Father’s Day and old movies

It was one of those unexpected meetings when my son Doug and I had stopped at our bank. Friends were just leaving and in the conversation they told us that the Banner Hospital Auxiliary had noticed an increase in sales at the gift shop after I mentioned them in my column.

It made my day that until then hadn’t been pleasant. Visits to the doctor are never fun. In the conversation I thought “why wouldn’t the gift shop have a few items for the men in our lives since Father’s Day almost here.” Of course, many of the items are for the ladies. I just have to get back and purchase a pocketbook I really want.

However they do have a few things for men like a billfold, a great gift. If you can’t find the regular type of gift, how about a nice box of Sees candy? I realize the hours are limited – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.–Monday-Friday. If you’re working, why not check Banner’s gift shop and go and have lunch in the hospital’s cafeteria along with a cup of their free coffee?

Your can order hot food from their kitchen, or prepared food from one of those pick out what you want automatic type things or for a bag of chips. Of course, if you’re a homemaker and just out shopping, you can go to the gift shop outside of lunch hour from Monday to Friday. However, now I leave it to my daughters-in-law or grandchildren to take care of my sons which are their duty now.

It’s been a long time since Father’s Day went nationwide in 1952, the same year my father died. President Nixon made it a federal holiday in 1972, and Hallmark says it’s their fourth biggest card selling day. My doctor didn’t believe me on my last visit, when I talked about the prices and obligations back “in my day,” such a long, long time ago.

Back in the 30s, 40s doctors often came to your house. I clearly remember when I was 16 and sick with the flu that my mother paid the doctor his $2 fee: With a surprise – and “I don’t believe you” look on my doctor’s face, I swore it was the truth. Back then I had had a job that paid me $11.50 a week. You read that right — a week!

TV’s been showing a ton of old movies lately even some silent ones, if you can imagine. I remember my mother taking my sister Jeanne and me to a silent movie. I keep watching now to see if that particular movie is being shown. In it a ghost — a person dressed in a white sheet — was walking down a set of stairs into some kind of basement.

In those days an organist played what was supposed to be scary background music. I guess it was since I recall grabbing my mother’s arm and shutting my eyes.

Today is a very different world than it was in 1930. There is such a tremendous difference in all kinds of entertainment, especially movies. Doug has gotten into watching old westerns and we sit and laugh at the way things were done back then.

Just last night I was watching the movie “Rose Marie” with Janette McDonald and Nelson Eddy. It was a terribly acted movie that was just a venue to give the producers a chance for the world to hear those two sing. And sing they did! I believe it was the first movie in which Jimmy Stewart acted. But the main reason for the whole movie was to hear and showcase those wonderful voices.

Resting in my bed at the other end of the house from my son Doug, they began to sing that wonderful tune “Indian Love Call.” I had to sing along. Our pups Molly and Riley sat at the edge of my bed, their tiny faces looking at me as I sang along with Janette and Nelson. Tears were running down my face even as I smiled and laughed at myself.

I was thinking about how I had sung those same words to my deceased husband Van so many years ago. Those words were “You belong to me, and I belong to you.” It was only then I realized that this was the very first time I have sung a word since the day my love left me back in 1984. I’m certain he heard me.

Edna Van Leuven is a Churchill County writer and columnist. She may be reached at news@lahontanvalleynews.com


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