Saturday, May 16, 2020

We Dreamed

I spent Saturday afternoons at the Paramount
for the matinee, back then: Gene Autrey, Roy Rogers,
"Hiyo Silver, away!" -
at eight and ten,
I had no comprehension of
racial stereotyping, that Tonto barely spoke
to his kimosabe. I swallowed it whole:
heroes and horses, "good guys" and "bad guys",
oh, my.
A pacifist all my adult life, I once played
"cowboys and Indians" with a holster and metal guns.
Of course, we all wanted to be cowboys;
no one wanted to be the one getting killed.

$1.25 bought the price of admission,
pop and popcorn.
And now it costs a family of four $100
to go to the movies.
Popcorn the price of a string of pearls,
more if you want extra butter.

The audience was noisy; popcorn flew through the air.
Boys' feet thumped against the back of one's seat.
We laughed and screamed
at the flashing images,
and some of us dreamed
of one day being on the silver screen,
famous for as-yet-undetermined talents.
Oh, yes, we dreamed.

for The Sunday Muse


  1. In dreams, everything turns out right. Yay for dreams!

  2. Love the memories and beliefs you poetically shared here Sherry! It does seem the movie theater inspires dreams in one way or another for us all.

  3. Dream on you are the star of your life movie, make each scene memorable.


  4. I wanted to be Dale Evans and design a wardrobe for her! You are so on point with the way it was in the 40's-50's. Loved it.

  5. Dreams, love them. I used to pretend I was a star of the silver screen in my woodland world of dandelion imagination.

  6. Sherry, you are telling me a part of life I missed. I like going, yours sounded like fun. As a country boy I went to three with my family, a Western, a Bing Crosby, and a now famous Bible story, before I left home. I think at least for one we had popcorn.
    Mrs. Jim and I still don't attend many, neither of us can remember what the last one was.
    Oh yes, all the movie theatres give seniors a discount that helps a little.

  7. My memories are similar. Like Helen, I wanted to be Roy Rogers' Dale Evans. ...and Dale Roberson! Does anyone remember him!

  8. "Popcorn the price of a string of pearls," goodness, yes. Excellent imagery.

  9. It was the same in the UK. I used to love those matinees, and playing cowboys and indians. Naive? Yes. Great write. (oh, by the way, I don't know whether it was a Brit thing, but the boys usually brought itching powder and creepy crawlies - oh, how the girls did scream, lol)

  10. This made me laugh--we crawled all over the house daydreaming ourselves into movies and making the floors unsafe for foot traffic. :) Great poem and full of joy.

  11. What a lovely innocent childhood. We didn't even know then that Roy Rogers was Cherokee--a point I played on in a solo performance long, long ago. Give children the power of dreaming--let the unlayering come later.

  12. I remember those Sunday afternoons at movie theaters with friends as well. I recollect that some were Debbie Reynolds movies. Those were the days they also showed a Warner Brothers cartoon, which was fun. I was never a fan of movie popcorn even back then though.

  13. Thank God for the gift of dreams. Loved this!

  14. I didnt know Roy Rogers was Cherokee. How cool. Soon enough came Gidget, and Annette Funicello movies, then the dreams really took off!

  15. ' A pacifist all my adult life, I once played "cowboys and Indians" with a holster and metal guns'

    Theatres do enable us explore things we wouldn't otherwise, I guess... Nicely done. Thanks for sharing.


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