Wednesday, December 18, 2013
I had stopped spinning my wheels about Christmas, too, and had been baking and sewing up a storm. And then I got sidelined by a gift I was assured was "Not for Christmas." I was twelve when the movie "The Quiet Man" (John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara) came out. My sister Pat had four of her seven children by then. Pat was not her name, but she'd never been called anything else because it was said she had the map of Ireland in her face and tall, red-haired, green-eyed, she took after her Irish dad's side of the family. In 1952, my brother-in-law took a second job at a drive-in movie in El Monte. One of the perks was that his family could get in free. Anxious to see this film made in Ireland, my sister popped a big grocery sack of popcorn, loaded up her kids in the back of the station wagon (yes, it was a "woodie"), picked me up and off we went. The first night, the drive-in was full and we were turned away. We tried another night, got in, and then a thick fog descended and the theater was closed. A third try; it rained. Nothing if not determined, Pat loaded us up a fourth time and we got to watch Sean Thornton and Mary Kate Danaher at last. My sister died this week. Finding the DVD of "The Quiet Man" in the mail from my friend Kit yesterday brought back such a fun memory. There was also Maureen O'Hara's memoir in the package. I planned just to look at the pictures and then, well, read just the forward, maybe just the first few sentences. Chapters later, it was time to put the goats to bed and I'd lost the whole afternoon. It was a good day.