Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



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Friday, August 7, 2015

Missing the Link

Ahh, Sinbad. Hero. Heartthrob.
Nightmare.
Movies are the greatest creation since . . . well . . . forever.
Needless to say, I'm hooked on them.
And have been since . . . well . . . forever.
In Milk River, we got movies twice a week.
First run movies.
Which was a real scoop for a town of 499.
My Dad told me it was because there were a limited number of prints and that the theatre owner in Milk River had been around longer than the bigwig in Lethbridge, so had seniority.
Yes. I’m sure ‘seniority’ is the word he used.
I only knew that we got all the cool movies first.
For example, when ‘Lassie Come Home’ was released, everyone in Southern Alberta came to Milk River to see it. I remember the theatre owner setting up rows of folding chairs all down the aisles and across the front.
Fire regulations were obviously in the conceptual stage in the late 50s and early 60s.
But the theatre was crammed full and everyone cried together when Lassie finally came home.
Lassie came to Lethbridge several days later.
Na-Na-Na-Na-Na.
But I digress . . .
Every Bonanza Day (Milk River’s fair day) the theatre owner would offer a free movie to everyone in the town.
Usually, it was the hit flick, ‘Santa Claus Meets the Martians’, but sometimes, he would get creative and offer, ‘The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad’.
I don’t have to tell you which I enjoyed the most.
Or which one inevitably gave me nightmares.
I think it was the scene when my hero Sinbad and his men had escaped from the giant Cyclops and had pressed themselves back into a tiny crevasse in a stone wall.The Cyclops, a little piqued that his lunch would have had the temerity to run, was hunting them.
Over and over, the giant hand would reach into the shallow cave, trying to grab Sinbad or one of his men, who would press themselves a bit tighter back against the wall.
This time, the creature would get him!
No. This time!
I was into it.
And it didn't seem to matter how many times I saw the picture, I still gasped and grabbed my Mom’s arm every time the huge hand reached.
At the end, with Sinbad safe once more and kissing the pretty girl, I would shiver with delight.
And that night and for the following several nights, I’d have another nightmare.
Now my nightmares never, ever starred a gorgeous, rippling-muscled Sinbad.
That would have been . . . not scary.
No, my dreams inevitably starred a huge gorilla.
And he was going to eat me.
Okay, yes, I know that they don’t eat little girls, but I was four.
And they had teeth.
Enough said.
My gorilla would chase me through our house and finally, corner me underneath the dining room table.
I would shrink back to the far side as that hairy, dark hand reached for me.
And missed.
Barely.
He would move around the table and bend over, looking at me. Then he would stretch out his arm again.
I would slide to the other side of the table and stay just out of reach.
This would go on until I finally awoke, dripping with sweat and whimpering.
And still, I was the first in line when the theatre showed ‘The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad’.
I think the term ‘Glutton for Punishment’ was coined by someone who knew me.
Maybe the Gorilla.




8 comments:

  1. This is too funny! Hey, I remember that Cyclops movie and I was terrified!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's always those with the best imaginations that get the most spooked. At least that's what I tell myself! :)

      Delete
  2. Movies are another habit I don't have. I like to stop and think about things. And possibly go back and reconsider them. Impossible in public theatres - and not viewed positively in the home.
    My recurring nightmare was a wolf. Skulking in the hall just outisde my bedroom.
    The dream was black and white - except for his slavering red tongue...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yikes. Now I just know I'm going to be running from a black and white wolf...

      Delete
  3. Oh, goodness - I'm so glad we didn't live close to a movie theatre when I was a kid! I think the first movies I saw were some of the Elvis movies - nothing scary about those :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw an Elvis movie titled 'Tickle Me' And it was terrifying! A guy in a mask in a hotel. Scared me to death! Shame on you, Elvis!!!

      Delete
  4. I don’t know how should I give you thanks! I am totally stunned by your article. You saved my time. Thanks a million for sharing this article.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I don't remember that one, but I'm sure it was terrifying...especially to a four year old. I remember one where giant spiders took over the town and the one with the birds. I'm still terrified of birds!

    ReplyDelete

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