World Series, politics and old movies

How about those Cubs, what a series! Even though born in Philly and a Phillies fan, I have to admire the end of a 108-year-old stigma for Chicago. To have it end in the 10th inning of game seven was something to behold for any baseball fan.

We’ve all been inundated by election type phone calls, driving us crazy, even during the World Series. Even caller ID failed on occasion as we tried to screen calls. Right in the middle of the eighth inning of game seven with the score tied, one of those annoying calls came in.

I picked up the phone and said: ”It’s the middle of the eight inning, the score is tied, and you want to know how we’re voting?”

While reading one of those magazines that come each holiday time it said something like “everything seemed to be getting better, along comes another election.”

Of course by the time you read this it will all be over. It has been the most demanding, unusual and time consuming election I’ve ever witnessed. I’ve voted since the early days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt who was elected president four times.

Our Constitution was later amended, allowing only two terms for the presidency.

My son Doug and I had gotten so tired of watching speeches and newscasts that we decided one day last week we’d watch movies, new movies, old movies, mysteries, love stories, anything that had nothing to do with elections.

We watched Turner Movie Channel a lot. I’m amazed at how amateur some of the old movies were. Back then we thought they were great. However, some made in the 1930s were just plain terrible. There are two notable exceptions, “Gone with the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz.” both firsts done in “Technicolor.” While watching in our living room, Doug and I discussed some of his favorites.

Doug’s favorite is “Blazing Saddles” staring Gene Wilder. This movie breaks every rule of political correctness. It makes fun of everyone. No race, religion or ethnicity is left untouched. In doing so, you realize just how ignorant it is to pass judgment on others without looking at inward. It’s a spoof on the absurdity of humanity, one that should be watched by everyone, especially at election time. Perhaps made part of the inauguration process?

My frequent readers know my favorite movie of all time is “Moonstruck.” Of course, I have a trove of love stories I watch whenever I get the chance. There’re a few. I love watching such as “While You Were Sleeping,” “When Harry met Sally” and that “Sleepless in Seattle.” Then there’s the oldie but goodie “Murphy’s Romance.” Hey, guys it’s a girl thing.

There are lots of really great mysteries, one rather new one that has probably the best-twisted story of any I’ve ever watched. If you get a chance to see “Lincoln Lawyer” don’t miss it. Not only is the plot great, the acting is out of bounds good. Now we come to that Orson Wells thing that we’re told is the best movie ever made, “Citizen Kane.” I still can’t imagine that being the case.

My favorite all time action movie, and one I believe is the best movie ever made is the second episode of the Godfather series. This is the one that tells the beginning of the entire series. They have an over the top shot of a New York street as it was in the early part of the last century. It’s so authentic it’s almost unbelievable. I’ve been down streets just like that back there.

They did this scene to perfection. There they were, hundreds of people all dressed in that era’s clothing, the streets and sounds done perfectly. My favorite scene is the one where the hero kills that bad guy who’s all dressed in white. As he’s shot, dying and bewildered, he’s trying to pull his shirt off of his bloody body. I just love it when the bad guy gets what’s coming to him, don’t you?

Perhaps you’re wondering how all these tie together? Let me explain. Being 92 years young I’ve lived through the Great Depression and too many wars. But America has survived through them all. However, somewhere and sometime we’ve lost our sense of humor, and our ability to laugh along the way. Chicago winning the World Series after 108 years proves anything is possible. No matter who’s won this election, let’s appreciate and respect our differences.

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


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