by Georgie Lawrence
The first film I remember going to see at the movie theater was a re-release of Pinocchio (1940). My aunts took my cousins and me to go see it, and we were so excited. The one thing I wanted, more than anything, was a bag of popcorn. It smelled so good, and my mouth started watering. The line at the concession stand was really long, so everyone else went into the theater to find their seats while I stood patiently in line and waited to get my treat. But by the time I bought my popcorn and headed into the theater to find everyone, the movie was almost over! I was so upset that I had missed the entire show.
When I was a bit older, every weekend a bunch of us would pile into my daddy’s truck and head to the drive-in. I don’t remember any specific movies that we saw during those trips, but most of them were Westerns. I loved anything we saw that had Randolph Scott. I remember seeing some movies he made that were based on Zane Grey books (though I can’t exactly recall whether I saw those on the big screen or on television …). I read those books when I was a girl and loved them, and still do (I have a few Zane Grey books on my Nook right now). So it was a thrill to see those brought to life.
Another one of my favorite actors was Victor Mature. I thought he was the most handsome man I had ever seen, and any time we saw one of his movies, I couldn’t look away from the screen. But nowadays, if I happen to see him on television in one of those old movies, I wonder what I could have been thinking, because I don’t think he’s that cute anymore!
Those drive-in trips started my lifelong love for the Western genre. I love to read Western-themed novels–not only Zane Grey, but Louis L’Amour and Western romances, too. I watch a lot of shows and movies on the Encore Westerns channel. They play those great old Westerns that we used to watch on television when I was young–shows like Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Rawhide, The Big Valley, The Rifleman, Maverick, Laredo, and my personal favorite, Sugarfoot. I can still sing the theme song to that one: “Sugarfoot, Sugarfoot, never underestimate a sugarfoot/Once you get his dander up, ain’t no one who’s quicker on the draw …” I also remember a show called Yancy Derringer–it starred Jock Mahoney, and I had such a huge crush on him, too. I guess you could say I had a real “type!”
Georgie Lawrence, 63, was born and raised in Alabama. She recently retired from the insurance industry after forty years. She and her husband live in Florida and have two grown children.