This week, as reported earlier by SooToday, will bring back many 50th anniversary memories of the July 20, 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing for those old enough to remember the historic mission, which put humans on the moon for the first time.
In 1969, Sault native Lloyd Walton was a 23-year-old student at the Ontario College of Art (OCA) in Toronto, at home in the Sault for the summer working in the art department at CJIC Television (now CTV).
In anticipation of TV coverage of the Apollo 11 mission, Walton painted a moon landing-themed CJIC TV 2 station identification card which would be seen in every Sault home with a TV.
The painting, on an 11 inch by 14 inch piece of bristol board, was done in shades of grey (for the black and white TV sets of the day) and completed in a day and a half, Lloyd recalled, speaking to SooToday in a telephone interview from his home in Port Carling, Ontario.
“They (CJIC control room technicians) put the camera on it the day of the landing. Back in those days you had to flash a station identification every 15 minutes, so they showed the painting for station identification a few times, and for other moon missions until all the TVs went to colour,” Lloyd said.
“I think I left it there...I took a photograph of it. Somebody told me a lot of stuff was thrown out, but they’re looking for some of my stuff now. I hope it’s still there.”
In his high school days, Lloyd studied at Sault Collegiate, enjoying art in particular.
“Originally I wanted to be a pilot. I got my pilot’s licence and I really wanted to join the air force, but my math skills weren’t good enough. I was in a funk for about a week, so I thought ‘okay, I’ll be an artist.’”
“There are similarities between being a pilot and an artist, such as preparation and planning, attention to detail and situational awareness,” Lloyd said.
As conversation with Lloyd continued, SooToday discovered several interesting things about his life experiences.
Working as a fine artist upon graduating from OCA, Lloyd branched off into filmmaking.
His body of work consists of approximately 60 short subject films which deal with history, culture and nature.
His films have won 35 provincial, national and international awards, taking first prize at the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco, first and second prizes at the World Festival of Tourism Films in Milan (“I even beat Disney in Milan,” Lloyd chuckled) as well as awards from the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.
“I worked as a filmmaker for the Ontario government (based in Toronto), and all the film departments were shut down except for me, because every time they tried to shut me down I won a major award so they didn’t want to lose me.”
“They said ‘okay, keep going, you must be doing it right. You’re bringing attention to what we’re doing,’” Lloyd laughed.
As an artist, Lloyd has had his landscape paintings showcased in five solo shows.
Then, there’s Lloyd’s soon-to-be-released book, entitled Chasing the Muse: Canada
The book, Lloyd said, tells of his experiences as a pilot, meetings with Pierre Trudeau, Bob Dylan and Neil Young and what he describes as “a 16-year search for ancient wisdom” which involved the Agawa Rock Pictographs.
“The first part of the book (the front cover of which features a photo taken on North Street) tells about growing up in the Sault,” Lloyd said.
“I had amazing things happen growing up in the Sault, and it gave me the credentials to delve into a mystery about the pictographs which took me into a whole different world of history which I’m about to uncover. There’s some amazing stuff about the Sault and history in it, and it’s coming soon.”
Chasing the Muse: Canada will be available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Friesen Press Bookstore, Kindle, Ingram Wholesale and Chapters/Indigo.
“It’s going to put the Sault on the map,” Lloyd said.
Like so many others who have left the Sault and succeeded elsewhere, this community will still always feel like home to Lloyd.
“Oh yes, we still have family there. We’re coming up this summer,” Lloyd said cheerfully.