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 FeaturesBehind the scenes with “Officer Bobby.” 
 
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Behind the scenes with
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Officer Bobby Title Card
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Officer Bobby
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I am sure that everyone reading this will know what I mean when I say that the Internet can be an intimidating and even hostile place. Every now and then, however, something happens which makes you realise that, on the whole, it's a pretty good thing after all.
 
Some time ago, I received a request for information which led, ultimately, to the E-mail you are about to read.
 
It is written by Mrs. Myrna Grosland, whose twin sons, Bill and Ron, shared the responsibility of bringing to life the character of Bobby Evans, an abandoned baby at the heart of the twenty-fifth First Season “Ironside” segment, “OFFICER BOBBY”.
 
Wonderfully, not only did Bill and Ron spend some time with Ironside and his team—but so did their mother.
 
Present throughout the filming of the episode, she has very generously sacrificed some time to set down her recollections of her involvement in one of The Chief's most memorable cases, and now, with her permission, I can share them with you.
 
I can't thank her enough.
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Mark
29th June, 2003
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Tuesday, 8 October, 2002
 
Dear Mark,
 
I am the mother of Bill and Ron Grosland who E-mailed you about “Officer Bobby”. Since the twins were only eleven months old at the time of the show, they remember nothing. I remember everything, because it was so much fun for me.
 
Because of their age, I was able to be more involved than most Moms. The law is that young ones can only be worked four hours per day. That is why twins are wanted—then they each can work if needed. They don’t want them under the lights any more than necessary, so Mom gets to be on the set holding the baby while a doll is used to get the lighting right (lucky Mom).
 
The actors, directors, script girls, stand-ins, special effects and wardrobe people were wonderful to me. It was also the law to have a teacher on the set when there are children. The teacher assigned watches to be sure the children are protected, and when they are of school age, she teaches classes. In our case we just visited, which was really interesting as she was the teacher for “Family Affair”, another TV show of that time.
 
Actors, directors, and so on are always a little leary of working with children or animals as they are unpredictable. Also some mothers of actors can be difficult. In our case this was a one shot deal. We had a friend who had a son in the business and her agent heard of the part and asked if anyone knew someone with twins about ten or eleven months old. We were sent to the agent and then Central Casting, we were chosen and the fun began.
 
Raymond Burr was a really nice man. Very friendly and kind. The other actors were too. They did a couple of things that had not been done very often and were kind enough to ask how I felt. One was the little rubber doll that was black—seemed like a good idea to me. Another was showing the backside when the baby was lifted out of the bath.
 
We worked Monday through Friday. We had to be there even if we weren’t in a scene so if they shot out of sequence we would be ready. The opening scene, (when Bobby is found in the van and has to cry for everyone except Ironside), was shot the last day. It was easy to get the boys to co-operate because they were good natured and if you held them so they couldn’t move they would get mad and cry. If you released them they would be happy.
 
The feeding scene worked out well as Ron had just woke up and was crabby, but Bill was happy—so the crying Bobby is Ron and the happy one Bill. Ron was also the bath baby.
 
On Friday we were ready for the big scene (the opening one). Much to everybody’s surprise, it was done in one take. Bill was perfect, or I should say the actors were. They held him tight and he would get mad and cry. When they gave him to Raymond Burr he sat him up and tickled him or showed him his tie or something and he would be happy. I was told later they expected a long hard day. Since it was a one shot deal the actors, crew and everyone present gave Bill a standing ovation. They all got to go home early!!!!
 
It was really a great experience for me. The special effects man was interesting. On the show when there were car crashes, plane crashes etc., it was done in miniature. They didn’t have some of the equipment available today so it was really interesting.
 
I hope you enjoy my memories.
 
Best Wishes,
 
Myrna Grosland.
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