His name was Chip, as in “off the old block.” Black hair, dark eyes, a real cutie.If he had a real name, I don’t remember it. But he was the rabbi’s son and he asked me to go to the movies with him. I asked my mom and she talked to his mom (what were we — eight years old?) and so it was all arranged. When the big day arrived, it turned out to be more of a double date: Chip and me, his mom and his little brother. No one said it would be romantic. Two little kids, one twerpy little brother and an eagle-eyed mom along– hardly a dream date. But it was my first, and I was pretty excited about it. I may have mentioned it to everyone I knew.
We went to the old Mel’s Drive-in on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley for lunch. (Not the Mel’s that just closed, but the one that was a real drive-in). Then off we went to the movies.I have no idea why, but Chip’s mom took us to see “Our Man in Havana.” My recollection is that the three kids all fell asleep. Maybe that was the point.
Even the trailer makes me drowsy…
But thinking of movies reminds me of the first movie I ever saw: “The Wizard of Oz.” This would have been at a big screen theater (I guess they all used to be “big screen theaters”) in San Francisco.
|No sleeping through this one, even during the poppies scene|
I’ve seen the movie dozens of times since then, but the clearest memory I have is those scary flying monkeys and the green-faced witch. And those soldiers in the long coats. Yo wee ump, yee-ooh wump!
I was terrified and mesmerized.
A few years later, I played both Dorothy and the Wicked Witch in a twenty-minute, poorly-rehearsed version of this story for the amusement of the first and second graders at my school. I made long braids out of brown yarn that were bobby-pinned to my skull when I was Dorothy. My “I’m melting! I’m melting” scene was a real crowd-pleaser. I had much more fun than my friend who played Glinda the Good and everyone else.