Smartin', Missing the Martin

I relocated to Marietta, GA, a northwestern suburb of Atlanta, in 1974. One of the first things I did in anticipation of the move was to discover all of the motion picture theatres in the area. There were three drive-ins operated by Martin Theatres, plus five or six assorted hardtops. If my memory is correct, the first film I saw in Marietta was Mel Brooks' "Blazing Saddles" on its opening day in '74. The comedy was showing inside the Town & Country on Roswell Rd., near U.S. 41.

It wasn't until recently that I learned there had been another drive-in theatre, Martin's Martin on Roswell Rd. This vintage photograph may have been snapped as early as Sept. 1955 when the feature attraction, "My Sister Eileen" with Janet Leigh, Jack Lemmon, and Betty Garrett, was released.

By the time I arrived in town, the Martin Drive-in had been demolished and redeveloped into the New London Square Shopping Center, which exists to this day, as seen in the color images I shot along the busy, expanded five-lane thoroughfare in April.

Ironically, the left edge of the Martin Drive-in's real estate was adjacent to the auditorium where I viewed "Blazing Saddles."

Here's another irony involving this property, previously unknown to us.

My Sister EileenBlazing Saddles [Blu-ray]
My wife and I have been long-time customers at the health food market situated along the bottom of the old drive-in's amphitheatre. I love their vegan-buttered popcorn, vegan corn dogs, Vegan Duds, and a large barrel-sized Tofu Diet Sprite.

Children under 12 admitted free.

I also shop in my jammies, in case I get sleepy before it's over.

Martin Drive-in photo via Chicken Fat; color shots by Mike Durrett, 2011.


Big Weekend

Big weekend, lunching with warthogs. 

No Tipping! 

Home Teat Home.


Here's Joe Cool Hanging Around the Dollar Store Eyeing Chicks

Continued From: "Meanwhile...

After purchasing cat bowls to appease the furry gaping maws at home, I looked for place mats to go under their food.

Nothing dresses up appetizing floorboards beneath the coat hooks like a piece of cheap plastic with kitty paw print designs splotched on it.

I found zilch suitable for the pets.

But for me, SCORE!!



We required four new food bowls to serve our cats adequately, so Father Goose, as the wife calls me, along with the alternate sweetheart appellation Guts o' Thunder & Cheese, plus the unnecessary For Whom the Bed Toils, headed off to do the shopping.

I found the ideal dishes, but there were only three labeled worthy of kitties, so I was forced to purchase one intended for another culture.

"Hey, these bowls look identical to me," I said, in case continuity might be needed later. "No one will ever be the wiser. I shall check-out now and leave my camera operative and handy, in case a cute photo opportunity makes itself available when I unpack the merchandise back at the abode."

Someone's feline intuition and evil eye went directly to the offending vessel. I got into the car and returned the dog bowl to the market, where I upgraded Morty to a cat gravy boat and the obligatory accessory, an official tabby captain's hat.



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Guess what? My cats still love me. They had a meeting.

A year ago today, we friends were riding mules to the bottom of the Grand Canyon - and taking ibuprofen. I guess that was our hippie period.

I've lost four pounds, which will make my doctor happy, one pound per week. As a user, I'd like it go faster. I crave user-friendly fat!

My doc dissed my weight. I said, "You're looking at a 300-lb man in the wild. I'm doing great 2B only 200." Said he never heard that one B4.

Reading: JENNIFER ANISTON TO BE FETED FOR A DECADE OF HOTNESS, like me. Well, I'm being feted for a Decade of Puddings.

When The Rapture canceled, we watched RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. Hey, I have to get my religion somewhere.

My site's host had a 20.5 hr. outage, reverting to a days-old edition, not the latest post. I fired off a letter to the IT guy, Marty McFly.

I hate when the orange juice says "Concentrate." Now, I'll be thinking about it all day....

Item: Disney earned $28.6B in 2010 on licensed merchandise. Not bad, if you don't consider a Dumbo shirt & Tinkerbell wand cost $7.2B each.

I'm sensitive to the unsightliness of ear hair. I do the periodic cochlea comb-out with a part down the Eustachian. And, I cowlick my incus.

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Big Weekend

Big weekend, sidestepping Rapture Hell, only to plop down into Season Tickets Hell.

We were forked "Hair" in our Broadway shows package. Let the lameness, let the lameness in.


How bad?

I fell asleep during the nude scene.

That is 100% the truth.

And I was happy about it.

This is the yawning of the stage of nefarious.


Just Sittin' Around Still Waitin' for the Rapture

Diary Entry, May 21, 2011, 5:55 p.m.

The Rapture to begin at 6 p.m. and then stay tuned for an all-new "House," Monday on FOX. Viewer discretion is advised.

Diary Entry, May 21, 2011, 5:56 p.m.

Gonna squeeze in an oldie by Skeeter Davis.

I always liked the name Skeeter. There's no time like the present. Call me Skeeter. Heaven, I shall be a delight!

Second thought, don't. In Hell, I'll be flyswattered.

Skeeter Davis: "The End of the World" via YouTube

Diary Entry, May 21, 2011, 5:59 p.m.

The Last Scuppernong.

Diary Entry, May 21, 2011, 10:49 p.m.

Crawled out from under the electric blanket under the bed. Took a look-see. I wanna thank God for making my quarters an exact replica of our place back on Earth. This is surprising and welcoming and Heaven, as Donna and our kitties are here, also.

Wonder if there is any half-eaten, leftover exact replica Velveeta in the fridge?...

Diary Entry, May 21, 2011, 10:53 p.m.

Wife, playing Sudoku, on the couch on the Earth. She says The Rapture is a no-show.

I unsuck gut.

"Maybe it's coming AMTRAK?"

Diary Entry, May 21, 2011, 10:54 p.m.

The Ventures: "Wipe Out!" via YouTube

Thanks to Charlie Flashbacks.


Just Sittin' Around Waitin' for The Rapture

And, maybe, a Pepsi. 

There's bad news / good news, depending on how you look at it, plus good news.

The bad news / good news: The world will end today.

The good news: I've got season tickets to "Hair" for tomorrow.

Did me some Twitter...

Packing wax lips, Tic Tacs, and Hula Hoop for The Rapture... Also, Trivial Pursuit: Earth Edition...

Frank, I've got your DVDs ready to mail, but waiting to go to the post office until Monday. Don't wanna waste any money on stamps, you know, in case.

Collecting the used kitty litter and driving it to the dump this afternoon. The Crapture.

I'm told the fun hits at 6 p.m. Eastern. Is that Daylight Saving Time and/or Soul Saving Time?

I'm skeered. I figure my wife goes to Heaven and I'm in Hell. The 7:15 "Pirates of the Caribbean 4." God, help me.

Worried I'll be separated from my cats. Who will take care of me? I have no grooming skills.

Best of wishes to you,

Your Pal,

At the Help Desk

P.S. Meanwhile, at Twitter...

With The Rapture coming, I'd like to close with a little song...

There R chix just ripe 4 some kissin'
& I mean 2 kiss me a few!
Then those chix don't know what they're missin',
I got a lot of living 2 do!


Nyah, Nyah, Nyah, I Saw 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' Before You Did!

Raiders of the Lost ArkImage via WikipediaThirty years ago this morning, I hopped into the car and drove to my job at the Lenox Square Theatre in Atlanta. I was the projectionist on duty for the 10 a.m. exhibitors' presentation of a forthcoming Paramount release, "Raiders of the Lost Ark." This closed-to-the-public show was part of a routine practice to allow competitors to view and consider a given film's potential before they bid money to acquire the motion picture for their cinemas. The process was akin to an auction.

Usually, anywhere from one or two to a couple of dozen corporate representatives were in attendance to see a bid screening. For "Raiders," high expectations had amassed. The 300-seat auditorium was packed, and the audience overflowed into standing room spaces. My projection booth was on the floor level, so I could step outside the door to monitor the film with the audience. I found a cozy spot to sit on the nasty carpet in the aisle.

The reaction to the movie was riotous throughout. I don't recall witnessing an industry response like that one before or since.

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (Special Edition)Indiana Jones - The Complete Adventure Collection (Raiders of the Lost Ark/ Temple of Doom/ Last Crusade/ Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)
I was triply tickled. I saw the picture three weeks before the U.S. release date. I enjoyed it immensely -- and I got paid three hours of overtime to watch!

"Raiders of the Lost Ark" opened at the Lenox and several locations throughout the metro area on June 12, 1981. We played the adventure at our theatre until Christmas. I personally projected the 35mm print 16-20 or more times weekly for six-plus months. Three decades later, the film continues to unspool in my head. I see it. I hear it.

Where do I turn in my payroll?

I've got 29½ years of overtime coming.

"Raiders of the Lost Ark" Original Theatrical Trailer via YouTube


'The Flintstones: On the Rocks'

The Flintstones - The Complete First SeasonThe Flintstones: The Complete Series
Television animation mogul Seth MacFarlane ("Family Guy," "American Dad," "The Cleveland Show") has closed a deal to reboot "The Flintstones," Hanna-Barbera's 50-year-old franchise. New TV episodes go into production this fall for broadcast on FOX beginning in 2013.

What's been lost in the news is Cartoon Network's 2001 reboot by way of a one-shot TV film, "The Flintstones: On the Rocks."

Poster jiggerfool writes on YouTube:

In format, the movie was intended to emulate the first season of the series, which was distinctly more mature and aimed at older audiences than the later seasons, and therefore chose to focus more on the relationships between the original core cast of Fred, Barney, Wilma, and Betty.

As an early adopter of "The Flintstones" in 1960, I can say this movie is a fascinating, funny, 21st-century twist from an alternate universe.

Here is the video in five sections. I'll go power up the monkeys and woolly mammoths in the generator room....

"The Flintstones: On the Rocks" Part 1 via YouTube

"The Flintstones: On the Rocks" Part 2 via YouTube

"The Flintstones: On the Rocks" Part 3 via YouTube

"The Flintstones: On the Rocks" Part 4 via YouTube

"The Flintstones: On the Rocks" Part 5 via YouTube


Meet the Neighbors

They were neighing in this yard, one recent morning, when I drove by. I raced home, several blocks down the road, to grab the camera, but the residents were nowhere to be seen when I returned.

I guess they'd trotted off. What the hay?

Or, maybe, they simply did not care to meet you.

It happens.

I've looked for the neighbors again and again ever since. There were no appearances.

They must really not like you.


Meanwhile... Big Weekend

Cat photos: Where's Morty?

Morty had a doctor's appointment for his annual medical physical. 

No clues. Where's Morty? 

A Box Full of Morty strikes a pose.

"They are going to take my temperature, aren't they?"

Temperature: Normal. Fecal Sample Fetcher: Long. Way long. Too long. Heart: Normal. Teeth: Good. Weight: 9.5 pounds--

"Wait! Are those needles?!"

"Home, Jeeves! Step on it!!


Off the Wall

Saving Facebook: My Confessions: 

On Beach Vacations, Growing Up: 

Brother Bob 
Remember Bingo nites? 

Yes, Bingo Nights, entombed in a stale community room, inhaling noxious purple clouds of grizzled blue hairs' Marlboro smoke, hacking up my lungs at age 7, retrieving the chunks with a pickle fork prize I won "under the N, 31."

Good times.

Winning fabulous merchandise for our closet, that's what Bingo Nights were all about. One can never acquire too many unopened Fry Daddys.

Have I lived the talk?


Ahh, yes. Glad I dredged up those memories for you.

*cough cough*

On the Flowbee Hair Cutter:

Friend Bob
My hair just got Flowbeed.

Do they even make those things anymore?

I think the Flowbee has gone the way of the Edsel, asbestos and jelly sandwiches, and Frances Bavier.

On Hitchcock Movies:

Alfred Hitchcock Geek
Imagine you've never seen a Hitchcock film in your life. You get handed a list of Hitchcock titles (no graphics, no credits) and are told you get to pick one movie to see. Based on title alone, what's it going to be?...

Based entirely on the title and with no specific knowledge of Hitchcock or his films, DIAL M FOR MURDER.


Of course, although not his pictures and with me not knowing anything, I would first go see FLUFFY and FLIPPER.

Heck, I would not be able to physically resist SON OF FLUBBER for any reason whatsoever.

On Holiday:

Friend Jessica
Happy Friday the 13th!!!

Does Domino's deliver under the bed?

On Whatever:

Friend Gary
The man with the foolish grin is sitting perfectly still.

Oop. I blinked. Sorry.


Double Feature Talking Animals: 'Ultimate Dog Tease' and 'Talking Cats Play Pattycake'

We watched "My Brother Talks to Horses" (1947). A boy communicates with animals, but nobody's mouth moves. It's all mind-reading. I call "FAKE!"

Now, these critters actually do talk! You can hear them. Watch.

Oh, and, if you must know, my lips move when I type.

"Ultimate Dog Tease" via YouTube

"Talking Cats Play Pattycake" via YouTube



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I hold in my hand tickets to SHREK: THE MUSICAL. I know you are green with envy, whilst I am green with ogre & the o. is with my green.

I'm told today is Lumpy Rug Day. Why would anyone tell me this?.. Guess I should dig out the rake. I think it's in the chunky sofa cushions.

RIP Dana Wynter (INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, 1956). I can't sleep.

Well, that was interesting. Today, I saw THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST & SCRAT'S CONTINENTAL CRACK-UP. I'm just glad the reels weren't mixed up.

Ooo! I've got an appointment to get my hair cut! It will be swell! There will be 'poo! I cannot wait! I've been collecting the whole series!

Underwent grueling haircut 11 hrs. ago. Very nice, but I'm not giving up this chair without my lolly! Grape, please. Hope it's a Saf-T-Pop.

Dodged & waited out tornadoes to get home tonight. It meant sacrificing, waiting in QuikTrips, eating bear claws. I'll get over it. Mmmm...

Letter from an attorney ... Gack! The cobwebs in my office are to come down to make way for a new Walmart.

Retrieved our cats from their weekend in the animal clinic's Kitty Condo. Still not speaking to me. Morty pawed over his pettifogger's card.

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100 Things About Me #182

Dawn of the Dark 
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.

Within a few days, my people informed me there was a movie theatre half a mile from our rental mansion (starter set).

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 honors popcorn.

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."

"Don't Go Near the Water" (1957) Original Theatrical Trailer via YouTube

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

100 Things: #1 | Previous | Next


Meanwhile... Big Weekend

Cat photos: Where's Morty?

Big weekend with quite the excitement.

One of our cats, Fella, was intently spellbound when an unattached litter box hood mysteriously moved about our second-story porch!

I haven't witnessed anything like that since the kitties' Ouija seance.

Frankly, the apparition gave me the vapors. I have to tell you.

I wish Morty could have seen it. He would have been enthralled. He must have been in hiding. Where, I dunno.


Double Feature Mommies: 'That's My Mommy' and Mr. T's 'Treat Your Mother Right'

I've been thinking about my mom today. 

There were two obsessions that woman adored: pre-Yakky Doodle impostor ducks and Mr. T talkin' the luv, foo! 

Tom and Jerry in "That's My Mommy" (William Hanna, Joseph Barbera, 1955) via YouTube

"Mr. T's "Treat Your Mother Right"" via YouTube

Thanks to GoldenAgeCartoons.com and Charlie Flashbacks


No No Pants Day!

Happiness Is a Warm Puppy, No Pants Day 2010
People, who know me and fine legs, know that I absolutely adore the first Friday in May, the annual Springy occasion of dignity, and haunch breeze: No Pants Day!

Well, this year, I forgot and wore pants, as usual, causing assorted prickly heats, plus sog problems in the shower, as usual.

I guess I simply lost my place in the grand procession of No Thongs Day, No Spanx Day, No PajamaJeans Day, No Hoodie-Footies Day, No Alpha Bunny Ears and Slimming Cottontail Day, and so forth.

Oh, hey, sorry. Allow me to make it up to you....


"Beach Dog" via YouTube

"Panting Cat" via YouTube

"Panting Baby" via YouTube

Previously: No Pants Day 2010 | No Pants Day 2008 | No Pants Day 2004 via About.com


Thoughts During 'Shrek: the Musical'

It ain't exactly "Ogre-homa!" 

It's not a thing like "Wicked" -- cough cough -- with its green-skinned characters, silly songs, and tongue-in-cheek fairy tale humor.

It is EXACTLY like my Gretl in "The Sound of Music!" Farquaad performs the entire play on his knees, JUST LIKE ME!!

This is not one of my favorite things.

See you in court, shrimp. And that brings us back to dough.


Slackjaw Dumbstruck: Cha Sun Chong et al. - 'Our Kindergarten Teacher'

Well, sure. I could do this, too, if I had 10 thumbs.

Guitar Ensemble - "Our Kindergarten Teacher" by Kindergarten of Ch'ŏngam-guyŏk, Ch'ŏngjin-si, DPR Korea via YouTube and TVKim

I'm not even that nimble sitting.

Oh, but I've got the legs for it....


What the Heck Was I Thinking?

Actual Messages I Wrote, Forgot, Then Found While Cleaning Out My Correspondence Folders 


Glad you all had a good time and returned safe. I can't see anything at your house because of the leaves, which I think are thicker than ever this year. I did hear the weed-whacker (I'm guessing) several times. I was concerned at first, but then it didn't make much sense that vandals would sneak in and do yard work.


I hope this gross injury has corrected itself. You may need a Smurf Band-Aid.


All you need now are bangs and a two-part beard.


Did you hear that?

Bob Zany just got to move up one.


Uh, oops. My bad. I misread your email. I meant no harm. I'll be over to wax your creek rocks at dawn.


He has split.

I think that's from the Bible.


Behind the Scenes: The Making of 'Double Feature Kitties: "Bathing in a Bucket" and "Sad Cat"'

There's been quite a controversy over the personal photographs taken during Morty's production meeting for his recent video post, "Double Feature Kitties: 'Bathing in a Bucket' and 'Sad Cat.' The barrage of questions from his fans and the lame-stream media on whether Morty would release the pictures or not can be put to rest. Here are the graphic, untouched shapshots, an emotional CONFIDENTIAL exclusive.

Even after repeat viewings, Morty was distraught over the plight of the poor wet baby in the bucket. Morty is shown checking for a fever.

Emergency tissues were delivered to avert a stream of pussycat tears shorting the ampersand. Wacky puppy-faced emoticons were not so fortunate.

Puffs Plus Lotion Facial Tissues, 56-Count, 6 Boxes
Morty refused a Puffs eye dab, claiming my Puff reference was blatant speciesism.

Apologies to all cats named Puff, past, present, and future.

Also, all cats named Kleenex, just in case.


Big Weekend

Big weekend, visiting the old courthouse in Monroeville, AL. 

We came to see "To Kill a Mockingbird," staged on the lawn, two small blocks from where the novel's author, Harper Lee, grew up.

The second act was performed inside the courtroom which inspired the story.

Afterward, a dream was fulfilled....

To Kill a Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary EditionTo Kill a Mockingbird (Universal Legacy Series)
I met and posed with the ham suit.

Photos by Donna Durrett
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