Somewhere in my sister’s garage is a box with a picture of my brother and I wearing a rug around our waist, t-shirts draped back over the top of our heads, and holding a broomstick and a mop in our hands. We weren’t fighting, not really. And it wasn’t something we did everyday either. And, I am embarrassed to say this, I think we were in high school at the time. But it was Easter Sunday and our family had just sat down to watch The Ten Commandments on television like we did every year. But that year something happened, and the TV signal failed for some reason and for the first time in Easter Sunday history we were about to miss The Ten Commandments. Not sure what we would do if that happened. Is it even considered an official Easter Sunday without Charlton Heston saying, “Let my people go!”? I don’t think it is.
But we knew all the lines.
My brother and I always knew all the lines to the good movies. So, after a quick wardrobe change that left the front doorway and the bathroom without a rug to wipe your feet on, we both proceeded to act out the rest of the movie. I was Charleston Heston and he was Yul Brynner. I think the mop was Nefertiti. We spent the better part of half an hour going over all the relevant dialogues of the movie while we waited for the TV show to come back on. We’d gone through quite a bit of the movie when I started running out of lines. About 20 minutes in I was about to throw in “Get your hands off of me you damn dirty ape!” Which was quickly going to be followed by, “Soylent Green is people! It’s people!” hoping no one would notice that I had switched movies. But somewhere around the time I was leading the Israelites out of bondage (where there was water) and into the desert (where there was no water) the TV came back on and I was spared the embarrassment. I’m sure my brother could have just kept going into the desert 40 more years and he wouldn’t have run out of lines. He’s got a better memory for TV shows than I do. But I have more hair than he does. Just thought I’d throw that out there.
When I was little, I didn’t keep track of time like I do now. Or at least time was not something I paid much attention to. I paid even less attention to the seasons (it’s Texas, we only have summer) and kept away from people as much as I could. But one thing I do remember that marked my time when I was little was television. Seasonal movies made everything more real. It grounded me in time and made everything make more sense . It still does.
Easter meant I would get to watch Charlton Heston kick ass in The Ten Commandments.
Christmas meant I got to see Rudolf lead Santa’s sleigh and make friends with the abominable snowman, Frosty the Snowman get his butt melted on and off as he tried to out run winter, and later in life that cute kid from A Christmas Story nearly get his eye shot out with his brand new Red Rider BB gun.
Halloween meant It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.
And Charlie Brown comes back around during Thanksgiving with some other movie I cannot remember right now. Toast for Thanksgiving? Seriously Chuck! Lol.
Could somebody please tell me when they show The Sound of Music every year and why?! I tend to think it’s Christmas movie but can’t for the life of me figure out why right now. Thanks.
All these shows and others would solidify the passage of time for me when I was young, and even now sometimes. I had not even realized it was Easter this past week until I saw The Ten Commandments was showing on TV. I sat and watched the whole thing and it brought back memories of my family and Easter when I was just a child. I miss those times.
I love The Ten Commandments. Sure the acting sucked and I probably could have written a better script, but there was just something about that movie that I cannot put my finger on that makes me want to watch it each time. When I find out I will tell you.
I now have kids and grandkids and I am sure they have their own movies that mark the passage of time for them the ways these did for me. Probably mostly animated movies I would think. They don’t make movies like they used to.
I wonder if any of my movies will ever stop showing?