Saturday, April 30, 2016

on an unclear day I could see forever


The Etowah Theater is located in Attalla, AL.  I don't recall much about it other than mother loading us in the station wagon to go see The Sound of Music there.  I was very impressed by the movie.  At the time, this theater was a second run theater, but in 1965, the owners managed to outbid the first run theater's in Gadsden for exclusive rights for this cinematic blockbuster.  It was this theater's most successful showing.

I was seven years old in 1965.  I remember seeing the movie, but not much about the theater itself.  I had never been in there before or ever since.  I do remember how colorful and the brilliance of those grand hills and songs.  I also remember the contrast of stepping from such a brilliant and grand cinematic experience into a most un-brilliant and un-grand overcast day.  Before heading home, mother pulled the pale blue Galaxy into the Attalla Piggly Wiggly and left us kids in the car as she picked up a few items.  The songs still reverberated in my head as the sky darken a little more.  A brief shower arrived at the parking lot as I gazed through the glass The rain tapped on the hood, beaded and streamed down the window.  There we were, having left a world of living color into a muggy black and white day.

It was the first time in my life that I experienced that contrast from cinema to reality.  It was a very stark moment for me, stepping down from the lush mountains of Switzerland, onto 5th Street of Attalla Alabama.

The skies did brighten up after we drove up the mountain to our home on Scenic Hwy.  We had our own lively hills at the Finlayson house.  The dark clouds were no more and I remember climbing the hill in our backyard and personally recreated Julie Andrews twirling and singing 'The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Music'.  Those nine words were all the lyrics I knew of the song, so I just kept twirling and singing what I knew over and over again until I got dizzy doing it, and the afterglow of it gone.

...don't tell anyone I told you this.

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