Tuesday, August 08, 2006


There were a number of entertaining movies that came out in 1984. Memorial Day weekend saw the release of "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom". The top grosser of the year, "Beverly Hills Cop" came out in December. On June 8th, 2 of the top 4 highest grossing movies of the year were released and both were good. The first, "Ghostbusters", was quite funny, a real crowd pleaser, actually. But my favorite of the year was a relatively small movie presented by Steven Spielberg. Though it was released in the middle of summer, the movie took place entirely over Christmas. There were no big stars in it and it had a bizarre mixture of comedy and horror. The "excessive" violence in it (for a PG rated movie), as well as similar issues with "Temple of Doom", helped bring about the creation of a new rating: PG-13.

The poster made it look so innocent though, didn't it?

Many parents said that since Spielberg had his name placed so prominently on the poster, they were expecting something along the lines of "E.T.", but they were quite mistaken. One of those parents was my cousin's mom. She took her 4 year old child, "Drew", to that movie and he couldn't stand to be left alone for months afterward (for fear the gremlins would get him), not even in the bathroom ("Is it clean?"). Thankfully, he got over it...eventually. In fact, he accompanied me to the sequel which came out in the summer of 1990 (By that time, he was a more appropriate 10 years old).

In the summer of '84, I was no longer living in Rollingstone. I was residing on the east side of Winona with me old geeza and siblings. It was pretty cool to be able to bike a couple miles to the movie theatre, something that wasn't possible previously since Rollingstone was located more than 8 miles from Winona.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


My favorite movie of 1983 is one in which I already knew all the major plot points from before entering the theatre on opening day (For more details on this, please go to my prior entry called "My Childhood"). For the 4th consecutive year, my favorite movie was scored by John Williams and just as in the 3 prior years, my favorite movie was the top money making one of the year (I only like things that are popular). Below is the poster that was on marquees all over the country that day (May 25, 1983):

I was loving the finale of the Star Wars saga. So much so that I enlisted my sister, brother, and a friend of ours to participate in an audio recording in which we did a radio drama based on the comic book adaptation of "Jedi". I used music from the soundtrack and we also had sound effects that were quite realistic, if I do say so myself. My sister did the voice of Leia and Mon Mothma. My bro did Luke. Our friend, Jeff, did Han. I was the narrator, Vader, 3PO, the Emperor, and Yoda. (I did a killer Yoda impression). Those cassette tapes exist to this day and are a reminder of those days long gone.

That summer, I also took golf lessons at the Westfield course in Winona. One Saturday morning while playing there, it started raining pretty hard, so the lessons were canceled for that day. I tried calling my mom at home, but she wasn't there. I didn't feel like waiting in the clubhouse for more than an hour, so I decided I'd take my clubs and walk to my grandma's house (located about 10 blocks away). When I got to my grandma's, there was no one there. So I left my clubs on her porch and walked to JCPenney (about 5 blocks away). They hadn't opened yet. I did see someone I knew, though. A guy from Rollingstone who was a couple years older than me. I explained my situation and he generously gave me money to call my mother. Mom was now home and said that she would pick me up at the store. While browsing, I noticed that Penney's had "Jedi" cards (This was the first time that I had seen them).

Well, I wanted them, so I went back to the older kid who had given me money for the phone call and asked if he could spare some more. He wasn't buying, but once my mother arrived, she bought me a few. As a postscript to this story, I quit the golf lessons a few weeks later (It just wasn't my bag). I had to endure some grief from my father who said he didn't like quitters, but that's the way it sometimes goes.