In the spring of 1958, the adults among us uprooted happy-go-lucky li'l Mikey from Washington, D.C. and relocated future miserable-go-troubled large Mikey to Atlanta, GA. I was six and completely disoriented.
Dawn of the Dark
Yes, the very same technology of images in motion I'd fancied in the old country had caught on and spread to this peculiar new world.
Plans were made. Assisted by a big brother or two, I would walk to attend my first ever Atlanta "picture show," as the weird locals termed movies.
MGM's satirical service comedy "Don't Go Near the Water" was the feature attraction at the Emory Theatre in the nearby village -- a small, single screen venue which would become my second home. The business changed my life, nurturing a growing adoration for films and providing me with a well-trained projectionist's career, all before I graduated high school with
I was eager to see the celluloid exhibited before my eyes, yet we risked ambling down the wrong, uncharted paths to get there, stepping off the edge of the Earth, unknowing, unprepared, unpenciled in.
I hated when that edge of the world thing happens, especially if a Woody Woodpecker cartune® might be sacrificed amidst the abrupt schedule change and Bactine.
Mother said I was ready to venture forth to view the afternoon's entertainment, as she buckled and snapped the baby blue parachute pack across my soon-to-Jujube childlike body.
I exited through the doorway to start the fancy toddling trek to the cinema, swiveling my noggin to facilitate a gaze into our abode.
"Allow a candle to flame in yon window, Mater," I beseeched. "I shall return, if my adorable being of innocent blondeness shall not cannonball into the abyss."
"You have your chute," Mother invoked.
"Might I utter a first and final "shoot" if I fall?" I asked, fluttering the lashes.
"S--t," corrected Pater.
"Shoot!" corrected dear Ma-ma. "Not until you stumble off the Earth when you grow elder, my sunniest of sons."
"Chute?" I asked for clarification.
"Shoot," she said.
"Shoot," I confirmed.
"Who's on first?"
"Shoo 2," she appended, second in the series. "Go, my trophy."
"My stern, yet loving queen, I bid you adieu and eventually in stud poker."
"You want me to knock the Dickens outta you?" me olde man barked. "Go!"
Top hat and gloves in hand, "Do not forsake me, prehensile Pa-pa. I am off. My fate shall be thy Glenn Ford's will."
I saw the movie.
I grew up.
I grew horizontal.
I wrote this.
And that's pretty much it.
I would enjoy watching the picture show again, but, with my spiraling age, the chances this same flick could somehow become the last movie I ever see are daunting.
Message to Self: Don't go near the "Don't Go Near the Water."
Image via MoviePoster.com