Happy Birthday Dad
6 of 50
It was an unbelievably wet day. One of those days when the windscreen wipers couldn’t quite keep pace with the rain and huge puddles were forming on the side of the road and in every little depression on the road. It’s not a day that you’d really want to be out in.
It was 1977 and I was 5. My Dad had told me that we were going out after lunch and when I’d enquired where we were going he said it was a surprise. He managed to keep the secret against my very persistent questioning and the “Are we there yet?” queries when in the car. We ploughed on through the vile weather until we reached our destination.
Even as we queued outside the rather spectacular building with the huge columns, I didn’t know what was in store. I remember looking at all the posters in the glass fronted advertising cases outside but still not comprehending.
I didn’t really know where we were until we were inside. A cinema - the building has since been a fast food restaurant and a store for a well known clothing brand - but in 1977 this was a cinema.
On that day and whenever we went there subsequently we always sat “upstairs”, I’m not sure why and I don’t know of many cinemas that still have that facility, but Dad bought our tickets and we went up the staircase and took our seats.
I still didn’t know what we had come to see and it wasn’t until the film started that I realised that it would be a film that would have a big impact on my life and also trips to the cinema with my Dad.
The film was Star Wars. I was literally amazed at the sight of robots, spacecraft and planets from another galaxy (one far, far, away).
After Star Wars in the years that followed he took me to see The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. When the prequel trilogy came out, I took him to see those three films. It became a thing that we did together. When the first of the final three films came out, he was too ill to go to the cinema, and I didn’t want to go without him. When it was released on DVD, I bought him a copy, planning to sit down one rainy afternoon and watch it together. Sadly he was too ill for that and he never got to see it. He never got to see the final two movies either, but I did go to the cinema to watch them and to honour those memories.
If he were here today he would be 85, today is his birthday. I’ll watch Star Wars this afternoon.
May The Force Be With You
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I want to try a little experiment for my next post. I have a list of 53 ideas for posts, so I’d like you to pick what the next post is going to be by picking a number between 1 and 53 and posting it in the comments. Numbers 8, 16, 17, 20, 24 & 34, have already been used but all of the others are up for grabs. So pick a number and next week’s post will be a lucky dip.