I looked over some suggestions for blog posts, (it’s not easy coming up with fresh content every week) and one of them jumped out at me: which movie from your childhood would you like to see return?
Easy one for me—”Song of the South,” put out by Walt Disney in 1946. That would be when I was ten years old. The movie stands out in my memory because it was the one I didn’t get to see.
My friends and I had been anticipating its release for weeks. My mother had volunteered to take several of us to see it when it opened at the Paramount for its first showing in Lake Charles. I had read the books by Joel Chandler Harris, but I was excited about seeing Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit and Brer Bear come to life on the screen.
My fellow movie-goers met at our house and congregated in the front yard to wait for my mother to finish getting ready. Like kids everywhere, there was no sitting around demurely waiting for the grownups to appear. No, we decided to have a jumping contest to see who could jump over the sprawling bush in the front yard without disturbing the branches.
I just knew I was going to win because I cleared that bush all the time without making those branches move an inch. I watched the others who went ahead of me. No problem. They all moved the branches. I felt good. I took off and soared over the bush, and came down not on my foot, but on my ankle.
Now, anyone who’s ever sprained their ankle knows what real pain is. My grandfather carried me into the house yowling loud enough to get every dog in the neighborhood to take up the chorus. My mother said she couldn’t disappoint the others, so they loaded up the car and headed across the lake for a fun movie night in Lake Charles.
I, on the other hand, sat on a hard, straight-back chair for three hours with my foot immersed in a pan of scalding water to which my grandmother added more of the same to make sure I didn’t get too comfortable.
It was bad enough I couldn’t walk normally for two or three weeks—I couldn’t go swimming either. Never mind bringing that movie back. I wouldn’t go.