Saturday, April 19, 2008

Popcorn and a Movie


9" x 12"


What would Saturday be without a good, ole fashioned "shoot em up" movie, and, of course, popcorn has to go with that. Thank goodness for the old movie and western channels on tv, and things like tapes of those wonderful old shows.

Of course, Tim Holt was, and still is, my favorite. We had some pretty good arguments about who was best, Roy Rogers or Tim Holt, when we were growing up. Tim was right up there, in the movie magazines, with Roy, and sometimes, Gene Autrey was in the top, too.

This past week, I was looking at some things on You Tube and then tried doing a search. I was so thrilled to find some clips from some of the Tim Holt movies! I hope I can figure out how to use the things I saved and can go back and watch them again.

Also found old Gene Autrey and Roy Rogers music and parts of shows. And I went on to find things like clips from "The Pirates of Penzance".

Now if I could just watch the whole movies on my computer! (The sound isn't too good on my bedroom tv, so, if I can get things on the computer, that's a plus.) I could go in the den and watch on the big tv, but my computer is not there.

I'm not happy with what the Western channels are doing-putting old tv programs on instead of the movies. I never did like "Big Valley", "Bat Masterson", or "The Rifleman". And I got really sick of "Gunsmoke", back in those days. Didn't care for most of the tv westerns. Of course, we had to watch because we only got about 2 stations on tv! So people watched whatever was on in the evenings, especially.

Those old 1930s-1950s westerns were the best. They should put those old tv programs on the channels that have the old tv programs, and not the movie channels.

There are a few of the newer westerns that were pretty good, but they still can't beat those old cowboy shows we used to watch at the Eloia. I like the ones with James Garner and Peter Graves. Those have sort of grown on me. I didn't care for them when they first came out, but, now, after seeing them on tv several times, I kind of enjoy them.

I thought that one of those old tv shows stations was going to have the really old shows that I enjoy like "Our Miss Brooks", "Dobie Gillis", "My Little Margie", and those kind of programs. But, it wasn't long before we got the "new" shows, like "Leave It To Beaver", "The Brady Bunch", and "I Love Lucy". Now we get those and even newer shows like "Roseanne" and "George Lopez", and "All In The Family". I guess those are okay, but others just cause my poor thumb to get tired from changing channels with the remote.

I can't think of any particular movie of Tim's that was my favorite. I loved all of his westerns. And he was so cute, I could have just watched those shows, over and over. Still could!

I think that the only movie that I didn't like was "Treasure of the Sierra Madre". The story was good, and I do appreciate it more now than I did when it came out. But I hated that beard on Tim. Hid his pretty face! (Well, I just don't like beards and mustaches on anyone.)

I used to have photo albums full of pictures of movie stars and a special album just of Tim. Also had stacks of movie magazines and comic books that my mother threw out when I went off to college.

It was such a thrill to get those movie star pictures in the mail. We could just write a fan letter, addressed to the star in Hollywood, California, with a 2 cent stamp on it, and, soon, we would get a picture, often autographed, back in the mail. I sent off letters at least every week! Sometimes, stars would send us a picture that we didn't even write for. I remember that I had one of Vera Ellen, with a nice message on it. I had not written to her. And I was so excited to find that, when I jumped off a porch into some wet shrubs, with my photo in hand, that the ink actually smeared. That was "the test" to know if someone actually signed it or if it had just been stamped. I had a similar picture from Nina Fochs, with real ink on it. (I didn't even know who she was, so I knew that I had not written a fan letter to her.) Wish I still had those wonderful albums.

One of my treasures, now, is the biography of Tim Holt. Lots of pictures and stories. I sat down, when that book came, and read it straight through. (Unlike the biography of Robert E. Lee that I have been reading a little bit of at a time for at least 10 years, and I'm only about half way through! I am determined that I am going to finish it, one of these days.)

The Eloia was catty cornered from Grandpa's dry goods store, so I would watch through the big plate glass show windows for time to go across the street to the picture show on Saturday afternoons. I could see the colorful popcorn machine, with its colored lights, reflecting against the white building , rolled out from behind a blonde wooden door for each show. Carl Jr., when he was at home, would pop and sell the popcorn, while his mother, Eloise, took up tickets, and his father, Carl Sr., would sweep and take up tickets. Carl or Carl Jr. would run the projector upstairs. They all took turns walking up and down the aisles during the show to make sure that everyone behaved and didn't leave a mess. They only sold small sacks of popcorn for a nickle. For drinks, we had a chilled water fountain. If you wanted a Coke, you had to wait and go to the drugstore or to a grocery store after the show.

Sometimes, I had to help at the store and couldn't go to the show, and, believe me, I was wanting Grandpa to tell me, "Things are slow. Here's a quarter. Go on to the show."

But, even when things were slow, there were usually jobs to be done, like stringing handkerchiefs or putting pin tickets on merchandise, or just straightening things. Sometimes I would entertain myself by trying on the hats in the three way mirror, or sit by myself in the ladies changing room, dusting or sweeping, and just dream. Or I might sit on the floor at the edge of the show window and watch the people on the street, hoping to see a friend or a cute boy go by. That was the spot where Grandma and the other ladies who worked elected to sit while they strung handkerchiefs or put prices on merchandise. When Toot worked, she would sometimes sit there and write letters, when there were no customers or jobs to do.

The men tended to sit around the center of the store near the stove and the cash register. There were chairs and a bench there. A good place to gossip and swap stories.

If someone felt bad or just got extra sleepy, there were two shoe benches in the shoe department, where people sat to try on shoes.

When I could go to the show, sometimes I made the rounds at the grocery store in back ,and the dry goods store. A nickle from each person would get me into the show and buy me some popcorn, with a nickle left over to go to the drugstore afterward for a Coke or a scoop of ice cream. If I came up a nickle short, tears would usually bring me the extra money I needed.

After I started getting actually paid to work, my 50 cents a day, and later a dollar a day, would take care of my needs for a 12 cent tube of lipstick and picture shows and drugstore for the week.

We didn't always have cowboy shows on Saturday. Sometimes we had things like "The Three Stooges", or "Tarzan" movies. Usually all black and white movies during the week, with the technicolor movies saved for Sunday.

It still doesn't seem like Saturday without a good cowboy show, though.

And, now, I have to add that, Saturday night doesn't seem right without "Last of the Summer Wine" and other British comedies.

"Popcorn", the drawing above, was done with pencil on Canson acid free paper. This is a sketch made as a preliminary work for a challenge issued by Myrna Wacknov.

The challenge is to draw popcorn, then look at it to see what you can see in it. Something like looking at clouds to see what you can find there. The boys made popcorn while they watched a movie, so I borrowed a few kernels to use for my project. I haven't completed the finished work of what I see in the popcorn, however. But I do see lots of shapes and possiblities in what I have drawn.

And, like the homework story, somehow, the dog got my little ziplock bag of popcorn that I had drawn, and tore a big hole in it, leaving me with smashed kernels on the floor. (Good thing I was not using it as a still life!) And, fortunately, I can use my imagination to complete the picture/s.


Stork Update

I've added another stork cam under Stork Sites. This one is in Hungary. Click on Hungarian Cam to watch.

The nest in Przygodzic now has 5 eggs in it! Now we must wait patiently for them to hatch. Meanwhile, we can watch Mama and Papa stork as they take turns tending to the eggs.


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