San Luis Obispo Tribune
May 21, 2017
Michael Messinger In 1932, Mike was born in Los Angeles and passed on May 13, 2017, in Morro Bay. Believe it or not, Mike did not think he would be delivered into the arms of any "heavenly father," since he will not exist in any form for eternity. Since Mike did not exist in any form before his birth, his logic dictated that he will not exist in any form after his death. He was a third generation Californian and lived 84 years. Way back when, discouraged by his less-than- enviable job prospects for a non-college-bound graduate of Hamilton High School in Los Angeles, Mike enlisted in the U.S. Army in March of 1950. Subsequently, the conflict in Korea began. After serving for a year and a half with a signal battalion attached to Eight Army Headquarters in Korea, Mike enjoyed the unusual distinction of typing up his own discharge papers at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. March 5, 1953, his separation date, was also a historical marker, since it denoted both Mike's famous discharge date plus the death of the evil dictator, Josef Stalin (Stalin, as most people know, was a notorious tyrannical Georgian who, like still many of our American southern Georgians, was diligently oppressive toward segments of the population.). After military service, Mike was discouraged after many uninspired dead-end jobs. However, his future brightened with a gig in the mail room at Republic Studios in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. Then he became inspired. After requisite butt-kissing, groveling and all-around obsequiousness, Mike wormed his way into an Assistant Director internship and became a member of the Screen Directors Guild (later the Directors Guild of America). Mike worked in the motion picture/film television industry as an "AD" for 25 years on hundreds of local and location productions, every- thing from the early "Spin and Marty" serials at Disney to extended-form television for Screen Gems/Columbia's "Beaulahland" in Mississippi. A partial-disabling accident and downturn in the U.S. economy changed careers for Mike. After many temp jobs he landed a plum at an E&O insurance carrier that indemnified lawyers against malpractice claims. In Burbank he worked as a claims clerk, an assistant legal secretary, and finally as an administrative assistant in the Loss Prevention Division of Lawyers' Mutual Insurance Company. Mike retired in 1994 and relocated to Morro Bay. With many varied interests, Mike was a compulsive reader of history and true crime cases. He was an advocate of Democratic progressive governance and moderate marijuana consumption. Mike enjoyed classic jazz and big band swing music, four-star movies, pro football, boxing and cage fighting. He was an inveterate walker and a so-so prolific writer for his own entertainment. Mike leaves behind his beloved son Eric, also of Morro Bay, and another son Scott of Studio City in Los Angeles. There were no services and cremation followed. Sign his guestbook at sanluisobispo.com/obituaries
Born: 11/11/1932, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Died: 5/13/2017, Morro Bay, California, U.S.A.
Michael Messenger’s westerns – assistant director:
The Adventures of Spin and Marty - 1955
Zane Grey Theater (TV) – 1958
The Alamo - 1960
The Virginian (TV) – 1964-1966
Laredo (TV) – 1965
Shane (TV) – 1966
Dundee and the Culhane (TV) - 1967
Junior Bonner – 1972
Santee - 1973