It's Saturday and there is a horror
movie at the club!!! Oh I can't wait until after supper
so my brother and I run over to the club and sit with our
buddies and watch the movie. I can't wait!!!
I sat in the shower playing marbles
in the drain -- kind of difficult to get a good shot with
those little tiles. I turned the water onto cold, but there
never is cold water -- just hot and hotter. Sometimes the
water was so hot that your skin turned red. If I had been
in trouble I usually daydreamed that I died and my parents
missed me so much and they regretted having mistreated me.
I am 7 years old.
Sometimes I talked out loud to myself
and I dealt with the mistreatment I had experienced from
my parents for some small misdeed. (Many years later they
told me that they used to stand at the kitchen sink window
which was adjacent to the bathroom window and they would
both laugh quietly to themselves as they listened to the
tirades as I took a shower.)
Dressed now and sitting at the kitchen
table with my brother eating supper. “Mom has
it in for me.” I tell my brother. She has given
us both a bowl of split green pea soup with bread. UGGHHHH!!
This soup stinks and I don't want to eat it and I go into
my parents’ bedroom where they are having their nightly
Manhattans and listening to the Voice of American on the
shortwave radio before they fix their own supper after we
are finished. I tell my mother I can't eat the soup -- “If
you don't eat it you can't go to the movies”
she tells me and Dad backs her up. (I will not eat this
“NOOOO!!! don't threaten
me with that” and head hanging I go back to the
kitchen and tell Bill that I may miss the movie. There has
to be a way out. HAA!! There is but it takes stealth. I
tell my parents I have to go to the bathroom and I carefully
take the bowl of soup back to our bathroom and dump it into
the toilet and flush it down and then back to the kitchen.
The gamble paid off -- my parents had not left their bedroom
while I was away. A few loud clicking sounds of the spoon
in the empty bowl and “I am finished, Mom.”
She walks into the kitchen and checks the bowls and says
It's only 30 minutes until the movie
starts and we live over near the new school and the club
house is over by the dike near the tennis courts. We grab
2 Bs each from Mom, say adios and tear out of the house
and run as fast as we can to the club. We ran like the wind
and arrived with time to spare. We went up to the window
and each bought a coke which cost a Medio and a Savoy chocolate
candy bar which cost a Locha and then over to the gate to
the tennis courts to buy a ticket and then we rushed to
get the best seats.
Now, there is hierarchy to the seating.
Small kids sat in front and then kids my age sat on the
screen-side of the courts nets which had been taken down
for the show and then older kids and parents behind them
on the other side of the net and then there was a covered
shelter for those frequent occasions there was rain. Me
and my buddies sit together (Palmer Bazemore, Mike Peters,
Phillip Short, Gene Campbell, Jules Lang and in some instances
Magarita Anez because she was cool and could burp continually
like I could and consequently I liked her a lot). Movie
begins with a newsreel: Update on the Korean Conflict, ladies
styles, new cars, etc. Next is the comedy: Tom & Jerry
Then the main Feature: THEM
This was the time of threatened nuclear war and anything
having to do with radiation was worth making a movie about.
THEM was about mutant gigantic ants that were bigger than
a car that lived in the drainage tunnels in Los Angeles.
GOSH they were big and when they moved they made a whirring
sound that I can hear in my brain today and they would grab
a person in their pinchers and squeeze them to death and
they could push over cars and you couldn't kill them with
a machine gun only a flame thrower worked. It was terribly
Finally the movie was over but all
of us were hyper after watching those and you know what
else, we had to go home and many of us did not come to the
movies with our parents who would provide protection because
we knew that they--that is--THEM were out there hiding in
the dark under the houses on stilts between the club and
My brother and I along with Gene
Campbell started to walk home but we knew the Ants were
in the bushes because we could hear the bushes stirring
and so we ran as fast as our little legs would take us home.
But--- that's not the end of it. Bill and I went to bed.
His bed was across the room from mine and the bathroom was
at the other side of the room. I lay in bed with my covers
over my head and tucked in under me so no ants could get
me, but eventually I had to go to the bathroom and I debated
whether I should or not. I knew “they” were
under the bed and finally I had to go so I stood up and
jumped off the bed out as far as I could and ran to the
bathroom, shut the door and turned on the light. --- see,
they could not stand the light.
When I finished I turned off the
light so my eyes would adjust and peeked out to see if “they”
were out from under the bed – nope – I could
see the glint in their eyes, so I ran and leaped back into
bed, covered myself and went to sleep.