Sunday, February 27, 2011

Midnight Movie and One Particular Guy

As I sit here trying hard not to watch the Oscars (I don't know why I dislike award shows so much), I can't help but wonder what Christian Bale would have been like in the first Batman. And Heath Ledger vs. Jack Nicholson? Regardless, the Dark Knight has been in the can now for several years, but I bring it up because I will always remember the opening of Batman in June of 1989. Not because of the way it was overhyped at Burger King or the fact that Prince somehow got to do a large part of the soundtrack. But because of One Particular Guy.

I honestly don't remember the ride down I-95 and don't want to think about how fast we were going after Pruitt met Karyn, Wayne and myself after we closed Frank's. When we got there, Golden Ring Mall(RIP) was closed but there was a door open that allowed you to get into the mall at the cinema entrance. To our dismay, there was a pretty long line, even for the midnight movie. We got in line and started trying to gauge whether the tickets would extend to our spot in line. That One Particular Guy came in behind us in line, seemed to be alone and was wearing one of the seemingly ubiquitous Batman tees. The only thing I remember him saying was "I think this movie will be great, but they should have gotten Kirk Cameron to play Robin." Pruitt, in that stoic yet often intimidating manner, turned around and said, "Good for you." I laughed, I didn't know why at the time. I wasn't trying to be mean, I just laughed. What made it worse is that turning back a few minutes later, that One Particular Guy was gone. It forever scarred Karyn because she never forgave us saying "he" might have just been lonely and wanted to watch the movie with us.

It didn't dawn on me till years later watching "A Christmas Story" with Laura one Christmas Eve, that the "One Particular Guy" reminded me of the kid wearing an aviator helmet in line with Ralphie and his kid brother Randy as they waited to see Santa in the department store. "I like the Wizard of Oz....I like the Tin Man." Good times.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mary Young's Christmas in April 1988

Sadly there are no pictures of the actual event to document the occasion but rest assured there was Christmas in April on Wilson Street. I used to hangout at Wayne Young's house on Wilson Street quite a bit, Blaine and I were the only people that didn't live within three blocks of the house. Somehow so much seemed to originate from there and Wayne Sr. (Big Wayne pictured above) and Mary Young were extremely patient and cordial parental hosts. I still owe them about 75 dinners, from mooching them them. Another good reason for me to be there was MTV. Up on the hill, at my house, I had to wait patiently for Friday Night Videos each Friday night just to watch Thriller. Amazingly cable still isn't up on Springhill Drive. But I am off topic.

Mary Young decorated for every holiday they made a card for, but Easter was a close second to Christmas for her. Picture ceramic bunnies, plastic easter eggs, a bushel of green plastic grass that some activist today would be afraid ducks would eat and die. More pastel colors than Don Johnson's Miami Vice wardrobe in seasons 1-2... Mary could really Easter-It up. It all looked great.

Wayne, Jerome and I were just watching TV, no one else was in the house and I just thought how funny it would be for Mary to come home and see Christmas decorations up at Easter. I asked, "Wayne, do you know where the Christmas stuff is?" That's how it started. So the three of us found the decorations: garland, stockings, tinsel, Christmas balls, even a Christmas candy dish, the tree.... writing this I realize that we didn't put it back. Worse, Wayne and I went to work at Frank's and left Jerome to explain the prank. We laughed the whole shift, luckily Mary and Wayne Sr. laughed. And now years later, I can never look at fake green Easter basket grass and not think of Mary Young. Bless her, we (I) were (was) a menace.

At one time Frank's Pizza employed all of the Young's, even Mary's mother.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ruminating on a Ski Trip in the Middle of a Snow Storm

I sit and write this while the middle Tennessee area awaits it's second bout of winter. Snow is not greeted well here in Nashville where the real enterprising folks tend to buy a snowplow for their vehicle at Wal-Mart and dig people out of their whole two inches, not claiming it on their taxes either. School may be closed for a week on an inch. But I am getting off topic.
Though not a particularly good skiier, I always enjoyed a good ski trip and there are three that I remember quite well. The first was a church sponsored youth trip to Ski Liberty that brought the Party Crue together and introduced Wayne to Debbie Ehrhart (another time, another story). The second time was a trip to the Poconos with Steve and Frances when they were just friends. Steve broke his thumb on the last run and had to get in the pool at the hotel with his arm wrapped in Saran Wrap. But the third time was on a winter roadtrip to see Jerome Michaut (America's Favorite Foreign Exchange Student, not FES from That '70' s Show) at Frostburg State in winter of 1988. Wayne Young, Karyn Hood and I made the trip in my Dad's Silverado. Somehow no one broke any bones, required crutches or otherwise was left for dead. I remember watching an insane Frenchman look like some stunt double in that John Cusack movie with the dude that played Booger. It started sleeting at Wisp (I think), iced up the lift and I watched Jerome jump about 14 feet away from the drop-off into the snow below. Crazy Frenchman. Somehow we made it down and back to Jerome's apartment.
It remains the one and only time I ever watched an original laser disc system which Jerome had gotten at some yard sale. The only discs that came with it were Tron and Superman I and II. Mind you, everyone was by then into VHS. I wonder if he still has it?! The picture above shows his prized two pellet guns. There is just something about the picture I posted here that makes me question whether we might really have been somewhere in the South. But then again, I look outside and wonder why I ever moved to a warmer climate when we still get all this snow. Damn global warming....or cooling.