David McMillan tells of experiences and memories
David McMillan, a 1959 graduate of Hudson High School, was in Hudson for a class reunion recently and reflected on some of his experiences as a photographer and video camera man.
He has numerous credits to his name, including stints with Animal World, Disney, ABC, Dick Clark Productions and a wide variety of freelance jobs.
McMillan grew up in Hudson and is the son of Mary and the late Ernie McMillan. Ernie was a longtime band director at Hudson High School, coming to Hudson in 1943 and retiring in 1968. Ernie was active in many community organizations and died in 1985. Mary still lives in California near the couple's other son, Peter (HHS 1963).
David McMillan has many fond memories of Hudson.
"It was a great town in which to grow up," McMillan said. "I'm thankful for having had the opportunity to grow up in Hudson and I have nothing but fond memories of Hudson High School."
"There are so many memories, whether its parades, swimming in the St. Croix, Scouting - the list goes on."
McMillan was active in Scouting and earned an Eagle Scout award in 1958.
"I have a special place in my heart for Al Weitkamp," McMillan said. Weitkamp was a longtime Scout leader in Hudson.
After graduating from high school, McMillan went to Iowa State University for pre-veterinarian studies. But he had always had an interest in photography and soon transferred to the Chouinard Art Institute (now the California Institute of the Arts) in Los Angeles and earned a degree in film art.
After college, he served in the Army and was sent to Vietnam.
He worked in Los Angeles from about 1972 to 1987.
One of his more enjoyable assignments was a 2.5 year stint with Animal World.
"They sent me all over the world," McMillan said. "I spent time with polar bears in Alaska, snow monkeys in Japan, apes in Gibraltar, camels in Jordan and sat at watering holes in Africa."
He worked for Disney for some time, filming for the Sunday night television show. With ABC he filmed with a show called "Fridays," a Saturday Night Live-like show that eventually went to HBO and was called "Not Necessarily the News." He was involved with that project for seven years.
With Dick Clark Productions he shot on-the-street interviews for the American Music Awards.
A lot of his work came as a freelancer - he filmed everything from the Rose Bowl parade to televsion commercials to documentaries.
In 1987 he moved to Canada and is still there with his wife, Karen. They live in the small town of Nakusp, British Columbia (about 1,500 population) - around 250 miles north of Spokane, Wash.
"I consider myself semi-retired," McMillan said. "But I still do some still photography."
He also does volunteer work in the community and, like his dad, Ernie, is involved with music, working with a children's music camp.