Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mother Was . . .

. . . A Movie Critic

I've just read three blogs that seem to dwell on what I dwelt on last night - no great or specific ideas to write about.

I was about to write AGAIN that I was out of ideas, too tired and hot to worry about the challenge and so on. The temp's been just over 100 degrees today.

But then I opened the 1938 diary once more, hitting on August 25 and what did I find - 'Took the kids to the movies tonight" written by my SWEET sainted mother gone from me since 1983.

Seems like some amateur crew of movie makers touring the country, or maybe just New England, made a movie in Taunton, featuring local people, places and events. I vividly remember seeing them doing one scene, just one memorable scene.

These days it would be nothing anybody would think about twice but in those staid days of the early 20th century, it was probably considered scandalous and if my mother knew I'd watched it, there might have been a trip to the woodshed.

The movie was called "It Happened in Taunton." As I dredge my memory, it seems that the crew of moviemakers were in the city several days. So do you want to know about that scene I shouldn't have seen (I was 15 years old at the time)?

Well, it took place on School Street in the middle of downtown Taunton and featured the firemen in the Central Station, the oldest still-existing fire station in use in the United States, built sometime just after the Civil War in the mid 1800s.

That terrible scene featured a blond-haired lady jumping from a second story indow at the fire station into a big canvas rescue net held by maybe a dozen firemen.

That wasn't the scandalous part of the movie, however. That came, and I saw it, when the lady jumped and her dress flew up over her head, showing everything she had on under the dress, which if I remember right, wasn't much.

I never told Mother about seeing that part of the movie. There were some other scenes I probably saw too, like one that involved my neighbors Mary and Dan, but I don't recall anything but that flying skirt.

So anyway this particular night, Mother took me, Paul and Margery to see the show.

What a critic she was about it. She wrote one word -"PUNK".

My e-mail friend and fellow AAPA publisher Bill Venrick (now of Ohio) was involved in a similar movie although I don't know if it was called "It Happened In Hobbs" which is what led me to believe such movies were being made all around the country. This was in 1951 when he was a pastor of the church I currently attend in Hobbs.

He related he was a passenger in an aeroplane which flew around little old Hobbs on sightseeing tours for a few moments (Hobbs was a little place then, nothing like it is today) He has a copy of that movie.

Well, that idea from Mother's diary got me out of the doldrums. The other folks on the challenge have done their jobs also tonight, even though they, like me, were ready to throw in the towel. Congratulations!

- 30 -

1 comment:

  1. Way to go Old Newsie!! It has been a tough few days for blog ideas for some reason. I sure hope I'm going to be able to come up with some good ones during my sons visit next week. We plan to take lots of pictures so maybe I'll get lucky.

    Great blog by the way! I love to read about your younger days.