In addition to having been largely raised by television, I was also raised by movies. In order to
get rid of me give me something to do on hot Summer afternoons, my Dad would grab up a neighbor kid or two, stuff some money in my pocket, and drop us off at a theater for the afternoon. Sometimes the other neighborhood fathers would reciprocate.
After all, two feature films, sandwiched around a cartoon and coming attractions would give him almost five hours of peace-and-quiet. And not cost more than 75 cents per kid for admission + sodas, candy and popcorn. The only requirement was to make certain I had a dime for the pay phone to call when all was over. He usually gave me a five-dollar bill to cover it all.
One August evening, one of the other dads called. It seemed he was taking his boys (including Carl, my best-childhood-friend) to a local drive-in movie to reciprocate. And he was inviting me!
I was in the middle of watching The Joey Bishop Show, but, I could go for a movie, sure.
And off we went. It was a double bill, of course.
Two movies I’d never heard of: Ferry Cross the Mersey and Goldfinger.
And off we went, Carl’s dad, his older brother Vince, Carl and I.
I was hooked! Not Ferry Cross the Mersey. I wasn’t particularly into popular music (preferring Bach and Stan Getz) but Goldfinger! O…M…G!
What a movie to show a pubescent teenaged boy – girls, guns, a hero with superhero qualities, did I say girls? And a cool car!
Being a completionist, I had to know more, and the next day walked the two miles to Hills Books and Records @ Tempe Center. I bought the book From Russia With Love, but soon figured out that I needed all the Ian Fleming books, read in order. I was just starting Seventh Grade. (and the girls liked to borrow the books to read the naughty parts! – didn’t get me anywhere, though)
Soon, I had the whole set, and read and re-read them. I still have them (@ .55/.60 a piece!)
And a life long love of a cool guy with cool guns who got the girls was formed.
It didn’t do much for my development and attitudes about women; I had my Dad to mess that up, though.
At least I didn’t end up like this!