Unfinished Business…

This being the first week of the A to Z Challenge, I let a few things slide, so I want to clear all that up now…

In last week’s Battle of the Bands, we had Jackie DeShannon up against The Ramones in the battle over who did the song "Needles and Pins" better. Several of you voted for The Searchers’ version, and yes, theirs was the most popular version, and had they been in the running, they would have won easily, which is why they weren’t. Here are the results:

Jackie DeShannon – 5

  • Cathy
  • Birgit
  • Willow
  • Arlee
  • Mary

The Ramones – 2

  • Stephen
  • Ed

Congratulations to Jackie and a pat on the back to The Ramones, and might as well give one to The Searchers. The Next battle will be this Friday, April 15.

The subject for Maggie’s and Lauren’s Throwback Thursday was "going to the movies."

Do you remember specific times you went to indoor movies or drive in theatres? Do you remember the first time for either? Oddly enough, I’ve never been to a drive-in movie. There weren’t any around, really.

The first movie I can remember going to was for a friend’s birthday. It was a double feature, one of which featured Sinbad (the character, not the stand-up comic, who would have been my age, and who wants to see a movie about a seven-year-old?) and the other might or might not have been Flipper. The Sinbad movie was bloody and violent and I think I had nightmares from it.

The first I can remember going to with my folks was Mary Poppins. It was not bloody or violent and did not give me nightmares. I found out years later that Matthew Garber, who played one of the Banks children, was born the same day I was. I feel a certain bond with the movie as a result, and can even forgive them for casting Dick Van Dyke, who had the worst Cockney accent in the world, as Bert.

Both of those experiences were when I was about seven or eight.

Do you remember going with friends and not parents? When I was in eighth grade, my class, which had just read excerpts of Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes, went to see Charly, the movie based on the book, which starred Cliff Robertson. I went to several movies with friends in high school, including Alfred Hitchcock’s Frenzy and Deliverance (which we had just read in English class). I went to see American Graffiti by myself, I remember.

Then there was the night that a couple of friends and I went to see Gone With The Wind at one of the more artsy theaters in Rogers Park (the neighborhood of Chicago I gew up in). I don’t think we realized just how stinkin’ long that movie is. Naturally, we started cutting up. It’s a wonder we didn’t get thrown out.

Please share one or more experiences about going to the movies. We would go to Delavan, Wisconsin for vacation every year, and usually on the last night we were there we went to the movie. I can remember some of the movies we saw: The Patsy with Jerry Lewis, How To Steal A Million with Peter O’Toole and Audrey Hepburn, The Party with Peter Sellers, and Hombre with Paul Newman. That was kind of a bummer, but the theater also ran a "Chilly Willy" cartoon that had all of us on the floor, laughing. Well, not exactly on the floor, but it was funny.

Then there was the Saturday night when Mom and her fiancé were going out to see the movie Mame with Lucille Ball. I wasn’t doing anything, and my brothers were out, so I asked if I could tag along. They sat in one part of the theater, I sat back in the smoking section.

I understand Fandango’s Provocative Question was a rerun:

Is technological advancement a net positive or a net negative?

You know what? I’m going to say it’s a net zero. In other words, the pros and cons tend to cancel each other out. For example, all the good that social media has done in bringing old friends and families together has resulted in all the bad of people being at each other’s throats, probably because they realize just why they hadn’t spoken to each other in so long. The good that wind-powered electricity generation has brought us has resulted in birds being chopped to death and the eyesore of all those damn windmills.

Maybe the reason we end up in messes like this is because the people who thought of these things never give enough consideration to the potential harm. But that’s just me.

I think I owe Christine an apology for not participating in her Simply Six Minutes on a regular basis. It’s just that I have trouble using many of the prompts. Not being a fiction writer, I see a picture like the one above (this week’s prompt) and draw a complete blank. I took a look this afternoon, and something sprang to mind: it’s a rhinocerooster! But I’m pretty sure someone thought of that already…

13 thoughts on “Unfinished Business…

  1. JOHN ~

    I’m surprised The Ramones didn’t do better in this contest.

    Granted, their version was a surprise to me, but having heard it, I thought it would give Jackie’s rendition some trouble but… nope.

    I guess that’s why we run these Battles, because ain’t no such thing as a sure thing. I believe music is the biggest mystery in the universe.

    ~ D-FensDogG


  2. I remember my dad gathering us all together to watch ABC Sunday at the movies which was at noon. They were showing King Kong(1933) and I was enthralled with the film. I loved Fay Wray’s costume when she is to scream(on the boat). I was transfixed when the T-Rex and Kong battle it out and was scared out of my mind when the big spider got a hold of some men when Kong tossed them off the big log. (this is before that part became “lost” footage but has since been found). I think my dad wanted us to see it because it was his “Star Wars” for that time. He would have been 20 when he saw that movie.
    We would go to the drive-in and my dad wanted to see “Tidal Wave” starring Lorne Greene. We got there early and saw the ending of this movie that was set during the middle ages with the 30 yrs War or 100 yrs war going on and the plague. A “witch” was being burned at the stake. I was blown away by the story and was in search of it since that time. I found it and now have the DVD of it-“The Last Valley” starring Omar Sharif and Michael Caine.
    I would go with a friend to see some movies like Grease or ET but I also liked going obn my own during the matinee. I watched a lot of older movies on TV especially Elwy Yost’s “A Night at the Movies” which had a double feature and he nabbed some impressive guests to discuss the films between the 2 films. It was excellent.


    1. The T Rex you’re talking about is Godzilla. “King Kong vs. Godzilla” is our favorite movie. That was the first movie we taped when we got our VCR. The tape bit the dust years ago, but the movie shows up on Svengoolie from time to time.


  3. Wow you did s great job catching up. Thanks for joining in. I am tickled with how many people are attached to Mary Poppins. I totally forgot about the smoking section.


  4. That’s the BOTB outcome I expected. Not that the Ramones version was bad or anything. And, yeah, the Searchers would have likely one if they’d been in the running.

    My parents used to take us movies quite frequently and when we were quite young. I remember a lot of the films we went to see, but I can’t remember the first. I don’t ever recall going to a drive-in movie until we moved to San Diego after I was 8 or so. We didn’t go to the drive-in that often, but later after high school my friends and I went to drive-in movies almost every week for a number of years. Saw a lot of films in drive-ins during those years.

    Last movie I saw outside my home–and that would be in an indoor theater–was The Passion of the Christ in 2004. Now it’s just too comfortable and economical to stay home and watch movies.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


    1. You can drop $50 easily at the movies, and well over $100 at the ballgame. If there’s a movie I want to see that badly (and so far there hasn’t been) I’ll rent it from Amazon Prime or YouTube.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. John, no need to apologize or feel badly if you don’t participate every week! Please feel free to join in simply by adding your opinion of the picture I have chosen. Some people don’t like certain pictures and others do. For example, one participant once told me that the cute animal pictures were used to often to tell stories from the “animals point of view”. Other people love writing them. Its all good…just for fun!


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