Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

TMT: “My divorce! When do I get my divorce!”

This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. For this recollection of my wayward youth, care of the movies and theaters I found myself in (read that however you’d like), credit my friend Aurora over at Once upon a screen… She contributed a fine post for the “1967 in Film” Blogathon, hosted by Silver Screenings and The Rosebud Cinema, which jarred the following download.

“Well, somewhat lost in the fray between landmark and perpetual classic is a charmer hit straight from the Broadway stage and the pen of one of the country’s most popular playwrights, a relative newcomer in the medium at the time, Neil Simon.”


Theatre

The California Theatre:


Images c/o Cinema Treasures site

Movie

barefoot in the park

Time

June 1967: Not that I went looking for the job, but being born of the 50s and raised during the 60s offered a front row seat to a number changes occurring all around me. Political, societal, and personal adjustments were taking place anywhere this kid looked. Being enrolled in the Los Angeles Unified School System from Kindergarten to twelfth grade I witnessed the remarkable reshape for those calling L.A. home.

In elementary school, almost all the kids my age were like me, local born in the City of Angels. However, by junior high half the kids in my class had moved to California from other parts of the U.S. Such was the influx of those coming to the southland in the 60s for jobs, new starts, or just wanting to live in a place that hardly knew snow. By high school, those born here were the distinct minority. Me, in more ways than one.

In ’67 I was well aware of things being in flux. Almost two years since we’d moved from Florence to South Gate. A year after my grandfather, mom’s dad, intro’d the concept of death in the family to me by dying himself. 7th grade well into up-heaving my teens then, but at least I still could go to the movies. To keep change at bay, for a short while that is. It’s how I ended up at the California Theatre to watch Barefoot in the Park.

Just another weekend. Watching one more romantic comedy I’d grown accustomed to in the dark. All was happy I remember. Till one of the good-looking newlyweds onscreen demanded a divorce. Then, the other aspect of the 60s I’d come to recognize broke through the cinema bliss. Why I remained different from many born of the 50s. “Broken home” a term I’d come to learn since my parents were…you know.

Didn’t make the hint of it on film any easier, but by this decade of change I knew I was gaining divorced compradres each year that passed.


The entire series can be found here. If you’re interested how it’s put together, click here.

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11 Responses to “TMT: “My divorce! When do I get my divorce!””

  1. Aurora

    Michael,

    Bitter sweet memories shared in your touching post. Such depth to the memories these movies evoke.

    Aurora

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    • le0pard13

      Oh, thank you, Aurora. Very kind of you to say, and my gratitude for the push. Your post being the catalyst for this to spill out. :-)

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  2. cindybruchman

    Nice, Michael. I came from a broken home, too, and the stigma was painful. Geez, then in the 70s, everyone got divorced. Now it’s rare if you have 2 people who make it after ten years of marriage let alone 20 or 30.

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    Reply
    • le0pard13

      Indeed. Yes, the 60s and 70s offered quite a change regarding marriage and divorce rates from earlier generations. The legal dissolution being one of those significant factors for children like us caught as collateral damage in its proceedings. No wonder you and I gravitate to similar things, Cindy. We have that in common. Many thanks, my friend. :-)

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  3. Rick Ouellette

    Well said, Michael. I recently came across that now-antiquated phrase “broken home” while watching “Leave it to Beaver” which I often have on while getting ready for work (a much better show than clichéd opinions would have it). The Beav is jealous of a school friend whose parents are divorced and who thus has two birthday parties, two sets of gifts etc. That is until the friend’s real pain is revealed and the lesson learned.

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    Reply
    • le0pard13

      Thanks so much, Rick. Excellent point about ‘Leave It to Beaver’, and I think I actually watched that episode long ago, too. Great comment.

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