will not any similar needles ( I tried acupuncture and that is another story) to my fusion area.
When not working on productions in Background Casting. Rich Gill was also given the chance to work as Locations for incoming productions at White Sands National Monument. Again Rich gave local residents opportunities in Below the Line jobs to fill spots that might normally go to outside personnel
After receiving his Associates Degree, Rich Gill began getting requests to collaborate on various projects. Working on music videos and other creations in southern New Mexico. During this time, Rich created a program that gave residents a chance to learn about filming and other areas of the Entertainment Industry. Rich Gill contributed his own equipment to the project and never charged the participants that came to learn...
Like many, I always had an interest in the film industry. But how many ever had the movie world follow you? The first time was in Washington State. There was a "Cattle Call" (Casting background actors ) in downtown Spokane. since I never been to one I took a chance and stood in line like many. Had I known What I do now I would have shown up early. Arriving at the end of the day pretty much says that's a "no" as they were done for the day and I do not blame them.
Okay, so no movie roll in Spokane. I get Flown out to Hawaii and again the Industry Finds me. This time closer to my work when Pearl Harbor films on Hickam AFB. At that Point, I was busy putting together surf contests and other projects . To see some of the Sets was great as well as the Bombing Run Scene using the Mighty Mo for part of the shot.
When I Heard Transformers was to shoot on Holloman AFB, Right in the same area I worked in was to me way too weird. One Set was literally made right next to my office and it was such an education to see how they fabricated this room for filming. The way they fabricated the walls to be removed for filming specific shots was just awesome to learn. I gained so much and knew that this may be the direction I should go.
After I retired from Active service, I was still interested in working in the industry. I was shooting some images and got a call from a friend in Albuquerque asking if I had anybody interested in working background on a production like now. I called two friends and went up to the location. At first, I was skeptical, and walked into the location and met with the casting director. She said "thank you" as some of her people did not show. I asked how long would the Ladies be on set and was informed 12 hours. I said Okay and started to walk out. The Director called out and said "Hey, since you are here, do you want to get paid for your time?" and I worked on this project for a week...
After Hamlet 2, I wanted to see if I could give more people a chance in Alamogordo and Las Cruces a chance to work on Productions I began taking Headshots and submitting them to Background casting directors and sure enough People were being called to work. On In Plain Sight, I had some working on quite a few episodes as a police extra. I even Filled in when one of my background associates could not make it...
Year One did change the direction I was going when it came to working on set. One Day I am adding 15 Extras to a scene and the next I am called to work as production staff in White Sands. I needed to get a team of 14 locals that were willing to work long hours for two weeks to finish the last shots of the production. My Crew did perform at their best and learned a lot from working on a major motion picture. Due to the fact these were the last days of shooting, we went 14 days straight to get this project completed on time.
We gained a lot of respect from the L.A. Crew and the Albuquerque IASTE Members for our non-stop dedication.
After the work on Year One, I was called again for another film coming into the area. They asked for the same support but this was a bit different. I was the lead of my staff but we were working under the Locations Department. This added a bit more as we had more to accomplish and now worked closer with other departments to include
Local Security and the Rangers of White Sands.
After Men, I was either Casting in Albuquerque or working in Locations in White Sands. Because of the performance of my team. I was able to get calls of incoming productions. The Rangers knew we had all the park rules and regulations down and did our best to make sure the set and the Base Location met and exceeded what the Rangers wanted. I had more control on set and was able to take care of my staff with better pay.
After completing his Associates, Rich Gill came back to California to get his BS in Entertainment Business. During this time, Rich supported different programs related to the film industry. Rich is a firm believer in equal opportunities for all genders and donated his time to shine a brighter light on sexual discrimination in the film production opportunities.
During my time at L.A. Film School, I was able to support causes that I felt needed support to gain notoriety and grow in a united and necessary progressive way of thinking. The Women in Media grew into a force that Supports Ladies in Film and Television Productions in Equal Placement of Skilled Workers in both Above and Below Leardship Roles.
In 2017, Rich Gill Completes his criteria for His Bachelor's in Science. Rich's accomplishments allowed him to be selected to join the National Honor Society of the Entertainment Arts. He continues to operate on various projects in Southern California.
In 2019, Rich Gill begins Filming the City Council meetings to better understand what is going on in the local community. At no cost to residents, he offers the videos to those interested to keep transparency and inform others that cannot attend meetings. After numerous sessions, Rich Gill decides to submit for a seat on the City Council...
In 2019, I did not like where the City of LaVerne was going so I chose to get into the race. I knew being an Independent I was the long shot but If I could make any change it was worth the effort. I will not say I added my two cents. but there were moments when I felt the Voters heard me As the incumbent Mayor lost his seat and now change could begin to happen.
In December 2019, I had a chance to meet State Senator Anthony Portantino who has LaVerne as part of his 25th District. I would recommend taking the time to learn who is working for you in your district. Especially when it comes to new laws coming out in your state and where they stand on the issues.
You can learn from anything you become engaged with. After getting the J & J Vaccine I understood you can still get covid and pending on which Vaccine could be felt a little worse than thought. I stayed in the ICU for more than a week but kept pushing to feel better and after my time in the hospital, I could walk out on my own. I still have some long-term effects and am trying to get that out of my system.
In 2019, when I went to my first City Council Meeting I saw how the Council Members could never be held accountable unless their actions were filmed. The residents had asked the Council for this and yet it was not a priority.... until I came with my equipment and began filming the meetings. Then all of sudden it became an important factor. Within 3 months the Video system was up but still, but it was controlled by the city. My video is not controlled and rolls until the gavel hits the table closing the session. Being a Video Historian may be important for future residents.
When I heard that we were pushed into a 5 district system and a Mayor that would longer be voted on by the people I knew I had to retoss my hat back into the ring. I knew running against the Mayor was a tough fight but I knew that to make a change one seat would have to be changed and an incumbent would have to walk. I did what I felt was best for the city and I will see how my gamble will make LaVerne a better place.
As stated, LaVerne needed a little more "change" to make things happen. So when you want someone out of another district you may have to get in the race to step on stage and knock him down. Even if it means you will lose your seat. But I already knew that. I wanted the Mayor to have a chance to show the City what he could do with a Majority and now he has that. So we are watching what he can do...