Sunday, February 13, 2011

"May you stay forever young"

I saw a video today, on the internet, with a caption "You're going to nostalgia so hard, you have no idea."
Verbing nostalgia aside, the caption was correct. If you're interested, the video can be found here.
This set off a chain reaction that began with me googling every John Hughes movie ever made, and culminated in my watching The Goonies again, some 20 or so years after the first time.
It is still as awesome as it ever was. I nostalgied quite hard.
I cannot remember the first time I watched The Goonies. I want it to be in the summer of '86 or '87, maybe. I want it to have been in the club house of the Cascade Golf and Tennis Club, where, every Thursday, they would project, on a ratty pull-down screen, a movie.  As soon as it was dark enough (it was never really dark enough in the summer) they would pull the blinds, shrouding the wood paneled hall in half light, that magical, early evening half light of the northern latitudes summer, and open the golf course cantine, purveyor of one-cent Swedish berries and soda pops, Mr. Freeze, and potato chips. The goal, for us kiddies, was to purchase a dollar's worth of Swedish berries, and consume all one hundred of them without vomiting. Not so easily done. To manage this was to pass a rite of sorts, to become one of the big kids, a precursor to more solemn rites of manhood to come later, most involving matches, or perhaps firecrackers, and swear words in French.
However, the real magic started when the projector, its two reels cutting an iconic silhouette in the gloom, was turned on. A beam of light cut the dusty air, and the soft ratchetting ch-ch-ch of the film in the sprockets filled the anticipation laden silence.
This is how I want to have seen The Goonies for the first time. And there stands a good chance that it is how I saw it for the first time. I'm certain I've seen it many times after, on VHS, on lazy summer afternoons, filled with pirates and fat kids, adventure and Italian counterfeiters.
I still, to this day, cannot walk into a movie theatre without hearing the soft noise of a projector in my head, without seeing the half-light of the Cascade Golf and Tennis Club house, and without wanting one hundred Swedish berries, to prove that I am almost a man.

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