Afternoons at the movies with a dog named Spot.

by Linda Ross Aldy

I don’t really recall the first movie I saw. I do remember loading up with our family friends, the Brewers, in their station wagon and going to the drive-in quite a bit when we were younger! But I do not remember a single movie we saw. I remember getting the speaker when you paid and then driving to an empty pole and plugging the speaker in and then “hooking” it on your window or car door for sound.

The first movie I ever saw that I have been able to pull up in my memory is the Disney film Toby Tyler (1960). It had a little boy named Toby who was in the circus and I think he did the high trapeze. I can remember we went to Grenada, Mississippi to see it, and I recall sitting on the right side of the theater in seats separated from the large middle section by an aisle.

I remember going to Memphis a few years later to see both a re-release of Gone with the Wind (1939) and The Sound of Music (1965). I believe it was as we were coming out of Gone with the Wind that we heard that Bobby Kennedy had been killed. I remember a very somber car ride home.

My favorite movie memory involves a dog. I know that’s not a surprise to people who know me! One set of my grandparents lived in Yazoo City, MS the entire time I was growing up. They moved to Kosciusko while I was at the W, but every summer as a child, I would go to spend two weeks in Yazoo City. Miss Emma Lee had a huge old house that she had divided into a four-plex, and my grandparents had the upper left side of the house. Miss Emma had a dalmatian named Spot. Spot was the best girl ever and loved it when we kids came for our visits. Spot, much like that other famous Yazoo dog, Skip, was well-known all over town and would accompany me to the movies. We would walk the three blocks to the theater where, just after lunch, I would buy my ticket for 25 or 50 cents. Spot would stay outside, and when I emerged, there she was, every time! I never knew if she stayed there and waited by the door or just came back to get me at the correct time. Honestly, I was surprised then (and am still surprised) that she didn’t just come on in with me! At any rate, the movies at the theater changed every few days, so I would go at least twice and sometimes three times a week while I was there. I mostly remember seeing and enjoying films starring Annette Funicello, like Beach Blanket Bingo (1965), and quite a few other Beach-like movies.

 

Linda Ross Aldy serves as the Executive Director of the Mississippi Optometric Association and is the owner of Aldy and Co. in Jackson, MS. She and her husband, James, have two grown sons, Jim and Josh. Linda and James will celebrate their thirty-seventh wedding anniversary this summer.

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