“Just as it doesn’t hurt to smile, it’s pretty easy to reach down and help someone out.” That’s the philosophy of Walton Dornisch, an active and enthusiastic MPTF volunteer with a long entertainment industry history. In fact, as he explains, “my great-grandmother, Bertha “Googie” Mecredy, was in silent movies and talkies… and she was on Johnny Carson when she turned 100.” At the age of 19, Walton worked for Dalton Trumbo on the film version of Johnny Got His Gun and was one of three editors for Hal Ashby on Lookin’ to Get Out, and now he’s giving back to the industry he and his family have loved for generations.
During the pandemic, Walton happily helped deliver holiday meals to those in need, and now he’s formed a close bond with one MPTF resident, Chris, an industry veteran who worked with Robert Altman. “I started visiting him regularly last August,” he says of their weekly time together (and for which Walton comes armed with Hershey’s Drops). Recently they got to enjoy a viewing of the Altman classic Nashville together in two sessions: “I got halfway through with him and the smile on his face, the full flush of joy on his face and his stories, was really a terrific hour and 45-minute visit.” His two children are also volunteering for causes close to their hearts, too. “I don’t know where I get it,” he says. “Sometimes we get more from strangers than we do from blood. If someone says ‘I don’t have the time,’ I say, ‘Make the time. In the future, you’re gonna want someone to make the time for you.’”