What do you remember about going to the movies when you were a kid? For my brothers and me, it was a big deal. We went on Saturday afternoons, usually a once-a-month treat. We walked all the way to this rinky-dink movie theater and back home when it was over.
Mothers did not drive children to everything back then, which, for us, was probably a good thing since our mom had not yet learned to drive. Dad spent weekends working on the house. Driving his kids for anything except a major medical emergency was out of the question.
Movies were always a double feature, plus an RKO newsreel and (hopefully) a cartoon — all this for 25 cents. Popcorn was a nickel, and we happily shared.
The Saturday matinee movies were geared for kids. I was a huge Tarzan fan, or any movie featuring cowboys, Indians, lots of horses and plenty of action.
When a reader sent the following, it not only cracked me up but sent me on a nostalgic trip back in time when kids walked to the movies on a Saturday afternoon. (It was uphill both ways in six feet of snow, and if you believe that, I can sell you a famous bridge here on the Oregon coast — cheap.)
• • •
The Lone Ranger and Tonto went camping in the desert. After they got the tent all set up, both men fell sound asleep. Some hours later, Tonto woke the Lone Ranger and said, “Kemosabe, look towards the sky. What do you see?” The Lone Ranger replies, “I see millions of stars.”
“What that tell you?” asked Tonto.
“Well,” says the Lone Ranger after pondering a moment, “Astronomically speaking, it tells me there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo. Time-wise, it appears to be approximately 3:45 in the morning. Theologically, the Lord is all-powerful, and we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you, Tonto?”
(wait for it)
“You dumber than buffalo,” says Tonto. “Someone stole the tent!”
• • •
Now, with such vivid memories of those old movies, I’m wondering if the Lone Ranger ever took off that mask. Little did we know in the ’40s that we would all be wearing a mask in 2020.
Little kids never question the magic of movies. I was at least 25 when it dawned on me that Tarzan was always clean shaven. Did he have a razor and a can of shaving crème stashed behind a tree? Jane was gorgeous and glamorous, and rarely did anything except gaze adoringly at Tarzan. At least Cheetah the chimp was the real deal. Or was he?
In case you are now wondering what “Kemosabe” means, I just looked it up — way too much information, but it basically means “friend” or “he who knows everything.” And aren’t you just amazed at the things you learn in this column?
Bobbie Lippman is a professional writer who lives in Seal Rock with her cat, Purrfect. She is the author of “Good Grief: A Collection of Stories As One Woman Journeys From Heartbreak To Healing Through Honesty and Humor.” The book, with all proceeds going to the Rotary International Foundation, is available at JC Market in Newport and directly from Bobbie, who can be contacted at [email protected]