52 Weeks of Personal History and Genealogy – Movies – Old Yeller…

by Sherry Stocking Kline

I’m trying to blog along with the “52 Weeks of Personal History and Genealogy.”  As you can see, I’m more than a little behind.

Week 12: Movies. Did (or do you still) see many movies? Describe your favorites. Where did you see these films? Is the theater still there, or is there something else in its place?

This challenge runs from Saturday, March 19, 2011 through Friday, March 25, 2011.

I grew up on a wheat and dairy farm, about 10 miles from the nearest theater, and my folks were not rich, so we didn’t attend movies a lot.

They used to show movies on the side of buildings…

I learned after I was grown that many of the small towns in our area used to show movies on the side of a building and folks came to town, sat around in cars and chairs, visited, snacked, and made a Saturday night get-together out of it.

In fact, that used to be one of the ways that the merchants ‘lured’ people to town to shop, and then they stayed open on Saturday nights.

My husband remembered doing that, and him just a year ahead of/older than me, but I sure don’t remember it at all.  I wish I did.  It sounds like a wonderful way for small towns to spend some Saturday night fun together.

I Remember When We Saw Old Yeller…

I was eight years old, which means my brother Gary would have been twenty when “Old Yeller” came to our local historic Regent Theater (now newly renovated re-opened)

My brother asked me if I’d like to go to a movie with him on Saturday night.

And I’m all like “Me and you?”

And he was like ‘Yes, me and you!”

I thought he was kidding, I mean he usually went out on a date or out with his friends.

So, he got all Saturday-night-dressed-up, and I did, too, and we met up with one of his friends who had also brought along his little sister.

They bought us popcorn and pop, and sat us two rows in front of them. (Close enough they could watch us along with the movie, but maybe not so close that everyone knew we together, you suppose?)

On the way into town, my brother warned me that the movie had a sad ending, and that “Old Yeller” was going to die at the end.

With all the superior wisdom of an eight-year-old that knew that Disney movies did NOT have sad endings, I told him he was wrong, that it wasn’t going to end that way.

And of course, he said “yes, it does.”

Life Doesn’t Always Have a Happy Ending…

Well, come to the end of the movie, and us little girls are sitting there sniffling about that little boy having to kill his dog, “Old Yeller” because he has rabies, and he’s all like “I tried to tell you”, and I’m sniffling and saying “they didn’t have to kill him….”

I think maybe that was my first introduction to the notion that movies, and life, doesn’t always have a happy ending, and that sometimes you simply have to do things you don’t want to do.

But when I look back on it, it was a good memory, and a really unselfish thing for a twenty-year-old big brother to do.

I wish he were still here so I could say “thank you….”  one more time.

My brother, Gary…

2 Responses to “52 Weeks of Personal History and Genealogy – Movies – Old Yeller…”

  • This is such a beautiful memory. I love the idea behind this, as well. I am going to put your blog post up on twitter to share with others; it really is a great project you have going here. Keep it up! =)

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