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Arts & Culture

Back in Time

Scott Mulhollen stared at the screen in silent disbelief. With only an hour notice, he’d received a tip on an eBay auction too good to be true. As the clock ticked away with only seconds to spare, he made his first and only bid. He took a moment to let the win sink in, then [...]
J.R. McMillan



Scott Mulhollen stared at the screen in silent disbelief. With only an hour notice, he’d received a tip on an eBay auction too good to be true. As the clock ticked away with only seconds to spare, he made his first and only bid.

He took a moment to let the win sink in, then he picked up the phone to confirm it was all really happening. The stranger who answered seemed somber, then his wife got on the line and was clearly confused. She didn’t even know her husband was selling it.

“Who is this?” she asked again, to which he politely replied, “I’m Scott, the guy who just bought your DeLorean.”
Graciously offering to back out of the sale, Mulhollen learned the car was the couple’s first purchase together when they were wed in 1982 and had been meticulously maintained ever since. But now retired and downsizing, it was time to move on.

“I didn’t have the heart to tell them what I was going to do to their car. You never know how someone is going to react,” he recalled. “So I chose to respect their memories, assuring them I was going to take care of it as lovingly as they had, that it wasn’t going to a chop shop or flipper.”

Mulhollen wasn’t kidding. He loves the car, and has his whole life. But he’s no classic car aficionado or broker of automotive ephemera intent on turning a quick buck.

“You rarely find a car this pristine and well preserved, and never at this price,” Mulhollen explained, whose bid was well above the $28,500 he actually paid. “The guy who owned it before me was an electrical engineer and stripped the entire car and rewired it, because DeLoreans were known for sometimes catching on fire. Collectors want everything original, so I was the only bidder.”

That was hardly the end of the upgrades. It’s taken nearly 30 years and a small fortune to realize the vision of his adolescence. But after months of delays and painstaking modifications, Scott Mulhollen is now the owner of a bona fide time machine.

“I remember sitting in the theater as a kid watching Back to the Future and dreaming about someday owning ‘that car,’” he confessed.

Mulhollen now runs his own self-defense school, which often requires connecting with kids who aren’t always easy to reach. A long-time collector of iconic ’80s memorabilia, his office is more of a museum dedicated to his childhood, from Garfield to Ghostbusters. Not just trinkets either—evertything from autographed animation cells to a legit proton pack. Even his martial arts background and enthusiasm for teaching grew out of his own experience with bullying. He was an actual Karate Kid who defied more than a few naysayers and turned a calling into a career. “When kids come here, it helps to let them know I was just like them,” he explained. “But there was still that one big dream that remained out of reach.”

For those of a certain age, it’s almost impossible to overstate how beloved Back to the Future is as both a personal and pop cultural milestone. I was an exchange student to Japan in the summer of ’86 and my host brother had a bootleg recording of just the audio from Back to the Future he’d played on his Walkman nearly nonstop for a year before I arrived. It’s essentially how he learned English. We’re still in touch, and can still exchange every line of dialogue even decades later.

“When I was initially considering all of this, I knew it had to be a business to make sense, but one that enabled me to share this passion with others and make a positive impact,” he recalled. “With the right combination of private rentals and charity events, I knew I could make it work.”

It cost nearly twice as much to convert the car as he’d paid for it, and it shows. It looks handmade, which it is and as it should. There’s a delicate balance to creating cinematic replicas. Too stingy and it feels cheap. Too polished and it feels mass-produced. Perhaps only the Batmobile is as indelible down to the most exacting detail. Complete with lighting and sound effects, diodes and doodads, Marty McFly himself couldn’t tell the difference.

“When the film’s prop makers were designing the car, they wanted it to look like something Doc Brown could have made in his garage,” he explained. “It took the builder seven months, and even then, he’d have taken another month or two if I let him.”

Once you get past the heavy price tag, the sticker shock gives way to immediate envy.  Plenty of people spend as much or more on a midlife crisis car that no one wants to have over for their birthday party or private gathering. You could have just another Tesla, or you could have a time machine and folks will gladly pay you to come hang out for a few hours.

“My goal is three years to pay off the car, a few big gigs and we’ll get there,” he noted. “The car isn’t really an expense; it’s an investment that holds its value. I could sell it tomorrow and still make money on the deal.”

Delays in the conversion pushed the debut until just after Ready Player One’s premiere—which was unfortunate, but not tragic. Summer commitments like Ohio Comic Con and a recent al fresco screening of Back to the Future at the Gateway Film Center were already booked, and events to raise funds for children’s charities and Parkinson’s research were also in the works. But blockbuster blowouts aren’t the only option to get up close and personal with a piece of the past, or the future.

“I have a woman coming down today from Toledo with her husband to see the car, and he has no idea. Those are the reactions that are priceless,” Mulhollen said. “People get emotional, they get overwhelmed. I’ve had people cry before. Whether you’re a CEO or the guy who operates the forklift. They may be in their forties, but when they sit in this car, suddenly they’re 10 again. It really is a time machine.” •

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Arts & Culture

Ohio animator creates tribute, parody video of DeWine & Acton

Wayne T. Lewis, Publisher



Video at bottom of story

About three weeks ago, when the world was starting to fall apart, Dave Stofka was looking for something to take his mind off the stream of daily bad news. A freelance web developer and animator since 2007, Stofka had just the idea.

"I watched Governor DeWine and Dr. Acton's press conferences, and all the Facebook comments I was reading conveyed a sense of great appreciation of their leadership. At some point I jokingly thought to myself that all they need is a theme song. Growing up in the days when every show had a theme song, the "Laverne & Shirley" theme popped into my head for some reason, said Stofka.

With some encouragement from his wife, he dug into the project putting to work his previous experience making animated parodies. Stofka says he put about 100 hours over 2.5 weeks into the video project.

"I knew technically how to pull it off. The jokes started flowing the more I worked on it and bounced ideas off my family and a couple friends. It snowballed from there," said Stofka.

The 1:20 video offers a light-hearted take on the state government's efforts - led by DeWine and Acton - in combating the coronavirus pandemic. The video is based on a hilarious take on the "Laverne & Shirley" theme song, performed by Stofka's friend, Elisa Grecar.

"My goal in this was to bring smiles to people's faces. It's so easy to focus on the negative and difficult to focus on the positive -- not just in times like this but in life in general. I love that Ohio's motto is "With God, all things are possible" -- it made a perfect tagline at the end -- and personally it has given me a lot of hope to get through this," added Stofka.

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Arts & Culture

CCAD Spring Art Fair goes virtual

Mitch Hooper



The COVID-19 outbreak has all but canceled every event slated for April, but that isn't stopping the Columbus College of Art and Design from finding ways to safely move forward. Though there won't be an in-person Spring Art Fair this year, folks can still support these students and their artwork through the first ever virtual installment of the showcase.

Spanning April 10 to April 12, the CCAD Spring Art Fair will have its students projects, designs, and creations available for purchase online. The day kicks off on Friday at 5 p.m. and ends Sunday at midnight. All proceeds from the event will go directly to the artists, makers, and designers.

CCAD is also running a giveaway for anyone who makes a purchase during the Art Fair. If a visitor spends $50 or more and posts their receipt (without their personal information visible) to Instagram with the hashtag #CCADArtFair, they will be entered in to win a $50 gift certificate to CCAD’s Continuing & Professional Studies classes. Three winners will be selected randomly on April 13.

To find out more about the Art Fair, visit

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Arts & Culture

Now Streaming: Columbus entertainers find virtual ways to perform

Mitch Hooper



As Columbus entertainers prepared for warm weather and folks returning to the bars, COVID-19 came in and put it to a halt. The bars being closed indefinitely not only impacts owners, servers, and bartenders, it impacts the performers who rely on these places as a platform to showcase their talents. When folks can't come support local entertainers, what can they do?

What if they bring their talents to them? That's what many Columbus entertainers are doing during social distancing. While "work from home" wasn't much an option before this, comedians such as Amber Falter and Ian Miller are taking to Instagram Live and other streaming platforms to perform.

The first virtual show the two did was with Alexis Nelson of BarkBox, and admittedly, they were a little nervous about not having an audience for feedback.

"I was actually scared to start," Miller said. "Jokes don’t have what I call 'standalone timing.' You need a give and take with the audience, you build it into your jokes. The thought of telling jokes without immediate feedback was terrifying."

The two said the show went great and it didn't take long for both of them to enjoy streaming their comedy. Falter quickly did another virtual show, A Hamantha and Brisket Comedy Hours, with Samantha Sizemore and Bridjet Mendy themed around dating stories via Zoom. Miller, on the other hand, started a weekly story telling show on his Twitch channel Glass Cannon Comedy.

Falter, co-host of ACLU Stand-Up For Choice, says there's even been some silver linings to streaming her comedy.

"I was joking with one of my friends that is always like, 'Hey, I'm going to make it to the show! Can't wait to see you at the show!' and then they never make it out," Falter laughed. "Now you have no excuse, honey!"

As for the future ACLU Stand-Up For Choice comedy events, Falter said she and others involved, such as co-host Pat Deering, are figuring out how to do so through streaming.

Miller said he has seen many of his shows canceled due to the Coronavirus outbreak. He had six shows slated across 13 days, all of which have been canceled. Additionally, his monthly story telling show as well as Glass Cannon's quarterly-themed shows are suspended.

"It’s been rough. There may not have been of ton of Columbus comics “paying the bills” with comedy, but that doesn’t mean that we haven’t felt the impact," Miller said "Times are tough, and it’s really hard to have a side hustle of any kind when you know leaving your house could put yourself and other in danger."

And that's why he believes it's so important to support entertainers in anyway you can. Whether that be through a share or follow on social media, every little bit helps grow their platform.

Falter echoed this sentiment, too.

"I want this to become a source of income and I've been extremely, extremely grateful for the people that have even sent like $2," she said. "Or not even that, if they just followed me on Instagram or told me I had a good set. [By just] saying, "Hey that was really fun, thanks so much," that alone is making me super emotional."

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