Memories of Family

Tonight we watched clips from What’s My Line on YouTube. It was extremely entertaining and kept the evening light and upbeat. It started out when Pam found a short film encouraging people to get out and vote. It was hosted by Bob Hope and must have been from sometime in the late forties or fifties.

It had just started when UPS delivered the new console table that Pam ordered. Some assembly was required and as it was a little bit heavy and bulky, I was elected to do the deed. When I got it together it was absolutely beautiful.

By then, the video had changed to a series of clips of What’s My Line. It was funny and great to see so many celebrities from my childhood. I remember watching What’s My Line with my grandmother. We also watched Gilligan’s Island, Green Acres, Dobbie Gillis, and My Favorite Martian just to name a few.

I was a big fan of romantic comedies. We watched a lot of movies too. My dad was a big movie fan. He had been a theatrical projectionist in the army. He got to watch all the latest movies, several times a day for however long the ran at the post.

When I was in high school I got several of my friends together and we petitioned the school to offer a class in film making. The only person qualified to teach it was my dad. He spent the whole summer preparing for the class.

On the first day of class I was worried that I was going to run in to the same kind of accusations of nepotism that I had experienced when I took his drama class the year before. On the first day of class he came in and said, “You all have an A. Now, let’s learn how to make films together.”

That was the best thing he could have done for me at the time. By making the class about learning and not about grades, he allowed me to be as good at it as I could without risking the persecution of my peers.

That was part of what it was like to be the son of a Speech and English teacher in the midwest in the late 60s and early 70s.

Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.