Saturday, June 25, 2011

On the Way to the Movies

On our way to the movie theater this afternoon, my daughter and I talked. Certainly, we covered many topics, but the ones that I remember involve my childhood. Especially the differences between our current media consumption and mine, thirty-some years ago when I was her age.

You see, we had three good television channels and a couple independent broadcasters. Everyone watched those three channels. Since we were on our way to a Disney movie, I mentioned that one of my favorite shows was the Wonderful World of Disney. Every Sunday night my family would gather in the living room to watch it. I really liked it when they showed cartoons.

I explained that, when I was a kid, we could only see cartoons at certain times on certain days. We didn't have entire channels devoted to them! Having fewer choices lead, paradoxically, to watching a greater variety of programs.

But we were on our way to a movie, so I had to mention drive-in movies. There were rows of speakers set in a wide, gravel parking lot. A huge screen, under which was a playground. A low, central building that housed the projector, restrooms, and snack bar.

I liked going with Kevin. His parents had a station wagon! You know the drill. You back the station wagon into the spot, put down the tailgate, and sit with your feet dangling. The speaker hung from the car window would crackle and squawk a bit, always tinny, but you didn't care.

There was no better summer fun than eating a hot dog served in a paper boat, watching Godzilla fight Megalon from the back of a station wagon.

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