Don Hallock

My view overlooking the city.

From Don Hallock— 8/30/2011

I live in Honolulu — and have now for over 33 years. Though it might seem improbable — devoted to the television business as we all were — I more or less departed the world of video in 1976, and have, since then, maintained a private practice in psychotherapy.

I’ve been married to the wonderful Kathy Hallock since then, and have two fabulous kids. Kathy is a hospice social worker, my daughter Star is an emergency room nurse, and son Sean, taking after his dad with a powerful love of theater and film, has been on the production staffs of “Lost” and “Hawaii 5-0.”

I began working at WGBH immediately after escaping high school in 1956, starting out in the scene shop under Peter Prodan, and doubling as the station’s slide photographer. During that first year Dave Davis (then production manager) concluded that the station needed two full time cameramen. Frank Vento was the first to be hired, and very shortly thereafter my long-time dream was realized when I got my hands on a TV camera for the first time (it seems there has always been a camera of one kind or another in my life).

In late 1959 Greg Harney, in what I believe to have been a fit of tobacco withdrawal, promoted me to the level of producer/director. My bearded and crew-cut presence was tolerated around the station during the next three years while I directed, at one time or another, about everything on the schedule; high points for me being Max Lerner’s “The Age of Overkill,” “The Make-believe Clubhouse,” “Jazz with Father (Norman J.) O’Connor,” the Boston Arts Festival, “The World of Buckminster Fuller” — remember these?

In 1963 I married Kay Mote who had been Bob Larsen’s secretary, and we moved to New York City to pursue my interest in painting. After a year there (naive as I had been, thinking I could be an instant success as an artist) I took up TV work again part-time, free-lance, in order to make ends meet, first on camera, and then directing, with NET, WGBH, WNET, CBS, NBC, Teletape Productions, and the Video-Tape Center, to name a few.

Taping at The Cloisters, New York, Christmas 1965.

I traveled around the country quite a lot, and to Europe a bit working on some interesting projects. Though things went very well for me, and I was never at a loss for work, I did, by 1969, loose patience with the television production business and the east coast in general. The excess of insanity and the dearth of humanity had taken its toll (not to mention my divorce from Kay).

Images from the Videola (a video sculpture), and its creator. The exhibit was produced at the National Center for Experiments in Television and shown at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1973. More on that project can be found at: http://ncet.torusgallery.com/videola/videola.html (Videola photos: Penny Dhaemers)

So, after some years of fun drama work with NET/WNET, a Herb Alpert special, a couple of Streisand extravaganzas, countless less memorable projects, and way too many commercials, I moved to California and hung out around Santa Cruz and San Francisco for a couple of years, getting my head clear and absorbing the restorative energy of the mountains and redwood forests. It was in this period that I first visited Hawaii — an entirely momentous event, as it later turned out! Eventually I took a job as production manager and artist-in-residence with the National Center for Experiments in Television — an electronic sand-box for artists and other video-dreamers housed at KQED in San Francisco (and here, by the way, is one such dreamer – with one of his projects).

During the five years with NCET, I worked among a collection of extraordinarily talented and creative individuals making, promoting and exhibiting video as an art form. We were all a bit looney of course, largely groping our way along in this new, relatively unexplored – and at that time barely even existent – field. But coming from the abstract expressionist visual tradition, and with a “WGBH” background in highly ‘exploratory’ TV/video it felt fairly natural. And it turned out that, at the very same time, Fred Barzyk – one with whom I had had the pleasure of sharing the very same ‘subversive’ background – was doing almost the same thing back east.

Later in that period I took up studies in psychology and holistic health. Eventually, sanity won out again; I met and married Kathy, who was a fellow student of the mind/body interface and the beauty and sanctity of life. I left the National Center in 1976, whereupon Kathy and I emigrated to the farthest western point in the American empire, beginning a new life in Hawaii.

I’ve done a bit of TV work in the intervening years, most notably a 2002 PBS special “The Montana Summer Symphony.”

Never having outgrown an addiction to the making and promotion of art, my personal output now is all digital abstraction (why would one ever want to give up art?). I recently concocted TORUS (the above mentioned on-line art gallery, specializing in work by fine artists of Hawaii), and I occasionally dabble in rudimentary web design. Earning my living as a counselor is and has been a wonderful vocation, inspiring in me a deep respect for the world of the mind, and a love of the wonderful people who find their way into my practice.

Hawai’i has been, and continues to be, incredibly good to us. It’s a very happy life we live here in paradise.

Finally, here’s my love and me.

5 thoughts on “Don Hallock

  1. Hello dear Don! delighted to ‘see’ you again, and hear that you are happy! My history has been checkered, but finally am happy and -thank God- still healthy. Living in Nyack NY, and just retired. My 44 year old son was head injured in 94 and now is beginning to have some happiness himself. Can we exchange e mail somehow?

  2. Aloha Don, I was a friend of Ruth Sherman and Kirt Pruyn who attended one of your dream groups and remain grateful for your help and inspiration. I now use my first mother’s name. I am very pleased that Star has resumed using the name that suited her so well; I don’t have clear memories of Christian. I moved to Grand Junction, Co. to be closer to my twin. I know you would appreciate the beauty of Western Colorado where I became a became a yoga teacher for a time and still practice, but am mostly devoted to animal rescue, taking in foster dogs and cats and working at a sanctuary. I hope that you can see your influence in the life I now live. I have thought of you periodically over the years, but felt a powerful urge today to contact you. Thank you for being accessible. Do you offer phone sessions? With deep affection and respect, Irene

  3. Hi, found you while googling for info on 16mm film I have from the Religious America series, not what read you were looking for, another segment, on the New Clairvaux Abbey in Vina, California. I’m trying to find out the names of the two main speakers in the film but the only gentleman identified is the Abbot, Father Thomas Davis. Are you by chance familiar with this film? Thank you for your time!

  4. Wow – The things I never knew about you – :). such as WGBH….hummmmm.

    I did some political talk shows in Boston at GBH decades ago…..and today came across a Don Hallock (artist in Truth or Consequences, NM) today, and thought it might be you. And recently unwrapped a wonderful old photo of you, Kathy, and Star taken decades ago….hope all are well, and was happy to read about you on line. My daughter, Melisa Deane, is in Maryland, teaching yoga and hoping to make a tv pilot this year….she was a newscaster for Ch. 4 in Honolulu for a couple years. I plugged in her webpage.

    You were such an inspiration and salvation to me in the 1980’s – when Ruth first sent me to you….hope all is wonderful in your life. Caroline George (formerly Uchida)

    • Hi Caroline,
      I remember you well, and am touched by your post. As you may have gathered, I am not the guy in New Mexico. Actually, I’m surprised that there is another Don who is also an artist but, though I’d be curious to see his work, I can’t seem to find more than a mention of him through Google. I also didn’t know (or maybe remember) that we shared history with WGBH.

      I’m very happy to hear that our work together was helpful. That’s, of course what it’s all about. And it’s very nice to hear it.

      Aren’t our kids wonderful? So, positive and creative. Star is now an emergency room nurse at Queens Hospital, and my son Sean, who has been on production staffs of both “Lost” and Hawaii 5-0″ is now studying to be an airline pilot. Both are married, with lovely relationships. Kathy is the senior social worker at St. Francis Hospice. I’m still counseling, as well as running an on-line art gallery called TORUS. I do hope you’re well, and having loads of fun.

      Warm Alohas, as always, Don

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