By Jeanne Sager
BETHEL November 11, 2005 Dick Crumleys got a thing going on with a Desperate Housewife.
The Town of Bethel councilman tunes in every Sunday night now to check out his new favorite actress on the ABC hit show its just like sports, he said, he doesnt get into it unless he knows one of the players.
But Crumley knows Felicity Huffman.
In fact, the actress who beams into millions of living rooms across the country every Sunday evening as working mother Lynette Sciavo has shared the gas pumps at Kountry Korner in Hortonville with Crumley.
When an indie film crew stopped by the White Lake Firehouse last year looking for someone with a motorcycle, they were told get ahold of Crumley, hes always got motorcycles.
Crumley heard they were shooting a film called Transamerica, the tale of a father and son traveling cross country in preparation for the dads sex change.
They needed extras, and they needed someone with a motorcyle.
Why not? Crumley thought.
So he signed on for the job, shooting a scene with a then-unknown actress.
Months later, the first episode of Desparate Housewives aired, and the woman he knew as the wife of actor William H. Macy suddenly became a star in her own right.
When my wife said, Remember that girl who was in the movie with you? I said, No. Crumley recalled. Im terrible with names! Im good with faces.
Pat Crumley pointed out Huffman shortly after she won an Emmy for her housewives role, and the couple stumbled upon their first episode one night flipping through channels.
The show never caught Crumleys eye before, mainly because, he said, hes not a series kind of guy.
Im looking for the History Channel and TLC or Id have nothing to watch, he said with a laugh.
But he liked Huffman.
She was very nice, very pleasant, didnt have her nose up in the air, he recalled. Shes just kind of an every day person.
During filming at the Hortonville gas station, Crumley joked around with the actress, who was playing the pre-operative transexual.
Ironically, she went by the name of Bree, the moniker of another character on the ABC show played by Martha Cross.
Crumley knows that now he watches Desperate Housewives these days.
Im into it now, he said with a laugh. It is a good show!
And hes jazzed to hear Transamerica will be airing in movie theatres soon during filming he expected it would be limited to film festivals, but he assumes the company is cashing in on Huffmans fame.
Its a lifetime experience, he said. You watch TV, but you never think youll ever brush with it. . . but it certainly puts the county on the map!
And it gives Crumley a story to tell.
Transamerica, which was picked up by the new Weinstein brothers company, also stars actor Graham Greene who has appeared in major motion pictures like Dances With Wolves and The Green Mile and Elizabeth Pena, star of Rush Hour and Batteries Not Included.
Scenes were shot around western Sullivan County the trailer even includes a shot at a gas station that shows the countys most famous hippie, Duke Devlin, perched on a rocking chair in the background.