The evening was a Valentine to a Grandfather. In fact, it was all about love and passion.
“40 years ago we eloped to Reno and were married by a Justice of the Peace. We never had a big wedding and tonight is like that celebration,” said filmmaker Walter Dominguez about his marriage to Shelley Morrison, who we know and love as Will & Grace’s zany housekeeper Rosario.
Theirs was an instant love affair. They married a couple of months after they met on a low-budget horror film. He was an AD; she was starting her acting career.
The documentary Weaving the Past; The Journey of Discovery (Chasing Light Pictures, LLC) was screened at the Lindwood Dunn Theatre in Hollywood. Walter wrote, produced, directed, as well as narrated the film about his connection to the past with his Tata (Grandfather), Reverend Emilio N. Hernandez and their Latino family secrets. The bulk of the film was beautifully shot around about two of Walter’s investigative trips to Mexico. The evening benefited the Museum of Social Justice, which opens in September on historic Olvera Street and to house historical exhibits and sponsor educational outreach programs.
Although a serious, emotional, and muy caliente evening, Shelley, who was Executive Producer, never fails to place a smile on everyone’s face. “75% of the people who worked on the film are people whom Walter and I have known for over 25 years. I thank all the volunteers for not eating all the hors d’oeuvres!
“This was a 12 year labor of love,” she said. When she introduced her husband, she said, “I’m so verklempt!” (Translation to the Latin and every other community – overwhelmed.)
Said Walter, “There are leaders here tonight in civil rights, social work, religion, and entertainment. We are humbled to share this night with you. Out of the wonderful diversity of this audience, we see the diversity that our magnificent city is a great place that welcomes the whole world and unites the world’s religions, nationalities, ethnicities, and races.”
Privately, I joked with him that the shoe was on the other foot and Shelley was the “plus one” tonight. “I hadn’t even thought of that,” he said, modestly. “This took 12 years because the story needed time to come to its conclusion; life happens and we had to deal with family illnesses and deaths, but also I needed some years to edit it. I had 400 hours of footage. Shelley helped me a lot with the storyline. She was my third eye.” (When I spoke to that third eye, she had almost lost her voice!)
It really was like a wedding. There were not one, but two receptions. The Dominguezes know how to do it well!
In the house: ABC entertainment anchor, George Pennacchio; Kate Flannery whose beau, Chris Haston, was a cameraman on Will & Grace; Kate Linder; and Elya Baskin.
Gracias por su hospitalidad.
Sue Facter owns a news agency that specializes in the luxury brand. Her work appears in USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Women’s Day Australia, as well as on broadcasts and the web.