This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. With the 40th anniversary of this particular film soon to be celebrated over at my colleague’s blog, Edward Copeland on Film… and more, it was time to revisit this particular high school memory. Ed was kind enough to allow me to pen the tribute film piece:
November 20, 1971: Ah… is there nothing better than being a senior in high school? I mean, finally getting to that top rung. It matters little that it’s one of the true false summits in life, but reaching that grade was its own reward, yes? After being traipsed upon as a sophomore, a little less as a junior — back then in the dark ages, the L.A. Unified School District senior high schools covered only the 10th through the 12th grades — reaching this level bought you some relief in school.
Even if it was only some course electives, it was worth it. That new stature also seemed to open up the pool of people you could mingle with and date. I tell you truthfully, us sophomore males at South Gate High were lucky if they got to take out one of own 10th grade classmates — and don’t even think looking above your station, bub (though, my heart would violate that with a certain junior varsity cheerleader, but that’s for a later TMT). It only was a slightly better in the 11th.
So, by the time I was a heady senior, all grades on campus didn’t seem to have a curb. Or, so I thought. I was just beginning to see a pretty sophomore in the Fall of ’71 when Clint Eastwood‘s film Play Misty For Me debuted. That I dating someone in my brother’s 10th grade class didn’t bother me a bit… though, it should have. Worst yet, her brother was a junior at the same school. What was I thinking?!?
Our first real date (outside of school dances) was when I took her to the theatre of my youth, the Huntington Park Warner Theatre to watch this movie the weekend before Thanksgiving. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when her brother chaperoned the two of us to catch the same flick. And I drove. Oh, boy. At least the movie was good. By the way, this is the same girl I was dating when I graduated in June of ’72. And it was her who I took to see the movie that began this whole series.