Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Community, part 3

This is a comment by Land of Shimp, left on a post of mine last week about drive-ins.  Such a wonderful, self contained narrative, and such a startling final image, I just had to post it.  Thanks, Shimp.  Now it's a memory of mine.

My grandmother, long gone now, told me a story about the first drive-in she ever went to, many years previously, in the forties. She and my grandfather were in Oklahoma, as my grandfather was covering another teacher's year long leave.

There had been a terrible drought in the area, and the entire community feared for the growing season. A new drive-in opened in town, and as happens with new attractions, just about everyone for miles showed up, ready for the feature when...and you knew this was began to bucket down rain.

Everyone got out of their cars, and danced around in the rain, cheering, clapping as Joan Crawford towered overhead.

That was long before I was born, and I never even met my grandfather, but it's the strangest thing, that's my most powerful memory of a drive-in. One I wasn't even witness to.

Community reaching across time, eh? I can see it in my mind, Crawford's rather severe face, obscured by long prayed for rain.
Crawford's stern face hanging in the air like a disapproving God, as the community celebrates below.  Lovely.


Shayna Prentice said...

This is truly splendid.

ArtSparker said...

Great story. I like it when my commenters write my posts, heh.

meno said...

What a lovely image. It's a little surprising that Crawford's eyebrows didn't shield everyone from the rain though.

Fresca said...

Terrific! Some memories play like a movie in your mind--this is one such.

slommler said...

Beautiful story!

Hilary said...

Isn't Shimp just a brilliant writer? I'll answer that for you. Yes, she is! :)

Land of shimp said...

Well, hello :-) I just wanted to say a heartfelt thanks. I can't think of anything more gracious and kind than deciding to share the story with others.

I'm so pleased I decided to ramble on and tell that story. My grandmother's life took a turn for the sad when my grandfather passed away, but that was a story she told with a great deal of joy.

There is something fitting about the movie being a Joan Crawford film. I've no idea which one it was, but I remember that because my grandmother made mention of her affronted expression in the background :-)

Take care, and again, thank you.

Margaret said...


The mental image of it is a sticky one.

femminismo said...

Wow, this will be a vivid memory of mine from now on too. What a great scene that makes in the mind! Thanks for visiting my blog and I wanted to tell you the Disintegration Project was suggested by Seth at The Altered Page blog. He is going to have a story on this project in Cloth, Paper, Scissors (magazine) soon. I'm excited for him. thanks again

Clowncar said...

Isn't it, Shayna? And that last crucial detail of the face on the screen being a scowling Joan Crawford makes it perfect.

Yes, Arty. I felt lazy posting it. My Protestant work ethic does not appprove.

Meno, those eyebrows are epic. I went so far as to look up a pic of Joan after reading the post.

Fresca, that is one of the many beauties of stories. To take in someone else's memories as your own.

Thanks for the hug, SueAnn. Back atcha.

Yes she is, Hil. Thanks for linking to my post, which allowed her to comment, and me to admire. I love how connections form in blogland.

Thank YOU, Shimp. It is so nice that a memory created so long ago can create ripples in the here and now.

Indeed, Margaret. Glad you stopped by to read it.

Femme, as I said above the ability of a memory from decades ago to bounce around and reverberate in bogland, and take root permanently inside people's head, is a glory.