This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. I have to thank my blogging colleague Jeff over a Stuff Running ‘Round My Head for inviting me to take part in his splendid 95 Songs of Summer series. It was an honor to contribute. Today’s song entry on his site directly relates with this particular memory download.
“You can’t just walk out of a drive-in.”
June 17, 1978: the same year my mother passed away marked the beginning of an upheaval period in my life (as I partially noted in an earlier entry in this series). This manifested soon after when I became involved in a fleeting relationship with one woman, in particular; easily the most tumultuous I was ever to be part of. Life has a way of not meeting your expectations.
Mature by at least five years, even more in worldliness, than the 23 year-old she was dating at that time, my ‘girlfriend’ (who I met at work) also had two young sons. The oldest of which was just 15 years my junior, at least by my math (and like mine, his brother was less than two years younger than he). Great kids. In a way, I could relate to them pretty keenly. We shared the same situation: that of dads AWOL during a time they were most needed. If I was any kind of figure to them beyond just the-guy-dating-their-mother, I will never be sure.
Movies endured as refuge for me. My lady friend (a nightclub/party person) was not one who shared that. With permission, her boys joined me the opening weekend to see Grease. At that time, going to the heart of Hollywood Boulevard’s movie theater district still held sway, so we landed in the balcony of the grand Hollywood Pacific Theatre for a matinée showing. We were thrilled with the results — the movie and the experience of seeing it together. The lads even more so with the former. The pair, way more street-wise than I at a similar age, went back the very next day, completely on their own, and re-watched the film.
In fact, for the next few weekends, they’d periodically returned to catch what was their all-time favorite movie musical. At least, to that point. They saw it many times, and memorized every word to every song in Grease, that summer. As fortune would have it, by the autumn the lady and I were history. I think about them from time-to-time. Each re-screening of the film in the years since remains a joyful, shared memory of a Saturday afternoon movie. It haunts me still.