Monday, January 13, 2014

The Creature From The Black Lagoon

January 13, 2014
   Worked all weekend on The 66 Kid, culling memories from my youth and trying to get them down on paper, both in words and in drawings. This is from a section called "Swede City Sojourn."

The Creature From The Black Lagoon Scares Local Twit
    Swea City, Iowa had a ramshackle movie theater that used to be an opera house. In 1955 the theater was on its last legs because of TV. In it's heyday, the theater would show a Swedish film once a year to cater to the Scandanavian proclivities of the old-timers who still missed the Old Country.

  One night when I was eight I went with some friends to see "The Creature From The Black Lagoon." We were the only people in the audience. About a third of the way in, my friends bailed on me and went home. I was all alone in the creepy old place and the Creature was knocking off people right and left. During one of the scariest parts, the projectionist came down and tapped me on the shoulder and said he wanted to go home and they were going to shut off the movie. I had to walk four blocks to my house. Giant trees lined the street, swaying ominously overhead, casting long, shadow tentacles at my feet. I have never been so scared in my life.

Daily Whipout: "The Creature From Swea City, Iowa"

   When we moved back to Kingman in February of 1956 my father took over a new kind of super station, a Flying A with a big arrow that lit up and came on in an animated motion, calling out to everyone on Route 66 to Come On In! I was so taken with the sign, that one night, while up at my grandmother's house on Jefferson Street, my cousin Robert Jerl Stockbridge, and I, stood out in the cold and just watched the sign do its thing:

Daily Whipout: "Flying A Sign Worship"

   And yes, I am wearing my Little League uniform. I was so proud of being on a team—The Oddfellow Yankees—I often wore it to family functions. I know, weird, but hey, I was a weird kid. Well, maybe not by Kingman standards, but you know what I mean.

"The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand things well."
—Horace Walpole