If someone told me the day after I graduated high school I’d be writing something about anything related to film, or books, or even family years in the future, I’d have laughed that so-called prophet off the planet. The last thing on my mind that Saturday was writing. In fact, composing an essay, let alone a term paper, was my most hated activity all the way through to the end of the twelfth grade. Why couldn’t everything just come down to short-answer, or better, true or false remedies? I reckoned life would surely suck less under those conditions. Shows how much I know. How does that old Yiddish proverb go?
“Man plans, God laughs.”
Well, if anything, whatever I write (however out of nowhere) becomes an archive of sorts. So, given that, I thought I’d note from time-to-time a set of three particulars that form many of my favorite memories. Full disclosure, I credit my good friend and blogger over at Colonel Mortimer Will Have His Revenge for the inspiration. Reading his look back at the films and theaters in his life triggered all of this — hey, original I’m not. And since I’m getting older every day, I better start to get these written down fast before they become just dust in the wind.
Since I wrote about it last year on my old blog, I’ll start this off with something familiar.
June 17, 1972: I can call this to mind because it remains one of those kind of memories. So ingrained to be part of your being. So unexpected, too. It was the day after I graduated from South Gate High School. A cauldron of experiences, both good and bad, and finally out. Having spent the entire previous night awake (struggling at times) at what is famously known as Grad Night, I woke up late that afternoon and had to scramble to make my movie date (with the same girl I took to that all-night party at Disneyland).
Calling her ahead to make she was now as awake as I. She equally excited to go to the movies once more. We’d sit in my old 1963 Ford Falcon station wagon and actually watched the movie. And that’s saying something for the film since I was a supremely hormonal 17 at the time. While I choose the Rosecrans Drive-in as the venue because it was cheap, and I had a girlfriend at the time, I picked the movie because I heard how great it was from my movie-going family members.
The night I took in this wonderful 1972 film adaptation of the Mario Puzo novel, The Godfather, by Francis Ford Coppola easily remains one of my strongest memories to this day.