When I was quite young, (in the 40’s and early 50’s), the Waynedale Grade School was a place of great anticipation on Monday nights during the summer time. I don’t know who put the shows on, but every Monday night all the Waynedale kids would gather up blankets and chairs, make up popcorn, get candy from Gillispie’s Grocery Store, and head on over to the back of the school at dusk. There would be a truck with a projector. On the school a screen would be put up. It might have been a white sheet, or an actual screen. I no longer remember, but it was the highlight of the week. Only kids went, to the best of my recollection. It was back in the “safe” days when kids could go out at night and the adults weren’t worried about kidnappings and such. Later the big event was moved to the Waynedale Park.
My all time favorite movie, which I still think of to this day, was DESTINATION MOON. This was a thrill above all thrills. Space travel!!!! Think of it!!!! Of course none but the most progressive thinkers of us would imagine such a thing could ever happen. I remember the distortion of the faces as the rocket took off. The skin on their faces was stretched back so far they looked like monsters and their lips were so taut they couldn’t talk. What agony! What adventure! Well, as we watched with rapt attention, we knew such a thing was really only fantasy and that people couldn’t ever REALLY go into space in a rocket ship, but we were enraptured at the thought of it. I know all of the kids who lived in Waynedale at that time remember the free shows and especially Destination Moon! We had simple needs, and play was outside. We had no TV’s, and computers were not even a reality. We wouldn’t have known what the word meant. We were the adventurers and explorers of our world. If we wanted something, we made it ourselves, or saved money from our chores and bought it. My brothers made their own soapbox derby cars. Surely it was as big a thrill as the manufactured vehicles for kids of today. I think sometimes I am becoming one who is more enchanted with the past, than of the present. I went into an electronics store today with my husband and thought I had entered a world as strange as Destination Moon. I thought of my grandfather who yelled, “WHOA” as he pushed his foot on the gas pedal of the car his sons bought, and ran right through the barn, never to step foot in one of those new fangled things again. Going through the high tech store today made me relate to him. The world has become a place that has unfamiliar things in it. Things that kids understand. I know that, because all I saw in there were kids. Young kids and older kids. Is it possible that I am becoming an “old timer”? How fast the years go. How quickly progress is made. And how I yearn for a simpler time of free shows at the Waynedale School on Monday nights, homemade popcorn, and impossible dreams.
But, life moves on. Just as I laughed at the story of my grandfather and his first experience with a car, my grandchildren laugh at my lack of expertise in electronics and lack of knowledge of people I’ve never heard of. Especially rock stars. I couldn’t name one of them if my life depended on it. Elvis is as modern as I get. I wonder if this is a normal phase of life. I wonder if you reach a phase where nothing is familiar anymore. Good heavens!!! I certainly hope not!
Love to my Waynedale friends,
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