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True life tale


Ron Bachman wanted to become a disc jockey. When a local station rebuffed the graduate of Specs Howard School of Broadcasting, he was devastated.

"They said they'd be afraid to send me to a remote location because listeners would see me in person and get turned off," says Bachman. "To get that kind of treatment -- in the one profession where what you look like shouldn't matter."

But then, also at Specs Howard, he met Kathy Vander, who was an Emmy Award-winning producer for former Channel 7 TV anchor Bill Bonds.

"I went to her and said I want to write my story," says Bachman. "She thought about it and said, 'No book now, let's do a movie. People will need visual aids to understand your walking on your hands.'"

That was seven years ago. On October 17, Walk This Way, a 30-minute documentary about Bachman's life, will premiere at the Penn Theatre in downtown Plymouth.

Directed by Vander, the film highlights Bachman's effervescence -- a personality which endeared him to the likes of Aerosmith's Steven Tyler.

"Here's a guy with a birth defect that, at best, 100 or even 50 years ago would have wound him up in a circus," says Tyler in the film. "He has turned it around and used it for something positive."

The film includes graphic clinical footage from the Mary Freebed Amputee Center where Bachman's legs were amputated and where he underwent years of therapy. It also shows how he manages to cook, grocery shop and raise a daughter, while still finding time to speak to schoolchildren and ride his motorcycle.

The Penn Theatre is located at the corner of Penniman and Main in Plymouth. The film will screen at 7 and 9 p.m. Oct. 17. Tickets are $10 and should be purchased in advance by calling 248-542-8935.