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 soup today)

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 ok.

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 --- YEAAHHH!!

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 frightening...

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 our homes.

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.

 

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